The son of an infamous mobster was arrested for allegedly helping to run a $50 million sports betting ring that stretched from New York to California.
Vincent Basciano Jr, son of Bonnano mafia leader Vinny "Gorgeous" Basciano, was among those charged. Gadoon "Spanky" Kyrollos, 34, of Freehold, N.J., was also arrested.
Fifteen of those charged are accused of being bookmakers who took bets on football, baseball and basketball games as well as horse-racing. The owners of Pinnacle Sports, based in California and Las Vegas, were also charged in connection with what police said is a mob-linked enterprise.
"Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "Those who participate in these criminal enterprises often use threats, intimidation and even physical force to collect debts."
Inspector Brian O'Neill of the NYPD's Organize Crime division said this group did make threats to collect money although no violence is charged.
Officials said the group used off-shore gambling web-sites to try to avoid detection. The FBI assisted in the investigation.
The arrest is Basciano's first. Many of the defendants, who deny wrongdoing, have been arraigned in the last 24 hours in Queens Criminal Court.
The suspects face enterprise corruption and promoting gambling charges. Information on their attorneys wasn't immediately available.