WAILUKU - A man who said he had been placing bets for friends was ordered to pay a $3,500 fine after being arrested for gambling offenses two years ago.
Nathaniel Agcaoili Jr., 25, of Kahului was given a chance to keep gambling convictions off his record if he follows court requirements for five years.
When police vice officers executed a search warrant at Agcaoili's residence Dec. 29, 2010, they seized gambling records showing 73 wagers on college and professional football games totaling $11,650 on Dec. 12 and 13, according to a police and FBI investigation. The bets were in amounts ranging from $50 to $600.
Betters were paying 20 percent in "juice," or vigorish, to the house on losing bets, the investigation showed.
Agcaoili told police he received betting lines from two gambling houses and took wagers from friends, according to court records.
"He was just placing bets for friends for the most part," said Agcaoili's attorney, Joseph Toma. "As soon as he was arrested in this matter, he fully cooperated with police."
Agcaoili is considered dependable and hardworking in his job, Toma said, and letters from family members vouched for his good character. "This is the defendant's sole encounter with the criminal justice system," Toma said.
During Agcaoili's sentencing hearing Sept. 28, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen asked Agcaoili what he was getting by being a runner and delivering betting losses to the gambling house.
"I wasn't a runner," Agcaoili said.
He also said he wasn't profiting, "just losing money" on his own bets.
Agcaoili acknowledged he had been distributing the betting lines, and Bissen said Agcaoili's actions amounted to being a runner.
"As the runner for these two houses, you weren't getting anything?" Bissen asked. "Why would you risk going to jail for free?"
Agcaoili had pleaded no contest to first-degree promotion of gambling and second-degree possession of gambling records. He said he agreed to pay the fine so he wouldn't have to go to jail.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.