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Stamford Man in Gambling Scheme Sentenced to 15 Months

The suspect is one of nearly 20 men accused of running an illegal gambling operation in Stamford.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

A Stamford man will spend the next 15 months in jail for his role in an organized crime gambling scheme.

U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly announced Wednesday that Silverio Califano, 53, of Stamford, was sentenced Feb. 26 by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 15 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his involvement in organized crime-controlled illegal gambling businesses. Califano 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 investigation led by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Stamford Police Department, Califano, Dean DePreta, Richard Uva and 17 other individuals 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 the collection and payment of “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 long-time 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 web site utilized by the defendants determined that the total gross revenues of the Stamford-based gambling operation were nearly $1.7 million from October 2010 to June 2011.

In addition, Califano managed a card gambling club at 859 E. Main St., Stamford, where a house percentage, commonly referred to as a “rake,” was collected from every hand played. 

On May 6, 2013, Califano 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 (RICO). On Oct. 9, 2013, DePreta was sentenced to 71 months of imprisonment and ordered to forfeit $300,000.

On Oct. 24, 2013, Uva was sentenced to 46 months of imprisonment and ordered to forfeit $250,000.

The case is being investigated by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Stamford Police Department, the Bridgeport Police Department and the Connecticut State Police, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hal Chen and Peter Jongbloed.

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