Nicodemo sentencing today in Borgata betting case

Reputed mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo will be sentenced today by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Michael Donio for  his role in an illegal multimillion-dollar sports-betting operation run out of the poker room of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. He could get up to three years in prison. 

Nicodemo, 36, "exercised leadership authority" over the $60 million betting enterprise, according to New Jersey authorities, who supported that allegation with a secretly recorded 13-minute conversation between Nicodemo and bookmaker Andrew Micali, who was running the betting operation.

The conversation was recorded March 5, 2007, as part of a New Jersey State Police investigation dubbed Operation High Roller. Investigators used court-authorized wiretaps to record hundreds of conversations during the 20-month probe.

Last April, 24 defendants, including Nicodemo and Micali, were indicted on gambling, money-laundering, and loan-sharking charges. Most have pleaded guilty.

In February, Micali, 33, and Jack Buscemi Jr., 51, the leaders of the operation, were sentenced to five years in prison.

Authorities are expected to point to the conversation with Micali to argue that the bookmaking ring was tied to the mob and that Nicodemo was the organization's point man.

The investigation also has shed light on an ongoing FBI investigation that is believed to target Nicodemo and reputed South Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi.

A State Police affidavit in the Borgata case states that the FBI considers Nicodemo a "prime suspect" in the gangland murder of John "Johnny Gongs" Casasanto in 2003.

It is one of three unsolved mob hits included in an ongoing FBI racketeering probe.

"I'm always in your corner, so you don't have to worry about no sharks at all," Nicodemo told Micali in the secretly recorded conversation, apparently referring to unnamed individuals who were trying to get a piece of Micali's action.

"You don't have to worry about no one. Anyone comes up, it could be . . . John Gotti's son could come up to ya, anybody. I don't give a -."

His voice rising, Nicodemo then told Micali to contact him at his real estate office on Federal Street in South Philadelphia if anyone caused a problem.

"Anyone in . . . the world's atmosphere comes up to you, come to 1246 Federal St."

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