He didn’t mean to become an illegal sports bookie; it kind of happened by accident. Stephen Mardigan was making a decent living as a used car dealer in Portland, Maine when a few innocent requests set him on a path that ultimately led to time in a federal prison and the loss of millions of dollars and a record that is permanently marked with money laundering and tax evasion.
Mardigan began betting when he was in his 30’s, after having launched a successful used car dealership. He made his first bet with a friend over a football game, which led to his being introduced to a bookie. From there, he became virtually a full-time gambler and even started taking bets from friends to pass on to the bookie.
On one occasion, he collected the friends’ bets, but never turned them over. His friends lost their money and he kept the winnings. At this point, he went from intermediary to bookie and launched an underground career that spanned decades before he was caught.
When he was finally arrested and appeared before a judge, Mardigan asserted, “I did not set out to break the law, but somehow I crossed that line along the way.” At this point, however, the damage was already done. He was looking at time behind bars for money laundering, illegal gambling and tax evasion.