Gambling Crime: Mafia Gambling Ring Busted, Poker Playing Scammer Sentenced

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Gambling Crime

A Mafia-linked gambling ring with ties to the offshore gambling sector has been busted up by authorities in Queens, New York.

The ring allegedly netted some $8 million over a nearly 3-year period.

Arrested and charged were Michael Palmaccio, 39, for bookmaking; Gerry Gullotti, 45, charged with loansharking; Ronald Salerno, 33, charged with debt collecting; and Cono Natale, 46, charged as a runner for the operation.

Palmaccio was already released on $35,000 in bail.

Natale and Salerno were still being held on $2500 bond as of press time Wednesday evening. 

Natale is the owner of Cono & Sons O’Pescatore Restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Palmaccio is an associate of the Bonnano organized crime family, according to authorities. 


Scamming Poker Player Fails to Win Back Money at Tables and is Sentenced


An Albuquerque, New Mexico man was sentenced to prison Wednesday after he asked to repay individuals he scammed by winning back the monies through various poker tournaments. 

He failed to have any luck at the poker tables and will serve 12 years in prison for bilking investors out of $450,000.

Phyllis H. Bowman, lead prosecutor with the state Securities Division, said that Samuel McMaster, Jr.’s attempt to make restitution through gambling was a “first” as far as she was concerned. 

“The means by which somebody obtains restitution, even if it’s legal and legitimate, will probably be questioned a little more closely,” she said. 

“This was long overdue,” said J. Dee Dennis Jr., the superintendent of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department. “This individual wanted to con us into believing that keeping him out of prison would help his victims get their money back. ... We’re calling his bluff. It’s about time we sent him to prison.”

He is still being ordered to make full restitution to all 23 of his victims. 


Priest Stole Charity Money to Feed Gambling Addiction


A Western Wisconsin priest is accused of stealing close to $11,000 from a church charity to help fuel his gambling addiction. 

Father Daniel Dahlberg stepped down as pastor at St. Patrick's in Hudson and has since been charged with theft.

He will appear in court next month. 

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