Online Bookie Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

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Online Bookie Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PHILLIP JOHN BAUCO, 56, of Bridgeport, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to 24 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for participating in an illegal gambling operation. Judge Covello also ordered BAUCO to pay a fine in the amount of $5000. On January 28, 2010, BAUCO pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy.

According to court documents and statements made in court, BAUCO and Raul Suner conducted an illegal sports betting operation that utilized the Internet to access an offshore betting service in order to facilitate the bets and payoffs. Typically, BAUCO and Suner recruited smaller bookmakers into their operation, provided them with an offshore betting account, and collected money from them. In late 2006, BAUCO and Suner attempted to take control of illegal gambling operations in southern Connecticut, including illegal card games.

BAUCO collected money from gamblers and other bookmakers who worked for the enterprise. The investigation revealed that, in one instance, BAUCO collected more than $6000 in cash from a gambler. The investigation further revealed that BAUCO and Suner pressured a bookmaker to join their enterprise.

BAUCO and Suner used BAUCO’s business, Auto Town Sales in Stratford, to hold meetings related to the criminal enterprise, and to collect debts from other bookmakers and gamblers.

On March 2, 2010, SUNER pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and admitted that he used threats and violence in order to maintain control over the gambling enterprise, including injuring a bookmaker by repeatedly striking him with a baseball bat when the bookmaker could not satisfy a debt. In October 2008, Suner also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Covello on June 8 at 11:30 a.m.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police and the Milford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ray Miller.

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