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Head of illegal gambling with former Sabres sentenced

Paul Borelli, 70, a Rochester businessman who was head of an illegal sports gambling ring that snared two former Buffalo Sabres, was spared further jail time and sentenced Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr., to three years probation and eight months of home detention on his money laundering and illegal gambling conviction.

The judge also ordered Borrelli to pay a $1.2 million judgment and to forfeit about $3 million worth of properties, bank accounts and cash seized during the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force probe of his operation.

Nathan Paetsch, 32, a former Sabres defenseman was sentenced Friday by Geraci to eight months of home confinement, 400 hours of community service and he was ordered to forfeit $265,000 seized from him during the probe. But the judge allowed Paetsch, who lives in a Rochester suburb, to continue to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, the top minor league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.

Joseph Ruff, 33, a Rochester restaurant owner and bookie, was sentenced in April to 41 months in federal prison, and his brother and business partner, Mark Ruff, 40, was sentenced in March to nine years in prison for their roles in the illegal gambling operation that federal authorities claim collected at least $76 million in wagers from at least January 2014 through the end of April 2014, with Borrelli hiding all their combined profits in a Bank of America account.