Thursday, August 06, 2009

Reputed Genovese Crime Family Mobster Among Those Indicted for Running Sports Gambling Ring

Eleven people, including a retired NYPD officer and a reputed Genovese wiseguy, were indicted Wednesday for running a $13 million sports gambling ring.

The group processed bets through a "wire room" in Costa Rica reachable through a Web site or a toll-free number.

One of the defendants, Carmen Cicalese, 77, is a fugitive in Costa Rica.

"These are not victimless crimes," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "When it comes to illegal gambling in Queens County, all bets are off."

The ring took action on baseball, basketball, hockey, and professional and college football. Bets ranged from $200 to $4,000.

Joseph Sofia, 63, who was an NYPD detective hunting career criminals until retiring on disability in 1989, allegedly collected the cash and gave gamblers access codes.

He and the other defendants face up to 25 years in prison if convicted on enterprise corruption and other charges.

The group's bookmakers were identified by prosecutors as James Rossi, 49, an alleged Genovese associate, and Michael Mildenberger, 71.

Cops seized nearly $400,000 in cash in Long Island and North Carolina, four vehicles and thousands of pages of gambling records from the group.

"We haven't had a chance to examine any of the evidence," said lawyer Joseph Sorrentino, who represented Rossi and Mildenberger at their arraignment. "They can make any allegation they want, but the question is can they prove it?"

Thanks to Brendan Brosh

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