A US District Court in the Eastern District of New York has charged an alleged organised crime family member with attempted sports bribery and a host of related offenses related to Mafia activity.
According to a court filing, the attempted sports bribery charge was in relation to a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I men’s basketball game in or about December 2018.
The court ruled defendant Benjamin Bifalco, together with others, knowingly and intentionally attempted to influence a sporting contest with bribery
Court-authorized wiretaps captured the defendants, with 25-year-old Bifalco having offered members of a college basketball team thousands of dollars to intentionally lose the game.
The court did not disclose which game was affected by the bribery incident, nor did it confirm whether the attempt was successful.
Bifalco was one of twenty individuals charged during the hearing, which also included cases of extortion, racketeering, loansharking, stalking and other related offenses.
“The mafia is not the criminal threat it once was, but we remain vigilant and will vigorously investigate and prosecute members and associates who engage in violence and extortion to intimidate victims and enrich themselves and their crime family,” United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard Donoghue, said.
The court noted that the charges in the indictments are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.