Wednesday August 6,2014 : MORE ONLINE SPORTS BETTING GUILTY PLEAS IN NEW JERSEY
Patten pleads guilty on RICO charges, and two others are sentenced in Beteagle case.
Prosecutions associated with the use of offshore internet sports betting site Beteagle continued this week in New Jersey, with Bayonne defendant Eric Patten pleading guilty to an offence under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Patten's plea was accepted, and he will be sentenced in December this year for being an associate and conspiring with a crime family, reports the Star-Ledger newspaper.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman told media that a federal investigation had uncovered the illegal activities in which the Beteagle website was a central element. Fourteen people were originally charged back in mid-2012, of which seven have pleaded guilty and await sentencing, whilst charges against the others are pending.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has claimed that the Beteagle operation handled millions of dollars of bets, and was headed by 80-year-old Joseph "Pepe" Lascala, the alleged "capo" and a made member of the Genovese crime family, although the website was nominally owned by Joseph Graziano (77).
Graziano has already pleaded guilty to his role in the operation, but Lascala has not, and is still awaiting trial.
Two other defendants in the case who have already pleaded guilty, John Breheney (49) and Patsy Pirozzi (75) were sentenced this week.
Breheney was sent to jail for 38 months for RICO felony, tax evasion and the collection of unlawful debts, and was fined $16,000 and forfeited $400,000, whilst Perozzi received 22 months jail-time on a RICO conviction.
Our readers will recall that last week Mark A. Sanzo (56); Robert J. Scerbo (56) and William A. Bruder (44) pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in connection with the Costa Rica-based Beteagle.com probe.