Joey Mastronardo grew up in the shadow of two towering figures - his father, a twice-convicted sports bookmaker with a national reputation, and his maternal grandfather, Frank L. Rizzo, Philadelphia's law-and-order mayor and police commissioner.
In adulthood, prosecutors said Tuesday, "the apple didn't fall far from [his father's] tree."
Mastronardo, 33, was sentenced to five months in prison and five months' house arrest for his role in a family gambling business that his father turned into a multimillion-dollar Internet profit center. He pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling, and money laundering last year.
It was the latest blow to a family ripped apart by a federal racketeering case that has dogged it since 2006 and also targeted his father, uncle, and mother.
"The truth is, I never had any interest in any of this stuff," Mastronardo told U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois. "I've never made a bet on a sporting event in my whole life."
Mastronardo's uncle John was also sentenced Tuesday to nine months in prison and nine months' home confinement.
His mother - Joanna, Rizzo's daughter - sat sniffling in the court gallery. Charges that she helped her husband, Joseph V. Mastronardo Jr., obscure his gambling winnings were dropped when her husband agreed to plead guilty in a deal with his 14 codefendants.
Joseph Mastronardo received a 20-month sentence of his own last month. The man once referred to by vice officers as the "gentleman gambler of Montgomery County" stood before a judge, gravely ill with throat cancer but unrepentant for the millions he earned as one of America's premier sports bookmakers.
Prosecutors say the Mastronardo organization raked in millions taking bets on its websites from high-end gamblers who thought nothing of dropping $10,000 or more on a game. The proceeds speak for themselves.
Investigators dug up $1.1 million from the Mastronardo family's backyard in 2010 and seized an additional $1.7 million from bank accounts frozen by federal authorities.
One of the Mastronardos' bettors won $500,000 on a single bet, money Joey Mastronardo delivered to him on City Avenue in cash stuffed into shopping bags, prosecutors said.
But Joey Mastronardo dismissed prosecutors' claim that he had any intention of following in his father's footsteps. He earned a master's degree in business at Drexel University and has worked for several years as a waiter at a Jenkintown tavern.
"I always wanted to go off in my own direction," he said Tuesday. "But my dad got sick. I did what I needed to do to help him."