Three jailed in Kansas internet gambling enquiry

Industry observers were trying to identify which online gambling establishment could be involved in a Kansas Grand Jury investigation following reports in the Kansas City Star as the week ended.

The reports indicated that three local men had been imprisoned for contempt by a federal judge for refusing to testify before a grand jury hearing - apparently into Internet gambling.

The trio initially declined to testify, and prosecutors then granted them immunity from prosecution. When they again refused to cooperate despite having immunity, a federal judge found them in contempt and ordered them into custody. Such detention can be for as long as 18 months.

Federal authorities have identified two of the men as Tommy Cascone, a member of a prominent Kansas City restaurant family, and Dominic Cervello. Officials did not release the name of the third man. Information about Cascone and Cervello was made public because they requested public hearings, according to officials.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Kansas City declined to say what the investigation concerned, but members of Cascone’s family said it involved online gambling, without elaborating further.

The men could be released earlier if the grand jury completes its probe, if they decide to testify or if the jury completes its term, officials said.

“These young men … are not charged with committing a crime and are not repaying a debt to society,” said James Cascone, the uncle of one of the jailed men.

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