ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Seven men face allegations of running an illegal gambling service in Rochester, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
According to the criminal complaint, local and state law enforcement were investigating reports of illegal gambling at 565 Blossom Road.
Investigators said that two of the defendants — Louis P. Ferrari II and Dominic Sprague — ran an illegal poker room on Blossom Road. Tomasso Sessa is accused of managing the room.
It was also alleged that Ferrari ran an illegal sports betting book online, managed individual bettors, collected gambling debts, and laundered the illegal money through his business Ferrari Excavating. An investigation revealed that Ferrari generated $1,241,172 in winnings.
Sprague was identified as a sub-agent under Ferrari and allegedly collected money at his pawn shop on Stone Road in Greece, with the help of an employee named James Civiletti.
Investigators said another individual — Anthony Amato — was the administrator of the sports betting book website, with Joseph Lombardo and Jeffrey Boscarino working as sub-agents for the website. They add Amato generated winnings totaling $8,945,629.
According to court documents, the undercover investigation began in September, 2020, when an officer went to a card game at the Blossom Road location, spent $500 on chips, and participated in hold ’em poker.
When an undercover officer returned in October, investigators say they saw and heard people placing sports bets. The undercover officer asked to make their own sports bets, and received almost $400 for winning those bets later in the month.
The undercover officer went back in late October. When Ferrari saw them watching basketball on a television at the Blosson Road location, he allegedly sent the officer a text message linking to an illegal sports betting website run by members of the group.
Court documents state the undercover officer continued participating in the illegal gambling through at least November, earning on successful bets and paying various members of the crew when in debt.
Wiretap warrants were granted in November, 2020. Investigators allegedly heard Ferrari admit to “beat(ing) up” at least one person who owed gambling debts, running away when the police were called on him.
“I don’t give a [expletive] who could listen to this line,” Ferrari allegedly said, while investigators were listening and building a case against him. “I beat the [expletive] out of him… I [expletive]’ hit him so [expletive]’ hard. He [expletive]-… he went down like a ton of bricks.”
“I’m buying this [expletive]’ tanning bed right now,” Sprague allegedly said on the same tapped call, “so… I couldn’t do anything.”
On April 17, 2021, authorities executed a search warrant at the address on Blossom Rd. where they allegedly interrupted an illegal card game. Several unknown individuals fled the scene and eight people were detained.
Law enforcement seized several items, including documents, money, and gambling chips with the Ferrari logo.
The suspects may face charges ranging from conspiracy to defraud the United States to illegal gambling. The specific citations include:
- Ferrari was accused of conspiracy to defraud the US, transmission of wagering information, illegal gambling, and money laundering.
- Sprague was accused of conspiracy to defraud the US and transmission of wagering information.
- Amato, Lombardo, Boscarino, and Civiletti were accused of conspiracy to defraud the US and transmission of wagering information.
- Sessa was accused of conspiracy to defraud the United States and illegal gambling.