Ex-chief technology officer for Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) Jason Farrugia has been charged with a series of alleged offenses including fraud, extortion, and money laundering. Farrugia’s charges come five months after his MGA employment was terminated. The MGA has issued a statement that confirmed the fact that Farrugia had been arraigned on charges related to his connection with wrongdoings that had allegedly occurred prior to his employment being terminated.
The MGA Published a Clarifying Statement
The MGA issued a public statement in which it detailed its relationship with Farrugia as well as the fact that this relationship had been terminated on December 16, 2021. The MGA clarified that “the employment relationship with Farrugia” was terminated after it had initiated an internal investigation into a number of alleged wrongdoings attributed to Farrugia.
The regulator added that the investigations’ results were since transferred to relevant authorities, adding that the MGA has been and will remain at the full disposal of the authorities while continuing to offer all necessary assistance. The MGA also made it clear that it would continue to “take all the necessary steps” to guarantee and maintain the full integrity of all of its data.
What Are Farrugia’s Alleged Wrongdoings?
Farrugia has been accused of money laundering, computer misuse, accepting bribes, the disclosure of confidential information, trading in influence, extortion, and fraud in excess of €5,000 ($5,355). Farrugia pleaded not guilty to all charges and his bail was denied.
Before his employment termination at the end of 2021, Farrugia had spent a decade working for the Maltese regulator. The organization’s official statement regarding his termination stated Farrugia was no longer connected to the MGA and, accordingly, he would “no longer represent it or speak on its behalf.”
While Malta is one of the most prolific jurisdictions of the European Union’s gambling market, it also witnessed a number of scandals connected to its main regulator, the MGA. At the beginning of 2021, MGA’s chief executive officer Heathcliff Farrugia faced charges for allegedly trading influence with Yorgen Fenech, a Maltese businessman and casino owner.
Last October, the MGA updated its rules regarding the way suspicious betting should be reported. At the end of March 2022, the regulator gave the green light for sportsbook management software company Pinnacle Solution to carry one of its licenses.