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SPORTS BETTING Three get monitored probation



Published: Tue, January 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The case began last May with 16 defendants.

CLEVELAND -- Three men who pleaded guilty to operating an illegal gambling operation with ties to LaVilla Sports Bar & amp; Grille get to spend the next six months pretty much confined to their homes.

At sentencing Monday, U.S. District Judge Paul R. Matia placed each man on two years' probation, with the first six months spent in electronically monitored home confinement. They may leave home for work, medical reasons and church.

The three and their sentences in addition to the house arrest are:

URonald Beshara, 52, of Catawba Drive, Canfield. No fine was imposed.

"I would just like to apologize to the court, my family and friends for all the embarrassment," Beshara said in court. "I want to get on with my life and [get] my health issues resolved."

One fined $10,000

UWilliam McCullough, 53, of Sharrott Road, North Lima. He was fined $10,000 and ordered to perform 20 hours of community service.

URichard Milano, 46, of Neoka Drive, Campbell. He was not fined.

Beshara, McCullough and Milano could have received up to 12 months in prison. The case was prosecuted by Matthew B. Kall, an assistant U.S. attorney.

The FBI received an anonymous letter dated Jan. 10, 2001, detailing a "major gambling racket in the Struthers-Boardman area" with La Villa Sports Bar & amp; Grille on Youngstown-Poland Road in Struthers at the center of it. To build a case, the FBI used wiretaps to bug suspected bookmakers' phones from Nov. 10 to Dec. 9, 2001, and Dec. 22, 2001, to Jan. 5, 2002.

FBI agents also used surveillance to track the defendants' comings and goings. In one month, illegal sports bookmakers with ties to the bar took in $2.5 million in bets, the FBI said.

Grand jury indictments

In May 2004, a federal grand jury in Cleveland indicted fifteen men and one woman. Prior to last month, 12 bookies had pleaded guilty and the charge against one man was dismissed.

The case ended Dec. 10 when the final three defendants -- LaVilla operator Steve "Moose" Almasy, 66, of Poland and his son and daughter-in-law, Kevin, 36, and Patrice Almasy, 33, of Boardman - appeared in court.

Steve and Kevin Almasy pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in May.

The gambling charge against Patrice Almasy will be deferred for one year with pretrial diversion. It is an alternative to prosecution that seeks to divert certain candidates from traditional criminal justice processing into a program of community supervision administered by the pretrial services or probation office.

If, at the end of the year, she has complied, the charge will be dismissed, Kall said.

The sentencings continue, with that of Todd Yallech, 35, of East Huntington Drive, Boardman, scheduled for today.




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