25 busted in 5 states for sports gambling ring

| brennison@queenscourier.com |

All bets are off.

Twenty-five individuals were indicted on charges of operating an illegal sports betting enterprise in Queens that netted more than $50 million.

Arrests occurred in five states — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada and California — resulting in the seizure of more than $7 million. Eight of the defendants were arrested and arraigned in Queens County Supreme Court. The octet faces charges of enterprise corruption — a violation of New York’s Organized Crime Control Act — promoting gambling, money laundering and conspiracy. If convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison.

“Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime. Those who participate in these criminal enterprises often use threats, intimidation and even physical force to collect debts and oftentimes charge usurious interest rates on outstanding debts,” said District Attorney Richard Brown.

The indictment alleges the gambling ring used off-shore sites — who store their data outside the United States — to place wagers to evade local law enforcement.