Seven people are looking at possibly spending some time behind bars for their involvement in an illegal New York gambling operation that was linked to Costa Rica.
According to a report by New York’s QNS media, acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan, the bookmaking operation used an 800 number and a wire room based in Costa Rica to take illegal bets on sporting events from January 2016 until the June 4 raid.
Arrested in the June 4 raid were:
- Michael Regan, 61, who was the apparent leader of the gang
- Luan Bexheti, 47
- Gerald Schneider, 67
- Lisa Nino, 36
- John Ottomano, 53
- Robert Utnick, 54
- Robert Brieger, 70, was arrested in Costa Rica and is waiting to be extradited back to the U.S.
The seven face a 39-count indictment with crimes that include the promotion of gambling, conspiracy, enterprise corruption and money laundering.
Bettors were apparently able to contact the platform through its website, a toll-free number, agents or in person at the Astoria, N.Y. office.
Police established that Regan allegedly oversaw the entire operation, taking a cut of every placed bet for himself, while Brieger allegedly worked as Regan’s master agent, head clerk and accounts manager.
“Putting these kinds of illegal enterprises out of business, saves untold numbers of people from financial devastation,” Queens Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan said in a statement.
The news comes soon after a man linked to the Genovese crime family pleaded guilty in New Jersey for illegal gambling operations that were also tied to Costa Rica.