A Saugus man, named as the kingpin of an illegal $32 million sports betting ring and brought to trial in New York, is scheduled to be sentenced next week after pleading guilty to a criminal charge of enterprise corruption.
Prosecutors with the Queens District Attorney’s Office, in New York, revealed Tuesday that Cyrus Irani entered a guilty plea last month.
“Defendant Cyrus Irani was last in court on Sept. 13, 2017, at which time he pleaded guilty to enterprise corruption,” Ikimulisa Livingston, spokeswoman for the Queens District Attorney’s Office told The Signal Tuesday.
“He is now scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 26,” she said.
Under New York Penal Law, you’re guilty of enterprise corruption if you are employed by a criminal enterprise and you, intentionally participate in the criminal activity of the enterprise, and intentionally acquire any interest or control of an enterprise by conducting criminal activity,
According to one prominent criminal defense firm in New York City, enterprise corruption is one of the strongest tools in a prosecutor’s arsenal and one of the most serious “white collar” or non–violent crimes in the New York Penal Code.
The crime is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and is often associated with organized crime.
Irani was one of five Santa Clarita Valley men arrested two years ago in a nationwide crackdown of an alleged illegal $32 million sports betting ring.
Each of the other four Santa Clarita Valley suspects rounded up in raids carried out locally in October 2015, then extradited to New York, had the criminal cases against them reduced to misdemeanors or adjourned. Irani was the only one left standing.
In August, the 39-year-old Irani, identified by New York prosecutors as the alleged kingpin of the betting ring, was ordered to stand trial.
Saul Salama, 47, had the criminal case against him adjourned last month.
In April, a third SCV suspect, Jeffrey Metelitz, 55, was given a conditional discharge after he pleaded guilty to first-degree attempt to promote gambling.
The two other SCV suspects – Julio Alvarenga, 40, and Andres Arriaga, 41 – also received conditional discharges after they too pleaded guilty to first-degree ‘attempted promoting gambling,’ a Class A misdemeanor, Kevin R. Ryan, spokesman for the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, told The Signal in March.
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.
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.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt