BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The major online gambling site Bodog.com has been seized by the federal government. The undercover investigation was conducted right here in Maryland.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the billionaire founder who could now be heading to court.
Calvin Ayre has been called one of the richest men in the world but it’s how he made his money that might land him behind bars.
Basketball, football, hockey and more. Officials say gamblers here in Maryland bet on it all on Bodog.com. Now the site’s been seized by the federal government.
“You cannot operate offshore and transmit your operation here to Maryland through the Internet,” said Rod Rosenstein, Maryland U.S. Attorney.
That’s why prosecutors are going after four Bodog executives, including billionaire founder and international playboy Calvin Ayre. MTV Cribs toured Ayre’s Costa Rica compound and he was named one of People Magazine’s hottest bachelors.
Now, according to an indictment obtained by WJZ, Ayre is accused of running an illegal gambling empire.
The indictment reveals undercover officers in Maryland opened accounts on Bodog.com from June 2009 to January 2012. They bet on sports and received winnings by check and in cash.
“They traced their funds and found tens of millions of dollars in gambling proceeds were being transmitted through bank accounts here in the United States to this offshore operation,” Rosenstein said.
On his website, Ayre released a statement about the indictment saying, “It is clear that the online gaming industry is legal under international law and in the case of these documents it is also clear that the rule of law was not allowed to slow down a rush to try to win the war of public opinion.”
Prosecutors say their focus is winning the war on illegal gambling.
Arrest warrants have been issued for Ayre and the other three executives. No one is in custody yet. If convicted, the four men face 25 years behind bars. The company faces up to half a million dollars in fines.