Michael Colbert Will Plead Not Guilty To Illegal Sportsbetting Charges

Former Cantor Gaming Executive Michael Colbert is expected to plead not guilty when he is due to appear in New York court November 29.  Colbert was arrested on October 24 with seven other defendants in Nevada as a result of a year and a half investigation into illegal sportsbetting and money laundering.  If convicted on the charges, the defendants face up to 25 years in prison.

Colbert’s Las Vegas based lawyer Michael Cristalli refused to comment on the charges against his client after a procedural hearing in Las Vegas Justice Court.  But the charges are known to have resulted from an indictment issued by the Queens County District Attorney’s office in New York.  The indictment alleges that Colbert coordinated the transfer of over $100,000 in illegal sports wagers from New York to Las Vegas in July 2011.  Before he was dismissed by Cantor Gaming, he ran the sports book in the M casino and resort, which is owned by Cantor.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board says the investigation continues despite the pleas of innocence.  Nevada is cooperating with authorities from the NYPD, with consultation from the FBI due to the charges crossing state lines.  Nevada Gaming Deputy Chief of Enforcement James Taylor says they believe that Colbert communicated with one of the other defendants using a number from a New York City area code.  Allegedly, it was this connection that helped to arrange the money transfer.

Prosecutors believe that online sportsbook site Pinnacle Sports is also involved in the case.  The online domain is believed to have been “the wire room” where gamers placed their bets, and account managers arranged the transfers.

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