|Police in the American state of New Jersey have announced the arrest of five individuals following a four-month online sportsbetting investigation dubbed Operation Net-Bet Blitz.|
Wayne Forrest, Prosecutor for Somerset County, stated that the venture was a combined effort involving his office, the Organised Crime and Narcotics Task Force and the Organised Crime Unit of the New Jersey State Police.
Forrest revealed that the investigation commenced after his office learned that gamblers were placing bets through BetEastSports.com. Police then infiltrated the operation and placed dozens of bets on sporting events.
The alleged head of the operation, Anthony ‘Cheese’ Pecoraro, is said to have maintained a group of players who bet under codenames on the website. Police stated that he controlled players’ access to the site by distributing codenames and passwords, setting gambling limits, settling disputes and paying or collecting money based on the outcomes of bets.
Police said that former NFL linesman Richard Todd Burger collected gambling debts while Stephen Barone and Daniel Alaimo acted as marketers in return for receiving a percentage of the profits.
The final man arrested, Peter Carfaro of Brooklyn, is alleged to have been involved in the operation through his business association with Pecoraro and Barone.
All five defendants have been charged with promoting gambling in the third degree and conspiracy to promote gambling and have had their bail set at $20,000 each.