'Ray Donovan' Producer Bryan Zuriff Pleads Guilty in N.Y. Online Gambling Case

10:06 PM PST 07/26/2013 by The Associated Press, THR Staff
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Bryan Zuriff

Zuriff faces five years in prison when sentenced in November.

Bryan Zuriff, an executive producer on Showtime's Ray Donovan, has pleaded guilty in New York for his role in a high-stakes sports betting business run by an organized-crime enterprise. He entered the plea in federal court Thursday, admitting to accepting a financial instrument in connection with unlawful Internet gambling.

Showtime did not immediately respond to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment regarding his future on the series.

STORY: The Strange Saga of the Showtime Producer, High-Stakes Poker and the Russian Mob

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the plea Friday, saying Zuriff operated an illegal gambling enterprise in Los Angeles and helped run one in New York.

“Bryan Zuriff spanned the coasts with his crimes, by operating his own illegal gambling enterprise in Los Angeles and helping to operate a vast illegal gambling enterprise in New York," Bharara said in a statement. "With his plea, he becomes the first defendant, but not the last, to be convicted in this sprawling script of criminal conduct.”

Zuriff faces five years in prison when sentenced in November. He's agreed to forfeit $500,000. His lawyer hasn't returned a message seeking comment.

Authorities in April indicted 34 people accused of being part of a scheme by two Russian-American organized-crime enterprises. They say the enterprises laundered $100 million from illegal gambling, including poker games attended by celebrities and pro athletes.

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