2:27pm PT by Alex Ben Block
Former 'Ray Donovan' EP Could Get Prison Time in Online Gambling Case
Former Ray Donovan executive producer Bryan Zuriff, who has already pleaded guilty under a plea agreement related to his involvement in an online gambling enterprise, faces a sentence of six to 12 months, but the prosecution and defense have made different recommendations about how that should be enforced.
When Zuriff is sentenced in a federal courtroom in New York on Nov. 25, the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, wants Zuriff to spend his sentence in prison.
Zuriff’s attorneys, Charles Clayman and Isabelle Kirshner, have asked that he get probation or home confinement for the term of the sentence. They say that he has had a gambling problem since he was a child and that the father of four has to live with the stigma of being a felon the rest of this life.
His lawyers say that Zuriff was once a respected figure in show business, but now his reputation has been ruined. They said “prison is not the solution” to his problems.
Zuriff has already paid a fine of $500,000 as part of the plea deal, which was reached in July in federal court in New York City.
At the time the deal was made, Bharara said that Zuriff was the first defendant convicted in what he called a "sprawling script of criminal conduct," adding he would not be the last.
In April, authorities indicted 34 people accused of being part of the scheme, which they say involved two Russian-American organized crime enterprises that laundered more than $100 million from illegal gambling, including poker games attended by celebrities and professional athletes.
In his sentencing memorandum, Bharara wrote that Zuriff used illegal sports gambling websites to book bets for high-net-worth and celebrity clients.
Bharara noted that Zuriff's involvement was over a period of years. Zuriff has claimed he did not know that the organized crime enterprises were involved in the scheme.