A Fair Lawn man and his brother are two of five New Jerseyans who were indicted for their alleged roles in a multi-million dollar sports betting ring, New York law enforcement authorities announced Thursday.
Daniel Belardino, 57, of Rosalie Street, and his brother, Andrew, of Allentown, are both charged with enterprise corruption, money laundering, promoting gambling and conspiracy.
In total, 25 individuals in five states have been indicted for their alleged roles in the vast illegal sports betting enterprise, which authorities said profited more than $50 million over an 18-month period by taking wagers on professional and college football, basketball, hockey, baseball and horse racing. To date, authorities have seized more than $7.6 million in cash and gambling chips from those charged.
Richard Brown, the district attorney in Queens County where the defendants were arraigned, said illegal gambling must be taken seriously because its profits are often diverted to more nefarious criminal activities.
“Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime," Brown said in a statement. "Those who participate in these criminal enterprises often use threats, intimidation and even physical force to collect debts and oftentimes charge usurious interest rates on outstanding debts."
Authorities allege that Daniel Belardino acted as one of five money collectors, distributors and banks for the operation, while his brother, Andrew, was one of 15 bookmakers.
In his alleged role, Daniel Belardino handled the flow of cash between the operation's participants -- collecting and distributing gambling proceeds, and transporting money offshore and throughout the United States -- so the enterprise could avoid illegal gambling-related wire transfers and credit card transfers.
Brown said the New York Police Department and the New York District Attorney's Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau began their joint investigation into the illegal betting operation last February using a combination of physical surveillance, intelligence information and electronic eavesdropping.
All those indicted could face up to 25 years in prison, if convicted.