Article published on 10 October 2014

Bodog Prosecution in Maryland Continues

Calvin Ayre Claims Abuse of Justice System
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The grand jury in Maryland, USA, opened a court case against Bodog Entertainment Group a couple of years ago. Included in the Bodog Entertainment Group were four Canadians. It has been two years since the Maryland court made the decision to indict Calvin Ayre, the founder of Bodog, and some other key employees, such as an accountant, a media buyer and an e-commerce chief. After two years of relative silence, the case seems to once again be coming to life as the Bodog prosecution in Maryland continues.

The US Wants to Extradite Canadians

The court case against the Bodog founder and employees claims that there was illegal gambling and money laundering that took place. In addition to Calvin Ayre himself, the other three Canadians that have been accused by the Maryland court, are accountant James Philip, media buyer Derrick Maloney, and controller and e-commerce chief David Ferguson. The accusation alleges that there was an illegal sports betting business that was run between 2005 and 2012.

An ex-Bodog employee, whose identity has been kept secret, supplied information regarding the sports betting business, and the movement, or money laundering of finances that took place during that time period.

Calvin Ayre claims that the accusations do not hold water since international law legally allows for an online gambling industry, and in addition to this, he explained that after the domain name was seized under a warrant issued by US federal lawmakers, the Bodog operations were moved across to other domains that were Bodog-related. In the United States, Bodog was re-branded under the Bovada brand name. Ayre claims that the indictment that has been called for is an "abuse of the US criminal justice system."

Assistant US Attorney, Richard Kay, sent a letter to District Judge Catherine Blake, the judge presiding over the Bodog case. Kay informed the court that while the extradition process is continuing, the defendants plan to "continue to try to find a resolution that will not require extradition," however, the extradition process will continue at this time.

Will the Bodog Case End with Arrests?

While it is unclear as to what the result of the court case will be, past experience has shown that there is a good chance that no jail time will be served. When Full Tilt Poker executives had charges brought against them, the Assistant US Attorney allowed the accused to get away with a fine, which was more like a slap on the wrist than anything else. It is likely that ultimately the Bodog case will be resolved in a similar way.

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