Posted 2/9/11 : Saratoga, NY man to forfeit $25 000 after anti-online gambling wire taps by police
Michael J. Morrissey (46), a Saratoga Springs man involved in online sports betting and originally charged with fourth degree money laundering, pleaded guilty to a lesser fifth degree conspiracy charge this week in order to reduce his punishment to that of a misdemeanour
Prosecutors said that Morrissey was part of an gambling enterprise that spanned the US and had ties to foreign countries in Central America. The internet sports betting network facilitated bets from US citizens on football and baseball games, and punters called Morrissey to obtain an international phone number and receive access codes to an unidentified online gambling website.
He was paid a cut of the money collected from losing wagers and vigorish (the percentage of the winnings that a bookie keeps), while the rest was sent to the off-shore enterprise.
Prosecutors revealed that Morrissey was identified as part of the gambling ring when his name surfaced on a wiretap in a Schenectady County police investigation into the same network.
In addition to his guilty plea, Morrissey forfeited $25,000 in gambling proceeds and a 2004 Buick Rendezvous vehicle that was allegedly used during his criminal activity. The seized money will be divided among the police agencies involved in the investigation and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
According to Saratoga prosecutors, the investigation is continuing across New York state and in Florida, Las Vegas and Costa Rica.