Two I-Gaming Businesses, Four Individuals Indicted in California

30 August 2003

On the heels of a five-year investigation, Gold Chip Technologies, Tecnologia and four individuals associated with the companies are facing an indictment before a federal court for activity involving an online gambling operation.

The case will go before the San Jose Division of a Northern District of California Court. The indictment was handed out Aug. 6.

The four individuals named in the case are Joseph A. Tedeschi, Jr., Peter V. Tedeschi, Rocco A. DeLuca, and Rocco A. DeLuca, II.

Whereas most illegal online gambling cases in the U.S. have significantly involved the Wire Act, in this particular indictment, U.S. attorney Kevin Ryan has cited a variety of offenses (12 in all), including conducting an illegal gambling business (as well as conspiracy to do so), traveling in interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise (as well as conspiracy to do so), aiding and abetting, and laundering monetary units.

The defendants' gaming operation, which was active from 1997 through 2000, was fairly typical of most of its kind. Its gaming server was located offshore at Tecnologia headquarters in the Dominican Republic, while its credit card server and data base server, which recorded player lists, balances, and addresses, were allegedly located at the Gold Chips location in Rhode Island, U.S.A.

Tedeschi, Jr., on behalf of Tecnologia, allegedly purchased licensed software and equipment from Handa Lopez, Inc. in California and contracted David Brown, who headed Handa Lopez, to provide maintenance support for the gambling enterprise.

If it can be established that the defendants violated certain state laws, the U.S. attorney would have grounds to charge that associated federal laws have also been violated.

By alleging several claims in relation to the enterprise activities in California, the U.S. would like to prove that the defendants "managed, financed, supervised, and directed" an Internet gambling business, which would be a violation of California Penal Codes. If successful on those grounds, the U.S. can to charge that the defendants had violated Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1955, which would lay heavier penalties upon the defendants.

The U.S. would then attempt to prove that violations of Rhode Island State law had occurred--that the defendants had "traveled and used facilities (the Internet) of and in interstate and foreign commerce" to promote and establish their enterprise. Violations of this charge would also signify a violation of the U.S. Travel Act, which would again instill heavier penalties upon the defendants.

The indictment comes three years after Brown and Handa Lopez were indicted on gambling and conspiracy to gamble charges in the same federal court.

Neither Ryan nor the defendants or their attorneys immediately returned calls from Interactive Gaming News.

IGN will report further on the case in coming days.

Supplementary Documents:

  • The Indictment
  • The U.S. Travel Act