The Costa Rica-based offshore sportsbook operator 5Dimes is currently reviewing its options for making a legitimate bid to enter the US sports betting and gaming sector following every step of the law. In the past, 5Dimes took bets from U.S. citizens without the regulations of the government or the support of the corresponding regulatory agencies.
Therefore, having ceased these illegal operations the past month (September 2020) the company has agreed with the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking the approval of the legitimization of their business in the United Estates.
If the negotiations go as planned, 5Dimes incorporation will go under a new structure, free and clear from any kind of restrictions on the use or transfer of its assets and in full compliance with the US laws. A new corporate entity called 5D Americas LLC has been incorporated in the State of Delaware as part of the negotiations with the operators of 5Dimes sportsbook.
According to sbcamericas.com, 5Dimes formerly operated for many years under the full (and exclusive) control of its founder, William Sean “Tony” Creighton. Before his kidnapping and murder in 2018, both the sportsbook operator and Creighton were under federal investigation by the US Department of Justice, the EDPA specifically.
As reported on sportshandle.com, the charges against 5Dimes were related to the company’s third-party payment processors (TPPPs) that administered credit card transactions from US-based customers.
Once the TPPPs received the bets from the customer’s credit cards, the funds were transferred to bank accounts in the names of shell companies controlled and operated by Creighton until his disappearance and death.
Additionally, Creighton and the other operators of 5Dimes were under investigation by the DHS (department of homeland security) in connection with a possible $2 million money-laundering scheme using Amazon gift cards.
As part of the scheme, 5Dimes instructed its customers to purchase the amazon cards, and then email a photo of the cards to the company, along with a receipt of the purchase; also, 5Dimes offered their customers a 10% bonus as a reward for those who opted to receive payouts that were loaded onto an Amazon gift card.
After Creighton’s death, his widow Laura Varela assumed the responsibility for 5D’s assets; however, she did not exercise complete authority over the operations.
Later in 2019, Varela voluntarily contacted EDPA to resolve any prior criminal activities related to 5Dimes. The current settlement agreement is a direct result of Varela’s cooperation with the EDPA to resolve the investigation and clear the company’s name in the process.
One of the most important contributions that Varela made to the EDPA investigation was the identification of the company’s criminal assets which cover up to 46$ million dollars that the company later forfeit to the US government.
According to the investigation, Varela was not involved in these fraudulent actions made by 5Dimes.
Varela later declared: “It has been a very difficult two years for me and my family. But today marks a pivotal turning point and a fresh start for me and the 5Dimes brand, as well as a milestone for the legalization of sports gaming in the US. My husband’s death was tragic, but he loved 5Dimes and all of its loyal customers. Now his spirit will be able to live on as the 5Dimes brand begins this new chapter.”
Additionally, Varela mentioned that she is working along with a team of trusted people and that she is also exploring how she might relaunch 5Dimes as a legal sportsbook and casino in the regulated (and legal) US market.
Finally, the agreement required 5Dimes to stop servicing US customers by September 30, 2020. To comply with this demand, the sportsbook and casinos operated by this company ceased receiving bets from US customers as of September 21, 2020, until the brand is rebranded as a new, legal, and licensed entity inside the US territories.
5Dimes advised all its users residing in the United States to suspend and withdraw funds from their accounts by September 25, 2020. The funds of those players not withdrawn by this date will pass into Epiq’s possession, a third-party claims administrator, who will seek to deliver the funds to each respective account holder.