Online Sportsbetting Accused Pleads Guilty

Sentencing scheduled for April 6 on New York internet operator

Joseph W. LaForte, a New York resident already serving a prison term on unrelated charges, admitted mid-week that he helped run an illegal offshore sportsbetting ring that operated in several states, including New Jersey.

The 39-year-old Staten Island man made the admission in the U.S. District Court in Trenton, pleading guilty to a one-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business, according to Associated Press reports.

LaForte, who faces up to five years in prison and a $250 000 fine when he's sentenced on April 6, admitted that from 2005 through early 2006, he and others directed bettors to place wagers through an unidentified Internet gambling site located outside the United States and shared in the profits from the business.

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