One of six defendants in the Bingo World conspiracy-money laundering case pleaded guilty today to a federal racketeering charge for hiring a New York man to set an arson fire at competing bingo parlor in Gambrills last year.
Izaak M. "Red" Silber, 69, of Hollywood, Fla., entered the plea to Judge Frederic N. Smalkin in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
Prosecutors Gregg L. Bernstein and Jefferson M. Gray agreed in a plea bargain not to require Silber to cooperate with the government in the case, which has organized crime overtones, and not to seek restitution from Silber for damage to the Bingo Palace.
Silber was indicted in October with five other men on conspiracy, money laundering, racketeering and financial charges tied to the alleged use of Bingo World, on Belle Grove Road in Brooklyn Park, to launder at least $1 million in proceeds from loan sharking, robbery, gambling and other criminal activities in Florida and Illinois.
Prosecutors recommended a 27-month, no-parole prison term for Silber and said other charges will be dismissed after he is sentenced March 6.
Bernstein and Gray told the judge that Silber helped to arrange for a New Yorker known as "Tommy" to set fire to the Bingo Palace on Oct. 5, 1989, to prevent its opening in competition with Bingo World.
Silber also solicited help from co-defendant Ettore "Eddie" Coco and Anthony Dimeglio, an unindicted co-conspirator, to get the Forty-Niners' Bingo hall in Brooklyn Park burned in 1988, prosecutors said. That arson was aborted.
Prosecutors said Silber helped to arrange the investments that made Bingo World a front for money-laundering by co-defendants Sam Frank Urbana, alias Sam Vincent, 60, of Miami, Dominic Peter "Large" Cortina, 65, of Chicago, and Donald John Angelini, 64, also of Chicago, at meetings in Florida in early 1986.
At the time, Silber owned part of Urbana's bar in North Miami Beach and a bingo hall there with Stephen B. Paskind, who operates Bingo World.
Prosecutors said Cortina, Angelini, Urbana and another man, Al Brown, actually owned half of Paskind's purported 84 percent interest in Bingo World.
Paskind allegedly funneled money from Urbana, Cortina and Angelini into Bingo World and repaid it to them under the guise of a loan.