Online Gaming Fugitive Calvin Ayre Pleads Guilty to Minor Charge

Online gaming kingpin Calvin Ayre has been avoiding US authorities for years. But now, the Bodog founder can rest easy because felony charges have been dropped. The Canadian and multi-millionaire pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of being an “accessory after the fact.” According to Forbes, the charge relates to the transmission of gambling information […]

calvin-ayre-charges-droppedOnline gaming kingpin Calvin Ayre has been avoiding US authorities for years. But now, the Bodog founder can rest easy because felony charges have been dropped.

The Canadian and multi-millionaire pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of being an “accessory after the fact.”

According to Forbes, the charge relates to the transmission of gambling information in relation to the federal Wire Act. US prosecutors have also dropped felony charges against three other Canadian men who were in business with Ayre/Bodog.

What Penalties does Ayre Face?

The good news is that Ayre faces no jail time after his guilty plea. But this is far from a slap on the wrist.

Judge Catherine Blake issued a $500,000 fine to the Bodog front man. He’ll also undergo a year of unsupervised probation. And the biggest stipulation: he can’t make any claims to Bodog’s $66 million that US authorities seized from payment processors.

However, considering that Ayre was facing up to 25 years in prison on money laundering charges, he’ll gladly give up the money since he can afford it.

“Mr. Ayre is pleased with the outcome of this case. He is even more pleased that this five-year ordeal is finally over for him and for the others who were charged. He looks forward to moving forward with his life,” said Barry Boss, Ayre’s attorney.

What Sparked this Case?

antigua-ayreAyre founded Bodog in Costa Rica, then eventually moved the business to Canada’s Kahnawake territory.

Despite keeping his operation out of the US, Ayre had always remained in the US federal attorneys’ cross-hairs because he violated the UIGEA through payment processors.

Indicted in 2011 on charges of money laundering, Ayre moved to Antigua, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US.

Even with the case now behind him, the 56-year-old will continue living in Antigua.

“I don’t see this settlement changing anything, as I’m happy with my life the way it is,” Ayre said. “I’ll continue to focus on being an online gaming industry analyst, a tech investor, and a philanthropist. Most importantly, I’m just going to continue enjoying life to the fullest.”

Despite a $66 million payment that was seized over 5 years ago, Ayre remains a very wealthy man.

 

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