The US publication SI Live reports that federal enforcement officials extended their blitz against online gambling sites Tuesday with the arrest of 28 men in a Staten Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania bust of an online sports betting ring. Prosecutors claimed that the ring generated revenues in excess of $100,000 a week, operating through a website branded Betjerrys, a domain which has since been seized by the authorities.
"One of the leaders, Joseph Stentella (56), claims to have said that he ran the system so well he should have been in charge of the state's failed OTB," SI Live reports.
The ring attracted bets from up to 600 people, wagering on basketball, hockey and mixed martial arts, and the reports suggest that the domain has been active since 2001.
The authorities revealed that the video store used as a base by the ring had been the subject of enforcement surveillance over a period of two years as federal agents built their case.
Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan released the names of the 28 defendants, which can be found here:
The investigation was conducted by Donovan's office, the NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Bureau, the New Jersey Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for New York's Eastern District.
Donovan commented on the widespread and closely coordinated raids: "The operation we just took down could be the poster child for everything that is harmful about illegal gambling.
"It had a devastating effect on our communities, burying people under insurmountable debt - debt that destroyed families and, in some cases, businesses; it drove some to sell drugs and commit other crimes to support their vices; and it victimized honest taxpayers by cheating the government out of millions of dollars in taxable revenue. Simply put: 'Bet Jerrys was a bad bet for all of us."
Source: InfoPowa News