Bookmaker gets prison time in insurance fraud scheme

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HARTFORD  — A bookmaker who pleaded guilty to charges he shot a gambler with a stun gun and tried to burn down a Middletown restaurant in an insurance fraud scheme is headed to prison.

The Hartford Courant reports  52-year-old John Barile of East Hartford was sentenced Tuesday to 71 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in February to charges of arson, insurance fraud, gambling and extortion.

Authorities say the East Hartford man ran an illegal sports-related bookmaking operation from 2010 to 2014. Prosecutors say he shot a gambler with a stun gun to punish him for not paying his debts.

Federal prosecutors say Barile and three others plotted to burn down a pizzeria he and a partner owned to collect an insurance payout in January 2010.