February 22, 2020
Portland Latest News | Sharon Kennedy | Bangor Metro | Central Maine Power | Today's Paper

Assets seized from illegal gambling ring help feds in Maine collect nearly $20M

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Stephen Mardigan enters the federal courthouse in Portland in January for his sentencing.

Assets seized from the man at the center of an illegal sports betting ring boosted the total collected by the U.S. attorney’s office in Maine to nearly $20 million for the most recent fiscal year.

That’s more than five times the amount the U.S. attorney’s office collected the previous year through civil, criminal and asset forfeiture actions.

Stephen Mardigan, 63, of Portland pleaded guilty in May 2018 to federal charges of illegal gambling, money laundering and filing a false tax return.

In January, he was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit 18 Greater Portland properties worth a total of approximately $13 million, along with $1.1 million in cash.

Information about which of the properties has been sold and for how much was not available Tuesday afternoon. Sales are handled by the U.S. Marshals Service.

In all, the U.S. attorney’s office said it collected more than $19.8 million in forfeited assets last year in Maine. The office collected the assets during federal fiscal year 2019, which ended Sept. 30. The previous year, it collected $3.9 million.

Mardigan is incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons inmate locator website. He is due to be released Jan. 30 after earning good time.

Mardigan took bets on professional and college football, baseball, basketball, car racing and golf for 14 years, according to court documents. Gamblers called him at home and on his cellphone to place bets ranging from $20 to $10,000.

Investigators estimated that Mardigan made between $9 million and $12 million over an estimated two decades of sports gambling, with his two largest bettors paying him nearly $4.4 million in gambling debts between 2009 and 2016.

Of the $19.8 million collected, about $15.2 million came from forfeited assets such as Mardigan’s, the U.S. attorney’s office said. More than $2.9 million came from criminal prosecution and nearly $1.5 million was collected in civil actions.

Craig Wolfe, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Maine, said Tuesday that he did not know if the $19.8 million collected in 2019 set a record, but it is far greater than assets collected in recent years. The office collected $3.3 million in 2017, $3.7 million in 2016, $1.7 million in 2015 and $1.5 million in 2014.

Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice’s asset forfeiture fund, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s forfeiture fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.


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