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First Guilty Conviction Comes In For Online Gambling Operation

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A federal judge has held to the idea that gamblers that were involved with an illegal online gambling operation should testify to their knowledge of the operation. That is why the judge has again and again jailed these gamblers for refusing to testify.

Now, the first guilty conviction has come in on the operation, and it came without the need for a trial. Michael V. Badalucco, 26, waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to being part of the bookmaking operation.

Badalucco admitted his involvement as providing an Internet website, www.best24b.com, and a toll free number for bettors to place their bets. Although he never took the best himself, he was linked to the offshore website in a phone call.

The toll free number went to Costa Rica, where many offshore betting operations are located. Badalucco now faces a maximum of two years in prison for his guilty plea. The more likely scenario will have him behind bars for less than one year.

The case has received national attention because of the judge's decision to hold people for their refusal to testify. None of the people held are thought to be involved in the illegal operation. Several of their lawyers claim the judge is holding them unlawfully.

In return for his guilty plea, Badalucco has been granted the right to not have to testify against any of the other possible defendants in the sports betting case. The website and the phone number to the offshore office were both routed from Missouri through Arizona before being connected to Costa Rica.

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