International Betting Ring
So much nutty Hoboken political drama today, I may buy the domain http://nuttyhobokenpoliticaldrama.com
Take what you want from this… (from multiple sources.. I’m so tired I’m just going to throw this all in one giant pile for you all to digest)
Authorities break up international betting ring in New Jersey
FREEHOLD, New Jersey (AP) – New Jersey authorities broke up an international sports betting ring Wednesday they said handled $500 million worth of bets over the past 16 months.
State and local officials arrested 47 people and are seeking 12 others. They said the ring, with a communications hub in Costa Rica, used the Internet as well as a network of street-level people to take bets on professional and college football and basketball, among other sports.
“We have struck a powerful blow at the organizational level of an illegal gambling organization that has been reaping millions in illegal profits,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin said.
Three ringleaders were charged with money laundering, conspiracy, racketeering, and promoting gambling.
The three men are being held on $1 million bail and are due to make an initial court appearance on Thursday. It was not immediately clear if the three had hired lawyers.
Valentin said several thousand bettors could make wagers using Internet sites after being given a user name and password. Others used a toll-free number to contact the operation’s communications hub in Costa Rica.
None of the bettors were charged, Valentin said.
In carrying out raids at 70 locations, authorities seized more than $2 million in cash, froze numerous bank accounts and seized 14 vehicles and a 28-foot yacht named “Risky Business.”
Valentin said that between August 2005 and February 2007, bettors placed more than $500 million worth of wagers and lost more than $35 million to the ring.
Gambling911.com has more information here: http://www.gambling911.com/online-gambling-032907.html
That site actually names names of people arrested, including:
- James Monaco, Jr., age 30, of Hoboken, Hudson County.
- Louis Aligo, age 60, of Hoboken, Hudson County.
- Angelo Cascetta, age 52, of Hoboken, Hudson County.
- Joseph Casseta, age 42, of Hoboken, Hudson County.
- Paris Branda, age 38, of Hoboken, Hudson County.
- Marco Sciarra, age 75, of Hoboken, Hudson County.
James Monaco, Jr., a Roberts-appointed member of the Hoboken Zoning Board Of Appeals (ZBA). His father James Monaco, Sr. is a Roberts-appointed member of the Hoboken Planning Board.
Also caught up in this situation is the former Mayor of Union City (Before Brian Stack) Rudy Garcia, according to NJ.com:
Former Union City mayor wanted in sports betting ring
A warrant for the arrest of former Union City Mayor Rudy Garcia has been issued in connection with an Internet sports betting probe, officials said.
“He has not surrendered only because he is out of town on business and we are just making arrangements,” his attorney, Stephen Turano, said of Garcia, who is also a former state assemblyman.
“He had absolutely nothing to do with the operation of or promoting of gambling. He may have placed some bets but that’s the extent of it,” said Turano, calling Garcia is “a juicy target.”
The attorney said he has not yet been informed on the charges but said it’s likely he and Garcia will go to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday and deal with the issue.
Operation Thunderbird resulted in the arrest of 58 people including eight from Hudson County, and rolled up the “half million dollar” international gambling ring with accounts in Costa Rica, said Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin at a Freehold news conference this afternoon.
Turano and a Hudson County law enforcement source said investigators went to Garcia’s Union City home to take him into custody this morning and found he was out of state. Turano said he has been in contact with investigators but still didn’t know what the charges are and hadn’t actually seen the arrest warrant but understands that there is one.
“He is not looking to evade apprehension because once we know what the charges are, we will address them,” Turano said.
What is the connection of this guy to Hoboken, you ask? Well, the HCDO was planning to run his wife Nicolle Garcia for Assembly along with West New York Mayor Sal Vega for State Senate on the HCDO (Kenny/Roberts) ticket against Stack and Ramos. People are wondering whether the HCDO will now have to find another candidate to run with Vega. Rumor also has it that Michael Lenz has brokered a deal with Kenny and Roberts to have Carol Marsh join the Vega ticket as well. This is also known as “Selling out to The Man,” but we’ll catch up more on that another day!