The Register reported earlier today that Anurag Dikshit, co-founder of Gibraltar-based PartyGaming, who made billions of dollars building an online gambling empire has agreed to forfeit $300 Million after pleading guilty to violating the US Wire Act.
Dikshit entered the plea Tuesday in US District Court in Manhattan.
A lawyer for Dikshit told US District Judge Jed Rakoff that over time his client developed “a growing awareness of the illegality” of offering online poker and other games of chance to residents of the US, according to news reports.
The company stopped accepting wagers from people based in the US after lawmakers barred US credit card companies from accepting payments for bets
But by then, the damage was already done. According to federal prosecutors, Dikshit “unlawfully, willfully and knowingly used a wire communication facility for the transmission” to take bets. A “substantial majority” of PartyGaming’s customers are based in the US, according to court documents. About 85 percent of the company’s 2005 revenue came from Americans.
Can former Vancouverite Calvin Ayre be far behind?
Close examination of his deal with Morris Mohawk Gaming will likely reveal that he’s still pulling all the strings that matter. Although Bodog (now Fiver Media) pulled up operational stakes and left Vancouver for the Mohawk reservation in Quebec, Ayre is still on the hook with the Department of Justice, living a billionaire’s miserable exile in Costa Rica.