Fifth Mobster Admits Bingo World Scheme

April 21, 1992|By Joel McCord | Joel McCord,Staff writer

Donald John Angelini, one of six organized crime figures tied to a Brooklyn Park bingo hall, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to launder nearly $2 million in ill-gotten money through the hall.

Angelini, known as "The Wizard of Odds" in Chicago, became the fifth mobster to admit he schemed with the others in 1986 to funnel profits from gambling, loan-sharking, robbery and interstate transportation of stolen property through Bingo World, which Stephen B. Paskind, a Florida bingo operator, was buying at the time.

Angelo "Gus" King, 69, of West Hollywood, Fla., is the only defendant whose case has not been resolved. Authorities said he is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Angelini was expected to enter his plea two weeks ago with Dominic "Large" Cortina, one of his co-defendants,but was recuperating from surgery at the time.

Yesterday, he toldJudge Frederick N. Smalkin he felt good.

"Very well, your honor,"he said, then added: "Considering."

Angelini, slender with glasses and snow-white hair, leaned forward in his chair during much of theproceedings, an elbow on one knee, the other arm resting on the defense table. He answered Smalkin's routine questions in a steady voice.

"Yes, sir. No, sir. I understand. My attorneys?" he asked, repeating one of the judge's questions. "Great. They've done a great job."

Prosecutors said in their plea agreement they would recommend a sentence of 24 months, to run concurrently with any sentence Angelini may receive in a California case.

He was indicted last January in San Diego on charges of trying to muscle into gambling operations on the Rincon Indian Reservation in northern San Diego County. That trialis scheduled to begin in October, said his lawyer, William A. Von Hoene Jr.

Smalkin allowed Angelini to remain free on $50,000 bond, pending the outcome of the California case.

When Angelini was indicted in the Maryland case, he was serving 21 months in federal prison in Illinois after he and Cortina pleaded guilty to running a $20 million-a-year sports gambling operation on Chicago's West Side.

Underthe scheme he admitted to yesterday, Angelini, Cortina and others would buy 42 percent of the interest in the hall on Belle Grove Road with money from their illegal operations. Meanwhile, Paskind, an unindicted co-conspirator, claimed to own 84 percent, but actually held only 42 percent. Smaller investors held the remainder.

Paskind continues to operate Bingo World, but is trying to sell it to a group of local investors who have asked the county's Amusement License Commission to approve transfer of the license to them. The commission was created this year in the wake of revelations of organized crime connections to Bingo World.

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