An illegal betting enterprise operating in Queens was able to rake in thousands of dollars in wagers annually on sporting events, but what its operators didn’t bet on was getting caught just days before the Super Bowl.
In an effort to crack down on illegal gambling in the borough, authorities announced Thursday that five people have been indicted for unlawfully running the sports enterprise. Two other individuals have been separately charged with promoting gambling through a related endeavor.
The betting operating was able to take in thousands of dollars in monthly gross revenue on an array of sporting events, including college and professional games, by using toll-free numbers and the gambling websites www.wagerstop.com and www.mgmwager.com, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.
“By taking advantage of toll-free numbers and Internet web sites as ‘wire rooms’ – where bets were accepted and gambling accounts were maintained – the defendants allegedly were able to reap huge profits through their unlawful gambling operation,” he said. “Today’s indictments send a clear signal that when it comes to illegal gambling in Queens County, all bets are off.”
Christopher Morrissey, Louis Cavalli, Mitchell Fusco, Sean Murtagh and Brian Hull have been charged in a 34-count indictment, charging them with enterprise corruption and promoting gambling, among other crimes. They were busted for being members and associates of the organized gambling enterprise that operated in Queens and elsewhere, following an investigation that began in February 2013.
In a separate indictment, Queens residents Luigi Caminiti, 34, and Mirsad Dedic were charged with “knowingly advancing or profiting from unlawful gambling activity” on at least six occasions in November 2013, the district attorney’s office said. They received or accepted more than five bets totaling over $5,000.