Two of 5 men accused of online gambling released in NYC

Members of a multi-agency police operation led by New York Police Department investigators surrounded Cyrus Irani's Saugus home on Oct. 28, 2015, and arrested him and four other Santa Clarita men for illegal $32 million nationwide sports betting ring. Photo by Austin Dave/The Signal

Two of five local men accused of running an illegal $32 million nationwide sports betting ring, along with a dozen other people, were released from custody on conditional discharges after pleading guilty to first-degree attempt to promote gambling.

A conditional discharge means accused men are released from custody with no probation supervision.

“Julio Alvarenga, 40, and Andres Arriaga, 41, each pleaded guilty to first-degree ‘attempted promoting gambling,’ a Class A misdemeanor, and were sentenced to conditional discharges,” Kevin R. Ryan, spokesman for the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, told The Signal Monday.

The two Santa Clarita Valley men were given conditional discharges when the court determined that “neither the public interest nor the ends of justice would be served by a sentence of imprisonment and that probation supervision is not appropriate,” according to the New York Penal Code.

Three of the five men arrested at their SCV homes in October 2015 remain charged in court cases scheduled over the next couple of months

Cyrus Irani, 38, and Jeffrey Metelitz, 54, are both due back in court on April 26, Ryan said.

Saul Salama, 45, is scheduled to appear in court May 24.

The five local men were among 17 suspects across the country indicted Oct. 28, 2015, 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.

Members of a multi-agency police operation led by New York Police Department investigators surrounded a Saugus home Oct. 28 and arrested Irani, alleged to be the ring’s kingpin, law enforcement officials said.


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