Federal authorities in the US swooped down on the operators of Macho Sports in an operation aimed at shutting down the illegal sports betting site. Between 15-18 men were arrested in separate raids in California, Norway, and Peru.
The arrests and indictments were the culmination of an investigation that began in 2011 and involved multiple, international wiretaps and surveillance.
Macho Sports was based in Panama, but employed a network of sub-bookies and other operatives across the world. Customers placed bets with the site through 800-numbers and websites. So in many ways, Macho Sports was your standard online sportsbook.
But, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office, Macho Sports’ accounts receivable department was anything but standard.
The Feds describe a rough and tumble organization that employed, “intimidation, threats and violence as well as fostering a violent reputation to its treatment of delinquent customers.” Investigators listening to Macho employees on a wiretap overhead discussions about pistol whipping customers in arrears.
Despite their unconventional customer service techniques, Macho Sports was definitely not hurting for business. Their now shuttered website boasted a $ 50k limit per bet and Federal authorities seized assets from the accused valued at over $ 5 million.
The men busted in the Macho raids are facing charges of racketeering and illegal gambling. Racketeering carries a maximum 20-year sentence, illegal gambling carries a maximum of 5-years in prison.
Have you had dealings with Macho Sports? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
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