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Sons Plead Guilty in Father's Gambling Ring

Illegal gambling operation focused on football and basketball.

Consider it a "double down."

Nicholas Kumar Bansal, 35, and Steven Kumar Bansal, 32, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, June 26. The co-defendants admitted to laundering more than $2.5 million in profits from operating an illegal gambling business from 1995 through 2006, according to U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg.

Their father, Raj Kumar Bansal, 63 of Annandale, was considered the leader of the organization, according to Rosenberg. At the height of the operation, Bansal and his sons — Nicholas Bansal, of Stafford, and Steven Bansal, of Kill Devil Hills, N.C. — were bringing in "tens of thousands of dollars" every week, according to police.

The sons both admitted to having "no-show" jobs at businesses in Arlington and Springfield, and engaging in a loan-sharking operation, according to Rosenberg.

The case, originally slotted for action in Fairfax County, was considered the largest organized crime and gambling case in Fairfax County's history. After a two-year investigation into illegal gambling on football and basketball in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina, more than 100 officers and detectives served more than two dozens search warrants in the three states.

Police arrested the Bansals and five other co-defendants on Feb. 8, 2006.

THOUSANDS OF GAMBLERS placed bets on collegiate and professional sports games through the operation, according to police.

Rajan Harjani, 48 of Springfield, Sharon Rudolph Connelly, 66 of Springfield, Donovan Anthony Moncrieffe, 39 of Alexandria, and Krishna Pillai Balakrishnan Nair, 64 of Alexandria, all face federal charges of racketeering conspiracy, being part of an enterprise engaged in an illegal gambling business, money laundering, robbery, extortion and witness tampering.

Connelly, the former director of the Office of Inspector and Auditor at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, owned several businesses and used these to make mortgage loans to gamblers as a ploy to collect their gambling debts, according to Rosenberg.

PROSECUTORS SEEK forfeiture of approximately $7.8 million and the assets of businesses accused of being involved, including: Poto, LLC, R&B Holding and Pro-Lenders, LLC in Alexandria; Executive Loans, LLC in Springfield; Friendly Trading Services, also known as "Latino African Market" in Arlington; and Alpine Moving and Storage, Alpine Transfer, Inc. and Premier Transport in Alexandria.

The conspiracy was apparently based out of Raj Bansal's home in Annandale, according to police reports at the time of their arrests in 2006.

As part of the investigation, "Operation Underdog," police seized more than $2 million from the suspects' bank accounts and nearly $1 million worth of jewelry.