By Phil Corso
An East Elmhurst man was one of 25 people from New York to California who were arrested in connection with a more than $50 million illegal sports betting ring, the Queens district attorney said Thursday.
East Elmhurst resident Joseph Kornreich, 60, was identified as an alleged money collector and charged with enterprise corruption, money laundering, promoting gambling and conspiracy as part of a nationwide illegal sports betting enterprise, according to Queens DA Richard Brown.
“Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime,” Brown told a news conference at this offices. “Those who participate in these criminal enterprises often use threats, intimidation and even physical force to collect debts and oftentimes charge usurious interest rates on outstanding debts.”
Kornreich was arrested along with 24 others, including Vincent Basciano Jr., the son of Bonnano Mafia leader Vinny “Gorgeous” Basciano, Brown said. The 25 arrests also included three owners of a sports betting website where Brown said bookmakers took bets on football, baseball, hockey and other sports, bringing in more than $50 million over an 18-month period.
While in operation, the group would make threats to customers while attempting to collect money, Inspector Brian O’Neill of the New York Police Department’s Organized Crime division said. An FBI investigation found the group used off-shore sports gambling websites to operate under the police’s radar, O’Neill said,
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.