Sports betting ring busted in Montco
NORRISTOWN – Sixteen people have been charged in a 23-count indictment alleging they took part in a multi-million dollar sports betting ring, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office announced.
The conspiracy, involving the Mastronardo Bookmaking Organization, allegedly coordinated thousands of bettors from across the U.S., generating millions of dollars a year. The project’s alleged ringleader, Joseph Vito Mastronardo, Jr., of Abington, faces charges of racketeering and conducting an illegal gambling business. He and 14 other defendants were arrested Wednesday morning.
Among those charged are the son-in-law and daughter of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo.
According to the indictment, between Jan. 1, 2005, and Jan. 1, 2011, the Mastronardo Bookmaking Organization arranged for betters to place wagers on football, baseball, basketball, golf and horse racing. They reportedly used a gas station on Norristown Road in Blue Bell as a mailing address and central hub for collecting and transferring gambling payments and winnings. The indictment seeks more than $6.3 million in forfeiture proceeds.
Federal prosecutors say the illegal gambling operation had ties to Florida, New Jersey and Costa Rica.
The indictment unsealed Wednesday shows all but one of the 16 defendants in the case face racketeering charges for their alleged roles in an online and telephone bookmaking scheme that had more than 1,000 active bettors at its peak.
Investigators say Joseph Vito Mastronardo, Jr. and John Mastronardo ran the operation using check-cashing businesses, private bank accounts and offshore accounts to launder the proceeds. Authorities say more than $1 million in illicit funds were found buried in the yard of Joseph Mastronardo's suburban Philadelphia mansion.
Initial appearances were scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
If you loved the freedom and liberty you had as an American, THANK A VETERAN.
If you miss it a year from now, thank the assholes who voted for Obama.