PartyGaming Founder To Give U.S. $300 Million
The co-founder of an Internet gambling site has pleaded guilty to violating U.S. online gambling laws and has agreed to forfeit $300 million.
Anurag Dikshit, 37, a former director of PartyGaming PLC, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District court to charges that he used wires to transmit bets and wagering information the Justice Department said.
According to the Justice Department from about 1997 through October 2006, PartyGaming operated an Internet gambling business, which offered casino and poker games and other games of chance to people who wanted to gamble online.
During that time the majority of PartGaming’s online gabling customers, who accounted for about 85 percent of PartyGaming’s revenue in 2005, were located in the United States.
Dikshit developed a proprietary software platform for PartyGaming and directed the company’s computer operations from 1998 through October 2006.
Dikshit pleaded guilty to one count of using wires to transmit bets and wagering information in interstate commerce. He faces a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin said Dikshit has already paid the government $100 million and will pay the rest prior to his sentencing or September 30,2009, whichever is earlier.
"On the basis of the discussions to-date, PartyGaming expects any settlement with the DoJ to involve a payment by the Company of an amount that is significantly lower than that reported to be paid by Mr. Dikshit," the company said in a statement.
"In addition, the Company believes that any such settlement is unlikely to include a criminal plea on the part of the Company or any director," it added.