Borgota Gambling Ring Figure Eludes Prison

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Apr/10/2009

By KITTY CAPARELLA
Philadelphia Daily News

Reputed mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo yesterday hit the jackpot - no prison time - for his role in running a sports-gambling ring in the poker room of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

The 37-year-old South Philadelphian received a four-year suspended sentence and was fined $10,000 by Superior Court Judge Michael Donio, in Mays Landing, N.J.

New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Kerry DiJoseph had asked for a three-year prison term.

Nicodemo, however, had voluntarily served 89 days in the Atlantic County Jail after pleading guilty on Jan. 6 to second-degree conspiracy to commit gambling offenses and to possession of gambling proceeds.

Nicodemo took bets and handled money for ringleaders Jack Buscemi Jr., 51, of Mullica Hill, N.J., who oversaw at least 23 others, including casino employees, and Andrew Micali, 33, of Ventnor, who ran the day-to-day operations inside the casino.

Nicodemo apologized to the court and to his family.

"We feel the judge was extremely fair," said Nicodemo's attorney, James Leonard Jr. "We're happy with the outcome and thankful the matter is behind us."

Last April, 24 defendants were indicted after a 20-month investigation that involved 14 agencies. But in June the judge made it clear to defendants and law enforcement that he didn't regard the $60 million sports-gambling ring as a big deal.

"I don't look at these kind of cases" like sexual assault or murder, in which he would "put away people away from society," said Donio.

"These are alleged crimes of greed," he said, before looking at any evidence last year. He said that he planned to "take back that money by way of fines."

Yesterday, Donio found that the bookmaking operation was organized criminal activity, but said that he didn't see it as a typical La Cosa Nostra operation.

The judge also said that he wasn't going to attempt to interpret a 13-minute tape secretly recorded by New Jersey authorities.

On the tape, Nicodemo advised Micali, who headed the daily operation in the Borgata poker room, that if he ever had a problem to "come and see me."

"I don't care if it's . . . Carlo Gambino's son," Nicodemo said on the tape, referring to the late New York mob boss.

In February, Donio sentenced Buscemi and Micali each to five years in state prison. He fined Buscemi $20,000 and Micali $125,000.

Both pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy to commit money laundering. Micali is an alleged former member of the 10th and Oregon gang, in South Philadelphia.

Of the 24 defendants, 18 have pleaded guilty, 16 of whom have been sentenced.

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