BY: USDOJ | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) (Source: USDOJ Advisory Verbatim) — On Friday, a federal district judge in West Palm Beach sentenced a Boca Raton resident who was on the lam for 15 years to 48 months in prison for duping victims into sending him money to open offshore or Las Vegas casino gambling accounts, which he never did. The judge also ordered the defendant to pay over $600,000 in restitution to his victims.
From 1999 through July 2004, Randy Craig Levine, 54, operated three internet web sites, www.baseballpicks.net, www.nflfootballpicks.tv and www.nbabasket-ballpicks.net, out of his home in Highland Beach, Florida. Levine registered the web sites’ domains and paid for their web hosting using a shell corporation, Pacific Oriental. Through these web sites, Levine purported to provide sports betting tips to individuals who registered with these websites or who called a telephone number listed on the website. Levine told the individuals that if they sent funds to him, he would use the money to open an offshore or Las Vegas casino gambling account. Levine used aliases and fake accents while talking to victims on the telephone. He also played a casino floor recording to make it sound as if he were calling from a casino. Although Levine received money from his victims, Levine never opened the promised gambling accounts. Instead, he used the victims’ monies for personal gain. In this manner, Levine defrauded more than 25 victims.
During the course of the investigation, and after his passport had been seized by law enforcement, Levine applied for and received a replacement passport, which he used to flee the United States in 2005. In 2008, Levine, while using an alias, was arrested in Poland. While on release pending extradition, Levine fled Polish authorities and was not located again until May 2020, in Austria, when Austrian authorities identified him using facial recognition while Levine attempted to open a bank account using another alias. Almost 15 years after he fled the United States, Levine was arrested in June 2020 in Austria and surrendered to the United States in October 2020.
On May 17, 2021, Levine pled guilty in federal district court in West Palm Beach, Florida to a federal wire fraud and perjury charges.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced sentence.
FBI West Palm Beach investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robin Waugh and Stephanie Evans prosecuted the case.
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