Bad week to be a mobbed-up New Jersey illegal sports betting operator

TAGs: beteagle, Department of Justice, New Jersey, sports betting

new-jersey-mob-sports-bettingIt’s not been a good week to be a mobbed-up illegal sports betting operator in New Jersey.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey Attorney General’s office announced that six members of the Lucchese crime family had pled guilty to racketeering charges in relation to an illegal online credit betting operation.

Among those copping a plea are Matthew Madonna, a member of the three-man ruling panel of the Lucchese crime family; Ralph Perna, the top capo of the family’s New Jersey faction, along with two of his sons; and Martin Taccetta, the family’s former New Jersey underboss. The six individuals are facing sentences ranging from five to ten years, although Taccetta is already serving a life sentence, so bring it on.

The defendants were originally charged way back in December 2007 as part of the DOJ’s Operation Heat. The betting ring handled an estimated $2.2b in illegal sports wagers over a 15-month period, using password-protected websites and a Costa Rica-based “wire room.” Among the “hundreds or even thousands” of bettors who utilized the group’s services, one high-roller reportedly wagered over $2m in a two-month span.

Wednesday also brought word of the fate of two members of the rival Genovese crime family linked to a different illegal online sports betting ring. New Jersey residents Dominick Barone and Eric Patten were sentenced to 18 and 22 months in prison, respectively, for racketeering conspiracy charges related to the operation.

The feds broke up the Beteagle credit betting operation in 2012. Patten acted as a sub-agent for the group, responsible for a number of bettors in his ‘package.’ Barone was responsible for making weekly collections from losing bettors, using the group’s “La Cosa Nostra status and threats of violence to collect on these debts.” Both Barone and Patten pled guilty last summer.

Beteagle’s principal owner, Joseph Graziano, has also pled guilty and will be sentenced on June 25. Charges against Genovese ‘made member’ Joseph Lascala are still pending for his alleged role in supervising the crew’s betting operation.


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