Hudson County, New Jersey Man Sentenced to 19 Months in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy Related to Illegal Online Gambling Enterprise
NEWARK, NJ—A Hudson County, New Jersey, man was sentenced to 19 months in prison for his roles in conspiring with a criminal enterprise that engaged in illegal online sports betting in New Jersey and elsewhere, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Robert J. Scerbo, 57 of Bayonne, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to separate informations charging them 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.
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, Scerbo and his conspirators paid out winnings and collected losses in person. Scerbo admitted that he conspired with the criminal enterprise to commit racketeering acts, namely, the illegal sports betting operation, and that he and his conspirators profited through this criminal venture.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Cecchi sentenced Scerbo to two years of supervised release and fined him $5,000.
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 Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Rick Fuentes; and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencings.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Moscato of the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.