A sports betting analyst who heavily promoted himself online and on cable television recently pleaded guilty to his role in a strange federal extortion case.
The 44-year old sports handicapper and Broward County resident has appeared on E! TV, Fox Sports, and a few South Florida local channels. In 2010, he threw the opening pitch of the season for the Marlins. He claims to have a black book of celebrity clients who have reportedly made millions by placing bets based on his picks. In early September, however, the sports analyst found himself in a Wisconsin federal courtroom, where he plead guilty to fraud and extortion charges.
According to news reports, the sports analyst entered a plea agreement whereby he admits to have swindled a Wisconsin man out of millions of dollars after he faked being indebted to dangerous criminals. The Wisconsin man was initially a client who purchased sports picks from the defendant; in the end, the client became a victim of extortion.
The defendant in this case plead guilty on the condition that prosecutors will ask for a reduced sentence of 12 years, although his attorney will argue that five years would be more appropriate. Earlier in the case, the defendant claimed that he was working as an informant for federal agents to help them take down an illegal sports betting ring with connections to offshore wire rooms.
According to Fort Lauderdale federal criminal attorney Kenneth Hassett, a couple of interesting issues can be gleaned from this case. First of all, the defendant’s claim to have worked as an informant suggests that he may have information that could be valuable to federal agents. With such information, an extortion criminal defense lawyer could attempt to a further sentence reduction under Section 5K1.1 or Rule 35 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
An extortion criminal defense attorney with experience in the federal system can look for different angles that can influence the outcome of a case. Even if prosecutors are able to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, mitigating circumstances and potential cooperation may be brought to the negotiation table in relation to a plea agreement.
If you are facing criminal charges in the federal system, or if you know someone who needs assistance with their case, contact Hassett and Associates, P.A. at our main office in Davie: 954-791-3939, 954-760-9911 or 305-567-1211. Fort Lauderdale federal criminal attorney Ken Hassett may be able to help you obtain the best outcome in a federal case.