New Jersey Crackdown On Illegal Internet Sports Betting


Crime family involved in $2.2 billion sports betting ring

In New Jersey, thirty five suspects pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of racketeering and operating a multi-billion dollar offshore gambling ring, reports Associated Press.

The son of a Philadelphia mob figure and two men believed to head the New York-based Lucchese crime family were among those cited in the indictments, which focused on a gambling operation that allegedly processed $2.2 billion in wagers over a 15-month period and was run by the Lucchese family in New Jersey. Investigators claim that a percentage of the profits were paid as tribute to New York crime families.

Bets were recorded and processed using password-protected Web sites and a wire room operation in Costa Rica, according to prosecutors. One gambler bet more than $2 million in a two-month period, they said.

Though prosecutors do not consider him the highest-ranking crime family member arrested in the sweep, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr. (45) carried the highest name recognition into court in Monday. His father, Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, is serving a life term for running the Philadelphia-Atlantic City mob in the 1980s.

Among Scarfo's co-defendants are Matthew Madonna of Selden, N.Y., and Joseph DiNapoli of Scarsdale, N.Y., whom prosecutors say were part of a three-man ruling panel that controlled the Lucchese family's criminal activities from New York. First Scarfo and then Ralph Perna of Wyckoff, in northern New Jersey, ran the family's operations in New Jersey, prosecutors allege.

Monday's proceeding was perfunctory, with each defendant entering a plea and waiving the reading of the charges.

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