SOURCES: Feds investigating illegal gambling at County Prep High School

Federal prosecutors have impaneled a grand jury to investigate an illegal gambling operation in Hudson County and subpoenaed County Prep High School employees to testify, according to various sources.

County Prep High School (PHOTO: Hudson County Schools of Technology)

Hudson County has a history & culture of corruption which symbolizes the state lottery’s motto, Anything can happen in New Jersey – including a Pick-6 pool operating out of public schools.

That pool is probably done now that federal prosecutors have impaneled a grand jury to investigate illegal gambling in Hudson County and subpoenaed County Prep High School employees to testify, according to sources.

A gambler with direct knowledge, speaking under the condition of anonymity, said the pool is based on the New Jersey Lottery’s Pick-6, has been going on for years, and is spread throughout Hudson County – including county & municipal administrative offices, courts, firehouses, and police stations.

How does it work? Participants pay $20 for a ticket, select six numbers that could be drawn during the NJ Pick-6, and turn it in before the pool’s cycle starts. A cycle starts on a specific date and goes through as many Pick-6 drawings as needed until at least one player hits on all six of their numbers, similar to bingo.

Some of the pots have been in excess of $100,000 and it’s believed various people take a cut before a winner receives their prize, according to the source.

As well, according to multiple sources, at least two County Prep employees with strong ties to the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) are at the center of the federal probe.

Neither of the employees are HCDO Chairperson Amy DeGise, who is a teacher at County Prep and former member of the Jersey City Board of Education (JCBOE). When asked about the investigation, DeGise told Real Jersey City she had no knowledge, but wouldn’t state if she was aware or not of gambling activities within the school.

Speaking off-the-record, a Hudson County official told Real Jersey City that the county’s leadership is “extremely nervous” about the illegal gambling investigation. Specifically, the concern is that potential targets of federal prosecutors might be willing to give up information about other criminal matters to secure favorable deals.

One political operative speaking with Real Jersey City about the situation predicated that, if multiple people are indicted, the gambling investigation will be another stain on the record of Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez – who has a record of covering up corruption that federal officials ultimately prosecute.

Regardless, it seems some people have definitely “played stupid games,” only time will tell if they “win stupid prizes.”

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