Costa Rica-based sportsbook, 5Dimes, has reached a $46.8 million settlement agreement with the US government after the money-laundering investigation.
$15 million will be paid in cash by the operator and they will also forfeit more than $30 million in assets and stop accepting wagers from US customers while they operate from Costa Rica. The settlement agreement was reached with the US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The Details of the Settlement
According to the settlement…
…Laura Varela, the 5Dimes owner’s William Sean Creightnon’s widow, is also absolved of any criminal conduct.
She assumed responsibility for 5Dimes’ assets after her husband was kidnapped in September 2018 and was found dead in 2019. She did not, however, have day-to-day authority over the operations.
Michael Lowe, assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said:
“The investigation was a complete success from our perspective. There was gambling going on, but we discovered it, we put a stop to it.”
The agreement that will not see the offenders prosecuted will allow the sportsbook and Varela to pursue opportunities in the expanding sports betting market of USA. She fully cooperated with the investigation made changes to 5Dimes’ operations that make it suitable for participating in lawful gaming operations around the globe.
Opening the New Chapter
Assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Maria M Carillo, told ESPN:
“We achieved the objective, which is, she is compliant with U.S. federal law right now. What that means for her is she is not operating in violation of U.S. law, and she is not actively taking bets from U.S. bettors.
Whether she’s positioned well for regulators, that’s up for the regulators to decide,” Carrillo said. “[5Dimes] certainly is no longer in violation of federal law.”
Varela herself said that she is very, very happy and excited about the future and the next chapters of 5Dimes.
In the spring of 2019, Varela, through her attorneys, contacted the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in and offered her cooperation to settle the case of accepting illegal payments from US customers via third-party payment processors.
On Sept. 7, 5Dimes posted a notice on its website that it would stop accepting online bets from U.S.-based customers and instructed them to withdraw funds by Sept. 25.
“Costa Rica-based sportsbook 5Dimes reaches $46.8 million settlement with feds”, espn.com, September 30th, 2020.