Federal prosecutors in Manhattan report that six arrests were made Monday in the Bronx in connection with online sportsbetting offences. The New York Daily News said prosecutors associated the arrests with organised crime, with one of those detained, Anthony Croce, allegedly an acting capo in the Luchese crime family.
Investigators uncovered the ring by secretly recording cell phone conversations of members taking in thousands of dollars in bets for football and other sporting events, federal officials claimed.
Members of the ring aided customers by providing them with access codes to an unidentified offshore gambling operation run over the Internet, according to documents filed by the FBI in Manhattan Federal Court.
Comments from NY Daily News readers reacting to the report were as interesting as the news itself.
One reader observed: "Meanwhile a teacher in N.J. was allowed to plead guilty to raping five young girls in return he will get five years probation instead of the thirty years he was facing…….I know, I know get these mobsters of the streets, they're heinous criminals! Who knows they may have even been thinking of buying their kids christmas presents with the whole ten grand they made……"
Another wrote: "The priorities of this nation's law enforcement [really are] crossed, but they know what sells newspapers…a couple guys handling some football action and immediately it's organized crime/mafia related."
Poster "jacktwo" wrote: "The FBI says they don't have enough manpower to go after the crimes on Wall Street which have cost the taxpayers $7 trillion, but they sure do have plenty of time to go after two-bit bookies taking a few bets."
Another poster wrote: "Thank God they put these people behind bars!!! Now I don't have to worry about them while I'm picking up my lottery tickets or losing my money up at Foxwoods. Remember, if it's taxed it's perfectly legal. If it's not taxed, it's a scourge on society."
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