Federal prosecutors charged three former Drexel University fraternity brothers with conspiracy to commit wire fraud this week -- a scheme that would have brought them over $3 million in profits.
Glenn DaSilva, Derrick Davis and Chris Harn -- all former members of Drexel's Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter -- were allegedly involved in a scam to fix the Breeders' Cup pick-six, a major gambling event in horse racing, and other specialty bets throughout the month of October.
New York Federal Bureau of Investigation Assistant Director Kevin Donovan said in a statement released yesterday, "If found guilty of these charges, the defendants will have been proven to be not only fraternity brothers, but also partners in crime."
Federal prosecutors outlined evidence against the defendants in a seven-page complaint. According to the document, the fraternity brothers used computer access to alter bets after they had been placed.
FBI officials first suspected foul play when Davis held the only winning ticket for the Breeders' Cup pick-six wager on Oct. 26.
Davis supposedly placed his bet a week before the race. However, the day of the contest, Harn reported to his software engineering office in Newark, Del. Federal prosecutors said they believe Harn tampered with Davis' bet that day.
Although the wager cost Davis $1,757 to place, it won him over $3 million in profits.
The FBI investigation that has been conducted over the last two weeks turned up several other suspicious incidences. All three former Drexel students have placed and profited from bets placed in the last month.
U.S. Attorney James Comey expressed his concern about the significance of this crime in a statement.
"Honest people legally bet their hard-earned money on races and lotteries that generate tax-revenues to fund important public works," Comey said.
He added, "Frauds like this one threaten that system, and this case demonstrates how important it is that the federal government both play an enforcement role and coordinate closely with our colleagues in state law enforcement."
The three defendants surrendered to New York State police and FBI agents yesterday, four days after warrants were issued for their arrests.
According to the New York Times, defense attorneys for all three defendants maintain their clients' innocence.
The three fraternity brothers all attended Drexel about ten years ago, though according to Drexel spokesman Phil Terranova, none of the three ever completed their academic requirements at the school.
They were each released on $200,000 bail. They will appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 17.
If convicted, the three will face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the profit made from the crime.Comments powered by Disqus
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