STAMFORD, Conn. -- A 53-year-old Stamford man was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison on Wednesday, Feb. 26, for his role in an organized crime-controlled illegal gambling businesses, including running a card-game club on East Main Street, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Connecticut said.
Silverio Califano was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford. His prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release, and he was also ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and to forfeit $40,000.
According to court documents and statements made in court, after a long-term police investigation Califano, Dean DePreta, Richard Uva and 17 others were charged with various offenses related to their involvement in an illegal Internet sports bookmaking operation and illegal card-gambling clubs.
As part of the conspiracy, DePreta and Uva were involved in collecting and making “tribute” payments to Gambino organized crime family associates in New York.
The investigation, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, revealed that Califano was a longtime associate of DePreta and Uva and was involved in a large-scale sports bookmaking operation in which gamblers placed bets with offshore Internet sports-gambling websites, particularly www.44wager.com based in Costa Rica.
FBI analysis of the sports-betting website determined the total gross revenue of the Stamford-based gambling operation was nearly $1.7 million from October 2010 to June 2011.
In addition, Califano managed a card gambling club at 859 E. Main St. in Stamford, where a house percentage, commonly referred to as a “rake,” was collected from every hand played.
On May 6, 2013, he pleaded guilty to two counts of operating an illegal gambling business.
DePreta and Uva each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly called RICO. Last year, DePreta was sentenced to 71 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $300,000, and Uva was sentenced to 46 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $250,000.
The matter was investigated by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Stamford Police Department, the Bridgeport Police Department and the Connecticut State Police.