1. #1
    bigboydan's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Online Gambling ring busted (BetOnline mentioned)

    Arrests tie the mob to bettors and Bloods

    Authorities say crime family, besides running gambling ring, aided street gang
    Wednesday, December 19, 2007
    Star-Ledger Staff

    Authorities broke up one of the biggest betting rings in state history yesterday, charging more than two dozen members or associates of the Lucchese crime family with running the multibillion-dollar operation.

    Using online betting sites, an 800 number and old-fashioned word of mouth on the streets, the ring processed $2.2 billion in wagers in little more than 15 months, state Attorney General Anne Milgram said. One unidentified high roller wagered $2 million in eight weeks.

    Separately, in what Milgram termed an "alarming alliance," the Lucchese family teamed up with members of the Bloods street gang to smuggle drugs, cell phones and iPods into East Jersey State Prison in Woodbridge with the aid of a corrections officer, authorities said.

    The case marks the first documented cooperation in New Jersey between the traditional organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra and street gangs, which Milgram termed the "new organized crime." Previously, investigators had assembled only anecdotal accounts of the mob and gangs working together.

    "We discovered a disturbing new twist on old-school organized crime," Milgram said at a news conference at the West Orange Armory. "The alliance between the Lucchese crime family and the 9 Tre Gangster set of the Bloods was born of common interests these groups share: namely, violence, illegal drugs and quick profits."

    Among those charged were two of the Lucchese family's three New York bosses -- a triumvirate known as "the ruling panel" -- plus the highest-ranking member in New Jersey, reputed capo Ralph V. Perna, 61, of East Hanover, Milgram said.

    Three of Perna's sons -- Joseph M. Perna, 38, of Wyckoff, and John G. Perna, 30, and Ralph M. Perna, 35, both of West Caldwell -- also were charged, as was Martin Taccetta, 56, a reputed Lucchese soldier who was accused of racketeering earlier this year in Union County. Taccetta, the younger brother of former Lucchese boss Michael Taccetta, had been free on bail.

    All were charged with racketeering, promoting gambling and money laundering, counts that carry up to 20 years in prison.

    Martin Taccetta's brother-in-law, George Abdy, called the allegations "ludicrous" and claimed they were part of a pattern of harassment against Taccetta, who spent more than a decade behind bars on a racketeering conviction before a judge ordered a new trial in 2005.

    "I hope it's not another effort by the state to frustrate his efforts on appeal and to interfere with his freedom," Abdy said last night.

    Authorities charged 32 people yesterday morning, searching homes and seizing high-end vehicles, several guns, a hand grenade and more than $200,000 in cash. Milgram said state lawyers filed notice they also will seek forfeiture of seven homes owned by the defendants.

    As outlined by authorities and court documents, the betting ring was a marriage of high-tech and low-tech

    Trusted bettors were given passwords for various Web sites, including betonline.com and bigactionsports.com, and for an 800 number. The bets were then routed to a wire room -- a bookkeeping center -- in Costa Rica.

    Other bets were placed by phone or in person with agents, also known as "package holders," responsible for overseeing groups of bettors. It was the agents who collected and paid out cash, in some cases using violence or the threat of violence on those unable to make good on their debts.

    In one conversation recorded by law enforcement, Joseph Perna instructed his brother John to find someone owing $7,000 and "make an example of him," according to an affidavit filed by an investigator in the state Division of Criminal Justice, which conducted the probe.

    "Ya don't wanna pay ... bust his head," Joseph Perna says, according to the affidavit. "That's what I'm telling ya to do. Bust his head."

    The bets were placed primarily on professional sporting events, Milgram said, but some cash was wagered on dog races. In addition, money was collected through neighborhood lotteries.

    The average bet was about $1,000, but some wagered much more. In addition to the $2 million bettor, one person placed $900,000 in wagers in four months, Milgram said.

    In many cases, the bettors worked for mortgage companies or other financial industries, said Gregory Paw, director of the Division of Criminal Justice.

    The mobsters made money on every wager, charging a "vig," or cut, of between 1.5 percent and 5 percent, Paw said.

    "Win or lose, the mob is always going to take a vig on the bet," he said.None of the bettors was charged.


    The alliance with the Bloods chapter focused on an East Jersey State Prison inmate, Edwin Spears, 33, whom authorities called a "five-star general" of the Bloods' 9 Tre Gangster chapter.

    Milgram said the Lucchese family bankrolled the purchase of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prepaid cell phones through Spears' brother, Dwayne Spears, 28, of Neptune, and used a corrupt prison guard to smuggle the items inside the prison.

    The accused guard, Michael T. Bruinton, 43, of Ringoes, was paid $500 each time he carried items into the prison, Milgram said.

    Once inside the prison, the items were sold under the direction of Edwin Spears, authorities said.

    The prepaid cell phones were particularly troubling, Milgram said, because they allowed Spears to continue directing the gang from behind bars.

    The defendants, most of them held on high bail yesterday, were due in court in Morristown this afternoon. Lawyers for several of the alleged Lucchese members maintained their clients' innocence.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    SBR Lou
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    That's gotta be good for business..

  4. #4
    An SBR Legend.
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    Betonline.com..."where Pauly Walnuts and Snoop Dogg team up to whoop ur ass, tu capisci *****?"

  5. #5
    jjgold's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Most of volume amounts are exaggerrated in these busts

  6. #6
    SBR is a criminal organization
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    Is $2M in 8 weeks supposed to be a lot?

  7. #7
    Bill Dozer
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyl View Post
    That's gotta be good for business..
    Right... Not what the book wants to read.

    It seems they are talking about BetOnline as early as 2006 and in Costa Rica. That would mean the report is about agents from the book that sold the Betonline url to BestLineSports.

  8. #8
    The HG
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    Who decides the phonetic spelling in these transcripts? For instance, when Joseph Perna said "Ya don't wanna pay ... bust his head, that's what I'm telling ya to do. Bust his head.", who decided to spell it "ya" and "wanna", but to give him credit for pronouncing the "g" in "telling"? I highly, highly doubt he pronounced the "g", and I also think he probably said "you", not "ya". Whatever he did actually say, I can GUARANTEE you that "you" and "to" were pronounced the same way. I guarantee you it was either "ya ta do" or "you to do".

  9. #9
    Timmy T = Failure
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjgold View Post
    Most of volume amounts are exaggerrated in these busts
    They have to justify the money they spent investigating this. I knew a book here that was busted and they said he "made" a million a year. I would say he probably "took" a million in bets.

  10. #10
    TheOffshoreGambler's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I have been at Betonline since the start of football. No problems for me. I like it i can parlay first halfs which not alot of people allow. If you look the value is there. The limits are good. And the times I have had to deal with customer service they always treat me good. So far so good.