Gambino Crime Family Associate Andrew Merola Sentenced to 11 Years

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A Gambino Crime family associate, Andrew Merola of Toms River, New Jersey, has been sentenced to 11 years for his role in an elaborate racketeering and sports betting ring.

22 of Merola’s co-defendants had already pled guilty to crimes that included fraud, extortion, loan-sharking and sports betting.

"Any which way they could make money, they wouldn't hesitate to seize the moment," said former federal prosecutor Ronald Wigler, who led the case.

From The Daily Record:

Merola, 43, admitted that between February 2002 and March 2008, he was associated with other individuals in a criminal enterprise that operated principally in New Jersey and New York.

He also admitted that he conducted the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of illegal activity that included the commission of racketeering acts, and that the purpose of the enterprise was to make money for its associates through participation in criminal activity.

Merola admitted to running an illegal gambling operation; the extortionate collection of payments due on extended credit; conspiracy to commit wire fraud involving a bar code scheme to defraud stores such as Lowe's Home Improvement, Home

Depot, Circuit City, Best Buy and Walmart; conspiracy to commit wire fraud involving a credit card and identity theft scheme; conspiracy to extort lunch truck vendors; conspiracy to commit wire fraud involving no show or low show jobs; and receiving unlawful labor payments or bribes.

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