"Ray Donovan" executive producer Bryan Zuriff is taking a voluntary leave of absence from the Showtime drama after pleading guilty to running an illegal gambling operation, reports Deadline.com.
As previously reported, Zuriff pleaded guilty in a case stemming from a large-scale FBI investigation and tied to the Russian mob. He faces up to five years in prison and has agreed to forfeit $500,000 as part of a plea deal.
"Insiders indicate that by pleading first from the 34 people charged in the operation, he is expected to get a more lenient sentence," Deadline notes.
In a statement, Zuriff said: "Out of respect for my colleagues at the network and everyone involved with the show I’m voluntarily taking a leave of absence so that the resolution of my personal legal matters won’t distract from the audience’s great response to the program. I appreciate all the support I’ve received and look forward to everyone’s continued success.”
Zuriff has been a hands-on executive producer, the story notes, and was frequently on the set. The show was recently renewed for a second season.