- Attorney General Anne Milgram and Criminal
Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni
announced that the two leaders of a sports
bookmaking ring that operated inside the
Borgata Hotel Casino poker room have pleaded
to Director Gramiccioni, Jack Buscemi Jr.,
51, of Mullica Hill, and Andrew Micali,
33, of Ventnor, pleaded guilty late yesterday
afternoon before Superior Court Judge Michael
A. Donio in Atlantic County. Buscemi pleaded
guilty to second-degree conspiracy to commit
money laundering, and Micali pleaded guilty
to second-degree criminal usury.
the plea agreements, the state will recommend
that each man be sentenced to five years
in state prison. Micali also must forfeit
$125,000 in cash seized in the investigation,
and Buscemi must pay a total of $50,000
in fines and forfeited money.
charges stem from Operation High Roller,
an investigation led by the State Police
and the Division of Criminal Justice which
involved the assistance of 11 other law
enforcement agencies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Deputy Attorney General Kerry DiJoseph took
the pleas for the Division of Criminal Justice
Major Crimes Bureau - Casino Prosecutions
Micali brazenly set up shop in the Borgata
poker room so he could attract high rollers
to the gambling ring he ran with Mr. Buscemi,”
said Attorney General Milgram. “These
defendants have now been brought to justice
and we were able to shut down a multi-million
dollar gambling ring.”
investigation revealed that Buscemi was
the boss and Micali controlled day-to-day
operations of the ring, which took in more
than $60 million in bets in 20 months. The
ring was shut down in November 2007, when
more than 20 people were arrested. Buscemi
and Micali were indicted on April 10, along
with 22 other defendants.
admitted yesterday that he was involved
in a conspiracy with Micali to run the bookmaking
operation, and that he possessed money that
was the proceeds of illegal gambling. Micali
admitted that he bankrolled loans at interest
rates that exceeded what the law allows.
two more men pleaded guilty before Judge
Donio. Joseph Wishnick, 44, of Brigantine,
a former Borgata poker room supervisor,
and Robert Mackie, 40, of Staten Island,
N.Y., pleaded guilty to promoting gambling,
a third-degree crime. The state will recommend
sentences of probation, with a condition
that each man serve a jail term of up to
full list of the indicted defendants and
charges in this case is included in the
press release issued on April 10, 2008:
investigation, which began in March 2006,
revealed that Micali relied on a network
of agents to take in millions of dollars
in bets on college and professional football
and basketball. Micali, and Buscemi received
a percentage of the gambling proceeds collected
by the agents.
investigation further determined that Wishnick
and other casino employees ignored exchanges
of cash and casino chips made by the ring
to avoid filing financial reports that are
required whenever a transaction exceeds
$10,000 or is suspicious in any way. The
reports are intended to prevent money laundering
at the casinos.
conducted extensive surveillance and observed
the defendants conducting business in the
Borgata poker room. They observed defendants
accepting bets and settling up with bettors,
either by accepting payment on losses or
paying out to winners. Some losers were
forced to accept loans to cover their losses
at an annual interest rate exceeding 50
percent, in violation of New Jersey’s
criminal usury statute.
investigation was led by State Police Detective
David Feldstein and his unit, the State
Police Casino Unit. The lead investigator
for the Division of Criminal Justice was
Sgt. Ronald Rozwadowski. The Division of
Gaming Enforcement also assisted.
Attorney General Milgram credited these
agencies for conducting and assisting the
Jersey State Police Casino Unit
Jersey State Police Organized Crime Control
Jersey State Police Digital Technology
Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
Office of the Attorney General - Organized
Harrison Township P.D.
Isle City P.D.
Galloway Township P.D.
Egg Harbor Township P.D.
Franklin Township P.D.
Bureau of Narcotics Investigation