5Dimes' use of Amazon gift accounts, false names, and credit card processors to illegally pass winnings to U.S. gamblers caught the eye of investigators at the Justice Department’s asset forfeitures unit in Philadelphia, said Maria Carrillo, an attorney in that group
William Sean Creighton was close to a guilty plea on tax, money laundering, illegal gambling and payment fraud charges when he was kidnapped, said Mike Lowe, of the department’s economic crimes unit. After Creighton’s death, Justice settled with his widow, who forfeited his ill-gotten cash, gold, horses, cars, and baseball cards, but kept his betting book. The government agreed she hadn’t been part of the illegal business: “It opens the door for Ms. Varela to get licensed in the U.S.,” Carrillo concluded.
As part of the settlement with the government, she agreed to take down 5Dimes' U.S. website and stop handling U.S. bets until the company is approved to do business in a U.S. state. She says she has retained the “core” of her husband’s 270 employees, who are still free under Costa Rica law to take bets from other countries, while her lawyers apply for a New Jersey license.