‘Operation Shark Bait’: Gambino-Tied Bookie Pleads Guilty to a Usury Charge

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Joseph Tommasino, 52, of Staten Island, New York, has plead guilty to a usury charge.

Tommasino and 12 others were nabbed back in December as part of an investigation dubbed “Operation Shark Bait”.  The defendants are alleged to have worked on behalf of the Gambino Crime Family.

The gambling and loan sharking ring utilized a Costa Rican-based wire room with customers forced to pay “exorbitant’ weekly loan payments through the website 4Spades.org, which authorities say raked in millions of dollars in wagers.

Tommasino was initially charged with enterprise corruption, criminal usury and conspiracy, court papers state.

The probe focused on the alleged loansharking and bookmaking activities of purported Genovese "made member" Salvatore DeMeo and alleged Genovese "associates," or "non-made" members, Gennaro Geritano, Eugene Orefice and Anthony "Buckwheat" Giammarino, the attorney general said.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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