Five California men accused of involvement in the operation of a $32 million US online sports betting ring (see previous reports) were charged with conspiracy and illegal gambling in a New York court this week following uncontested extraditions from Los Angeles.
The alleged ring leader of the group, Cyrus Irani (39) was named in arraignment, along with Andres Arriaga (41), Julio Alvarenga (40), Jeffrey Metelitz (54) and Saul Salama (45).
All have posted bail and been released pending trial next month in court in New York before Queens County Judge Charles S. Lopresto.
Prosecutors claimed that the five men were among 17 suspects across the country indicted late last year by a Queens County grand jury on charges of unlawfully operating a highly sophisticated sports gambling enterprise that stretched from New York to California and used offshore-based gambling websites.
According to the grand jury indictment, the online gambling enterprise, which is alleged to have booked more than $32 million in bets annually, is also accused of laundering its criminal proceeds by depositing and withdrawing large sums of cash from various banks throughout the United States.