By Greg Orlandini and Ed Fischer
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The daughter and son-in-law of late Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo are under arrest, indicted by federal authorities as part of a multimillion-dollar illegal sports gambling operation.
Joseph Mastronardo Jr. (top photo) is charged with running the operation along with his brother, John. Joe’s wife, Joanna Rizzo Mastronardo, is accused of making “structured” deposits of money from the gambling ring in ways that attempted to circumvent law enforcement scrutiny.
A total of 16 people are charged with operating the gambling ring that, at its peak, had more than 1,000 customers and was generating millions of dollars a year.
The ring allegedly took bets via the Internet, telephone, text messaging, and in-person communications for sporting events that included football, baseball, basketball, golf, horse racing, and golf.
According to the indictment, the Internet and telephone sites were staffed by residents of Costa Rica.
The defendants allegedly hid more than $1 million in and around their homes, including in specially-built compartments and in PVC pipes that were buried in the yard of a home in Meadowbrook, Abington Township.
The organization also allegedly used a gas station on Norristown Road in Blue Bell, Pa. as a mailing address and drop-off site to collect gambling payments.
Joe and John Mastronardo have been previously convicted in Montgomery County, Pa. on similar charges.
In addition to the Mastronardo brothers and Joanne Mastronardo, those charged in the federal indictment are identfied as Eric Woehlcke, Harry Murray, Joseph Vitelli, Anna Rose Vitelli, Patrick Tronoski, Edward Feighan, Kenneth Cohen, Schuyler Twaddle, Michael Loftus, Michael Squillante, David Rounick, and Ronald Gendrachi.
A hearing in federal court is expect later this afternoon.
Stay tuned to KYW Newsradio 1060 for more on this developing story.