David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Dominic J. Acquarulo, Jr. 43, of Guilford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 22 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating an illegal sports bookmaking business and for federal tax offenses. He was also ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and restitution. In a related case, Acquarulo’s wife, Annunziata Germana, also known as Annunziata Acquarulo, 32, was sentenced today by Judge Arterton to two years of probation, a $2000 fine and restitution.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between 2006 and 2008, Acquarulo operated an illegal sports bookmaking business that involved a number of sub-bookmakers, each of whom had a network of bettors. As part of his gambling business, Acquarulo used two online betting web sites and he provided each sub-bookmaker with passwords to the sites so that each bettor in their network would be able to place bets through an individual account. On behalf of Acquarulo, the sub-bookmakers collected losses from the bettors and paid out any winnings. The sub-bookmakers received a 10 percent commission on losses they collected from bettors, and they provided the remaining funds to Acquarulo.
Acquarulo also utilized at least two other individuals to receive and count funds collected from the sub-bookmakers, and to provide funds to sub-bookmakers to pay out to winning bettors. Acquarulo’s then-girlfriend, Germana, assisted in the illegal gambling operation.
Also between 2006 and 2008, Acquarulo operated Shoreline Finance and Marketing Corporation, a mortgage brokerage company. During this time, Acquarulo employed Germana as a mortgage loan officer at the business. With Acquarulo’s knowledge, Germana used corporate credit cards and corporate checks to pay for numerous personal expenses, including rent for her apartment, car lease payments, jewelry and clothing. She then classified these payments and purchases, which totaled more than $19,000, as business expenses in the bookkeeping records of the business. As a result, Acquarulo under reported his income generated from his business on his 2007 individual income tax return, resulting in a tax loss of $6,170.
In addition, Acquarulo’s gross income in 2008 was $178,860, but he failed to file a 2008 tax return by October 15, 2009, as required. Acquarulo filed his Form 1040 in May 2010, approximately 10 months after he was interviewed by federal agents and informed of this pending investigation.
Germana knew that payment of her personal expenses with Shoreline Finance funds was income to her. By virtue of this and other income she received in 2007 and 2008, Germana was required to file U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, but failed to do so. In 2007 and 2008, Germana received approximately $30,835 and $34,382 in gross income, respectively.
On March 13, 2012, Acquarulo pleaded guilty to one count of operating an illegal gambling business, one count of filing a false tax return, and one count of willfully failing to timely file a tax return. On June 12, 2012, Germana pleaded guilty to two counts of willfully failing to file a tax return.
Acquarulo and Germana have been ordered to pay back taxes and interest of $29,659.29 and $13,397, respectively.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anastasia Enos King.