DALLAS – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Monday presented the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office a check for over $460,000 for assisting in a successful investigation into an international illegal online gambling organization.
The $460,560.26 the Dallas District Attorney’s Office received was part of nearly $9 million seized by HSI and the IRS during the investigation of a criminal organization led by Frank Cacopardo.
The joint investigation by HSI, IRS and the District Attorney’s Office, which is a member of the HSI Dallas Financial Crimes Task Force, revealed that the illegal gambling operation was based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which Cacopardo of North Texas had been operating since January 2006.
In 2014, HSI Dallas initiated an investigation that showed how Cacopardo was using offshore websites to further his criminal bookmaking operation. Specifically, he was using offshore internet sports book websites based in Costa Rica to accept wagers on sports games from bettors throughout Texas and other U.S. cities.
In 2017, HSI Dallas, along with the IRS-Criminal Investigation, executed federal search and seizure warrants on Cacopardo’s residence and financial accounts. As a result, $8.9 million dollars were seized, and Cacopardo subsequently pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling businesses. Cacopardo agreed to forfeit $7,401,702 of the currency seized during the investigation, of which HSI seized $2,455,012, and the IRS, $4,946,690.
On Oct. 11, 2018, Cacopardo was sentenced to 48 months’ probation and the Final Order of Forfeiture was issued associated with the $7.4 million seizure. The funds seized from Cacopardo’s accounts represented illegal proceeds. These funds, due to their origination in illegal activities were forfeited to the federal government for equitable distribution among the investigative agencies.