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Alleged mob gambling ring busted in NYC

Oct. 22, 2009 at 1:02 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- An alleged half-billion-dollar Internet betting ring with ties to organized crime was busted in New York with indictments against 30 suspects, officials say.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said among those named in the 131-count indictment handed up by a Queens County grand jury was reputed Gambino crime family associate Joseph Fafone, who once allegedly delivered $553,000 in person to a bettor, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Fafone is suspected of heading up the online operation that reportedly stretched from Las Vegas to Panama.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Fafone was arrested Wednesday while trying to board a flight to Panama. The charges against Fafone and the other unspecified number of suspects were not reported.

The Post said the indictments came after an undercover New York Police Department detective infiltrated the alleged criminal operation as a bookmaker and began collecting vital evidence.

Authorities allege the off-shore sports betting operation took in took in an average of $20 million a month and more than $567 million over a 28-month period from more than 8,000 gamblers, New York's Newsday reported.

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