Gary Kaplan, the former CEO of BetOnSports, has been moved from the St Louis County Jail to the St. Charles County Jail, where he no longer has perks such as a laptop computer, and he no longer gets to see his family every day.

Kaplan lost those privileges becuase his lawyer attempted to smuggle sleeping pills in to him.

A recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details all the perks Kaplan had, and discusses whether they are ethical, or even legal.

Beth Huebner, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-

St. Louis, said special treatment is unethical if not illegal, and perhaps dangerous.

"Other inmates are going to find out quickly, and that adds stress to the institution," she said. "Even a small bag of chips means so much more than to you and me. Very small things are amplified."

Jail officials said little. "The only investigation that I'm aware of involved personnel, which we can't get into," said Herb Bernsen, assistant director of the jail.


When he was moved from one cell to another in Clayton in June, it took two jailers almost three hours to search his belongings, prompting an e-mail from jail Lt. Jeffrey Siler to another manager.

Kaplan had paper clips, a metal spring and hand sanitizer, Siler wrote. The inmate also had a copy of an e-mail from jail Unit Manager Cheryl Stone about a local charity for single mothers, and two drafts of a letter lauding Stone and thanking her for the opportunity to help the charity. Siler said Kaplan also has "unauthorized" pens, pencils and other office supplies with Stone's approval.

And Kaplan still had his shoelaces, Siler noted.

During visits by legal staff, Siler wrote, Kaplan had access to the computer, printers and extra toner cartridges that had been sent first to Stone. Kaplan also had a cassette player, tapes, CDs, wires and chargers, and inmate property envelopes and sealed plastic bags with other inmates' names. One contained a "metal file" and a pack of cigarettes, Siler's e-mail says.

Siler called it an "extreme amount of property," and said Kaplan had "several items that would be considered contraband to any other prisoner in our custody." The e-mail continued, "There have been numerous concessions made for this prisoner."

Bernsen said inmates in some cases are allowed to use computers to review legal documents. He said he did not know how Kaplan obtained the contraband.

Washington University law professor Peter Joy said he, too, was baffled. Even staples on legal papers are prohibited for inmates he has spoken with.

Joy and other lawyers who regularly visit the jail say inmates are always carefully searched after a full-contact visit with lawyers. "It's typically a strip-search," Joy said.

A former jail employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Kaplan was not routinely strip-searched, although Bernsen and Flood said he was.

The former employee also said that staff had been transferred over the issue, and that another employee sent a letter of complaint to County Executive Charlie Dooley.

The county refused to release the letter, citing a Sunshine Act exemption for personnel matters. Dooley could not be reached for comment.

An staff list shows that Stone's job title has changed and that her managerial position in the housing unit is vacant.

Siler and Stone referred questions to jail officials.

Flood minimized the significance of the "contraband," saying, "It's ludicrous for the jail to criticize him for having a paper clip that was left on some legal paperwork."

The lawyer said Kaplan did not have other inmates' property, but his boxes were stored in the same holding area.

"As far as getting special treatment ... large room, frequent access to attorneys, laptop computers, frequent access to phone calls ... all of that was necessitated by the fact that he was being held in jail in a case where the discovery is so voluminous and complex," Flood said.
And if you want to read about the sleeping pill smuggling, the full story is here ... pretty unbelievable.