Posted on: December 23, 2020, 12:27h.
Last updated on: December 23, 2020, 12:44h.
Former MLB player Trevor Crowe has been sentenced to three years of probation for knowingly filing a wrong federal income tax return.
In September, Crowe pleaded guilty in the Northern District of Ohio federal court. The 37-year-old admitted to failing to report more than $309,000 in illegal gambling income on his 2015 tax return.
Facing a maximum of three years in federal prison, US District Court Chief Judge Patricia Gaughan went light on the former professional baseball player. Crowe will be on probation through 2023, and has been ordered to pay $85,043 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Crowe’s attorneys argued that his opioid addiction “contributed to the poor decision-making that brings him before the Court.”
“It is in no way an excuse for the conduct,” his attorney Lee Stein admitted. “He, alone, is responsible for that.” Crowe apologized before the court and told the judge that he has indeed struggled with addiction and mental health issues.
Crowe was a top prospect out of college, and was selected in the first round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft by the Cleveland Indians. Much of his career was spent in the minors, and he never met pre-draft expectations.
Crowe exited the majors with 818 total at-bats and 196 hits for a .240 batting average. He spent three years in the majors playing for the Indians, and also a year with the Houston Astros. His last MLB at-bat was in 2013.
Federal investigators say Crowe acted as a subordinate of Clinton Reider’s illegal gambling business, which was primarily centered on sports betting.
Crowe served as a lower-level bookmaker in Reider’s gambling scheme, and had access to Reider’s unregulated offshore bookmaking platforms.
It appeared as though Mr. Crowe was living the life many have dreamed about,” Stein wrote in court documents. “But the sad truth was that the dream became a nightmare when Mr. Crowe suffered an injury and was prescribed OxyContin and other opiates.”
Reider pleaded guilty to gambling and tax-related charges, and Judge Gaughan sentenced him last week to two years in prison. He’s also on the hook for $230,714 in restitution to the IRS, and another $550,000 to have a lien removed on his Ohio house.
Sports Betting Still Banned
Nineteen states, plus DC, have legal sports betting operational. Six others have passed regulations that will soon allow wagering on sports.
Ohio, however, hasn’t yet joined the party. There was enthusiasm among Buckeye State lawmakers in 2020. But the chaotic legislative session because of COVID-19 resulted in sports betting being shelved.
While the issue is expected to be considered again in 2021, new supporters will need to lead the push. State Sen. Sean O’Brien (D-District 32) and Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-District 16), who sponsored a sports betting bill this year in their respective chambers, both lost their 2020 elections. Another key Ohio sports betting proponent — Sen. John Eklund (R-District 18) — will also not be in Columbus next year because of term limits.