Prison sentences in the tennis match-fixing scandal


Up to five years in prison for the ‘brains’ of the network and confiscation of assets of up to 10 million euros: a Belgian court handed down the sentence on Friday in a tennis match-fixing scandal that broke out in 2018.

Of the 28 defendants who went on trial in April in Oudenaarde (west) there were seven Belgian players or former players for whom the prosecution requested a year in prison.

All seven were found guilty of fraud but acquitted in sentences for exceeding a reasonable time for trial, a court spokesman said.

The heaviest sentence was imposed on Grigor Sargsyan, a 32-year-old Armenian believed to be the mastermind behind the fraud. He was sentenced to five years in prison, as requested by the prosecution.

The case broke out in June 2018 in a police operation carried out simultaneously in six European countries and the United States by the decision of a Belgian judge.

The investigation focused on a “criminal network” created in 2014 from Belgium by Armenians who operated in secondary circuits, especially Futures tournaments, where cameras are usually absent.

Players are required to lose a match, set, or game and adhere to a predetermined payout outcome. At the same time, in these matches, bets were placed on “small hands” encouraged by the organizers, with a guaranteed profit.

six accomplices of Sargsyannicknamed ‘Maestro’, received prison terms of up to three years, as well as fines of up to 8,000 euros, the Belgian news agency reported.

All the defendants were sentenced, but most of them benefited from a sentence exemption.

“This is a good judgment that saves us from penalties, both jail and fines,” he told the AFP agency. walter van steenbruggelawyers for three of the seven players, including Arthur DeGreefnow converted to a coach.

This 31-year-old from Brussels, a former doubles player for the Belgian Davis Cup team, was suspended by the sports authorities after being involved in this scandal.

The only Belgian legal proceeding concerned “at least 375 matches” that were allegedly rigged.

At the same time, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation in France in 2019, also targeting organized fraud.

The investigations led to the arrest of several French players, including Jules Okala and Mick Lescuredefinitively banned from all competitions by the end of 2022.

Source: La Verdad


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