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Stakes high for Mount Airy Casino owner

4 January 2008

PENNSYLVANIA -- As reported by the Pennsylvania Times-Tribune: "With lifelong friend and confidant the Rev. Joseph F. Sica facing a felony charge of perjury, the stakes have never been higher for junk man turned billionaire Louis DeNaples.

"A Dauphin County grand jury is examining whether Mr. DeNaples, owner of Mount Airy Casino Resort, lied to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board when he denied having ties to organized crime. Rumors of such ties have dogged the Dunmore businessman for decades.

"In pursuing the case against Mr. DeNaples, the Dauphin County district attorney alleges the Catholic priest lied about his own relationship with the late mob boss Russell Bufalino.

"The prosecutor says others who testified before the grand jury may be charged, leading many to speculate whether Assistant District Attorney Francis Chardo is preparing to charge Mr. DeNaples.

"Such a charge — even if it didn't result in a conviction — could lead to the suspension of the slots license that keeps wagers flowing at Mount Airy, the state's first stand-alone casino. Mr. DeNaples staked his reputation and a good chunk of his fortune on the $415 million resort. Even a temporary suspension would seriously disrupt the business.

"...It is difficult to pinpoint when Mr. DeNaples' name first became associated with organized crime.

"He has never been charged with organized crime activity, but Italian-American businessmen, regardless of whom they associate with, traditionally have found the mafioso stereotype hard to shake..."

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