14th of February 2010 Author: Johnny Karp
Federal probe continues
The Grand Jury enquiries into online gambling and arrests in Kansas last year resurfaced this week with the news that a Kansas City man has pleaded guilty to running a sports bookmaking business.
The Kansas City Star reports that Michael V. Badalucco (26) admitted that he and others provided bettors with a toll-free telephone number or access to a website - Best24b.com - both of which routed from Missouri through Arizona to a company in Costa Rica.
Badalucco agreed that on Feb. 17, 2009, he called the offshore company, identified himself as 'George' and canceled bets for one of his customers.
According to court records, he paid out winnings and collected cash in person from bettors, usually on a weekly basis.
In pleading guilty, Badalucco waived his right to have a grand jury review the government's evidence and agreed to plead guilty immediately.
In return, prosecutors agreed not to call him as a witness in the prosecution of anyone else in the illegal gambling business.
Badalucco faces a maximum of two years in prison. A preliminary estimate of his sentencing guidelines showed that he more likely faces between six months and a year in prison.
Since August last year, a federal judge has jailed, by one count, 10 individuals for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating illegal online betting. None of those has yet been charged with a crime related to the gambling investigation.
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