Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering, Involvement In Illegal Gambling Ring
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CRAIG CAFFRO, 48, of Florida, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford to one count of money laundering and one count of operating an illegal gambling business. As part of his guilty plea, CAFFRO has agreed to forfeit $50,000.
According to court documents and statements made in court, after a long-term investigation led by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Stamford Police Department, CAFFRO and 19 other individuals were charged with various offenses related to their involvement in multiple illegal gambling businesses in southern Connecticut controlled by the Gambino organized crime family, including a large-scale, Internet-based sports bookmaking operation based in Stamford that had penetrated New Haven County and parts of metropolitan New York.
The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, revealed that Dean DePreta headed a large-scale sports bookmaking operation in which gamblers placed bets with offshore Internet sports-gambling websites, particularly www.44wager.com based in Costa Rica. CAFFRO served as the bookmaking operation’s point person with the www.44wager.com website, and received regular payments from DePreta and co-defendant Richard Uva to pay for use of the website. At CAFFRO’s direction, one of these payments was laundered through the bank account of the elderly mother of one of CAFFRO’s associates living in New Jersey.
FBI analysis of the sports-betting web site utilized by the co-defendants has determined that the total gross revenues of the Stamford-based gambling operation were nearly $1.7 million from October 2010 to June 2011. As of this date, 19 defendants have agreed to forfeit approximately $1.5 million in illegal proceeds.
CAFFRO is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on February 26, 2014, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
DePreta and Uva each pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. On October 9, 2013, DePreta was sentenced to 71 months of imprisonment and ordered to forfeit $300,000. On October 24, 2013, Uva was sentenced to 46 months of imprisonment and ordered to forfeit $250,000.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Stamford Police Department, the Bridgeport Police Department and the Connecticut State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Hal Chen and Peter Jongbloed.
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