MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885  
FEBRUARY 2, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 




Failed to Pay $146,673 in Taxes on Income from Illegal Sports Betting Operation


Greenbelt, Maryland - Stephen Sardino, age 38, of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, formerly of Silver Spring, Maryland, was sentenced today to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for tax evasion, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. also ordered that Sardino pay restitution of $146,673.


According to the plea agreement presented to the court on September 19, 2006 , Sardino ran an illegal sports betting operation from 1995 to 2002 in Maryland and the District of Columbia, accepting wages on professional or college football and basketball games. Sardino solicited losing betters to pay him with personal checks and cashiers’ checks to avoid Currency Transaction Reporting requirements for cash transactions greater than $10,000 and to disguise the illegal nature of the payments. He also gave his sister and mother cash from his bookmaking business and directed them to obtain cashier’s checks, which he subsequently deposited into his bank accounts in order to hide the illegal nature of the monies. Sardino received more than $700,000 from this illegal gambling business.

In late 1999, a fictitious corporation called “Look Smart, LLC,” a purported personal training business, was established so that Sardino could declare a seemingly legitimate source of income on individual income tax returns that he filed. For tax years 1999, 2000 and 2002, he declared a portion of his illegal income on federal tax returns and characterized the source of the income as Look Smart.


In November, 2003, Sardino falsely stated to IRS agents that he was a personal trainer who owned a personal fitness business called “Look Smart, LLC,” and made only $600 to $700 per week. Sardino knew that no such business existed. He also told federal agents that he reported all of his income correctly on his tax returns and denied being involved in any illegal activity.


As a result of his acts of evasion, Sardino owes $146,673 in taxes for the tax years 1999 to 2002.


United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for their investigative work, and commended Assistant United States Attorney Gina Simms, who prosecuted the case.