Eric Patten, 37, of Bayonne, is one of over a dozen New Jerseyans being prosecuted for his association with the Italian Mafia’s illegal online gambling website “Beteagle,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
By Kate Mosso
In U.S. District Court, Beteagle was shown to be a vehicle for racketeering activities including illegal online sports betting, unlawful collection of a debt and tax evasion. Court documents allege that the man behind it all was Genovese Crime Family member “Capo” Joseph Lascara, 80, of Monroe.
“To place bets online, the agent or sub-agent issued the bettor a username and password to access Beteagle. This access was not given online and no money or credits were made or transferred through the website. Associates of the crew paid out winnings or collected losses in person. If a bettor failed to pay his gambling losses, the crew used their LCN status and threats of violence to collect on these debts,” said the U.S. Department of Justice, when describing how Beteagle operated.
Tuesday in Newark Federal Court, Patten and two other men plead guilty to conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute by being associates of, and conspiring with, the Genovese Crime Family.
Patten faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 3.
The Bayonne man joins 9 other New Jersey residents who are also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to their roles in the same conspiracy.