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Prosecutors fight bail in BetOnSports case

The founder of an Internet gambling firm had a handcuff key, five passports and cash from four countries when he was arrested in March, prosecutors said as they argued against his release before trial.

Federal prosecutors said Friday that Stephen Kaplan, 48, of BetOnSports PLC had planned to escape to a country that would not extradite him and therefore should not be released before his racketeering and fraud trial.

His attorneys asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Ann Medler for more time to respond to the allegations.

A trial date has not been set.

Officials for London-based BetOnSports pleaded guilty on behalf of the company Thursday to a racketeering conspiracy charge, but the deal did not end the prosecutions of Kaplan and Chief Executive David Carruthers.

The case against BetOnSports has been closely watched by the online gambling industry, which generates about $6 billion annually in the United States. The charges were filed using a 1960s-era law known as the Wire Act, which prohibits placing bets on sports events over the phone.

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