Police in Costa Rica have reportedly confirmed that the body of a man discovered last week in a cemetery in the small fishing town of Quepos is that of missing American bookmaker, William Sean Creighton.
According to a Tuesday report from ESPN, Creighton was a native of West Virginia but had been living in the Central American nation for nearly two decades where he had established and ran the 5Dimes online sportsbetting service. Colloquially known as ‘5Dimes Tony,’ the 43-year-old was kidnapped by an armed group on the evening of September 24th of last year as he was driving home from his offices in the San Jose suburb of San Pedro.
ESPN reported that Creighton’s family later received a $5 million ransom request and had subsequently handed over approximately $1 million in Bitcoins in hopes that the West Virginia University graduate would be released. But, the kidnapped bookmaker never appeared, which prompted local police to launch an investigation into his whereabouts.
This action ultimately resulted in the January arrests in Costa Rica and Spain of twelve individuals suspected of being involved in Bridgeport-born Creighton’s disappearance with three of these, Jordan Morales Vega, Maria Fernanda Solis Chaves and Guiselle Vega Aguirre, consequently being extradited from Europe and charged with extortive kidnapping.
ESPN reported that this trio is still awaiting trial while officials from the nation’s Judicial Investigation Department refused to divulge how they had discovered Creighton’s body or identified his remains. Local law enforcement officials moreover purportedly declared that a cause of death ‘isn’t clear yet’ and that they still remain in the dark as to how the abducted bookmaker’s body came to be in Quepos, which is located around a three-hour drive from San Jose.
Reportedly read a September 16 statement from the United States Department of State…
“We can confirm Costa Rican authorities identified the remains of a United States citizen in Costa Rica. We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on its loss. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
ESPN reported that 5Dimes has served online sportsbetting aficionados in the United States for nearly 20 years but came under fire in 2016 after the United States Department of Homeland Security launched an official investigation into allegations of money laundering. A subsequent seizure warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania purportedly claimed that ‘5Dimes Tony’ and his site had been breaking the law by instructing American bettors to utilize Amazon gift cards in order to place and cash out wagers.
Although neither Creighton nor the domain were ever formally charged, ESPN reported that the inquiry remains open as officials endeavor to ascertain what became of an estimated $1.9 million they allege had illicitly passed through Amazon accounts associated with the enterprise.