SAN FRANCISCO — A convicted gambler accused of running a $1-billion-a-year sports betting ring from the Dominican Republic pleaded guilty to gambling charges.
Ronald Sacco, 51, pleaded guilty Friday to conducting an illegal gambling business and to making financial transactions with the profits of crime.
He had run the operation from the Dominican Republic since 1988, and deposited some of the profits at a San Francisco pawnshop, prosecutors said. He was arrested in September in the Dominican Republic and deported to the United States in December.
Sacco set up the toll-free telephone lines and accepted bets on virtually all sporting events, prosecutors said. The FBI described it as the nation's largest sports betting ring.
Sacco, who has seven previous convictions related to illegal bookmaking and gambling, could get up to seven years in prison at his sentencing on Sept. 14, said Assistant U.S. Atty. William Schaefer.