Hollywood Producer Pleads Guilty in Sports Betting Case

A Hollywood producer pleaded guilty to his part in an illegal sports gambling network that led to the indictment of 34 people including alleged members and associates of two Russian-American organized crime groups.

Bryan Zuriff, 44, was the first defendant to plead guilty in the case, according to a statement yesterday from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in New York. He faces a sentence of as long as five years in prison and he has agreed to forfeit $500,000 as part of his plea agreement, according to the statement.

“Bryan Zuriff spanned the coasts with his crimes, by operating his own illegal gambling enterprise in Los Angeles, and helping to operate a vast illegal gambling enterprise in New York,” Bharara said. “With his plea, he becomes the first defendant, but not the last, to be convicted in this sprawling script of criminal conduct.”

Zuriff, of Brentwood, California, operated his own sports book and assisted other defendants who ran their own illegal gambling business in New York that catered to millionaires and billionaires, according the U.S. attorney’s statement.

Zuriff was an executive producer of the Showtime television series “Ray Donovan,” according to the IMDb website.

Charles Clayman, a lawyer for Zuriff, didn’t immediately respond after regular business hours to a phone call to his office seeking comment on the guilty plea.

The case is U.S. v. Tokhtakhounov, 13-cr-00268, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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