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Sports Betting Mob Leader Facing Up To 12 Years In Prison

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Oct/26/2010

Andrew Merola, 42, faces up to 12 years in prison when he is sentenced Friday on charges of racketeering and sports betting.  Prosecutors claim that Merola is a Mob leader and associate of the Gambino crime family who took part in a "smorgasbord of criminal activities”.

Most of the 22 co-defendants in the case have already plead guilty. 

Authorities claim that Merola headed a racketeering enterprise engaging in fraud, extortion, loan-sharking and sports betting.  The two-year investigation was conducted by New Jersey state police, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the FBI and included some 39,000 plus wiretapped conversations between Merola and other associates. 

"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.

Merola is also alleged to have created counterfeit bar codes used to purchase high end items from major retail outlets.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com 

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