|In America, police in the southern state of Florida arrested eleven people late last week following a three-year undercover investigation into online sportsbetting.|
As part of the operation, detectives from the Broward County Sheriff's Department stated that they had infiltrated a well-established gambling ring linked to Chappy’s Sports Gambling And Betting, a Costa Rica-based online betting firm with alleged connections to a New York organised crime family. According to local media sources, the eight-year-old operation earned millions of dollars a year and one suspect is still being sought for questioning by authorities.
Among those arrested on charges of racketeering and money laundering were local podiatrist Michael Schwartz alongside the manager of a local sports bar, Samson Mandell, and Eric Spinosa. Police stated that their main suspect was Norman Weissman, who has previously been questioned regarding bookmaking charges.
Authorities allege that Schwartz's Boca Raton office was used as a money drop for the operation with the suspects acting as intermediaries between dozens of bettors and the Central American gambling company. Police revealed that members often gathered at the Coral Springs sports bar managed by Mandell, placed high-level bets and took out loans.
'The business was doing several million dollars per year,' said Detective Sergeant Tony Lanza.
Lanza stated that his team had seized $278,000 after executing search warrants and making arrests.