Posted on: December 20, 2023, 12:44h.
Last updated on: December 20, 2023, 12:44h.
A former New York State Police sergeant avoided jail time this week after he confessed to informing an illegal gaming ring about a police investigation.
Thomas J. Loewke, 52, of Rochester, was sentenced to two years’ probation by a federal judge on Monday after being convicted of obstructing a state or local law enforcement investigation.
The retired state trooper must also carry out 100 hours of community service and pay a $4K fine. If he successfully fulfills both, he will avoid prison time.
The judge could have initially sentenced him to up to five years in prison and made him pay a $250K fine. But new sentencing guidelines suggested he could have received a maximum prison sentence of eight to 14 months.
When granting probation, the judge took into account Loewke’s record of service and character references.
In May, Loewke pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer.
Loewke informed the owners of an illicit online gambling ring in Rochester about the investigation, according to the Buffalo News.
The investigation, which started in October 2020, targeted gambling activities led by Louis P. Ferrari II of Rochester and his associates. Ferrari operated an illegal bookmaking operation through the sports700.com website.
The ring “conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed and owned an illegal gambling business” that generated profits of over $10 million from more than 1,700 bettors from 2016 to 2021, according to a federal complaint.
Ferrari Changes Website
Loewke alerted Ferrari about the police inquiry on Dec. 27, 2021. Subsequently, Ferrari changed his betting website’s password, modified the website’s design, and deleted information about past wagers, the police said.
Ferrari was arrested for conspiracy, transmission of wagering information, operation of an illegal gambling business, and money laundering. His federal court case is pending, according to RochesterFirst.com, a regional news site. In total, seven Rochester men were charged.
The judge noted that the alleged tipping off of the gambling ring constitutes a crime; they have already made an arrest in this case,” defense attorney Michael Schiano told Rochester TV station WROC.
“So, in terms of whether or not his activities or actions stopped this, they didn’t, they got indicted, they’re all still charged, they’re facing federal gambling charges,” Schiano added.
The federal government also revealed that Loewke had a gambling issue.