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
FEBRUARY 19, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO KC BROTHERS PLEAD GUILTY
TO ILLEGAL GAMBLING
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 that two brothers from Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court today to conducting an illegal gambling business that relied on a Web site with a computer server located in Costa Rica.
Michael C. Sansone, 30, and Anthony V. Sansone, 27, both of Kansas City, waived their right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer this afternoon to two separate federal informations that charge them with transmitting wagering information over the Internet.
The Sansones and other bookmakers provided their bettors with a 1-800 toll-free telephone number and a Web site. 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. The Sansones and other bookmakers used a separate 1-800 toll-free telephone number, or the Web site, to track their bettors’ activities and account balances.
Both of the 1-800 numbers routed to a company located in Costa Rica. Under this scheme, the Costa Rican company 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. The Costa Rican company did not have an interest in the outcome of the wagers, but charged the illegal sports bookmaking business a fee for managing each bettor’s account.
The Sansones and other bookmakers paid out or collected cash in person from their bettors, usually on a weekly basis.
Michael and Anthony Sansone each admitted that he used a laptop computer to access the Web site, logged into the account as the bookmaking agent and accessed bettor wagering information.
By pleading guilty today, Michael Sansone also agreed to forfeit to the government $4,039 and a laptop computer that were seized by FBI agents on March 31, 2009.
In separate but related cases, Charles J. Simone, 24, of Liberty, Mo., pleaded guilty on Feb. 18, 2010, to conducting an illegal gambling business and Michael V. Badalucco, 26, of Kansas City-North, pleaded guilty on Feb. 10, 2010, to being a bookmaker, both for the same gambling operation.
Under federal statutes, the Sansones are each subject to a sentence of up to two years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess E. Michaelsen. They were 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