CARS HOMES JOBS

Second Albany County jailer pleads in betting ring

No time behind bars, but officer to forfeit $25,000

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
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— The second of two Albany County corrections officers accused of participating in a gambling ring pleaded guilty to a felony Tuesday.

With that plea, all those charged locally in the ring have now pleaded guilty to related crimes, according to the Albany County District Attorney’s Office.

On Tuesday, Timothy Robillard, 44, of Clifton Park pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree promoting gambling. Robillard admitted that he worked with others in 2011 to engage in and profit from gambling.

Robillard’s plea agreement was similar to others in the case. If he stays out of trouble for one year, he will receive no jail or probation time, although the felony will remain on his record. He also agreed to forfeit $25,000 in illegal gambling profits.

Robillard is to be sentenced April 15. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple could not be reached Tuesday to comment on how the conviction would affect Robillard’s job status.

Robillard was one of two Albany County corrections officers accused of participating in the ring. The other, James Cerniglia, 47, also of Clifton Park, pleaded guilty last summer to one misdemeanor count of promoting gambling. Cerniglia agreed to resign from his position at the jail and forfeited $5,000 in illegal earnings.

Robillard and Cerniglia were initially charged in April 2013 with felony enterprise corruption. Both were suspended without pay upon their arrest.

Two others were sentenced in August 2013 in connection with the gambling ring: Christopher Socola, 42, of Clifton Park, and Joseph Carucci, 68, of Albany, each agreed to similar no-jail-time sentences. Carucci also forfeited $15,000 in illegal earnings.

Socola pleaded guilty in June 2013 to one count of first-degree promoting gambling, while Carucci pleaded guilty to second-degree promoting gambling. Socola admitted to engaging in a bookmaking-for-profit scheme, including a July 2011 incident in Albany County.

Another defendant, Craig Hayner, 42, of Clifton Park, pleaded guilty in July 2013 to one count of first-degree promoting gambling. Hayner admitted to engaging in a bookmaking-for-profit scheme and agreed to forfeit $250,000 in illegal earnings.

At the time of the arrests, officials said the Albany County operation was related to a larger gambling ring run by Phillip Gurian, a Florida man with alleged ties to organized crime. He was accused in federal court of using multiple websites and computer software for gambling and pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to launder money. He is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Gurian allegedly had more than five people working for the enterprise, which spanned cities in California, New York, Russia and Panama, officials said.

 
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