PartyGaming founder to plead guilty ? - update

The Gibraltar-based Internet gambling group Party Gaming plc has responded to a Financial Times report that founder Anurag Dikshit may be appearing in a US court on a Wire Act guilty plea later today (see earlier InfoPowa report).

In a statement, the company reiterated that it remains in negotiations with the US Justice Department aimed at wiping the slate clean on its pre-UIGEA activities in America, but says that any accommodation or settlement is unlikely to include a criminal plea by the company or any of its current directors. The company said that it may be close to finalising the terms of a possible settlement, but made no further details available.

Commenting specifically on the report that Dikshit had agreed to make an almost $200 million deal with the DoJ, a company spokesman said that any payment considered by the company would likely be "significantly below" such a sum. John Shepherd, director of communications for the firm, declined to comment further.

According to the Financial Mail report, Dikshit is due to appear in a New York court today and risks a two-year jail sentence by travelling to the States. He will apparently admit to an offence under the Wire Act and agree to cooperate with the Department of Justice, the newspaper said, citing its own unspecified sources.

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