Courtroom.

  • A “sports betting expert” in Missouri will be in prison until 2029 as he took over $6 million in funds from investors for his fake sports wagering business.
  • Sports betting is not yet legal in Missouri which is one reason why attracting clients to a “business” regarding it was as easy as it was for Matthew Peterson.
  • Investors saw returns on their investments because Peterson was ultimately running a sports gaming Ponzi scheme.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A fraudulent sportsbook owner in Missouri who raked in six million dollars will now spend the next eight years of his life behind bars.

On Wednesday, the sentence from US District Judge Howard Sachs was handed down to Matthew Peterson, the 51-year-old scam artist that committed these crimes.

Peterson was charged with bank fraud and money laundering on one count of each to which he pled guilty in September. Along with an eight-year prison term with no chance of parole, he will also need to come up with $2.51 million that will be paid to the victims whose money he stole.

What Happened?

Missouri sports betting is not a legal industry in the state as of 2021. This is how Peterson was able to capitalize on those that fell prey to his business plan. There are plenty of interested investors for legal sports betting and given how well the market has done throughout the nation, who wouldn’t want to jump at the chance to be a part of it?

Peterson lured his clients in with fake financial statements that were showing tremendous profits from his sports betting expertise. He was able to keep up the guise for a while as he structured it into a Ponzi scheme, paying his customers with money from others and not actual profits from sports betting businesses as his documents would have his clientele believe.

In the end, he managed to get away with six million dollars, having $3.3 million used to keep the fraud going by giving investors “returns” on their investments. The other $2.7 million was used at his leisure on various vacations, cars, a house, gambling, and general purchases by Peterson. The Department of Justice of the Western District of Missouri released a statement after Peterson was sentenced, detailing his crimes further.

“Peterson’s widespread criminal activity caused significant financial harm to numerous victims, who invested amounts ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. One of the investors, identified in court documents as T.C., went into business with Peterson. T.C. liquated his 401(k)-retirement account and gave the net proceeds to Peterson. Peterson used T.C.’s personal identifiable information without T.C.’s knowledge or consent to obtain an American Express card. Peterson also made additional charges to the card, charging over $248,862 on this card without T.C.’s knowledge. Due to his scheme, financial institutions and credit card companies also incurred a loss of approximately $461,000.”

Matthew Peterson will not be released from prison until 2029.

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