Illegal CA Online Gambling Site Took in More Than $1 Billion in Bets in One Season

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  • Four men from California and New York busted for running massive online gambling site out of US
  • Each was charged with gambling promotion and enterprise corruption as part of the 57-count indictment
  • Illegal gambling leads to money laundering, loansharking, host of other crimes, claims DA
  • Ring leader is alleged to have owned 20 houses that were used to launder money

Four California and New York men have been taken into custody and charged with running an elaborate online gambling enterprise that prosecutors say took in over $1 billion in bets during a single football season.

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Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson charged the ring leader, Gordon Mitchnick, 58, with gambling promotion and enterprise corruption.  Three other men, Joseph Schneider, 39, Arthur Rossi, 66, and Claude Ferguson, 43, were also named in the 57-count indictment. Authorities first learned of the operation while investigating a local New York City area bookie.

“Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime,” Thompson said as part of a late morning press conference Thursday. “It preys on peoples’ vulnerabilities and directly leads to money laundering, loansharking and a host of other crimes,” Thompson said.

Mitchnick reportedly owned 20 houses, which were used to launder money.

The California-based ring collected bets from thousands of gamblers through a series of internet sites, including and  New clients were solicited through word-of-mouth.

At its peak, the operation was paying $200,000 in monthly bills towards a team of employees located in San Jose, Costa Rica.  They were responsible for running a call center for gamblers, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors had not yet determined how long the sports betting business was in operation or the exact amount taken in during its lifetime.

Each defendant could face up to 25 years behind bars.

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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