After 15 years on the run, gambling fraudster Randy Craig Levine will spend 48 months in prison for wire fraud and perjury. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A 48-month sentence
After 15 years on the run, a Boca Raton resident and gambling fraudster can finally put his feet up after a federal district judge in West Palm Beach, Florida sentenced him to 48 months in prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Miami took to Twitter on August 17 to share news of the jail sentence handed out to Randy Craig Levine, 54, for wire fraud and perjury:
According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Levine tricked victims into wiring him funds to open “offshore or Las Vegas casino gambling accounts, which he never did.” Evidence that the law has a long memory comes from the fact Levine’s fraudulent spree took place between 1999 and 2004 from his Highland Beach, Florida home.
tricked victims into wiring him funds to open “offshore or Las Vegas casino gambling accounts”
While under investigation in 2005, Levine used a replacement passport to skip the US. For the next 15 years, the fraudster was on the run. He came close to getting extradited to the US when he got arrested in Poland in 2008, but managed to evade the law until last year.
Levine surrendered to the United States in October 2020. Authorities in Austria identified him via facial recognition when he tried to open a bank account in the European country using another alias.
In addition to the jail term, Levine must pay restitution of more than $600,000 to his victims.
Levine defrauded more than 25 victims
During his 1999 to 2004 activities, Levine ran three websites – baseballpicks, nflfootballpicks, and nbabasket-ballpicks – from his Florida residence to supposedly furnish individuals with sports betting tips. According to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, he instructed his victims that he would open them an “offshore or Las Vegas casino gambling account” if they provided him with funds.
Despite receiving money from over 25 victims he defrauded, Levine never opened any gambling accounts for them.
The DOJ press release added that Levine adopted aliases and fake accents when speaking to his victims on the telephone. Further insight into Levine’s ultra-scheming mind is that he “played a casino floor recording to make it sound as if he were calling from a casino.”
The West Palm Beach federal district court sentenced Levine on August 13 after he had previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud and perjury charges on May 17.
Sports betting schemers
While Levine has four years in prison to contemplate his actions, a Utah man in hot water over a betting scam could face double the Boca Raton resident’s time behind bars.
Serial con artist Christopher D. Hales pleaded guilty in October 2020 to federal wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy after being indicted for taking part in an allegedly fraudulent $7m sports betting scam.
Hales’ scheme was a lot more elaborate than Levine’s. According to a Felony Information filed in the case, Hales and a co-conspirator convinced victims to give them money to place sports wagers after claiming to own betting software that “beat the house.”
Hales could face up to ten years in prison.