46 arrested, $2M seized in high-stakes gambling enterprise

News | May 26th, 2016

By Anthony G. Attrino
May 26, 2016

Forty-six people have been arrested in three states and $2 million cash seized in what investigators are calling a large-scale criminal enterprise involving gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

Investigators say Robert “Elvis” D’Alessio, 62, of Little Falls, operated an illegal enterprise in and around Bergen County, employing a hierarchy of more than 50 gambling agents who oversaw about 320 bettors, according to Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal.

The agents or “package holders” oversaw individual bettors and collected money from gambling losses. They also paid out winnings, the prosecutor said.

“These package holders managed 22 different gambling accounts,” Grewal alleged in a statement.

D’Alessio allegedly ran the operation with the help of an off-shore wire room in Costa Rica, the prosecutor said.

Grewal said agents and bettors used offshore 1-800 numbers to place or check on bets.

“The entire gambling operation is estimated to have processed tens of millions of dollars in wagers per year,” Grewal said.

The arrests were based on an ongoing investigation (that) stemmed from an arrest made by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office White Collar Crimes Unit in February 2015.

In addition to dozens of “package holders” identified throughout the New York/New Jersey area, the investigation revealed that D’Alessio’s  former brother-in-law, Esteban “Steve” Cueli, played a key role in the enterprise, Grewal alleged.

In addition to managing several “packages” relating to the bookmaking operation in and around South Florida, Cueli is charged with conspiring with D’Alessio  to launder the proceeds of the illegal gambling operation, the prosecutor said.

The investigation also revealed that D’Alessio and Cueli conspired with Enrique Larach, a businessman in Miami, Fla., to launder proceeds from D’Alessio’s illegal gambling operation, according to the prosecutor.

Robert Beatty of Wayne, Alfonc Pilinci of Franklin Lakes and Dante Monaco of Hackettstown have been charged for their alleged roles as managers within the enterprise, Grewal stated.

In addition to the prosecutor’s office, the following agencies assisted in the arrests: New Jersey State Police, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Broward County, Fla. Sheriff’s Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and the New York City Police Department.

D’Alessio, Beatty, Monaco, Pilinci and Gregory Farace wer taken to the Bergen County Jail. Others arrested out of state were released on their own recognizance, pending extradition to New Jersey, the prosecutor said.

Original Article: NJ.com

Deal me in