Underground Brooklyn Poker, Sportsbook Crime Lord Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison

  • Iseni received his jail sentence for masterminding a multi-year racketeering ring
  • The Staten Islander, 56, must also forfeit $349,000 and pay a $5,000 fine
  • The ring’s lifeblood flowed from a network of illegal Brooklyn gambling parlors
  • The US Attorney said Iseni’s sentence should warn “dangerous, recidivist felons”
Hands on prison bars
A Staten Islander nicknamed Diamond has received a 51-month prison sentence for masterminding a racketeering ring propped up by illegal poker parlors and sportsbooks in the Brooklyn area. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Criminal mastermind

US District Judge Andrew L. Carter has sentenced Abduraman Iseni, aka ‘Diamond,’ to 51 months in prison for masterminding a multi-year racketeering enterprise.

underground poker games and illicit sportsbooks

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Damian Williams, announced the judge’s sentence on Tuesday. Iseni’s criminal acts connected to his sentence include hosting underground poker games and illicit sportsbooks.

The US Attorney’s Office SDNY took to Twitter Wednesday with news of the verdict:

In addition to his prison term, the judge also ordered Iseni to forfeit $349,000 and pay a $5,000 penalty. He must also serve three years of supervised release.

Iseni previously pleaded guilty to the eight charges in October 2021. The Staten Islander, whose underground gambling venues supported the criminal ring he controlled, had two prior federal convictions in SDNY for racketeering and money laundering.

Crooked Brooklyn network

According to the DOJ, Iseni’s racketeering venture ran from “in or about 2017 through 2020.” The 56-year-old’s prison sentence is also based on criminal offenses connected to money laundering, bank fraud, false statements to a bank, and threats.

Iseni masterminded a criminal ring, named the Diamond Enterprise. The kingpin extended his “protection, connections, and substantial influence in the criminal underworld” to other members of the ring in return for a cut of their ill-gained profits.

a network of illegal gambling parlors located across Brooklyn

Iseni ran his enterprise in part using the money flowing out of a network of illegal gambling parlors located across Brooklyn, named Sports Café, Friendly Café, and Oasis Café. The parlors hosted both illegal sportsbooks and underground poker games.

In order to hide the profits from these gambling establishments, the operation saw revenue laundered via multiple bank accounts.

Should have known better

In Tuesday’s news release, US Attorney Williams said having previously served over ten years in federal prison, Iseni should have known the “consequences of serious crimes.”

“Today’s sentence should send a message that this Office will make every effort to hold dangerous, recidivist felons to account,” Williams warned.

According to the DOJ, Iseni also admitted to threatening a victim with physical violence. An example included an incident where he “held a fork close to a co-defendant’s eye and threatened to jab it in.”