Anurag Dikshit, "one of the world's richest people" and the co-founder of an Internet gambling company, pleaded guilty to operating an interstate and foreign wagering operation. He was essentially a programmer who found his niche in gaming, and developed the world's largest poker site.
Dikshit, 37, the biggest shareholder of Gibraltar-based PartyGaming, entered the plea to one count of online gambling in violation of the Wire Act today and agreed to forfeit $300 million.
“I came to believe it was in fact illegal under U.S. law,” Dikshit told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York, referring to PartyGaming’s activity. “I have taken full responsibility for my actions.”
The maximum penalty for the gambling offense is two years in prison and a year’s supervised release. Rakoff set a sentencing date of two years from today, allowing Dikshit to remain free on a $50 million personal-recognizance bond.
Dikshit is said to be worth as much as $1.6 billion according to Forbes. More from the AP:
Prosecutors said in a release that Dikshit developed a proprietary software platform and directed the company's computer operations from 1998 through October 2006, when he also was PartyGaming's principal shareholder.
Bail was set at $15 million, but Dikshit was not required to post any cash or property, prompting Judge Jed S. Rakoff to ask what incentive Dikshit had to attend future court dates.
But prosecutors and Pomerantz agreed that Dikshit had demonstrated his desire to cooperate, in part by already paying $100 million to the U.S. Treasury and pledging to pay another $100 million within three months and the last $100 million installment by Sept. 30.
According to PokerNews.com, Dikshit will retain his 27% stake in the company.