A New York man conceived with crowd figures to fix an NCAA team basketball game by offering thousands of dollars to players, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
25-year-old Benjamin Bifalco was among 20 people subdued in federal probing According to the US Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York, members of the Colombo crime family and their associates in Island
Bifalco was caught listening to him, talking with Joseph Amato, Jr., the son of Captain Colombo.
For the first time, Bifalco asked Amato Jr. if he was OK with "talking about it on the phone," court papers say.
"I mean, why not?" Amato Jr. replied. "You're talking about everything else on the phone f ̵
In a series of phone calls over the next few days, Bifalco laid out his plan to fix the game by "offering to pay thousands of dollars to several basketball team members to intentionally lose a lot," allowing the preferable team to cover the point spread, court documents say.
Bifalco Attempts to Convince Amato, Jr. According to federal prosecutors, place thousands of dollars in play.
The court documents do not indicate the team and the date of the game.
Shortly before the game, federal prosecutors say Amato Jr. sent two text messages to Thomas Scorquia, a supposed member of the Colombo Mafia.
"Well, I wouldn't trust the game I was talking about" and "I personally don't touch it [,]," Amato Jr. wrote in court documents.
Federal prosecutors noted that this was "good advice, given that
Among the others arrested on Thursday were 11 men identified by federal prosecutors in court documents as members of Colombo's family crimes, including alleged Captain Joseph Amato and Daniel Capaldo., Also known as "Wig" and "Shrek." They were charged with racketeering and other offenses, according to Brooklyn federal prosecutors.
The investigation began in November 2016 when a GPS device was found hidden on a bus. MTA who learned that the device belonged to Amato, who purchased it to store the tabs on his then-girlfriend, prosecutors said.
Amato planted the device on his girlfriend's car, but found it a few months later and at some point put it on a bus, " obstructs Amato's diligent efforts, "court documents state.
The prosecutor's office found emails from Amato attempting to instill fear in his then-girlfriend, boasting of available resources, according to court documents.  "This is my island. Not yours. I have eyes in everything [.]," Amato said in an email, court documents say.
In another, Amato said:… Anyone could go to jail. I do not want this to anyone [.] Particularly weak men. Who could never fight it. I thrived there and wherever I went. "
Amato's investigation opened up the world of crime, according to federal prosecutors.
He allegedly demanded gambling operators, attacked competitors and kept two teasers in his house, one disguised as a flashlight, as well as a canister of obvious tear gas. on the outside word "Paralyzer"
Amato associates used business loans and used violence to intimidate competitors and collect debts, prosecutors said.
"The evidence obtained in this investigation, chat that Colombo's family is thriving and continuing to engage in criminal activity, including, among other crimes, acts of blatant violence, extortion, borrowing and illegal gambling, "Federal prosecutors say in court papers.
Bust comes seven months after a long time, Boss Colombo's Carmine Persico died at a North Carolina hospital near a prison in which he was imprisoned. Peach, known to his enemies as "The Serpent," was serving a stunning 100-year sentence on charges of murder and racketeering.
The youngest of the infamous "Five Families of New York", Columbus was cut by the bloody war crowd and a series of convictions in the 1990s and 2000s.
Adiel Kaplan and Kenzi Abu Sabe contributed.