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Owner of Suspected Money-Laundering Sportsbook from Costa Rica Found Dead
- October 22, 2018 By Oliver Young -
Sean Creighton , the owner of 5Dimes – an online platform providing online casino games, betting, and bingo out of Costa Rica –has been found dead, local news source Costa Rica Star reports. Creighton, also known as “Tony,” was reported as kidnapped late last month and his whereabouts and location were unknown to the authorities for weeks. But this Saturday his body was reportedly found and identified by the local authorities, according to the news source, although no official confirmation has been released.
Sport Exec Dead Despite Paid Ransom?
Reports indicate that the body of the 43-year-old sports exec was recovered by the OIJ (Judiciary Investigative Police) during the weekend, less than a month after Creighton’s disappearance was reported by his wife on September 25th. According to official information, Creighton disappeared after leaving his office on the previous night, September 24th and never came home.
While local media portals and newspapers revealed that his wife received a phone call from people who claimed to have kidnapped him only hours after he went missing, the OIJ claimed that no evidence was found that would explain his disappearance. Following the call, the wife reportedly gathered between $750,000 and $1 million in cryptocurrencies and sent it to the kidnappers in Cuba as ransom money for his release. She claimed that she was contacted three times by someone located in the country.
After the money was sent, Creighton’s wife didn’t receive any new calls while his whereabouts still remained a mystery. His car was subsequently found crashed in a property gate in a rural area without his body inside, which was found later by the OIJ.
News of the exec’s disappearance triggered plenty of speculation across internet forums with the sportsbook’s users questioning the future of the 5Dimes brand. After a while, the operator issued a public statement that reassured customers that the brand’s “fundamental” operating model will stay as is. However, the sportsbook hasn’t released any new statement regarding Saturday’s reports.
A Sportsbook Once Accused of Money-Laundering
Back in March 2016, 5Dimes was accused by US Homeland Security to have laundered around 2 million through Amazon gift cards. According to the accusation, the online platform of the operator was allegedly advising registered punters to fund their accounts through Amazon gift cards. The gift card funding scheme was reportedly devised to allow players from the US to participate in online gambling, despite regulatory restrictions.
And not only was 5Dimes accused of permitting payments through Amazon but it was also accused of paying out winnings via the same gift cards. The accusation was made after 15 Amazon accounts were seized by Homeland and traced back to the 5Dimes brand. The seized accounts had a combined value of $159,000 but the authorities believed a total of $2 million passed through them during several years.
Furthermore, the manager of 5 Dimes was also under a money-laundering investigation at the time by the Federal authorities regarding money transfers from Malta and Dubai companies. Western Union outlets in Costa Rica were likewise scrutinized by the feds, yet the online site kept going, even to this day.