Wednesday June 19,2013 : BIG ONLINE BETTING BUST IN CALIFORNIA
machosports.com and betmacho.com named in indictment
The United States Attorney of the Southern District of California has announced the bust of an international sports gambling ring that it says was run from Panama and Peru to avoid U.S. law enforcement.
According to a statement, 18 members, of what is described as a "violent gambling ring located principally in California and Peru", were indicted for operating Macho Sports – an illegal internet and telephone gambling business – through the machosports.com and betmacho.com websites.
15 alleged members of the ring were arrested Wednesday in San Diego and Los Angeles, as well as Oslo, Norway and Lima, Peru.
FBI agents executed seizure warrants seeking the forfeiture of over $5 million in property associated with Macho Sports following an investigation initiated in 2011 which employed the use of wiretaps and undercover agents.
Jan Harald Portocarrero and Erik Portocarrero are believed to be the kingpins of a business which is said to have been conducted under intimidation, threats and violence. They have been the recipient of gambling arrests and/or convictions in the United States previously.
The Portocarrero’s allegedly employed managers in Peru to oversee the enterprise’s telephone and internet operations, resolve disputes, and adjust customers’ lines of credit along with teams of bookies who were responsible for recruiting customers, paying off winning bets, and collecting on losing bets.
Defendants were named as Jan Harald Portocarrero, Erik Portocarrero, Amir Mokayef, Joseph Barrios, Young Hee Koh, Randall Lee Irwin, Larry Neil Gold, Charles Edward Sullivan, Michael Christopher Iaco, Emed G. Sidaros, Isaac Pete Gharibeh, Dunzmy June Nguyen, Todd Michael Heflin, Howard Alan Blum, Michael John Massey, Salvatore Giacomo Groppo, Nilesh Kumar Ambubhai Patel and Benjamin John William Weber.
Charges include Racketeering Conspiracy to Conduct Enterprise Affairs (RICO Conspiracy) and Illegal Gambling Business, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1955.
Maximum penalties carry 20 years in prison, 3 years supervised release and a $250 000 fine.