OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
MARCH 10, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOUR MEN, TWO BUSINESSES INDICTED FOR $3.5 MILLION ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATION
SPORTS BOOKMAKING OPERATION USED WEB SITE,
COMPUTER SERVER IN COSTA RICA
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that three Kansas City, Mo., men, a Parkville, Mo., man and two businesses in Arizona and Costa Rica have been indicted by a federal grand jury for operating an illegal gambling business that relied on a Web site with a computer server located in Costa Rica.
Gerlarmo Cammisano, also known as “Jerry,” 56, James J. Moretina, 60, and Michael J. Lombardo, 54, all of Kansas City, James L. Dicapo, 57, of Parkville, Phoenix International Teleport Satellite Services, Inc., located in Chandler, Ariz., and Elite Sports, located in San Jose, Costa Rica, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury on Tuesday, March 9, 2010. That indictment was unsealed and made public today following the arrests of the four individual defendants.
Moretina, Dicapo, Lombardo and other bookmaking agents allegedly operated under Cammisano, the master agent, in an illegal sports bookmaking business from March 1, 2006, to April 1, 2009. Bettors, primarily located in the Kansas City, Mo., area, allegedly wagered approximately $3,584,895 during the course of this illegal sports bookmaking business. Bookmakers received a percentage of the winnings at the end of each sports season, according to the indictment.
Bookmakers provided their bettors with a 1-800 toll-free telephone number and two Web sites, the indictment says. In order to place a wager on a sporting event, the bettor would call the number or access the Web site, then provide their account number and password. Bookmakers used a separate 1-800 toll-free telephone number, or the Web site, to track their bettors’ activities and account balances. Bookmakers paid out or collected cash in person from their bettors, the indictment says, usually on a weekly basis.
According to the indictment, Elite Sports acted as a virtual wire room for the illegal sports bookmaking operation – taking wagers and keeping electronic records of bettors’ activities and results on a computer server located in Costa Rica. Elite Sports did not have an interest in the outcome of the wagers, the indictment says, but charged the illegal sports bookmaking business a price-per-head fee for managing each bettor’s account. The indictment alleges that the toll-free numbers were provided by Phoenix International, which was engaged in the business of providing telephone and Internet services to offshore Internet gambling companies, including Elite Sports.
Today’s indictment charges each of the defendants in one count of aiding and abetting each other to operate an illegal gambling business. In addition, the indictment charges Cammisano with six counts of using the Internet to transmit information to assist in placing bets on sporting events. Moretina is also charged with six counts of using a telephone to transmit information to assist in placing bets on sporting events. Dicapo and Lombardo are each also charged with five counts of using a telephone to transmit information to assist in placing bets on sporting events.
Today’s indictment also contains a forfeiture provision, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government any proceeds obtained from the alleged violations, including $3,584,895, which represents the gross wagers from the illegal gambling business.
Cammisano would forfeit to the government $196,677 and two laptop computers that were seized from his residence on March 31, 2009. Cammisano would also forfeit three parcels of real estate, along with two businesses – Sun Auto Sales, Inc., and Cam & Vig, L.L.C. Moretina would forfeit to the government his interest in the company Be Amused Vending & Amusement Co. Dicapo would forfeit to the government his residential property. Lombardo would forfeit to the government his interest in the company Advanced Mudjacking, LLC.
Phoenix International would forfeit to the government all equipment used to facilitate the transmission of telephone calls or Internet traffic from the United States to Costa Rica, including computes, servers, satellite dishes, and other equipment.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess E. Michaelsen. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at