UPDATE: ‘Ray Donovan’ Executive Producer Bryan Zuriff Pleads Guilty In Gambling Ring Tied To Russian Mob, Faces 5 Years In Prison

UPDATED, FRIDAY 9:28PM: Days after Showtime picked up his freshman drama for a second season, the series’ executive producer Bryan Zuriff has pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling operation. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement today from New York that Zuriff faces up to five years in prison and has agreed to forfeit $500,000 as part of his plea deal, according to the statement. “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,” Bharara said. “With his plea, he becomes the first defendant, but not the last, to be convicted in this sprawling script of criminal conduct.” The plea comes on the heels of a very successful first month for Ray Donovan. The Liev Schreiber starrer debuted June 30 as the biggest original series launch in Showtime history. Then it became the premium network’s first new drama to see second-week gains. That led to its sophomore-season pickup on July 16. For the time being, Zuriff continues with his EP duties on the show.

PREVIOUSLY: In a bizarre story that reads like a Hollywood script, Bryan Zuriff, executive producer of Showtime‘s high-profile new drama series Ray Donovan, is among 34 people charged with running gambling operations that have allegedly laundered more than $100 million. The charges, a result of a massive FBI investigation, were unsealed today by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, with the accused, including Zuriff, referred to as “alleged members and associates of Russian-American organized crime enterprises.” In the indictment, Zuriff is listed as a “fugitive”, though people close to him strongly dispute that characterization, which may also mean that he had not been arrested yet. Zuriff, known in Hollywood as a high-stakes gambler, is charged with Operating an Illegal Gambling Business and Unlawful Internet Gambling, which carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. “The charges against Bryan Zuriff today came as a complete surprise to him,” said Zuriff’s attorney Matthew E. Sloan, partner at Skadden Arps in Los Angeles and a former federal prosecutor. “He denies any wrongdoing and looks forward to his day in court to confront them.” (more…)

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2013/07/ray-donovan-executive-producer-bryan-zuriff-charged-in-gambling-ring-tied-to-russian-mob-denies-any-wrongdoing-476554/