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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bayonne men admit taking part in illegal online sports gambling

Three Bayonne men and other New Jersey residents admitted Wednesday to taking part in a criminal affiliated website that engaged in illegal online sports gambling, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Mark A. Sanzo, 56, Robert J. Scerbo, 56, and William A. Bruder, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in federal court in Newark. They were charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy, the U.S. attorney's office said.

The website was operated from Costa Rica and from various regions of the U.S.

The three men were agents for the sports betting website Beteagle and issued bettors with a username and password, paid winners, and collected money from losses in person, Fishman said.

When losing bettors did not pay, they were threatened with violence, according to Fishman. When agents signed up new bettors, they had to pay higher-ranked members a cash fee, according to the attorney's office.

The three each admitted that they profited from the fraudulent operation, officials said.

The defendants have been released on bail. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 19 for Sanzo, Sept. 20 for Scerbo, and Nov. 13 for Bruder. They each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine at a maximum of $250,000, according to the attorney's office.

Joseph Lascala, 80, of Monroe, was the alleged "capo" and a made member of the Genovese crime family and directed a smaller group of associates who participated in illegal gambling and the collection of unlawful debt, Fishman said.

Joseph Graziano, 77, of Springfield, was the principal owner and was in charge of operating the website, while Dominick J. Barone, 44, also of Springfield, assisted him with the website's activity, the attorney's office said.

Graziano and Barone pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to officials.

Also pleading guilty to their involvement were John Breheney, 49, and Salvatore Turchio, 48, of Little Egg Harbor, Jose Gotay, 76, of New Milford and Patsy Pirozzi, 75, of Suffern, New York. The four men are also awaiting sentencing, the attorney's office said.



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