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UNITED STATES SEEKS FORFEITURE OF TWO HOMES FUNDED WITH PROCEEDS OF INTERNET GAMBLING SCHEME

MONDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A civil forfeiture complaint has been filed alleging that proceeds of a large scale illegal gambling business, which operated in the continental United States using an Antiguan Internet site, were funneled into real properties located in Massachusetts and Florida.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Special Agent in Charge William P. Offord of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation - Boston Field Office; and Colonel Marian J. McGovern, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced the unsealing of a civil forfeiture complaint against the real properties located at 939 Salem Street, Lynnfield, Mass., and 2900 NW 25th Terrace, Boca Raton, Florida. The Complaint is based on information obtained during the investigation which resulted in the August 2010 indictment of ROBERT EREMIAN, 57, of St. John’s, Antigua and Lynnfield; DANIEL EREMIAN, 60, of Boca Raton, Florida; RICHARD SULLIVAN, 61, of St. John’s, Antigua and Marblehead, and TODD LYONS, 36, of Beverly, on charges of racketeering, money laundering, operating an illegal gambling business, use of wire communication facilities to transmit wagering information, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, false tax returns, witness tampering, and acceptance of financial instruments for unlawful Internet gambling.

The Complaint and the August 2010 Indictment allege that Robert Eremian moved the headquarters for his illegal gambling business from Massachusetts to Antigua during the late 1990s. He operated Sports Offshore, an Internet site and toll free telephone line, to service his U.S. customers and employed dozens of “agents” in the United States who recruited customers and collecting gambling debts. The proceeds were forwarded to Eremian in Antigua.

The Complaint and the August 2010 Indictment also allege that Eremian engaged in a number of money laundering schemes to disguise the gact that the money coming from the United States was for the payment of gambling debts owed to Sports Offshore. It is further alleged that Eremian created numerous fictitious entities to launder the proceeds of his illegal gabling activities, including an Antiguan shell company named Benevolence Funding, Ltd. Eremian also deposited and caused to be deposited proceeds of his illegal gambling business in a Massachusetts bank account.

The Complaint alleges that payments totaling over $49,000 were made from a Massachusetts bank account funded entirely with gaming proceeds towards the taxes due on and repairs made to the real property located at 939 Salem Street, Lynnfield, Mass. The Complaint further alleges that the real property located at 2900 NW 25th Terrace, Boca Raton, Florida was purchased with over $696,000 traceable to Benevolence Funding, the Antiguan company established by Eremian to receive illegal gambling proceeds from his bettors in the United States.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the Massachusetts State Police. The civil case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Ortiz’s Asset Forfeiture and Economic Crimes Units.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations.

 

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