Saturday, March 11, 2006

Glen Ellyn man nabbed in FBI gambling bust

Friends of ours: Dominic Corrado, Peter Tocco, Jack Tocco

The ABC7 I-Team has learned that more than 100 FBI agents in Michigan and Illinois have busted a major organized crime gambling ring. The operation was headquartered in Detroit, but one of the 15 men charged lives in west suburban Glen Ellyn.

It is no coincidence that the feds have busted this mob sports betting business just as we head into the March madness of college basketball. Organized crime intelligence has long held that this is one of the most frenzied wagering periods of the year. But this operation has intrigued mob watchers. It was run by the Detroit mafia, but Dominic Corrado, one of the accused enforcers, lives within the boundaries of the Chicago outfit.

The 35-year-old Dominic Corrado lives on a pleasant street in the village of Glen Ellyn. Friday morning, FBI agents used the pre-dawn element of surprise, rousting Corrado from him from his sleep. "One of the things we also have to take into account is the potential for violence, the potential for fleeing," said Dan Roberts, Detroit FBI.

Corrado is one of 15 people charged in this indictment with operating an illegal sports betting business. Several of these arrestees are close relatives of notorious Detroit mafia leaders, hoodlums named Giacolone, Messina and Tocco.

Investigators say, even though Corrado lives in Glen Ellyn, his bloodline traces to several Detroit crime syndicate bosses the past 75 years, including relatives nicknamed Fats, Sparky and The Enforcer.

In this indictment, the current Corrado is accused of being an enforcer, prying payment from losing gamblers. "Various individuals owed money and would be told they had to pay. References were made to threats of violence," said Stephen Murphy, US attorney in Detroit.

Federal agents say that Corrado and the others charged laundered sports betting proceeds through this Detroit auto auction by buying and selling used cars. They allege that Peter Dominic Tocco worked with Corrado in the racketeering venture and that Tocco directed Corrado to muscle money from busted out gamblers. "We're talking about substantial amounts of money," said Murphy.

Tens of millions of dollars over several years, according to federal agents, who say that Corrado stood in front of a federal magistrate at the Dirksen Courthouse Monday and is now free on an unsecured bond. His next court appearance will be in Detroit.

Federal sources say much of their evidence against Corrado and the others was obtained during court-authorized wiretaps on telephone calls.

The I-Team left a message at Corrado's suburban Chicago home Monday afternoon but he has not responded. His alleged counterpart in the gambling operation, Peter D. Tocco, is the nephew of convicted Detroit mob boss Jack Tocco, and mobologists say the Tocco and Corrado families have long, rich histories in Detroit.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

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