After over ten years, an Antigua resident has been apprehended for his alleged involvement in an illicit online gambling business targeting U.S. patrons.
On August 20, 2023, officials detained 73-year-old Richard Sullivan from St. John’s, Antigua, at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The arrest happened as Sullivan returned to the U.S. from Antigua. He faced formal charges in New York on August 21, 2023, and will later stand trial in Boston.
Previously, a federal grand jury in Boston indicted Sullivan in August 2010. The charges included racketeering, running an illegal gambling venture, transmitting betting data, money laundering, and aiding racketeering through interstate travel.
This case is notable as it’s among the initial prosecutions under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the inaugural one in Massachusetts.
Evidence suggests Sullivan, alongside Todd Lyons, Robert Eremian, and Daniel Eremian, ran an online betting platform named Sports Offshore. While licensed in Antigua, this site illicitly functioned in the U.S., with operations spanning from Massachusetts to Florida.
It’s believed that around 50 agents worked for the group in the U.S. Their role was to attract gamblers, retrieve gambling debts, and then relay the illicit gains back to Antigua. Operating from St. John’s, Sullivan allegedly oversaw 30-50 staff members handling U.S. bets via phone and online. Furthermore, Sullivan is said to have coordinated the collection efforts, targeting U.S. customers indebted to Sports Offshore.
Sullivan’s other alleged roles include representing Sports Offshore in Massachusetts, managing a local clientele, and earning from their losses. He supposedly employed Massachusetts residents to amass funds from his clientele and then mailed this money directly to Antigua.
Cumulatively, the accused individuals are believed to have raked in over $22 million for Sports Offshore through the unlawful venture. Of this, they reportedly laundered in excess of $10 million via checks and electronic transfers.
Back in December 2011, Lyons and Daniel Eremian faced convictions after a prolonged jury deliberation. Lyons got a four-year prison sentence, forfeiture of $24.6 million, and a year of supervised release. Meanwhile, Daniel Eremian received three years behind bars, a year of supervised release, and a mandate to forfeit $7.7 million.
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