Multi-Million Dollar International Internet Based
MAY 8 -- (WESTCHESTER, NY) Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New York, and Harrison Police Chief David Hall announce the arrests of eighteen individuals as a result of an eighteen month long investigation into an illegal sports betting and gambling enterprise in the Town of Harrison and numerous other jurisdictions throughout Westchester County, New York City, Essex and Somerset Counties in New Jersey.
“This investigation grew more interesting every day while we collaborated with our law enforcement partners,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge John Gilbride. “From OxyContin distribution, to Money Laundering and Gambling, you just never knew what criminal component would be next. The DEA focuses our resources on identifying not only those who violate the controlled substance act, but those who carry out any criminal activity.”
The operation “handled” approximately two million dollars a week and serviced more than 800 individual bettors. The defacto “wire room” is located off shore in Costa Rica.
Adam Green (DOB 10/25/72) of 159 East 30th street, New York New York was charged with one count of Enterprise Corruption, a class “B” Felony and Anthony Giovaniello (DOB 1/01/70) of 66 Newman Avenue, Hawthorne, New York was charged with one count of Enterprise Corruption, a class “B” Felony.
Sixteen additional individuals were charged crimes including Enterprise Corruption and various other crimes including narcotics possession and illegal firearms.
Over 200 law enforcement officers, including 25 investigators from the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, along with the Harrison Police, Greenburgh Police, New York City Police, New York State Police, New Jersey State Attorney General’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration all participated. Additionally, local police departments from New Rochelle, Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville, White Plains, Yonkers and Yorktown provided assistance.
Saturday’s arrests are the result of an investigation that was initiated through information developed by the Harrison Police in October, 2005. A total of thirty locations were targeted in five metropolitan area counties: Westchester, The Bronx, Manhattan in New York and Essex and Somerset in New Jersey.
Forty four search warrants were executed; over one million dollars in cash seized, 15 vehicles and 2 illegal handguns were confiscated along with computers, cell phones and other evidence.
The operation worked through approximately 60 related websites, such as www.betoss.com, www.wagerweb.com, www.pacificsportsbook.com, and www.betasb.com.
With the advent of the Internet, many sports bookmakers, as here, have forgone the traditional wire-room and have employed offshore based Internet gambling websites that are designed to accept bets on future sporting events from a bookmaker’s bettors via the Internet and toll free telephones.
These Internet gambling website companies have numerous bookmakers utilizing their services and apparently charge the bookmakers, among other things, a price per head (PPH) for each active bettor a bookmaker has betting with that enterprise.
Once the bookmaker opens an account for a bettor with the Internet gambling website office the bettor is given an account number and a password. The bettor has the option of calling a toll free number and dealing with a clerk in the Internet gambling website office as to finding out his monetary balance, the betting lines (odds) for future contingent sporting events and for placing bets on such games. The bettor has the other option of utilizing a computer to access his account (using his password) on the Internet gambling website and find out, among other things, his monetary gambling balance, the betting lines for future contingent sporting events and to place monetary bets on such events.
An individual who has a group of bettors betting with a bookmaker’s operation and is a partner with that bookmaker to the extent of those bettors is called a “sheet-holder”. All of the bets are recorded on the Internet gambling website and tallied.
Some of the Internet gambling websites, as here, call a sheet-holder an “agent” and call the bookmaker a “master agent”. The master agent’s account lists all of his agents and under each agent are listed each of that agent’s bettors’ accounts and corresponding passwords. Some of the agents and also some sheet-holders, in addition to having their own bettors, also have sheet-holders listed in their respective accounts.
Assistant District Attorney Steven Vandervelden, Chief of the Organized Crime and Criminal Enterprise Bureau is the lead prosecutor in the case along with Assistant District Attorneys Joe DiBenedetto, Livia Rodriguez, Brian Moore and Gwen Galef. Second Deputy District Attorney Edward Livingston is the Chief of the Investigations Division.