5Dimes Owner Found Dead

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

The body of Sean "Tony" Creighton has been found by law enforcement in Costa Rica, according to media outlet Costa Rica Star, which reported the finding shortly after 9 pm ET Saturday night (that article is featured below in its entirety).  Creighton was the founder and owner of the popular sportsbook 5Dimes.

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Gambling911.com sources have not independently confirmed the Costa Rica Star report, written by Carol Vaughn.

But our source also advised: "That media outlet is based out of Costa Rica, is a mostly reliable news source, and would not have reported this without verification.  Costa Rica police are deliberately withholding information from those they consider suspects."

Creighton, from Bridgeport, West Virginia, was 43.  Friends of Sean back home in the States tell Gambling911.com they are already in the process of planning his funeral and a memorial service.  Both of Sean's parents are deceased, however, the family of a woman who dated his father remained very close to him over the years.

Creighton disappeared September 24 after an alleged ambush by up to five men.

The victim's family in Costa Rica paid a $750K ransom, reportedly sent to Cuba and in the form of Bitcoin.

Authorities are working on key leads.

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Creighton's wife, Laura Varela Fallas, works as a real estate developer in Costa Rica.  She and her family reportedly hired two private investigators believed to be former FBI agents, who were involved in a spat with the Organismo de Investigación Judicial - OIJ over the illegal purchase of firearms, according to local media reports.

Late last week, Diario Extra reported that a security guard who worked in the 5Dimes office is also under heavy scrutiny as is another individual, believed to have worked security at a nearby educational instruction center.

The sportsbook, ranked among the top five based out of Costa Rica in terms of bet sizes handled, continues to pay out in a timely fashion with one player saying he waited just a few hours to receive a Bitcoin payout.

Whether the company can continue operating without their founder remains to be seen.  Creighton would routinely offer lines on certain games that were off by as much as a point-and-a-half.  More times than not, 5Dimes would walk away victorious.

Creighton was a sole owner of 5Dimes.  Like with all Costa Rica sportsbooks and online casino, the company is listed under a local corporate entity.  The "Board of Directors" are simply those who worked at the behest of Sean.  Gambling911.com has spoken directly with an individual responsible for helping Creighton set up 5Dimes who advised that these individuals are "going to eventually run the business into the ground."

This person went onto describe Sean as a "man of many faults" who could often "be abusive", but was quick to add "he was a man of his word who would never screw over a player".

Through its nearly 20 year existence, 5Dimes complaints mostly involved Sean's abruptness with some customers and only a handful of disputes.

Creighton was among the most feared sports gamblers in the late 1990s, betting into the Sportsbook.com family of books while they were still based out of Margarita Island in 1999.

Ultimately he would end up winning so much money betting into the Island Casino group of books, run by Akron, Ohio-based Al Ross, that Creighton was handed his own sportsbook. 

Ross, a long time friend of the Gambling911.com website, could no longer sustain his Costa Rica empire of betting sites due to mounting legal expenses and eventually had to relinquish software control over to Creighton.  Ross' son Denny was tried twice for the murder and rape of an 18-year-old acquaintance, for whom he shoved her body in the trunk of a car. Al paid for the best attorneys money could buy in an effort to prove his son's innocence.  That story was featured in our Bookies Behaving Badly series.

5Dimes was not without its troubles despite Creighton running it with an iron fist.  5Dimes itself was the subject of a massive money laundering investigation two years ago involving Amazon gift cards.

"That book was plagued by customers who were scammers and this is what got them in trouble a few years back," a source with intimate knowledge of the 5Dimes operation tells Gambling911.com

One such scam involved an individual advertising the sale of concert tickets that he never possessed.

"He would have the buyer of the tickets send funds via Moneygram or Western Union to a receiver name that 5Dimes gave him for his deposit.  Once he received the money, he would put in his 5Dimes account.  Then the buyers would realize they've been scammed and contact 5Dimes.  Authorities eventually traced this back to the sportsbook."

The source added: "I can't tell you how many times shit like that would happen, made worse because 5Dimes would let these same guys continue to play there."

- C. Costigan, Gambling911

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