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

Monday, June 28, 2010

Former Xaverian baseball coach nabbed in mob betting ring

A former Xaverian High School baseball coach was cuffed today in a sweeping crackdown on mob-run sports betting rings that netted $20 million annually.

Gerard Bruzzese, 46, who volunteered as the Bay Ridge Catholic school’s freshman baseball coach, was allegedly a ringleader of nysportswager.com, an illegal site run by the Genovese crime family. The Web site raked in $17 million over the course of the two-year sting, prosecutors said.

Four other illegal gambling rings, some of which allowed tech-savvy mobsters to take bets online and by text message, were broken up using undercover cops and wiretapping, said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes yesterday. Sixteen mobsters were arrested in "Operation Bettor Days."

Bruzzese, who served as an "agent" with nysportswager.com, reported to Alfredo Correa, a Gambino associate arrested yesterday and known as "Dark Al," authorities said. Bruzzese faces up to 69 years in jail if convicted.

Dennis Canale, 67, Xaverian’s head coach who resigned last year and was also under investigation in the multimillion-dollar scheme, was not indicted today . Hynes decided to comment on the ongoing probe involving Canale.

But the massive sting also nabbed Pietro Inzerillo, 43, prosecutors’ biggest trophy. Inzerillo allegedly ran Touchdownbets.com, a $5 million enterprise controlled by the "18th Avenue crew" branch of the Gambinos.

Inzerillo, who reports directly to mob boss Giovanni Gambino, faces up to 237 years in prison if convicted.

High-profile mobster Joseph Lanni, 39, was also arrested in the Touchdownbets.com bust and faces up to 313 years if convicted.

"Organized crime depends on gambling," said Christopher Blank, executive director of assistant district attorneys. "If funds these organizations to get involved in legitimate business."

The indictments announced yesterday include a more traditional gambling ring that took bets by phone and text; Web site Bet1010.com, which made $1 million online and $700,000 from paper betting tickets; and a loan-sharking conspiracy that charged a whopping 156 percent interest rate.



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