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Atlantic City illegal gambling ring busted

15 November 2007

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "One of the largest illegal sports gambling rings to infiltrate an Atlantic City casino was broken up Wednesday when State Police charged 23 people, including four with alleged ties to Philadelphia organized crime and six casino employees.

"The elaborate operation took in more than $22 million in bets on college and professional basketball and football since the end of March 2006 inside a high-stakes poker room at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, according to New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram.

"Of the 23 charged, authorities arrested five men, including alleged ringleader Andrew Mic-ali, 32, of Ventnor, who, along with three others arrested, is affiliated with Philadelphia organized crime, according to other law-enforcement authorities.

"... A supervisor in the Borgata poker room, Joseph Wishnick, 42, of Brigantine, also was arrested on a charge of promoting gambling. Summonses were issued to 18 others.

"...The charges stem from an investigation dubbed Operation High Roller, which began after authorities received a tip at the end of March 2006 about the illegal ring, Milgram said. Investigators, with the assistance of the casino, then began reviewing surveillance of the poker room, which recorded people placing bets and making payments. Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw said the ring's underlings mostly acted as bookies. Authorities said certain casino employees ignored exchanges of cash and casino chips made by the ring to avoid filing financial reports that are required whenever a transaction exceeds $10,000. The casino money laundering is known as 'chip washing,' Milgram said..."

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