Murder Number 582 and 583 This Year in Costa Rica as 5Dimes Tony Body Still Unaccounted For

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

After reporting eight days ago that the body of 5Dimes owner Sean "Tony" Creighton had been found, the Costa Rica Star remains silent on the matter, and has offered no further verification.  According to what we are hearing within their office - they have no intention to pursue the story any further.

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Creighton went missing over a month ago.  The Star reported that his wife paid a $750K ransom in the form of Bitcoin prior to alerting police that her husband had been kidnapped. She claims to have spoken to "Tony" on the phone in order to provide proof of life.  Since that time it's been radio silence.

Nick Dangier of the Costa Rica Post this weekend reported that the online gambling hub of Costa Rica just recorded its 582th and 583th homicide, respectively, for 2018. "Nothing pura vida about that", Dangier commented.

Howard Patterson Peña, 39, was driving his pearl white Mercedes within Heredia when he was intercepted by a gunman on a motorcycle. That gunman unloaded on the vehicle, hitting Peña several times.  Peña, now slumped over the steering wheel, had floored the engine in a feeble effort to drive towards a nearby hospital. The vehicle, traveling in excess of 100 mph, slammed into 27-year-old Evans Campos and killing him instantly.  Peña's wife and unborn child remain clinging to life. 

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Dangier does not count Creighton among those 583 people killed in Costa Rica so far this year.  He has yet to verify the existence of a body.

Dangier writes:

Although rumors abound across internet news media sites regarding missing and believed kidnapped U.S.citizen and Miami, Florida native, forty-three year old William Sean Creighton aka “Tony” aka “Tony Five Dimes” had been found this week dead here in Costa Rica, that rumor could not be confirmed by this writer as of close of business Friday 26 Oct.

Forensic experts at the national morgue in Heredia as well as our CR Post contact at O.I.J. report no such remains being discovered in the last ten days matching Mr.Creighton. And that the purportedly abducted gentleman was considered alive until they (O.I.J.) receive evidence or information pointing otherwise.

In addition the CR Post, your finger on the pulse of Costa Rica, also reached-out to officials of the U.S. Embassy here in Costa Rica for comment. An Embassy official finally after four straight hours of non-stop calls by telephone- answered their phone. (I never received an answer at the “LIFE AND DEATH” extension).

That stalwart State Department employee who wasn’t at surf camp in Playa Tamarindo said that she had not received nor heard of any report coming to the U.S.Embassy regarding the death of a U.S. citizen by that name.

Creighton is seen here in what is believed to be the last known photo of him

Gambling911.com sources were also able to confirm last week that no area coroner was in receipt of Creighton's body.

To be fair to The Star, that paper was first to provide photographic evidence that Creighton's vehicle had been located.  They were certainly on top of this story.

What's most troubling perhaps is that nobody at 5Dimes seems the least bit interested in discussing this matter outside of a brief - and what one person termed a "cold" - statement.

This has led some to believe Creighton may indeed have faked his own death in the wake of a money laundering probe involving 5Dimes two years ago that forced the 43-year-old to sell his swanky Morgantown, West Virginia home. 

The "faked death" theory gets deflated just a bit further when one considers Creighton had no reason to travel back to the US following the death of his father, a West Virginia supermarket magnate, last year.  He was an only child with few ties left to his native West Virginia.  His mother, whom he loved dearly, passed away in 2008.  Costa Rica has never extradited an indicted sportsbook owner back to the States.  Considering the US Supreme Court just abolished decades long prohibition against sports wagering, it is highly unlikely they ever will.  We would note that, in the highest profile case of a sportsbook owner coming under indictment back in 2008, the United States government never requested extradition from officials in Costa Rica.

Alas, it's difficult to fake one's own death if a body is never found.  If the Costa Rica coroners don't have it, Creighton's either still alive or otherwise buried in a banana plantation somewhere. 

Obviously the Star owes it to its readers to explain, at the very least, why we have heard nothing from them over the past week.

Meanwhile, family members of Creighton's seem unwilling to get the FBI involved.

"What if he's still alive?" a source close to one of Creighton's blood relatives relayed to Gambling911, expressing concern they might end up arresting him.

Others back home who knew Creighton have expressed a desire to alert the embassy, especially after reading the G911 piece that confirmed the 5Dimes owner maintained dual US/Costa Rican citizenship

And because Creighton now has Costa Rican citizenship, the Feds would be unable to just go down there and grab him.

There is a reason why the US is not quick to request extradition.

Naturalized citizens like Sean are protected by a constitutional clause, though with the cavaet that any crime not have taken place while awaiting the two-year naturalization process.  Gambling911 has not confirmed in which year Creighton gained citizenship. 

Even so, while then-Vice President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla suggested Gary Kaplan could be extradited back to the United States for his role in running BetOnSports back in 2008, the crime must be recognized as a criminal offense by both the UN convention and in the criminal codes of both countries.

Operating a sportsbook in Costa Rica is legal, or otherwise the worst kept secret.  We'll go with the former. BetOnSports once occupied several floors of the sprawling Mall San Pedro while other sportsbooks to this day reside right next store to government buildings, complete with a dead giveaway that screams "we run a sportsbook here" (won't mention what that "hint" might be).  The children of prominent politicians have worked at these businesses over the years.  A major figure in the world of Costa Rica online poker is a direct desendant of that country's 4th President. News stories have run throughout Costa Rica's largest city of San Jose over the years about how the online gambling sector pays more than most other industries outside of tech.  Some estimate it's the third largest industry in that Central American nation.

When Kaplan was finally apprehended in the Dominican Republic, it would be easy to mistake him for a terrorist or someone who just committed mass murder.  Prosecutors painted him in that light. Ultimately, he served a brief jail stint.  His whereabouts today are "unknown".

For years, United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, then of the Maryland US Attorney's office, considered online gambling operators pariahs.  During his stint there he managed to nab a few (i.e BetED.com), only to order them to pay small fines and not much more (we met up with one of BetED's founders a few months later attending an i-Gaming conference for social gaming platforms in LA). 

The big fish, Bodog founder Calvin Ayre, settled with that office for a slightly bigger fine and some brief probation two years ago.  Months following the settlement, we were able to enjoy his company in London and Antigua. He's now free to travel to the United States but has little desire to do so. 

Big name bookies operating from within the US, more specifically those accused of being tied to organized crime families, haven't always been so lucky. This is mostly the result of prior convictions and extenuating circumstances such as tax evasion, as well as the aforementioned organized crime links.  Despite living in Costa Rica, Creighton had paid federal taxes in the US up until a few years ago, which might explain why he was able to own a house in Morgantown. Creighton also didn't have any priors.

If it does turn out that Creighton really is dead at the hands of his kidnappers, he would be number 583 this year to be killed in Costa Rica. In case you were wondering, that's more than have been killed in Chicago in 2018 (448).  Costa Rica's population (4.9 million) is 2 million more than that of Chicago.  By comparison, Ireland’s population is the same as Costa Rica. That country reported just 71 homicides in 2017.

- Alejandro Botticelli, Gambling911.com Chief Correspondent

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