KANSAS CITY, MO—Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man, pleaded guilty in federal court today to conducting an illegal gambling business that relied on a website with a computer server located in Costa Rica.
Michael J. Lombardo, 57, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Larsen to the charge contained in a March 9, 2010, federal indictment.
Lombardo admitted that he conducted an illegal sports bookmaking business from March 1, 2006, to March 31, 2009. Lombardo was responsible for bettors who wagered a total of more than $490,976.
Co-defendant Gerlarmo Cammisano, also known as “Jerry,” 56, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty on April 28, 2010, to leading the gambling operation. Cammisano oversaw six bookmakers in this illegal operation in which bettors, primarily located in the Kansas City, Mo., area, wagered more than $3.5 million. Cammisano paid bookmakers a percentage of the winnings at the end of each sports season. Co-defendant James L. Dicapo, also known as “Jimmy,” 57, of Parkville, has also pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal gambling operation.
Lombardo, Dicapo, and other bookmakers provided their bettors with a 1-800 toll-free telephone number and two websites. In order to place a wager on a sporting event, the bettor would call the number or access the website, then provide their account number and password. Bookmakers used a separate 1-800 toll-free telephone number, or the website, to track their bettors’ activities and account balances. Bookmakers paid out or collected cash in person from their bettors, usually on a weekly basis.
Both of the 1-800 numbers routed to a company located in Costa Rica that acted as a virtual wire room for the illegal sports bookmaking operation—taking wagers and keeping electronic records of bettors’ activities and results on a computer server located in Costa Rica. The Costa Rican company did not have an interest in the outcome of the wagers, but charged the illegal sports bookmaking business a price-per-head fee for managing each bettor’s account. Cammisano was responsible for collecting this fee from Dicapo and the other bookmakers. The bookmakers would pay out or collect cash in person from their bettors, usually on a weekly basis.
By pleading guilty today, Dicapo agreed to forfeit to the government $4,000 that represents his share of the proceeds from the gambling operation.
In separate but related cases involving the same gambling operation, Vincent F. Civella, 53, of Kansas City, Mo., William D. Cammisano, Jr., also known as “Willie,” 62, of Harrisonville, Mo., and Charles J. Simone, 26, of Liberty, Mo., and have each pleaded guilty to the same charge of conducting an illegal gambling business; Michael V. Badalucco, 26, Michael C. Sansone, 30, and Anthony V. Sansone, 27, all of Kansas City, Mo., have pleaded guilty to being bookmakers in the gambling operation.
Under federal statutes, Lombardo is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess E. Michaelsen. They were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas City Police Department.