Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

US Authorities Arrest Mafia Online Casino Operator

City Hall of Buffalo, New York, an Art Deco bu...Image via Wikipedia
A resident of Buffalo, New York, has been arrested by New Jersey police for suspicion of running Internet sports betting and online casino gambling for the Lucchese crime organization, according to the state's Attorney General. Paula Dow announced today that Brian Ronald Cohen had been apprehended and charged with money laundering and operating an illegal gambling business.

"We allege that this man was the primary facilitator for the Lucchese crime family's offshore gambling operation," Dow said. "He allegedly oversaw the acceptance and settling of billions of dollars in wagers and ensured that the Web site through which those bets were placed remained up and running."

Cohen was arrested as he returned to the US from Costa Rica. He was freed on bail of $100,000, but ordered by Judge Thomas Manahan to surrender his passport.

Over thirty alleged members of the Lucchese family have been indicted in the last month as a result of the Gamgs and Organized Crime Bureau's Operation Heat. Among those charged are two top members of the Mafia family, Ralph Perna and Nicodermo Scarfo.

While many forms of online gambling are debatably legal under US courts' interpretation of the Wire Act, no such ambiguity exists for online sports betting. Both the Wire Act and the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act specifically outlaw all forms of sports betting, including online gambling.


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