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2 track officials face US charges

Illegal gambling, laundering alleged

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Two executives from Belmont's Lakes Region Greyhound Park are facing federal charges after an investigation into a five-state, $200 million illegal gambling ring linked to the Mob.

An indictment charges Richard Hart and Jonathan Broome, the track's general manager and assistant general manager, with money laundering and participating in an illegal gambling business.

Richard Hart is the nephew of track owner Allan Hart. Allan Hart was not indicted and said the track is not involved in the case.

''The fact is this indictment has nothing to do with Lakes Region Greyhound Park," Allan Hart said. ''It's a totally separate issue."

According to the indictment, Richard Hart and Broome transferred illegal gambling wagers and proceeds through a Concord business, International Players Association LLC. It did not list the amount of money involved in the alleged transactions. The men each face up to 97 years in prison if convicted.

They appeared in US District Court in Concord on Thursday and are free on $100,000 bail. They are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in federal court in New York City before Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, who presided over the Martha Stewart trial.

Both men have been put on administrative leave from the track, Allan Hart said.

''Even though they are employees of the greyhound park, it's business as usual here," Allan Hart told The Union-Leader newspaper. ''I can tell you this: My guys are 100-percent legitimate guys, and I can't believe they'd be involved in anything illegal."

Richard Hart, 45, of Londonderry, and Broome, 49, of Franklin, are two of 17 people indicted. The charges were made after a two-year investigation into a gambling business that operated over four years, principally in New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Nevada, according to the indictment.

The indictment says three Gambino organized crime family associates -- Gerald Uvari of Coconut Creek, Fla.; Cesare Uvari of Marlboro, N.J.; and Anthony Uvari of Las Vegas -- along with two other indicted men, acted as an intermediary group between bettors and several gambling businesses. Court documents call the intermediary organization the Uvari group.

Bettors, using Uvari group accounts, would place bets by telephone or over the Internet, the indictment said.

Each account had a Social Security number that belonged to one of Uvari group's five partners, and the number was used to report income and losses to the Internal Revenue Service, court documents said.

That let bettors avoid paying taxes on winnings and let the five partners claim gambling losses that weren't their own, court documents said.

International Players Association LLC acted as an intermediary between the Uvari Group and Euro Off-Track on the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom, according to the indictment.

''Hart transferred the funds that he received, either from bettors or the Uvari Group, to a betting account maintained at Euro Off-Track for the benefit of the Uvari Group," the indictment said. ''Euro Off-Track subsequently transferred money that constituted the proceeds of betting by customers of the Uvari Group to Richard Hart, the defendant, who in turn transferred the money to partners in the Uvari Group."

Harry Manion, Richard Hart's lawyer, maintained his client's innocence.

Richard Hart ''feels pretty comfortably when the government understands exactly what the relationship was with respect to certain wagers being made offshore, they'll find they are entirely legal," Manion said.

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