08 November 2006


BETonSPORTS, U.S. reach stop-business agreement
Mon Nov 6, 2006 5:10 PM GMT137

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) – BETonSPORTS Plc (BSS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and government prosecutors have agreed on a court order permanently restraining the indicted online gaming company from taking bets in the United States, lawyers on both sides told a U.S. court in St. Louis on Monday.

The order is expected to be filed with the court later this week after technical Internet-related language is screened by experts.

The London-based company has not operated in the United States since mid-August after it and a dozen executives, several from related Florida companies, were named in a 22-count indictment alleging they failed to pay billions of dollars in excise taxes.

It had been placed under a temporary stop-business order by U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson pending discussions on language for a permanent order.

In the interim President George W. Bush signed a law that bans U.S. banks from handling gambling transactions.

Details of the proposed final order were not made public.

On August 16, David Carruthers, the former chief executive of the company, was freed on $1 million bond with strict curbs on his movements.

BETonSPORTS fired Carruthers after his July 16 arrest during a layover at a Texas airport and later announced it had shut down its operations in Costa Rica and Antigua that had served U.S. bettors.

At Monday’s hearing before Jackson, the lawyer representing BETonSPORTS, Jeffrey Demerath, said agreement on the restraining order was not to be taken as an admission of guilt on the part of the company.


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