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Police: Youngwood pub owners stashed a fortune in gambling proceeds

| Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 11:54 a.m.

John and Judith Caccamese's tax records indicated they were barely able to eke out a living from Delaney's Pub in Youngwood, reporting combined income of only $10,400 annually from 2009-11.

But in February 2011 — four days after the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers played in Super Bowl XLV — state police and FBI agents swooped into Westmoreland County with search warrants and discovered the Hempfield couple had $1.68 million in cash stashed in safes and safety deposit boxes, according to court documents.

In the basement of the bar at 301 S. Third St., police opened a safe that contained $586,310, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed on Thursday with Scottdale District Judge Charles Moore. Alleged illegal video poker machines there contained another $813.

In the couple's' modest, 2 12-story home at 416 Lexington Drive, state police and FBI agents found another $781,630 “throughout the residence” that was confiscated as gambling proceeds, according to Trooper Edward Malloy and FBI agent Steven Kontaxes.

A safe deposit box at First National Bank in Greensburg contained $117,000, and investigators confiscated another $196,575 from two safe deposit boxes the couple maintained at First Commonwealth Bank in Hempfield.

On Thursday, John Caccamese, 63, was arraigned on charges of dealing in illegal activities, running illegal lotteries, possessing illegal gambling devices, pool selling and bookmaking.

Attempts to reach the Caccameses for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.

Caccamese's attorney, Kenneth Burkley of Greensburg declined comment.

“It would be premature to discuss it at this time,” Burkley said.

Investigators sifted through garbage bags taken from the Dumpster behind the pub and from the home that contained numerous illegal strip and raffle tickets, owe sheets, betting lines for college basketball with written notes and lottery numbers listing values of numbers bet, the affidavit alleges.

When police questioned Caccamese on Feb. 11, 2011, he admitted running a massive gambling operation.

“Caccamese provided that he was taking in approximately $6,000 daily, $30,000 a week for numbers bets for approximately the last one to two years,” Malloy said in the affidavit.

“Caccamese stated that he was taking in approximately $10,000 weekly, approximately $100,000 a year, in sports betting. Caccamese additionally provided that he was the ‘end all' and not laying or edging bets to no other bookmaker,” the affidavit said.

Caccamese told investigators then that his weekly profits spiked during the 2011 Super Bowl, which the Steelers lost 31-25. The Packers were favored in that game by three points.

In a 2011 civil filing related to the two-year investigation, the state attorney general wanted to seize the couple's 2004 BMW, alleging it was purchased with proceeds from illegal gambling.

Although John and Judith Caccamese are the lone shareholders of J-CAC Enterprises Inc., which owns Delaney's Pub, Mrs. Caccamese, 63, was not charged by police. She is listed in state Liquor Control Board records as the only operating officer of the tavern.

The state income records filed by the Caccameses were seized by authorities as part of the nearly two-year gambling investigation. The investigation began based on information from a confidential informant, court records show.

Caccamese was released on a signature bond. His preliminary hearing was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday before Youngwood District Judge James Falcon.

In the late 1980s, John Caccamese was charged with running an illegal sports gambling operation. He was fined and given probation, according to court records.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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