The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri scored a double win when he not only convinced all the defendants to plead guilty, but by also convinced the Federal Judge to give them the maximum prison term under sentencing guidelines.
The two defendants, James L. Dicapo and James J. Moretina both of Kansas City, were charged for their part in operating and profiting from an illegal online gambling operation targeting the American market. Each was convicted of one count of operating an illegal gambling enterprise in clear violation of American gambling laws.
Overall, ten defendants have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced under the same charge. The defendants each admitted to their level of involvement and specified roles in the underground gambling business. Moretina and Dicapo both pleaded guilty to operating illegal online sportsbooks in USA since March 1, 2006 to March 31, 2009. The gambling website itself was hosted in Costa Rica.
Dicapo, Moretina and other defendants offered potential sports bettors they met in bars a toll-free number and URLs to several websites. Punters would place bets either through the phone number or through one of the websites. Defendants used a separate toll-free number for customer service. Deposits and winnings were paid out and collected in person, usually on a weekly basis. Both telephone numbers were routed to a Costa Rican company.
Dicapo is said to be one of the best earning bookmakers. His operation of the internet betting in USA brought over $1 million in gross bets. He was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months of incarceration in a federal prison and a $6,000 fine. Moretina is going to serve a 1 year and 1 day term, and has to pay $5,000 fine.
Another accused, Gerlarmo Cammisano pleaded guilty to be the leading operator of Kansas City area illegal bookmaking. The court estimated gross wagers accepted by his operation amounted to $3.5 million. He was sentenced to fourteen months in prison and over $200,000 fine.