Courts & Crime

Out of the mob past of Kansas City: gambling indictment

After a month of guilty pleas by six lesser players, a long-awaited federal indictment unsealed Wednesday accused four men of operating a multimillion-dollar Internet gambling scheme.

Prosecutors declined to put an “organized crime” label on the case, and did not use that phrase in the charges. But it is reminiscent of the wiretap-driven mob gambling case so familiar in Kansas City over the last 50 years.

“What’s accused here is exactly what Kansas City mob figures were convicted of a generation ago,” said retired FBI agent Jeff Lanza. “However, on its face, it doesn’t represent a resurgence of the Kansas City mob to anything near what they were in our city’s past.”

Gerlarmo Cammisano, 56, James J. Moretina, 60, and Michael J. Lombardo, 54, all of Kansas City, and James L. Dicapo, 57, of Parkville, appeared in court Wednesday afternoon. They are accused of operating an Internet sports bookmaking business that attracted almost $3.6 million in bets between March 2006 and April 2009.

All but Moretina pleaded not guilty. His plea must wait until a judge appoints a lawyer to represent him. Attorneys representing the other defendants declined to comment after the hearing.

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