parkville man sentenced for trafficking
over $400,000 in counterfeit goods,
illegal gambling operation
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Parkville, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to traffic more than $400,000 worth of counterfeit designer purses, shoes and other items, and in a separate and unrelated case along with a Kansas City, Mo., man, for conducting an illegal gambling business that relied on a Web site with a computer server located in Costa Rica. A total of 10 defendants have pleaded guilty and been sentenced for their roles in the illegal gambling operation.
James L. Dicapo, also known as “Jimmy,” 58, of Parkville, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey to three years and five months in federal prison without parole and paid a $6,000 forfeiture to the government. James J. Moretina, 62, of Kansas City, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison without parole and paid a $5,000 forfeiture to the government.
Trafficking Counterfeit Goods
On July 21, 2010, Dicapo pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods in the Kansas City, Mo., area from Nov. 1, 2007, to Sept. 9, 2009. Dicapo admitted that he sold more than $400,000 worth of counterfeit goods, including Burberry, Coach, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Dooney & Bourke, Ed Hardy, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada trademarked merchandise, at prices far below the retail value of the genuine goods.
Dicapo received the counterfeit goods from a supplier in New York, who shipped them via UPS to Dicapo’s residence or to Dee Fashion in Kansas City, Kan. Dicapo used the proceeds from the sale of counterfeit goods to purchase money orders to pay for the COD deliveries of additional counterfeit goods. For example, from Nov. 20, 2007, to Jan. 12, 2009, Dicapo paid approximately $173,032 for counterfeit goods shipped from his New York supplier.
Dicapo sold more than $400,000 worth of counterfeit goods during the conspiracy, primarily from the back of his van or at purse parties.
Dicapo sold several purses to undercover law enforcement officers. Dicapo sold a counterfeit Prada purse and a counterfeit Coach purse for $85 each. On another occasion, Dicapo sold a counterfeit Coach purse for $75 and a counterfeit Coach wallet for $35. Dicapo also sold a counterfeit Coach purse and a counterfeit Dolce & Gabbana purse for $65 each.
The court also ordered Dicapo to forfeit to the government hundreds of counterfeit goods that were seized from him by FBI agents. On March 31, 2009, Dicapo possessed approximately 576 pieces of counterfeit designer merchandise in his residence and in his van, including 21 18-gallon plastic tubs in his van that contained counterfeit purses, shoes, blue jeans, t-shirts, sunglasses and wristlits, which were seized by law enforcement. On Sept. 9, 2009, Dicapo possessed approximately 70 pieces of counterfeit designer merchandise in his residence and in his van, including counterfeit purses, sunglasses, baseball hats and t-shirts, which were seized by law enforcement.
Dicapo also pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to conduct financial transactions that involved the proceeds of his illegal activity, which was intended to promote that activity and designed to conceal the source of the proceeds.
Conducting Illegal Gambling Business
Both Dicapo and Moretina pleaded guilty, in a separate and unrelated case, to conducting an illegal sports bookmaking business from March 1, 2006, to March 31, 2009.
Co-defendant Gerlarmo Cammisano, also known as “Jerry,” 57, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty to leading the gambling operation in which bettors, primarily located in the Kansas City, Mo., area, wagered more than $3.5 million. Cammisano was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison without parole and forfeited $201,137 and two computers to the government.
Dicapo was one of the most active bookmakers, with more than $1.2 million in gross wagers.
Dicapo, Moretina and other bookmakers provided their bettors with a 1-800 toll-free telephone number and two Web sites. 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, usually on a weekly basis.
Both of the 1-800 numbers routed to a company located in Costa Rica that 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 price-per-head fee for managing each bettor’s account. Cammisano was responsible for collecting this fee from Dicapo and the other bookmakers. The bookmakers would pay out or collect cash in person from their bettors, usually on a weekly basis.
Co-defendants Vincent F. Civella, 54, Michael C. Sansone, 31, Anthony V. Sansone, 28, and Michael V. Badalucco, 27, all of Kansas City, Mo., and Charles J. Simone, 27, of Liberty, Mo., also pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. Civella was sentenced to eight months in federal prison without parole and ordered to forfeit $40,000 to the government. Simone, Anthony Sansone, Michael Sansone and Badalucco were each sentenced to three years of probation. The court also ordered Simone to forfeit $10,000 and a laptop computer to the government and pay a $5,000 fine. Simone’s probation includes four months in a halfway house and four months of home detention. The court also ordered Michael Sansone to forfeit $4,039 and a laptop computer to the government. Michael Sansone’s probation includes six months of home detention. Anthony Sansone must also pay a $5,000 fine. Anthony Sansone and Badalucco’s probation includes three months at a halfway house and three months of home detention.
In separate but related cases involving the same gambling operation, William D. Cammisano, Jr., also known as “Willie,” 61, of Harrisonville, Mo., and Michael J. Lombardo, 55, of Kansas City, Mo., were each sentenced to one year and one day after pleading guilty to conducting an illegal gambling business.
Civil Contempt Incarcerations
According to court documents, the government attempted to obtain statements from the bettors through interviews with the FBI and testimony before a grand jury. Many of these witnesses were granted immunity but chose to disobey the court order to testify. Eleven witnesses refused to testify and were incarcerated for civil contempt; they served a total of 1,502 days in custody.
Moretina supervised an account operated by bookmakers Lombardo and Simone. While Lombardo had no bettors go to jail for contemp, six of the witnesses who were held in contempt were bettors through Simone. Simone had the most civil contemnors of any of the bookmakers involved in the illegal gambling business. Two of Simone’s bettors served more than six months of imprisonment, one served more than four months, one served more than three months, one served two months and another served six days. In September 2009, the government conveyed an offer to Simone to plead guilty to the same charge to which he ultimately did enter a plea. The government would have then sought his bettors’ release from custody. However, Simone chose not to accept the government’s offer until Feb. 18, 2010. Simone’s delay caused at least four of his bettors to spend the holidays in custody; others served five months longer in prison, and some may not have had to serve any time at all.
All but one of Dicapo’s bettors testified before the grand jury; this bettor was also one of Simone’s bettors who refused to testify.
These cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul S. Becker and Jess E. Michaelsen. They were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.