Indictments tie bingo hall, racketeering U.S. charges 6 with laundering scheme in Arundel

October 27, 1990|By David Michael Ettlin

In an investigation linking organized crime to a commercial bingo operation in Maryland, federal authorities announced the indictments yesterday of six out-of-state men on conspiracy and racketeering charges.

The focus of a three-year investigation is Bingo World in northern Anne Arundel County and its owner, Stephen B. Paskind, 50, of Hollywood, Fla. He was named in the court papers unsealed yesterday as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Prosecutors allege that the six defendants supplied Mr. Paskind with more than $1 million in cash in a scheme to launder money obtained

through illegal activities in Illinois and Florida, including loan-sharking, gambling, robbery and interstate transportation of stolen property.

They also were accused of conspiring to arrange a fire that prevented a competing bingo hall in Gambrills from opening last year.

The Anne Arundel Board of Appeals denied an operating license to Mr. Paskind three months ago on grounds that he lacked "good moral character" and associated with organized crime figures, but the decision is being appealed and his bingo business on Belle Grove Road was open as usual last night.

Accused in the indictment were: Dominic Peter "Large" Cortina, 65, of Chicago; Donald John Angelini, 70, of Elmhurst, Ill.; Sam Frank Urbana, 65, and Izaak Martin "Red" Silber, 78, both of Miami; Angelo "Gus" Kind of West Hollywood, Fla.; and Ettore "Eddie" Coco of New York.

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Federal prosecutors allege that Mr. Paskind approached Mr. Cortina, Mr. Angelini and Mr. Urbana early in 1986 as financial backers in the construction and operation of Bingo World.

Mr. Urbana and another man named as an unindicted co-conspirator, Thomas J. Patton of Miami, traveled to New York to obtain Mr. Coco's "approval to operate Bingo World in the state of Maryland," the charges allege.

Mr. Coco was allegedly consulted by Mr. Silber in November 1988 to arrange for an arsonist to set fire to a competing Forty-Niner bingo hall. No fire was set, however.

Mr. Paskind has since acquired ownership of the Forty-Niner bingo hall, located on Church Street in Brooklyn Park. The Board of Appeals decision in July also denied Mr. Paskind an operating license for that business and another hall he owns, Glen Burnie Bingo, both of which are closed.

A fire was set, however, at Bingo Palace on Route 3 in Gambrills on Oct. 5, 1989.

Prosecutors allege that Mr. Angelini, Mr. King and Mr. Paskind met with two other men in September 1988 at a Guest Quarters Hotel south of Baltimore to "discuss the op

eration of Bingo World and . . . of a competitor, Bingo Palace," and that Mr. Paskind met with Mr. King in Florida in September 1989 "to discuss the arson at Bingo Palace."

That month, prosecutors allege, Mr. Paskind paid about $20,000 to an arsonist identified only as "Tommy," who they said traveled from New York to Maryland to set fire to Bingo Palace. A sprinkler system halted the spread of the blaze, but damage was serious enough to prevent the scheduled reopening of the business after a series of ownership changes.

Most of the "overt acts" listed in the 14-count indictment outline a series of transactions in which cash -- allegedly supplied to Mr. Paskind by various defendants through currency and bank cashier's checks purchased with cash -- was deposited into personal and Bingo World accounts in Florida and Maryland in sums under $10,000. The intent, authorities said, was to thwart Internal Revenue Service requirements that banks report cash transactions exceeding $10,000.

Others named but not charged in the indictment include Eli Crespi, an associate of Mr. Paskind in Florida alleged to have helped launder $100,000 in cash; Anthony Dimeglio and Phillip Cimmino, identified as participants in the Guest Quarters

Hotel meeting; and Stephen R. Bronstein, a Maryland accountant who manages Bingo World and was said to have met with Mr. Angelini and Mr. King in the summer of 1988 to discuss its operations.

Reached at Bingo World last night, Mr. Bronstein said its operators had no comment on the indictment.

0$ Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg L.

Bernstein said Mr. Urbana and Mr. Cortina were indicted in Florida last year on federal racketeering charges along with Mr. Patton, who has been under a witness-protection program since being shot nine times in 1987 outside his Miami home.

The Anne Arundel police participated in the investigation, along with the FBI, the IRS, and the Maryland state prosecutor.

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