The son-in-law of a former Philadelphia mayor was sentenced Tuesday after admitting his part in an illegal multi-million dollar gambling business.
Joseph Mastronardo Jr. was sentenced to 20 months in prison. In January, 2014, Mastronardo Jr. and his brother John Mastronardo pleaded guilty to using offshore accounts and other means to launder gambling proceeds from a huge sports betting organization. Joseph "Joe Vito" Mastronardo is married to the late Mayor Frank Rizzo's daughter, Joanna.
Sixteen people were indicted after authorities found more than $1 million in cash buried in PVC pipes in the front yard of the couple's sprawling suburban home.
A dozen defendants charged with racketeering and gambling in the case agreed to take part in a "global plea," requiring that they all pleaded guilty.
The deal did not include Joanna Mastronardo, who was charged with the lesser crime of "structuring" bank deposits to avoid reporting rules.
The brothers earned the nickname of "Gentleman Gamblers" because of their policy toward gamblers who failed to pay up. Instead of resorting to violence, they refused to let them place more bets.
The indictment unsealed last year alleged that the Mastronardos ran a multi-million-dollar gambling ring with ties to Florida, New Jersey and Costa Rica. At its peak, more than 1,000 active bettors took part, placing online or telephone bets.
Joseph Mastronardo, who was convicted in 1987 on federal gambling charges, once ran a gambling operation that grossed $50 million a year, according to a 1990 report by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.