A Bayonne man was sentenced to 22 months in prison for his role in a racketeering conspiracy that pertained to the Genovese crime family’s illegal gambling website “Beteagle,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Eric Patten, 38, of Bayonne, was sentenced to 22 months in prison, while Dominick J. Barone, 45, of Springfield, received an 18-month sentence for his role in the gambling ring.
Patten and Barone previously pleaded guilty before District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to separate charges of one count of racketeering conspiracy. Judge Cecchi imposed both sentences yesterday in Newark federal court.
Joseph Graziano, 78, of Springfield, was the principal owner of Beteagle.com, a website located in Costa Rica and used to facilitate illegal online sports betting, authorities said.
Barone worked with Graziano in carrying out the daily activities of the website and both men conspired with the Genovese Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra in the operation of Beteagle, officials said.
Joseph Lascala, 80, of Monroe was the alleged “capo” and a made member of the Genovese family operating in northern New Jersey and he directed the criminal activities of a smaller group of associates (a “crew”), whose activities included illegal gambling and the collection of unlawful debt, court documents show.
To place bets online, the “agent” or “sub-agent” – one of which was Patten – issued the bettor a username and password to access Beteagle, officials said.
This access was not given online and no money or credits were made or transferred through the website. Associates of the crew paid out winnings or collected losses in person, authorities said.
If a bettor failed to pay his gambling losses, the crew used their La Cosa Nostra status and threats of violence to collect on these debts, according to court documents.
The agent or sub-agent also paid a fee to the website for each bettor added to a package. Barone and others made weekly collections of cash in furtherance of the scheme, officials said.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Cecchi ordered Barone and Patten to each serve three years of supervised release and pay a $5,000 fine. Additionally, as part of his plea agreement, Barone must forfeit $100,000.
Graziano has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and is currently scheduled for sentencing on June 25, 2015. Meanwhile, charges against Lascala are still pending.
Patten pleaded guilty to the charge back in August.