Man admits to hiding millions in sports-betting profits

A Philadelphia man admitted Tuesday to participating in a multimillion-dollar sports bookmaking operation and concealing the proceeds from federal authorities.

Leonard Stango, 66, pleaded guilty in federal court to aggravated structuring of financial transactions and filing false tax returns.

Prosecutors said that Stango, between 2006 and 2009, received more than 200 checks totaling over $5 million from bettors seeking to settle gambling debts.

Stango deposited the checks into his personal and business accounts then withdrew the profits in cash increments of $10,000 or less to avoid the banks’ federal reporting requirements. In total, Stango made about 345 cash withdrawals totaling about $2.5 million.

Stango did not disclose his bookmaking activities on federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2008, causing him to underreport his income each year by several hundred thousand dollars. 

Stango was indicted on the charges in January. When he is sentenced July 1, he faces a maximum penalty of 22 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $900,000 fine, and forfeiture of the revenue from the betting operation.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

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