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7 charged for illegal gambling ring in Rochester

(Photo provided by U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York)
(Photo provided by U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York)
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Rochester, N.Y. — Federal prosecutors announced Friday that seven people face charges in connection to a multimillion-dollar illegal gambling ring in Rochester.

Prosecutors said the seven defendants conspired to operate illegal poker games inside Suite B at 565 Blossom Road and an illegal online sports betting operation through the website

Investigators interrupted an illegal card game April 17, 2021 while executing a search warrant. Prosecutors said an unknown number of individuals fled the scene, while eight others were temporarily detained while investigators seized documents including gambling ledgers and timestamped printouts of online gambling account activities.

Investigators seized cell phones belonging to Louis P. Ferrari II and Dominic Sprague that prosecutors said contained evidence of sports bookmaking.

Investigators also intercepted a series of calls and text messages that contained discussions about bets, collection of winnings and payments of losses.

Prosecutors said Ferrari and Sprague co-owned and operated the illegal poker games, while Ferrari ran the online operation.

Anthony Amato allegedly administered the website and helped create accounts, usernames and passwords while managing individual bettors and overseeing sub-agents who had their own books of individual bettors.

Ferrari is also accused of collecting cash payment of losses and laundering them through his business, Ferrari Excavating on Steel Street in Rochester. He's charged with conspiracy, transmission of wagering information, operation of an illegal gambling business, and money laundering.

Investigators said Ferrari generated winnings totaling $1,241,172, while Amato generated $8,945,629.

Sprague, who owned a pawn shop on Stone Road in Greece, was allegedly a sub-agent of the online operation and had his own book of individual bettors whose winnings and losings he handled at the shop. He's charged with conspiracy, transmission of wagering information, and operation of an illegal gambling business.

Joseph Lombardo and Jeffrey Boscarino were allegedly sub-agents under Ferrari. They're charged with transmission of wagering information and conspiracy — as is James Civiletti, an employee of Sprague's pawn shop who allegedly collected payments of gambling losses on behalf of Ferrari and Sprague.

Tomasso Sessa, who allegedly managed day-to-day operations at the Blossom Road address, is charged with operation of an illegal gambling business and conspiracy.

Former New York State Police Sgt. Thomas Loewke was previously arrested in connection with the gambling ring. Prosecutors said he tipped off the individuals involved in the operation.

This is a developing story. 13WHAM is sorting through the details and will have more information coming up at 5:00 and 6:00.

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