A Costa Rica court has convicted nine persons in the murder/kidnapping of 5Dimes founder Sean “Tony” Creighton.
Creighton was kidnapped in September of 2018 when two Costa Rica traffic officers pulled over his Porsche, stole the car and handed him over to the perpetrators of the crimes after what was later found to be a year long plot.
“5Dimes Tony” had been at the forefront of online gambling in Costa Rica for nearly two decades. Unlike other sports book owners Creighton tried to maintain a very low profile after seeing many of his competitors extradited from Costa Rica and convicted in United States courts on gambling related charges.
He did not dress like a multi-millionaire, preferring t-shirts and short pants. He avoided body guards despite his wealth, in an attempt to avoid the attention it would attract.
He also avoided putting his name on any legal papers and entrusted his close inner circle of trusted employees to be the face of his activities. In Costa Rica it is not illegal to take bets on sports in the United States, so Costa Rican citizens are often used as “front persons” in these businesses.
When Creighton was taken the kidnappers demanded a five million dollar ransom with a hard deadline. Unable to come up with that amount in time the family sent one million dollars via Bitcoin as the kidnappers demanded. 5Dimes Tony was never released. He was just 43 at the time of the kidnapping.
Speculation ran rampant in the online booking world. Before the kidnapping Creighton was expected to enter into a plea deal in a United States criminal investigation that had uncovered his illicit activities in accepting and transferring money to and from the United States. Many thought he had just taken the money and ran off on one of his false passports to avoid prosecution.
Much of that speculation came to an end almost a year later when allegedly his body was found in a shallow grave in t he Pacific town of Quepos, Costa Rica. Allegedly, because many suspect that the body was never properly identified and was an “Epstien” style cover up by local authorities. His widow later settled the case for $47 million dollars with the United States government but was able to retain ownership of the sports book operation.
Those convicted of the crimes were found to be members of his entrusted inner circle at 5Dimes and their family, along with the two traffic cops that pulled him over. It was said at trial that he was killed when he recognized one of his former employees as one of the kidnappers.
The crew that took him were tracked from Costa Rica, to Panama, Cuba and finally in Zargoza, Spain. Legal experts were able to find them via the Bitcoin money paid to the kidnappers.
In order to avoid a lengthy trial and the potential sentences that could result, the defendants agreed to a deal with prosecutors. Most of those convicted received a maximum sentence of 35 years.