US authorities have sentenced a Connecticut resident to 15 months of imprisonment for his involvement in an illegal online sports betting business which had links to associates of the Gambino organized crime family in New York.

Silverio Califano was sentenced this week by US District Judge Vanessa Bryant in Hartford to 15 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and to forfeit $40,000.

According to Deirdre Daly, US Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Califano was involved in an organized crime-controlled illegal gambling business.  

He was charged in 2012 with 19 other individuals, including Dean DePreta and Richard Uva, with various offenses related to their involvement in an illegal internet sports bookmaking operation and illegal card gambling clubs.  

As part of the conspiracy, DePreta and Uva were involved in the collection and payment of “tribute” payments to Gambino organized crime family associates in New York.

The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, revealed that Califano was a long-time associate of DePreta and Uva, and was involved in a large-scale sports bookmaking operation in which gamblers placed bets with offshore internet sports-gambling websites, particularly 44wager.com based in Costa Rica.

FBI analysis of the sports-betting website utilized by the defendants determined that the total gross revenues of the Stamford-based gambling operation were nearly $1.7m from October 2010 to June 2011.

In addition, Califano managed a card gambling club in Stamford, where a house percentage, commonly referred to as a “rake,” was collected from every hand played.

Last May, Califano pleaded guilty to two counts of operating an illegal gambling business.

DePreta and Uva each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and were sentenced last October to 71 months and 46 months of imprisonment respectively.

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