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Feds Arrest Decade-Long Fugitive In Online Gambling Case

Richard Sullivan Allegedly Violated UIGEA


An Antigua man has been arrested over a decade after being charged with his participation in an illegal gambling business that utilized an Antiguan internet site but operated in the United States.

Richard Sullivan, 73, of St. John’s, Antigua, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston in August 2010 with racketeering, operating an illegal gambling business, transmission of wagering information, money laundering and interstate travel in aid of racketeering.

Sullivan was arrested on Aug. 20, 2023, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York while proceeding through customs upon his return to the United States from Antigua. Sullivan was arraigned in the Eastern District of New York on Aug. 21, 2023, and will appear in federal court in Boston later.

This prosecution marked one of the first times that individuals were charged with violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the first in Massachusetts.

Sullivan and his co-defendants are charged with over 75 counts of engaging in U.S. banking transactions involving U.S.-based gamblers to pay gambling debts owed to Sports Offshore.

According to the indictment, Sullivan and his three co-conspirators – Todd Lyons, Robert Eremian and Daniel Eremian – operated Sports Offshore, an online gambling site licensed in Antigua that was actually operating in the United States, conducting an illegal gambling business that stretched from Massachusetts to Florida.

The ring allegedly employed approximately 50 gambling agents in the United States, who solicited hundreds of customers and collected gambling debts, forwarding the illegal gambling proceeds to Antigua.

Sullivan allegedly managed the daily activities of Sports Offshore at its gambling office in St. John’s, Antigua. In that capacity, Sullivan allegedly supervised approximately 30-50 employees who accepted wagers from customers in the United States that were placed over the telephone and the Internet.

It is alleged that Sullivan directed collection activities regarding customers and agents located in the United States who owed money to Sports Offshore. Sullivan also allegedly served as an agent for Sports Offshore, in that he was responsible for a group of Massachusetts customers who gambled with Sports Offshore and he earned commissions on gambling losses incurred by those customers.

It is also alleged that Sullivan utilized individuals who resided in Massachusetts to collect money from his Massachusetts customers which he had shipped directly to Antigua via the mail.

In total, Sullivan and his co-conspirators allegedly collected over $22 million for Sports Offshore through the illegal gambling operation and laundered more than $10 million in checks and wire transfers.

In December 2011, Lyons and Daniel Eremian were convicted following a five-week jury for their roles in the conspiracy. Lyons was sentenced to four years in prison, one year of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $24.6 million. Daniel Eremian was sentenced to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $7.7 million.