Sixteen people in the U.S. city of Philadelphia on Wednesday by law enforcement authorities and will face charges of operating an illegal online sportsbetting operation.
Among those arrested is 62 year old Joanna Mastronardo, who is the daughter of a former Philadelphia mayor. Mastronardo's husband and son were also arrested by authorities. All sixteen of the defendants were later released on bail.
Unsealed court documents from the U.S. Department of Justice noted that the the illegal sportsbetting operation included two websites based out of Costa Rica which took millions of dollars in bets between 2005 and 2011. The crime ring allegedly used a network of cash processors and international banks to process the financial transactions.
U.S. District Attorney Risa Ferman spoke about the case, saying: “This alleged racketeering operation was anchored in Montgomery County, but had tentacles spreading across the U.S. and beyond."