7 indicted in illegal gambling business case in Rochester


ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A federal grand jury has indicted seven people for their roles in an illegal gambling business headquartered in Rochester, according to U.S. Attorney Trini Ross.

Prosecutors say the defendants conspired to operate illegal poker games at 565 Blossom Road and an illegal sports betting operation through the website sport700.com. Two of the defendants, Louis P. Ferrari II and Dominic Sprague, co-owned and operated the poker games, and Ferrari operated the sports betting book through the website, Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire said.

Investigators determined that Ferrari generated $2,241,172 in winnings, while Anthony Amato, who administered the website, generated $8,945,629 in innings, according to McGuire.

She said Ferrari would manage individual bettors and oversee other people, including Sprague, who had their own books of bettors. Ferrari would collect cash payments from players’ gambling losses at his business, Ferrari Excavating on Steel Street, and launder the illegal proceeds through that business, McGuire said. Sprague would collect cash from losses and pay out winnings at his own business, a pawn shop on Stone Road in Greece, McGuire said.

Back on April 17, 2021, investigators arrived at 565 Blossom Road to execute a search warrant and interrupted an ongoing illegal card game, sending the participants fleeing, prosecutors say — some got away, while eight were temporarily detained. Investigators seized gambling ledgers, timestamped website printouts on online gamblers’ account activities, and other documents — and seized cell phones of Ferrari and Sprague, which prosecutors say contained evidence of sports bookmaking.

Investigators intercepted a series of calls and text messages between the suspects, sub-agents and bettors discussing the placement of bets, collection of winnings and payment of losses, prosecutors said.

Ferrari, Sprague and Tomasso Sessa are charged with two counts of conspiracy, one count of transmission of wagering information, and two counts of operating an illegal gambling business. Amato, Joseph Lombardo, Jeffrey Boscarino, and James Civiletti are charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of transmission of wagering information, and one count of operating an illegal gambling business. Ferrari, Lombardo and Civiletti were arraigned Monday and released on conditions. Sprague and Amato will be arraigned Tuesday; Boscarino and Sessa, Wednesday.

A former New York state trooper charged separately and previously convicted in connection with the case, Thomas Loewke, is awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors say Sessa managed the day-to-day workings of the illegal gambling operation on Blossom Road. Civiletti, an employee of Sprague’s pawn shop, would collect payments of gambling losses on behalf of Ferrari and Sprague, and Lombardo and Boscarino were sub-agents under Ferrari through sport700.com, prosecutors said.

Multiple agencies cooperated on this investigation, including Homeland Security Investigations; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the New York State Police; and the Greece and Rochester police departments, plus the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.

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