A Gates Hill man is facing federal sentencing after investigators say he embarked on a bookmaking conspiracy and subsequent money laundering.
William Mangelluzzi, 48, pleaded guilty to federal charges alleging he played a leading role in a conspiracy centered on illegal gambling and tax evasion.
The illicit scheme highlights the existence of illegal sports betting markets as legislators drag their feet on joining much of the rest of the Midwest with legalized mobile betting.
Bookmaking, money laundering among charges
Information released by the US Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Ohio says that Mangelluzzi worked with 48-year-old Thomas Reed, a Kirtland Hills local, to own and operate an illegal gambling business.
Investigators allege that at the center of that business was a bookmaking scheme. Customers were able to bet on sports, although Ohio has yet to legalize and launch operations via legitimate companies.
Mangelluzzi, in fact, was at one time a gambling client of Reed’s before becoming an illicit partner, according to investigators.
Reed has pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.
The conspiracy took a more serious turn when Mangelluzzi, Reed, and unnamed others laundered their money, attempting to conceal their origination by placing hordes of cash into bank accounts and layering them with other transactions to avoid tax liability.
Mangelluzzi’s sentencing will take place in the Northern District of Ohio at a later date. The Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations will conduct their own investigation prior to the sentencing hearing.
Waiting game continues in Ohio for sports betting legalization
For many Americans, an illegal bookmaking scheme is already a quaint notion. For them, betting on sports is as easy — and legal — as downloading an app and clicking a few buttons.
That reality has yet to reach Ohio, though. The black market thrives, keeping from the state the millions in revenue enjoyed inside legal markets.
Despite moments of hope, Ohio sports betting legalization in the Buckeye State failed to emerge from the statehouse this spring following more than four months of work in a Senate committee.
Instead, supportive legislators and hopeful residents will have to wait until the fall, when lawmakers return to work on Sept. 15.
“I believe the plan is to work on it over the summer and to be ready with a report on which to vote this fall,” Ohio State Rep. Brigid Kelly previously told PlayOhio. Others have expressed similar optimism about the crafting of legislative language.
Conversations center around a number of factors. This includes the breakdown between county population and sportsbook density, where revenues would go, and the number of mobile skins.
Included in discussions have been possible parameters for e-bingo and online lottery games.
Even if a thorough report is presented in September, sports betting licenses would not be awarded until April 1, 2022. This also assumes lawmakers reach an agreement on sports betting legalization later this year.