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34 charged in probe of illegal sports betting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says 34 people have been indicted for allegedly operating an illegal sports bookmaking business that solicited more than $1 billion in bets.

Those charged were accused of operating from San Jose, Costa Rica, and from Panama City to take bets almost exclusively from gamblers in the U.S.

The operation called Legendz Sports enterprise used 23 companies also charged in the case to operate as payment processors, launder gambling funds and make payouts to customers.

The acting chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Mythili (MY’-thlee) Raman, says the government is determined to crack down on illegal online gambling by U.S. citizens, regardless of where the business operates or where the defendants live.

The indictment, which alleges a conspiracy, was unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Oklahoma.

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