News & Politics

Queens Betting Ring Busted; Retired Cop Among Indicted


A 13-million dollar sports betting-ring that was toiling away in Queens, as well as in other spots, has been busted up by authorities. According to the Queens District Attorney’s office, indictments and arrests have come down on eleven defendants, one of them a retired New York City cop.

The D.A. alleges that former officer Joseph R. Sophia “acted as an ‘agent’ who gave bettors access codes, collected payments, and set limits on the amount they were allowed to bet.”

The suspected ringleaders of the operation are Michael Mildenberger, 71, and James Rossi, 49, a “reputed Genovese crime family associate…”

The D.A. says a “wire room” in Costa Rica facilitated the gambling. Risk-takers accessed the wire room using either a toll free phone number or this eye-catching Web site.

Wagers were placed on everything from Hockey to Baseball, and ranged from $200 to $4,000. At the North Carolina home of one defendant, $210,000 in cash was found in a safe.

This all sounds remarkably similar to another Queens gambling bust. One of the suspects is still at-large, theoretically in Costa Rica.


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 5, 2009


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