Ex-New York State Trooper Charged in Illegal $10m Betting Ring Tip-offs

10 Feb

A former New York State Police trooper faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after being accused of tipping off a sportsbetting syndicate about active investigations into their illegal activities.

51-year-old Thomas J. Loewke, of Rochester, New York, an NYSP sergeant who retired in August, has been arrested and charged with “obstruction of a state or local law enforcement investigation and obstruction of an official proceeding.”

The announcement this week by U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross follows an investigation by Homeland Security, federal, state, and local law enforcement into illegal gambling businesses.

One such operation revolved around “an illegal bookmaking operation, which was managed through accounts on the website sport700.com.”

According to the D.O.J statement, “multiple members of the business had access to the website in order to manage and operate the business, violating multiple New York State laws.”

Investigators intercepted multiple calls and text messages between accounts known as Target 1 and Target 2. Search warrants enforced in January and February of 2021 revealed how lucrative the operation was to those in charge.

Target 1:

  • 16 sub-agent accounts
  • 221 individual bettor accounts
  • $1,241,172 in gambling profits

Target 2:

  • 128 sub-agent accounts
  • 1,789 individual bettor accounts
  • $8,945,629 in gambling profits

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire, in charge of the prosecution case, revealed how investigators overheard a phone call between the high-profile targets.

“During the investigation, investigators overheard a phone call between Target 1 and Target 2, during which Target 1 said that a member of the New York State Troopers named “TJ” had tipped him off to the ongoing investigation. The Targets then discussed changing the passwords and domain name of the website and erasing the betting history in order to avoid detection. At the time, Loewke was a Sergeant with the New York State Police.” Loewke is thought to have involved other troopers in his nefarious activities, a uniformed NYSP trooper found to have accessed a Senior Investigator’s office and computer records and passing details of investigations on to Loewke.

The criminal complaint reveals: “A review of the Trooper’s cell phone shows that during those times, the Trooper sent an outgoing text message and made two calls to a cellular phone number registered to Loewke. Two additional calls were made to Loewke’s cell phone that afternoon. The text message stated “Call me ASAP.”

“The Trooper subsequently confirmed that he had disclosed the existence of the investigation to Loewke. A search of Loewke’s phone also uncovered evidence that he engaged in illegal sports betting by placing numerous bets with another individual.”

Loewke made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and was released on conditions. The case is ongoing.

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