RNJ News Department

3 Hackettstown men among 46 arrested, $2M seized in high-stakes gambling enterprise (PHOTOS)

HACKENSACK N.J. (Bergen County) – Forty-six individuals have been arrested in three states (New Jersey, New York, and Florida), as well as the seizure of approximately $2,000,000 in U.S. currency, acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal announced today
The arrests, search warrants, and seizures are the result of an investigation into a large-scale, multistate criminal enterprise that was engaged in illegal money laundering, gambling, and racketeering, Grewal said.
The investigation revealed that Robert “ELVIS” D’Alessio of Totowa, New Jersey was operating an illegal money laundering, gambling, and racketeering enterprise in and around Bergen County. The investigation further revealed that the enterprise employed a hierarchical structure that included over fifty gambling “package holders” or “agents” that oversaw a total of approximately three hundred and twenty bettors, Grewal said.
A “package holder” is an individual who oversees individual bettors and collects money from gambling losses and pays out winnings, depending on the outcome of the bettor’s gambling activities. These “package holders” managed twenty-two different gambling accounts, Grewal said.
D’Alessio ran the operation with the help of an off-shore “wire room” located in Costa Rica. The investigation revealed that the off-shore “wire room” utilized various “1-800” numbers and a website that “package holders” or “agents,” as well as individual bettors, could call to either check on their “packages” or to place bets. The entire gambling operation is estimated to have processed tens of millions of dollars in wagers per year, Grewal said.
In addition to dozens of “package holders” identified throughout the New York/New Jersey area, the investigation revealed that D’Alessio’s former brother-in-law, Esteban “STEVE” Cueli, played a key role in the enterprise. In addition to managing several “packages” relating to the bookmaking operation in and around the South Florida region, Cueli is charged with conspiring with D’Alessio to launder the proceeds of the illegal gambling operation, Grewal said.
The investigation also revealed that D’Alessio and Cueli also conspired with Enrique Larach, a businessman in Miami, Florida, to launder proceeds from D’Alessio’s illegal gambling operation.
Robert Beatty, of Wayne, New Jersey, Alfonc Pilinci, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and Dante Monaco of Hackettstown, New Jersey were also identified and charged for their roles as managers within the enterprise, Grewal said.
Acting Prosecutor Grewal would also like to thank the participating law enforcement agencies that assisted in this investigation. Substantial assistance was given by the New Jersey State Police, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Broward County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department, Miami-Dade (Florida) County Police Department, and the New York City Police Department.
D’Alessio, Beatty, Monaco, Pilinci and Gregory Farace are lodged in the Bergen County Jail. Those arrested out of state have been lodged pending extradition to New Jersey, and all others were released on their own recognizance, Grewal said.
Here is a list of the suspects and charges:
1) ROBERT D’ALESSIO
Age: 62
Little Falls, NJ Racketeering
Promoting Gambling
Money Laundering
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unemployed
2) JEFFREY BADAAN
Age: 33
Wayne, NJ Promoting Gambling (3rd)
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Liquor Store Clerk
3) JAMES MIELE
Age: 52
Bridgewater, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unknown
4) ERIC OROZCO
Age: 39
Paterson, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unemployed
5) LOUIS SEMINERIO
Age: 69
Elmwood Park, NJ Promotin
g Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Retired
6) CASEY PASSMORE
Age: 35
Boonton, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unemployed
7) ROBERT BEATTY
Age: 40
Wayne, NJ Racketeering
Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Restaurant owner
8) JOSEPH LOFORESE
Age: 30
Little Falls, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unknown
9) FATMIR SALAJ
Age: 45
Matawan, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unknown
10) ALFONC PILINCI
Age: 59
Franklin Lakes, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Restaurant owner
11) LULZIM “LUIGI” CANA
Age: 39
Dover, NJ Promoting Gambling (3rd)
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Restaurant owner
12) GEZIM PILINCI
Age: 30
Franklin Lakes, NJ Obstruction of Justice
Unknown
13) THOMAS D’ALESSIO JR.
Age: 66
Hackettstown, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Retired
14) IMER DRAGA, A/K/A MICHAEL DOLCE
Age: 47
Staten Island, NY Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Restaurant owner
15) JOSEPH D’ALESSIO
Age: 55
Wyckoff, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Teacher
16) ANTHONY MAGNANI
Age: 43
Harrison, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Bar owner
17) ESTEBAN “STEVE” CUELI
Age: 56
Doral, Fl. Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering
Unemployed
18) COREY ARRAJJ
Age: 31
Wyckoff, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy
Salesman
19) JOSEPH GRELLO
Age: 51
Newton, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy
Self-Employed
20) RON KOCERHA
Age: 47
Secaucus, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy
Restaurant owner
21) GREGORY FARACE
Age: 51
Pequannock, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy
Unemployed
22) RALPH GAMBA
Age: 60
Livingston, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy Retired
23) WILLIAM RZUCIDLO
Age: 23
Parsippany, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy
Unknown
24) MARTIN FLANAGAN
Age: 72
Morristown, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Retired
25) BRIAN RUSSO
Age: 41
Verona, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Self-Employed
26) RONNIE FOX
Age: 57
Woodland Park, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Swim Instructor
27) DULO BOLIJEVIC
Age: 43
Dover, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Restaurant owner
28) EDWARD “BUZZ” KELLY
Age: 48
Bronx, NY Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unemployed
29) VICTOR ROMANO
Age: 37
Staten Island, NY Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unknown
30) WILLIAM GUIDO
Age: 67
Waretown, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Self-Employed
31) KENNETH PABON
Age: 62
Staten Island, NY Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Retired
32) JOHN SCHWARTZ
Age: 52
Secaucus, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Facilities Director
33) KEVIN O’LEARY
Age: 24
Secaucus, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Student
34) CHARLES STEINBERG
Age: 40
Coral Springs, Fl. Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unemployed
35) DANTE MONACO
Age: 53
Hackettstown, NJ
Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Racketeering
Unemployed
36) JOSEPH FARRUGGIA
Age: 28
Mount Arlington, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unknown
37) DANTE MONACO JR.
Age: 20
Hackettstown, NJ Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unemployed
38) JAMES MANGANIELLO
Age: 56
Totowa, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unknown
39) ENRIQUE LARACH
Age: 54
Miami, Fl. Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering
Money Laundering
Self-Employed
40) STEPHEN GERISCH
Age: 71
Boonton, NJ
Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Retired
41) SADIK “SAL” KOLIC
Age: 56
Randolph, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Restaurant worker
42) TYLER BERNTSEN
Age: 25
Lebanon, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unemployed
43) NEIL ESKOW
Age: 43
Fair Lawn, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unemployed
44) PALMA PAKULNIEWICZ
Age: 70
Secaucus, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Retired
45) JARED PETRUSKA
Age: 30
Wayne, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Construction worker
46) PAUL JON SILJEE
Age: 26
Wayne, NJ Promoting Gambling
Conspiracy to Promote Gambling
Unknown

By: Jay Edwards
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