It’s been a busy week on the illegal online credit betting front, as US prosecutors rush to file charges so they don’t have to interrupt their Memorial Day weekend.
On Wednesday, New Jersey officials announced the arrest of 46 individuals connected with an illegal credit betting operation that utilized a Costa Rica-based password-protected website and 1-800 ‘wire room’ to record customers’ wagers.
The gang reportedly involved over 50 agents processing in-person cash transactions with around 320 bettors in the New York/New Jersey area. Bergen County acting prosecutor Gurbir Grewal claimed the operation processed wagers worth “tens of millions of dollars” per year.
The ring was allegedly led by Robert D’Alessio, pictured above in what appears to be the Wolverine costume he cooked up in anticipation of this weekend’s launch of the new X-Men movie. D’Alessio is facing charges of racketeering, money laundering, promoting gambling and conspiracy to promote gambling.
Pictured alongside D’Alessio is co-conspirator Ron Kocerha, allegedly one of D’Alessio’s agents. We singled out his image only to demonstrate the preferred manner of posing for one’s mugshot, rather than the “I should have stayed in school” expression on D’Alessio’s mug. (Bad Luck Brian’s photo is simply for control purposes.)
BROOKLYN BUSTS BOOPSIE
Not to be outdone, Thursday saw Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announce charges against six men allegedly affiliated with another Costa Rica-based online credit betting operation.
Staten Island-based ringleader Eugene Castelle is said to be “a reputed solider in the Lucchese crime family,” although he must not be very well liked by said family, as they gave him the nickname ‘Boopsie.’
The DA’s office says the ring handled $13.2m in illegal sports wagers in the six months ending March 15. The DA fingered the members-only pay-per-head Stakestake.com site as the group’s principal means of recording their customers’ wagers, along with the requisite 1-800 number.
PLEASE PLEA ME
Finally, a guilty plea has been entered by a Florida man who was charged last December in connection with an online gambling payment processing operation linked to Panama-based BetOnline that handled $8.5m in payments to and from punters.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Jason Neiman pled guilty in federal court to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Neiman’s co-defendant David Stewart continues to maintain his innocence while Canadian resident Tom Freeborn has yet to enter a plea, largely because he’s not in the custody of US law enforcement. Smart man.