An executive producer on Showtime’s new drama series "Ray Donovan" is one of 34 people charged with running a gambling ring with ties to the Russian-American mob, reports Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com. The executive producer is Bryan Zuriff.
The charges resulted from a huge FBI investigation, with the ring allegedly laundering more than $100 million, the story says. The allegations were unsealed Tuesday by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney.
Zuriff and others charged in the case are "alleged members and associates of Russian-American organized crime enterprises," according to the charges.
Andreeva writes, "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 is charged with operating an illegal gambling business and unlawful Internet gambling, which carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison."
Zuriff was under a deal at Mark Gordon Co., which produces "Ray Donovan," and has feature producing credits such as 2009′s "The Messenger" and 2011′s "The Details."
"Zuriff, who is credited with bringing ‘Ray Donovan’ to Gordon and championing the project, is currently an independent producer working on the series, which ironically centers on a professional ‘fixer’ (Liev Schreiber) for the rich and famous in LA who can make anyone’s problems disappear," Andreeva writes.
Zuriff didn’t attend the project’s table read on Tuesday, and Showtime said it "would be premature" to make any comments.
Matthew E. Sloan, an attorney for Zuriff, commented: “The charges against Bryan Zuriff today came as a complete surprise to him. He denies any wrongdoing and looks forward to his day in court to confront them.”