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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Two Members Of Sports Betting Ring Sentenced To Prison For Racketeering

PHILADELPHIA – Two members of the Mastronardo Bookmaking Organization, a multi-million dollar sports betting operation, were sentenced to prison today by U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. DuBois.  John Vito Mastronardo, Jr., 59, of Boca Raton, Florida, was sentenced to nine months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release with the first 9 months on house arrest, and a $5,000 fine.  He pleaded guilty, on February 6, 2014, to conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise (RICO), conducting an illegal gambling business, conducting three conspiracies to launder money, and transmitting wagering information. Joseph F. Mastronardo, 33, of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to five months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release with the first 5 months on house arrest, and a $5,000 fine.  He pleaded guilty, on January 31, 2014, to conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise (RICO), conducting an illegal gambling business, conspiring to launder money, and aggravated structuring.  Joseph F. Mastronardo is the son of Joseph Vito Mastronardo, Jr., who was the leader of the organization.

 

At its peak, the Mastronardo Bookmaking Organization had more than 1,000 bettors and was generating millions of dollars a year.  Between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2011, the organization utilized internet websites (www.betroma.com and www.betrose.com) and telephone numbers that allowed bettors to place sports bets on football, baseball, basketball, golf, horse racing, and other sporting events.  Residents of Costa Rica staffed the internet websites and answered the telephones.  In 2006 and 2010, law enforcement seized over $2.1 million of cash that Joseph Vito Mastronardo, Jr., hid in and around his home, including in specially-built secret compartments and in PVC pipes that were buried in his backyard.

 

A total of 16 defendants were indicted in the case, 15 of whom were charged with conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise (RICO) and conducting an illegal gambling business.  All 15 pleaded guilty.  Charges against the 16th defendant, Joanna Mastronardo, will be dismissed.  U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. DuBois has ordered the forfeiture of approximately $3.7 million in the case.  Sentencing hearings are pending for 12 of the defendants.

 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason P. Bologna and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Kelly Pearson.

Updated February 4, 2016