Bookie Sentenced in Money Laundering and Extortion Conspiracies
ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Joseph Ruff, 32, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of conducting an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to collect extension of credit by extortion, was sentenced to 41 months prison and three years’ supervised release by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr.
The defendant was also ordered to forfeit $1,200,000 and approximately $20,489 in funds on deposit in certain bank accounts; his lakefront residence at on Edgemere Drive in Rochester, $30,000 in lieu of a second piece of real property and any interest in approximately $60,886 seized as part of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that Joseph Ruff conducted an illegal gambling business with his brother Mark Ruff, 40, of Connecticut and Paul Borrelli, 66, of Rochester. The gambling operation involved sports betting through multiple offshore Internet gambling websites. Joseph Ruff also conspired with Mark Ruff and others to launder $230,000 in illegal gambling proceeds. Joseph Ruff delivered and deposited cash and check payments from bettors into personal bank accounts and/or business accounts of co-conspirators. He also made cash withdrawals from these bank accounts and wrote checks to third party payees from these and other bank accounts. The financial transactions were made with the intent to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the illegal gambling proceeds, and while knowing that the cash payments and checks constituted illegal gambling proceeds.
In one instance, Joseph Ruff induced a bettor to make repayment on the extension of credit by telling the bettor that a third person had threatened to physically harm him (the defendant) if the bettor did not make repayment on the extension of credit. Thereafter, the bettor endorsed and delivered to the him a check for $230,000 as a repayment of the extension of credit for the bettor’s past gambling debt from sports wagers the bettor had placed with the him in connection with the illegal Internet gambling business.
Mark Ruff was convicted of money laundering and gambling charges and was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to forfeit $230,000. Charges against Paul Borrelli are pending. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, which included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division, Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick Phelan, the Webster Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Joseph Rieger, and Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Sandra Doorley.