Home Phoenix Press Releases 2011 Two More Involved in Internet Sports Gambling Ring Sentenced

Two More Involved in Internet Sports Gambling Ring Sentenced

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 22, 2011
  • District of Arizona (602) 514-7500

PHOENIX, AZ—On Monday, U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell sentenced two men for their involvement in an Internet sports gambling conspiracy.

Oscar (“Paul”) Barden, 37, of Scottsdale, was sentenced to three years’ probation and 150 hours of community service and Richard Michael DiCapua, 69, of Scottsdale, was sentenced to two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service.

On April 13, 2011, Barden pleaded guilty to conspiracy in transmission of wagering information and operating an illegal gambling business. Additionally, on July 13, 2011, DiCapua pleaded guilty to Misprision of a Felony for his role in concealing the gambling operation. In their plea agreements, the defendants admitted to being involved from March 2007 to August 2009, in an extensive sports wagering operation led by Daniel Meisel, the principal bookmaker who acted as the bank or house for the operation. He had a number of “agents” working under him who all had bettors that they serviced. An earlier-sentenced Defendant, Christopher Robert Finn acted both at the direction of Meisel and had his own sub-operation as part of the overall gambling ring and multiple defendants were involved to varying degrees, reporting to either Meisel or Finn.

The illegal gambling operation used Internet-based offshore sports books located in Costa Rica for making and tracking bets on sporting events. The Costa Rican sports books did not have an interest in the outcome of the wagers, but charged a fee for managing each bettor’s account. The defendants paid out or collected cash in person from each bettor.

The remaining defendants and their respective sentences or dispositions are as follows:

  • Daniel Meisel is a fugitive and remains at large. Although Meisel has been indicted, that raises no inference of guilt and he is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • On October 26, 2011, Judge Campbell sentenced six other defendants involved in this conspiracy: James Lee Baker, 42, of Peoria; Fred Guaragna, 60, of Scottsdale; Blaine Taylor Moore, 39, of Sedona; Diane Beck, 54, of Scottsdale; and Bradley Mark Smothermon, 50, of Cave Creek. All previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in transmission of wagering information and operating an illegal gambling business and all were sentenced to three years of probation and 150 hours of community service.
  • Christopher Robert Finn, 39, of Phoenix, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy in transmission of wagering information and operating an illegal gambling business, and one count of aiding and abetting an Illegal gambling business. In addition to a four-year probation term, Finn was sentenced on October 26, 2011 to eight months of home confinement and 200 hours of community service.
  • Todd Kaplan, 38, of Scottsdale, pleaded guilty to Misprision of a Felony and was sentenced on November 10, 2011, to three years’ probation by visiting U.S. District Judge David C. Norton.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Scottsdale Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Peter Sexton, Paul Bullis, and James Morse Jr., Assistant United States Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER:
CR-10-1044-PHX-DGC (Meisel, et.al);
CR-11-1391-PHX-FJM (Kaplan)
RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-258(Meisel_etal)

For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/