Three Connecticut Men Plead Guilty to Roles in Illegal Gambling Ring
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 14, 2013|
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that three men involved in illegal gambling businesses pleaded guilty yesterday before United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford. Thomas Uva, IV, also known as “Little T,” 32, of Stamford, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and one count of money laundering; John Liquori, 43, of North Haven, pleaded guilty to one count of RICO conspiracy; and John Colello, 54, of Stamford, pleaded guilty to one count of operating an illegal gambling business.
According to court documents and statements made in court, after a long-term investigation led by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Stamford Police Department, Uva, Liquori, Colello, and 17 other individuals were charged with various offenses related to their involvement in an illegal Internet sports bookmaking operation and illegal card gambling clubs in Stamford and Hamden. Uva and Liquori are alleged associates of the Gambino organized crime family.
The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, revealed that Uva, Liquori, Colello, and others were involved in a large-scale sports bookmaking operation in which gamblers placed bets with offshore Internet sports-gambling websites, particularly www.44wager.com based in Costa Rica. In addition, Uva and others operated a card gambling club at 514 Glenbrook Road in Stamford, and Liquori and others operated a card gambling club at 2965 State Street in Hamden. Certain other co-conspirators also operated a gambling club at 859 East Main Street in Stamford.
FBI analysis of the sports-betting website utilized by the co-defendants has determined that the total gross revenues of the Stamford-based gambling operation were nearly $1.7 million from October 2010 to June 2011.
Uva, Liquori, and Colello are each scheduled to be sentenced on June 3, 2013. Uva faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years, Liquori faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and Colello faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Five other defendants have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from this investigation. As to defendants who are awaiting trial, an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Stamford Police Department, the Bridgeport Police Department, and the Connecticut State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Hal Chen and Peter Jongbloed.