Man to pay $100000 for part in Roanoke betting ring

A software developer from Costa Rica will hand over $100,000 but spend no time behind bars for building an offshore sports gambling website for a Roanoke-based bookmaking ring.

Max Krinberg of San Jose told a Roanoke federal court judge Wednesday that he accepted fault and would pay the money for his involvement in the ring.

Krinberg was the technical whiz behind an entity prosecutors called the Roanoke Sports Book Organization that took illegal online bets on football, car races and other sporting contests from 2009 to early 2013.

In the unfolding case, 10 men have been charged — Krinberg and nine others who admitted they acted as bookies and subbookies. This week, the first two received sentences of probation coupled with the forfeiture of a large sum of money.

Prosecutors have said up to eight more people could be charged, including a Roanoke restaurant owner who authorities say got the gambling operation going when a friend referred him to Krinberg, a specialist in creating and running gambling websites from Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a Central American nation of about 4 million people where software development and financial services are niche industries. The United States has prosecuted other online gambling enterprises there.

In return for building a highly featured website that took bets on college and professional games in football, baseball, basketball, golf and NASCAR, and presented odds and lines that matched those issued by Las Vegas casinos, Krinberg was paid $22,000 a year plus 10 percent of losing bets, prosecutors said.

Bettors wagered $5 million a year and $6.4 million in the site’s final year, from April 2012 to April 2013, prosecutors said.

But federal authorities using covert agents and wiretaps penetrated the gambling ring. The site, which began with the phrase playweewa, has been shut down.

Krinberg, who was 42 when he pleaded guilty in January, avoided jail and prison as U.S. District Court Judge Glen Conrad took note of his cooperation, which included giving a statement to authorities.

Ever since Krinberg was first contacted by the Department of Homeland Security, “he came to this country and faced the music,” said his lawyer, Chris Eyster.

Conrad ruled Krinberg must apply his computer skills by doing 20 hours of community service. Conrad suggested he donate time to a public service agency in the Pittsburgh area, where Krinberg plans to live soon. He was put on supervised probation for a year.

In the first sentencing of the case, Judge James Turk on Tuesday sentenced George Raymond Frederick of Greenboro, N.C., to a year of probation. Frederick was ordered to forfeit $43,000.

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