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Man guilty in gambling ring connected to former Sabre

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Posted at 11:52 AM, Dec 05, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-30 11:52:52-05

A Rochester man pleaded guilty Friday morning to a gambling ring connected to former Buffalo Sabres player Thomas Vanek.

Joseph Ruff, 32, began operating a gambling business out of The Marina Restaurant and Bar in 2012 using offshore internet gambling websites. As part of the plea deal, Ruff will serve 41 months in prison.

In July, Thomas Vanek, who currently plays for the Minnesota Wild, was asked to cooperate with the federal investigation. A check endorsed by Vanek for $230,000 was used as evidence in the case.

WHAM in Rochester reports Ruff’s attorney says Ruff took wagers from Vanek, who owes his client around $10 million for years of bets.

The NHL star is not facing any charges.

Mark Ruff, 40, of Connecticut pleaded guilty to money laundering and gambling charges in connection to this case and will serve nine sentences. Charges are pending against Paul Borrelli, 66, of Rochester who is accused of helping Joseph Ruff run the gambling business.

Federal authorities say the illegal gambling business involved an estimated $76,000,000 in total gross wagers.