Four New York Racetrack Tellers Indicted for Money-Laundering

Four N.Y. racetrack tellers used the flow of cash through betting windows to launder money, law enforcement officials alleged in indictments announced July 19. The four face multiple counts that could bring an aggregate sentence of more than 10 years for each. Three of the men were arrested July 18 and arraigned in Saratoga County Court in Saratoga Springs. They are: Robert E. Lodati, Robert J. Marshall, and Joseph Rabito.  They were released on bail ranging from $20,000 to $35,000. A fourth, Peter Oster, turned himself in turned himself in July 25, he was arraigned in Saratoga County Court before Judge Jerry Scarano and released on a $25,000 bail bond. Lodati is the president of the the betting clerks’ union, Div. of Mutuel Employees, which is a unit of the Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers Local 3 in Queens. Marshall is reportedly DME’s vice president. The indictments charge them with laundering $300,000, exchanging small bills for large ones, over six months for state police investigators posing as drug dealers, in transactions that were recorded on videotape and audiotape. The clerks allegedly pocketed a cut of 5% to 10% every time they made the swaps. Law enforcement said the sting operation began after they learned that tellers were laundering money for a gang acting as a front for the Gambino crime family. The probe is continuing and may produce more indictments. The U.S. Atty.’s Office in Brooklyn is also exploring possible tax fraud charges. [N.Y. Times, Daily News, Newsday 7/20/01, Times Union (Albany) 7/26/01]