Hudson County, New Jersey Man Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Role in Illegal Online Gambling Enterprise
NEWARK, NJ—A Bayonne, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for conspiring with a criminal enterprise that engaged in illegal sports betting in New Jersey and elsewhere, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Mark A. Sanzo, 57, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of racketeering conspiracy. Judge Cecchi imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Members of the conspiracy, referred to as “agents,” were given access to Beteagle.com, a website located in Costa Rica and used to facilitate illegal online sports betting. Before the advent of computerized betting, these agents would have been referred to as “bookmakers” or “bookies.” The agents had the ability to track the “sub-agents,” under them and the wagers placed by their bettors. The agent or sub-agent maintained a group of bettors (the “package”) and were responsible for those bettors. Sanzo was an agent of the gambling enterprise.
To place bets online, the agent or sub-agent issued the bettor a username and password to access Beteagle. This access was not given online and no money or credits were made or transferred through the website. Instead, Sanzo and his conspirators paid out winnings and collected losses in person. During his plea hearing, Sanzo admitted that he conspired to commit racketeering acts in connection with the illegal sports betting operation, and that he and other conspirators profited from the scheme.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Cecchi ordered Sanzo to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $5,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark; the Bayonne Police Department, Special Investigations Unit, under the direction of Chief Drew Niekrasz; IRS-Criminal Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Rick Fuentes; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni; and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, under the direction of Executive Director Walter M. Arsenault, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Moscato of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.