Paul Borelli andbrothers Joseph Ruff and Mark Ruff were arrested recently after a Grand Jury investigation and accused of 23 different offences including operating illegal sports betting activities in New York state and generating $76 million from bets.
Robert A. Marangola, Assistant U.S. Attorney, explained for the gambling news that the defendants had similar indictments back in 2006, however the dimensions of the current crime are way different as the group earned approximately $76 million from illegal wagers between January 2012 and end of June 2014.
More details of the case
Three men arrested in US for performing illegal gambling activities
• They are Paul Borelli, Joseph Ruff and Mark Ruff
• The group earned around $76 million from illegal wagers b/w January 2012 and June 2014
• All three pleaded not guilty
Marangola added in front of the federal court that the evidence at his disposal was extensive: “It’s going to be quite voluminous, given there are wiretaps, search warrants and a large amount of computer data.”
The Rochester defendants appeared in court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian Payson to recognize their legal representation and an argument over one lawyer, who had been involved in the 2006 case, took place.
All the three defendants pleaded not guilty and the current gambling indictment of breaking US gambling laws, also involve other people who have not been charged yet.
The authorities claimed that the three accused men were using various offshore Internet gambling sites, in order to provide illegal sports betting services to US residents.
The Rochester partners Borrelli and Joseph Ruff supposedly took the payments at Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte, which they managed, and is closed as of now.
Opinions of the defendants’ attorneys
During the arrested of the suspects, $80,000 was held, along with various evidence collected from different private homes and other locations. The investigation, which preceded the arrests, was undertaken by several local, state and federal agencies at the end of last year.
Mark Ruff’slegal representative commented that he was skeptical about the $76 million figure, which was announced by the enforcement officials.
He said: “It’s always overstated when they try to go into gross bets,” adding that this number was not representative of what the defendants would have allegedly made, and that typically a bookmaker handling wagers gets 3-6%.”
Vincent Merante, Borrelli’s attorney, described the current investigation as a multi-tentacled “octopus.”He added that Borrelli owned restaurants for many years and“has been a successful businessman for 44 years and any insinuation that all of his assets are from gambling proceeds is preposterous. In 44 years, he said he’s had two days off. He’s a workaholic.”
The change in the last years
David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, commented on the new technologies, which were used in this case: “the gambling industry, like any other, transforms with the times.”
Moreover: “It’s just basic that technology evolves and once it would have been telegraph and then telephone. But, while the gambling technology may go through seismic shifts, the core of sports wagering has not.”
Furthermore: “Many people think they can predict the often unpredictable, and are willing to place their cash on the line. And they often trust their local known commodity – the bookmaker, sometimes willing to give them credit – as a conduit.”
Attorney John Speranza, specialist in white-collar defense who has handled multiple betting cases: “No matter the means, the media, the fundamental odds-making is the same. The gambling part hasn’t changed. What’s changed is the way they do it.”