It Ain’t over till its over

Stand up and be counted with a letter to the judge and some good news for football bettors — all in Friday

“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” proclaimed the renowned Yankee philosopher Yogi Berra, and we affirm both the literal and figurative intent of those words.

To that end, we are supporting a letter writing campaign initiated by Bob Blumenfeld, a friend of Jay Cohen.  It is designed to mitigate the sentence facing Jay as a result of his conviction on several counts of wire fraud in a Federal District Court in New York.

Many fair-minded observers are convinced the presiding judge had an agenda, and a impartial hearing of the issues wasn’t included in it.  Thus, when Jay’s lawyers file an appeal, the verdict has a good chance of being either overturned or at the very least, having the case heard in another trial.

As Blumenfeld summarizes, “The case stemmed from Jay’s involvement as president and founder of World Sports Exchange, a very successful, honorable and visible online sports book based in Antigua.

“The facts of the case were not in material dispute at trial.  Jay never denied that he was the founder and leader of WSEX.  His position [then and now is that] WSEX’s business is completely legal because it is based in Antigua.

“Jay and his defense team have also taken the position that WSEX’s operations are based in Antigua and are outside the jurisdiction of applicable U.S. law.”

Jay’s sentencing is set for May 25, and he faces a significant jail sentence as well as a large fine.

However, according to Blumenfeld, the judge could recommend as little as 18 months.  Additionally, the judge has discretion to recommend a “downward departure” which would result in no prison time.  Or, he could levy a fine with no prison time.

In order to help the judge see Jay in a more realistic light, Jay’s attorney, Ben Brafman, has asked friends, family, supporters, etc., to write the judge asking for compassion and leniency in deciding on a sentence.

An impressive groundswell of support could help the judge realize that Cohen is deserving of leniency.

Here are Jay’s lawyer’s suggestions on how to write such a letter:

* The letter should be enclosed in an envelope to Jay’s lawyer at Brafman & Ross P.C., 767 Third Avenue, 26th floor, New York, NY 10017, Attention: Ben Brafman.  He will assemble them and see they are presented to the judge.

* The letter should be addressed to:  Honorable Thomas P. Griesa, United States District Judge, Southern District of New York, United States District Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007.

* The best way to begin the letter is “Dear Judge Griesa” or “Your Honor”, then introduce yourself with a little background including what you do for a living.

* The letter should be typed or handwritten, on just one side of the paper.

* Explain how you know Jay or know of him, or how long and under what circumstances.

* In a courteous and respectful tone, describe why you have a high opinion of Jay, and how you personally know his good qualities.  You can note that his conviction does not change your opinion of him.

* Do not criticize the judicial system, or re-argue the case, but simply make a plea for leniency and compassion.

We will be sending off our letter, and urge all of you who would like to contribute to a worthy cause to do likewise.

It’s not often we get a chance to influence events, but this is one of those opportunities.

Please send your letter as soon as possible as sentencing is very close.

Good News for Football Bettors.  If there is one thing bettors scramble to get during football season, it is reliable picks from a legitimate source.

Next season, renowned handicapper Russ Culver will be giving out the plays he makes in the Las Vegas Hilton Handicapping Contest over a local radio program, which will also be heard and archived on the Internet.

Talk show host Larry Grossman has arranged for Culver to appear every Friday during the NFL season on Grossman’s, “You Can Bet on It,” heard daily from 4-5 PM on ESPN 920 AM.  The show can also be accessed at Audio Vegas on

Culver, a professional handicapper and director of sports analysis at Vegas Insider (, won the prestigious Hilton Contest last year, and several other contests as well.  Entry into the Hilton Contest is $1,500 and the competition draws serious players.

Grossman’s show provides picks from other highly regarded handicappers throughout the season.  Now in his second decade on the air, he is especially proud of the consensus plays that are given out weekly on the Friday program.

“Traditionally, the picks hit at 55 to 60 percent,” he told us.  “Last year, the consensus picks were 58 percent.”

We’ll provide an update as the season gets closer. | April 21st, 2000

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
A long time sports betting columnist, Buzz Daly

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