This week, a long-overdue precedent was set when the operator of a sports gambling Web site was convicted in the first case of its kind to go to trial.
The New York jury found that Jay Cohen, 33, had broken the U.S. Interstate Wire Act of 1961 by accepting bets and wagers on sports events via the Internet and telephone.
Cohen, the president of World Sports Exchange in Antigua, was among 22 defendants charged in March 1998. In a statement, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White said the San Francisco, California man was the first individual to stand trial in the United States for running such an offshore operation.
Cohen was the only one of the defendants to return to the U.S. to face the charges, arguing that he operates a perfectly legal and regulated ปั่นสล็อตเว็บไหนดี gambling site in Antigua. The jury disagreed, and found him guilty for accepting a bet from a resident of New York — a state where gambling is illegal.
Benjamin Brafman, Cohen’s attorney, claimed that the jury was biased by the judge’s explanation of the Interstate Wire Act.
“I believe that the legal instructions provided by the court gave the jury no choice but to find Mr. Cohen guilty,” Brafman said. “I do not believe that this verdict will survive appellate review and we have every intention of pursuing a vigorous appeal for Mr. Cohen.”
Faces a 19-Year Sentence
Cohen faces a maximum prison term of five years on one count of conspiracy to violate the Wire Wager Act and two years on each of seven other related charges. Sentencing will take place on May 23rd before U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa.
Prosecutors alleged that people like Cohen have tried to skirt U.S. law by running their operations from jurisdictions that allow gambling, including Curacao, Panama, …