The Trump Tower resident, whose Rice to Riches serves up 18 flavors of rice pudding at $4.50 a cup, reportedly ran an operation drawing a weekly average of $420,000 in football and basketball bets (in pudding terms, 93,333 happy customers). His 19 codefendants included his father, a concierge at Trump Tower, and a father who enlisted his 9-year-old boy to helped relay point spreads via cell phone. Some $413,000 in cash was seized from the elder Moceo, considered the co-boss of the gambling ring, said to be one of the largest such operations ever in the county. Father and son were free on bail.
No word on how Moceo's arrest will affect operations at Rice to Riches, which he opened in Little Italy nearly three years ago. It was a labor of love for Moceo, who researched recipes, spent more than a year constructing an elaborate kitchen designed to turn out a single product and put a lot of thought into proper dishes and catchy names for the 18 flavors. The self-proclaimed "rice pudding entrepreneur" hired Jemal Edwards, once pastry chef at Montrachet and Nobu, to produce the puddings from premium ingredients.
Perhaps surprisingly, the restaurant was not a venue for any of the alleged betting activity.