Allegations of Special Treatment Lodged Against BetonSports Defendant

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Allegations of special treatment at the St. Louis County Jail brought a federal prisoner to St. Charles this summer, and now, some attorneys say his daily consultations with lawyers are limiting other inmates' legal access, reports Shane Anthony of the St. Louis Dispatch.

BetonSports founder Gary Kaplan has been in jail for more than 18 months, awaiting trial on accusations he ran an illegal gambling service, with no trial date in sight.

According to the Dispatch, the multimillionaire was moved to the St. Charles County Jail in July after he was accused of receiving special treatment that included a host of contraband items in his jail cell in St. Louis County. Since he's been in St. Charles, attorneys - particularly those in the Public Defenders Office - say they haven't been able to spend adequate time with their clients because Kaplan and his lawyers have occupied one of the jail's two private visitation rooms for hours each day.

"His rights shouldn't be any more important than my clients' rights," said Tracy Brown, one of six public defenders in the St. Charles County office. She and her colleagues represent about 120 defendants housed in the St. Charles County Jail.

Public defenders claim Kaplan's attorneys are there most of the day and sometimes into the evening.

"Inevitably, the less I see my clients, the less chance I'm going to have to make a good connection with them," Brown said. "It's hard for them to trust me when they hardly see me."

Freeman Bosley Jr., one of Kaplan's attorneys, claims the attorneys are spending less time with their client.  He stated, however, that it was necessary for Kaplan to have contact with his attorneys daily.

"If the amount of working hours in the interview room are limited or reduced, it will greatly diminish the amount of work that we accomplish in preparation for Mr. Kaplan's upcoming trial," Bosley wrote. "In a normal 9-5 business day, with all of the mandated breaks, we often work less than 2.5 hours as it is."

BetonSports was forced to shut down in July 2006 after nearly a dozen of its executives and marketing managers were indicted on charges ranging from racketeering to tax evasion.  Former BetonSports CEO, David Carruthers, was apprehended while changing flights in Fort Worth, Texas en route from the United Kingdom to BoS' offices in Costa Rica.  Kaplan was taken into custody nearly six months later in the Dominican Republic.

Christopher Costigan, Publisher

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