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Man Sentenced for Operating Illegal Gambling Business

Press Released from the United States Attorney

Published November 19. 2012 10:18AM

The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that Michael Pepe, 33, of North Haven, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for his involvement in illegal gambling. Pepe also was ordered to forfeit $100,000.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in May 2012, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Pepe and 19 other individuals, including alleged associates of the Gambino organized crime family, with various federal offenses related to their involvement in an illegal Internet sports bookmaking operation and illegal card gambling clubs in Stamford and Hamden. The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, revealed that Pepe served as the master agent for his Stamford-based co-defendants’ gambling operations in the greater New Haven area. In that capacity, Pepe oversaw bookmaking activities, coordinated the collection of monetary losses from various agents (“bookies”), and provided a portion of those illegal proceeds to a co-defendant.

FBI analysis of the sports-betting web site utilized by the co-defendants has determined that the total gross revenues of the Stamford-based gambling operation were nearly $1.7 million from October 2010 to June 2011.

Pepe also was involved in the operation of an illegal card gambling club at 2965 State Street in Hamden, where a house percentage, commonly referred to as a “rake,” was collected from every hand played.

On Aug. 6, 2012, Pepe pleaded guilty to two counts of operating an illegal gambling business.

This matter is being investigated by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Stamford Police Department, the Bridgeport Police Department and the Connecticut State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Hal Chen and Peter Jongbloed.

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