Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

46 Charged in Gambling Ring

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

46 Charged in Gambling Ring

Article excerpt

A North Jersey man who was arrested 10 years ago and accused of running a multistate gambling ring that raked in $1 million a week faces new gambling charges after he and 45 other people were arrested this week, according to authorities.

Robert "Elvis" D'Alessio, who gets his nickname because he wears mutton chop sideburns similar to those worn by Elvis Presley, allegedly ran a gambling and money-laundering ring that operated in New Jersey, New York and Florida and used an office in Costa Rica to take bets, Bergen County's acting prosecutor, Gurbir S. Grewal, said Wednesday in a news release.

The prosecutor said that the ring "processed tens of millions of dollars in wagers per year."

D'Alessio was arrested in 2006, along with 50 other people, including the then-manager of the Satin Dolls strip club in Lodi, on similar charges. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case, but who was not authorized to talk about it, confirmed on Wednesday that it is the same person.

Grewal said D'Alessio, 62, of Little Falls was arrested on Tuesday and charged with racketeering, promoting gambling, money laundering and conspiracy to promote gambling.

The prosecutor said a bail hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today. He declined further comment beyond what he said in the news release.

It was not clear what happened in the 2006 case after D'Alessio, who then lived in Montville, was arrested and authorities said they broke up a ring that operated in New Jersey, New York and Florida, and confiscated $3 mil-lion.

Bergen County Jail records show that D'Alessio was released one day after his 2006 arrest on gambling charges when he posted $500,000 bail. State court records available online showed no indication of a conviction in that case.

Authorities said at the time that D'Alessio often returned messages by saying, "This is Elvis."

Grewal said in a release on Wednesday that author-ities executed 46 search warrants and seized $2 million this week in breaking up a "large-scale, multistate criminal enterprise that was engaged in illegal money laundering, gambling and racketeering."

The prosecutor released the names of 46 people who were arrested - - 39 from New Jersey, four from New York and three from Florida. Four of the people on the list, including D'Alessio, also appear to be on the list of people arrested in the 2006 case.

The operation allegedly included 50 "agents" who collected debts and paid winnings to 320 bettors, and was operating "in and around Bergen County," Grewal said in the release.

D'Alessio, he said, "ran the operation" with the help of an off- shore wire room in Costa Rica that took bets using toll-free phone numbers and a website.

D'Alessio's former brother-in-law, Esteban "Steve" Cueli, of Florida, played a "key role" in the operation and was charged with gambling offenses, Grewal said. …

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