A South Ozone Park man who Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says has connections to the Gambino crime family was sentenced to up to three years in prison for his role in a $30-million gambling ring, the D.A. announced last week.
Ronald Trucchio, 52, pled guilty in April to his role in the scheme, which took in over $600,000 per week in wagers on baseball, football, basketball and hockey games from two Ozone Park locations. Trucchio’s son, Alphonse, 25, was also arrested in April and was sentenced to one-and-half to four-and-a-half years in prison for serving as the bookmaker. A third person, Anthony Moscatiello, 32, of Ozone Park, was sentenced to one to three years in prison for serving as the ring’s accountant.
The D.A. said the arrests were the result of a year-long investigation into the gambling ring. Fifteen people were arrested overall and were sentenced to six months to three years in prison.
“Illegal gambling is thought by some to be a victimless crime. But is it not—its proceeds are used by organized crime to fund its other criminal activities including auto insurance fraud, labor racketeering and prostitution,” Brown said.
According to the D.A., the Trucchio gambling enterprise consisted of runners” who provided bettors with telephone numbers and access codes for the operation’s two wirerooms and who met weekly with bettors. The bettors then settled their accounts with clerks who answered phones at the wirerooms and recorded wagers called in by bettors.
The largest bet placed during the time of the sting was a $15,000 wager placed on the Washington Redskins on November 12, 2002.
State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer arrested Trucchio last week on separate charges that he stole $100,000 in public assistance benefits from federal and state disability programs. He is charged with grand larceny in the second and third degree.
Spitzer said Trucchio claimed he had no income on his application for Social Security Insurance disability benefits on December 9, 1999. As a result, he received $106,660 between 2000 and 2003 in disability benefits, according to Spitzer.
The attorney general said that in his application to buy a 2002 Cadillac DeVille sedan, Trucchio stated he had an annual salary of $72,000 from Aldo’s Restaurant.
If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 15 years in prison, full restitution of the disability benefits, and a fine of up to twice the value of the stolen benefits.