Busted! 46 Arrested, $2M Seized in Multi-State Gambling Ring [PHOTOS]
Authorities took down a large-scale money laundering, gambling and racketeering operation, arresting 46 people after executing search warrants in New York, New Jersey and Florida, seizing approximately $2 million in U.S. currency.
According to Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, the arrests were the result of an investigation into a large-scale, multistate criminal money laundering, gambling, and racketeering operation.
Authorities say Robert "Elvis" D'Alessio of Totowa operated the illegal money laundering, racketeering and gambling ring out of Bergen County along with a crew of at least 50 gambling “package holders” or “agents” in charge of overseeing 320 bettors, collecting money from gamblers following losses and distributing winnings. In total, police say, the agents managed 22 gambling accounts.
Police say D'Alessio's former brother-in-law, Esteban "Steve" Cueli was also involved in the illegal operation. He focused his attention in the South Florida region managing packages for a bookmaking operation. D'Alessio and Cueli enlisted a businessman identified as Enrique Larach "to launder proceeds" from the illegal gambling ring, police said. Other local managers in the crime ring included Robert Beatty of Wayne, Alfonc Pilinco of Franklin Lakes and Dante Monaco of Hackettstown, according to the prosecutor.
Through their investigation, authorities learned that D'Alessio's operation included a wire room in Costa Rica where agents and bettors used a website and 1-800 numbers to place bets and check on "packages" with millions of dollars in wagers being processed each year.
Police said D'Alessio, Beatty, Monaco, Pilinci and Gregory Farace were arrested and transported to Bergen County Jail. Several other suspects were arrested in other states and are awaiting extradition to New Jersey, while others involved were releaed on their own recognizance.
According to authorities, charges against D'Alessio include money laundering, racketeering, promoting gambling and conspiracy to promote. Nearly all of the suspects faced similar gambling and conspiracy to promote gambling charges, and at least one suspect was charged with obstruction of justice, police said.
The Prosecutor's Office says the investigation is ongoing.