By Madina Toure
Seven men from Queens, the Bronx and upstate New York were indicted on charges of illegally operating a sports betting enterprise in Queens County, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced last week.
Luigi Caminiti, 34, of Whitestone, and Mirsad Dedic, of Astoria, were charged with promoting gambling through a venture related to a sports betting enterprise in Queens that five other individuals were operating unlawfully, the DA said. If convicted, they each face up to four years in prison, according to Brown.
The individuals operating the betting enterprise — three Yonkers residents, one Mount Vernon resident and one Bronx resident — were charged with enterprise corruption, money laundering, promoting gambling and conspiracy, the DA said. If convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison.
“By taking advantage of toll-free numbers and Internet websites as ‘wire rooms — where bets were accepted and gambling accounts were maintained — the defendants allegedly were able to reap huge profits through their unlawful gambling operation,” Brown said in a statement.
The investigation was a joint effort by the Queens DA’s office and the Police Department’s Organized Crime Investigation Division.
“Illegal gambling rings, like the one announced in today’s indictments, profit by exploiting victims who are unable to pay their debts and often result with the victims owing large sums of money and facing threats of violence for not making payments on time,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a Jan. 29 statement.
Caminiti and Dedic allegedly engaged in bookmaking, receiving or accepting more than five bets totaling more than $5,000 in any one day on Nov. 4, 5, 11, 12, and 13 of 2013, according to the indictment.
The other five men were charged in a 34-count indictment involving 33 pattern acts, including enterprise corruption under the state’s Organized Crime Control Act, Brown said.
The five men are allegedly members and associates of an organized criminal enterprise that operated in Queens and elsewhere and promoted illegal sports betting in the borough and other places between February 2013 and April 2014, according to the indictment.
They were also said to have been involved in nontraditional computerized wire rooms, the indictment added.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.