NEW YORK -- More than a dozen reputed members of New York’s infamous Genovese crime family have been arrested on a slew of charges stemming from a bust dubbed “Operation Shark Bait.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office says the 13 alleged mobsters indicted Thursday were part of a lucrative illegal offshore gambling ring that also trapped victims in loan schemes.
The defendants allegedly ran the multimillion-dollar gambling operation through a “wire room” in Costa Rica that handled wagers on college and professional sports.
Schneiderman says the group’s loansharking business charged “outrageous” interest rates on loans that were impossible to repay.
“Despite these Genovese members continued attempts to evade detection, our investigation revealed millions in offshore sports betting, lucrative loan sharking, and tax evasion,” New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement.
Investigators captured much of the suspects’ alleged illegal interactions through intercepted conversations.
Two reputed mobsters were also charged with evading state taxes for selling more than 30,000 illegal cigarettes in New York.