TV producer Bryan Zuriff is facing up to five years behind bars after pleading guilty to running a high-stakes sports betting ring linked to a Russian crime mob.
The 44 year old, an executive producer for Liev Schreiber's new drama Ray Donovan, confessed to his involvement in illegal betting books in Los Angeles and New York during a Big Apple court hearing on Thursday (25Jul13), when he admitted to accepting a financial instrument in connection with unlawful Internet gambling.
Zuriff was one of 34 people indicted in April (13) in relation to organised crime enterprises run by Russian-American gangsters, who are accused of laundering $100 million (£66.6 million) from illegal gambling, including celebrity poker games.
A statement issued by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara reads: "Bryan Zuriff spanned the coasts with his crimes, by operating his own illegal gambling enterprise in Los Angeles and helping to operate a vast illegal gambling enterprise in New York. With his plea, he becomes the first defendant, but not the last, to be convicted in this sprawling script of criminal conduct."
The producer, who also worked on Oscar-nominated war drama The Messenger in 2009, will be sentenced in November (13).
Representatives for the Showtime network, which airs Ray Donovan, have yet to comment on Zuriff's future on the series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.