Twelve Charged on Multimillion Internet Gambling Operation

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of an
Indictment charging twelve individuals with gambling and money
laundering offenses relating to the operation of a Costa
Rica-based gambling website and telephone call center that served
sports bookies in the United States. Eight of the twelve
defendants were arrested earlier today. FRANCIS PUGLIESE and
PATRICK CICALESE are expected to surrender, and CARMEN CICALESE
remains at large.

According to the Indictment filed in Manhattan
federal court: From at least 2005, CARMEN CICALESE, a/k/a “Buddy,”
operated an internet website and telephone call center, known as
a wireroom (the “Cicalese Wireroom”), in Costa Rica which charged
United States-based sports bookies weekly fees of approximately
$15 to $30 for each gambler that the bookie registered with the
Cicalese Wireroom. In return, registered gamblers were able to
place bets on sporting events at odds set by the Cicalese
Wireroom via a toll-free phone number and through various
websites maintained by the Cicalese Wireroom, including and The Cicalese Wireroom did
not itself take an interest in the outcome of these wagers;
paying winners and collecting from losers was the responsibility
of the bookies. Bookies paid the fees owed to the Cicalese Wireroom to
representatives of the Cicalese Wireroom in the United States.

The collectors — sometimes referred to among gambling
organizations as “runners” — in turn transferred the money back
to the Cicalese Wireroom in various ways, including by using
couriers, debit cards, and electronic funds transfers. On one
occasion, the Cicalese Wireroom used a Pakistan-based “hawala”
money transfer organization to move money collected from United
States bookies.

The Cicalese Wireroom serviced several hundred bookies,
each of whom had registered numerous gambling customers, and
received millions of dollars in revenue.

The twelve defendants charged are CARMEN CICALESE,
a/k/a “Buddy,” JULIUS MIGDAL, a/k/a “Jay,” FRANCIS PUGLIESE,
a/k/a “Butch,” PATRICK CICALESE, MARC GROUP, a/k/a “Box,” LOUIE
SANTOS, a/k/a “Brown,” a/k/a “Lou the Shoe,” PAUL CELLURA, a/k/a
“Coppertone,” FEDERICO SEMENTINI, a/k/a “Macie,” CARL MURACO,
a/k/a “Sheepshead,” KEITH EAGLE, a/k/a “Sands,” ANDREW FARRO,
a/k/a “Dukie,” and LANGHORNE CARTER RORER II, a/k/a “Lang,” a/k/a

CARMEN CICALESE ran the Cicalese Wireroom, while
MIGDAL and PUGLIESE were “runners” who collected from the sports
bookies. PATRICK CICALESE collected money from the runners on
behalf of the Wireroom. The remaining defendants are all accused
of being United States based sports bookies who used the
services of the Wireroom. All twelve defendants were charged
with gambling and with conspiracy to engage in gambling. CARMEN
CICALESE, PATRICK CICALESE, and MIGDAL were also charged with
conspiracy to commit money laundering.

arrested this morning and are expected to be arraigned later
today before United States Magistrate Judge KEVIN N. FOX. RORER
was arrested in Maryland and is expected to be arraigned in
federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland. SANTOS was arrested in
Massachusetts and is expected to be arraigned in federal court in
Springfield, Massachusetts.

Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative work of the FBI
and stated that the investigation is ongoing.
The prosecution is being handled by the Organized Crime
Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant United
States Attorney ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN is in charge of the

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.
08-05 ###

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