Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Aging Bonanno captain whines to judge about stuff sentence

An aging gangster says he's getting shafted with a stiff sentence for a car arson — all because he managed to beat a bigger case years earlier.
Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro, 83, says eight years in prison is over the top for a conviction on ordering the 2012 torching of a car that cut him off.
Asaro said the reason the prison term is so out of whack is that Judge Allyne Ross wrongly weighed his 2015 acquittal in a trial where the feds tried linking him to a 1969 murder and the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist.
"Even though the jury, by acquitting Mr. Asaro of all charges, flatly rejected the veracity and credibility of the government's witnesses, Judge Ross nevertheless gave full credit to them," Asaro's lawyer wrote to the Second Circuit.
Asaro's pressing for the appeals court to make another judge resentence him.
Ross sentenced Asaro in December for the arson case. He pleaded guilty in the matter last summer, but he would've gone to trial if he knew this was the sentence he'd get, according to attorney Richard Langone.
The prison term is about three times the length of federal guideline recommendations, court papers say.
Federal prosecutors asked Ross to sentence Asaro to 15 years, which, Langone said, was "a virtual death sentence to this unhealthy octogenarian."
According to Langone, "the appearance of vengeful retaliation (or 'pay back') for the 2015 acquittal was palpable from the government's arguments during the sentencing on the arson."


Monday, April 23, 2018

Ponzi schemer scams $60K from Genovese captain Tough Tony

Prison might be the safest place for Ponzi schemer Hamlet Peralta.
Peralta, whose $12 million fraud helped crack the NYPD corruption scandal, shortchanged a reputed mobster from whom he borrowed $100,000, according to an FBI affidavit.
Wiretaps of Peralta’s cellphone caught him twice calling the Park Side Restaurant in Corona, Queens, on March 7, 2015, and asking for “Tony,” who the feds identified as eatery owner and reputed Genovese crime-family captain Anthony “Tough Tony” Federici, Special Agent Joseph Downs wrote the following month.
During the first call, the affidavit filed in Manhattan federal court says, Peralta told Federici he had “a $40,000 certified check for you right now,” adding: “I’m sending my guy to you with the check.”
Peralta also promised Federici the other $60,000 by March 9, and lamented that “Sammy is going to kill me,” in reference to Sammy Tsioumas, who Downs described as a “longtime associate” of Federici’s.
About three hours later, Peralta called back and Federici told him, “I got the check.”
But Peralta didn’t keep his word about paying the rest, because on March 13, the feds recorded Tsioumas telling him, “Tony is putting a lot of pressure on me.”
When Peralta insisted that “the money is coming in either tonight or tomorrow,” Tsioumas responded that money wasn’t the issue, and that Federici was very upset because Peralta wasn’t returning calls.
Peralta said he’d compensate Federici for dodging him and later mentioned 10 bottles of Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, which sells for more than $3,000 a bottle, the affidavit says.
But Peralta was still on the hook as of April 20, when a wiretap caught him promising to pay Tsioumas the next day.
Federici declined to comment Sunday.
“I don’t know anything about that,” he said. “If you want a sandwich, I’ll give you a sandwich,” he added before muttering an expletive and storming inside his restaurant.
But Tsioumas later said Federici agreed to loan Peralta $100,000 to finance the purchase of liquor for a planned Bronx strip club after Tsioumas introduced the two in the fall of 2014.
Peralta was supposed to repay the money, interest-free, two months later, but never coughed up anything beyond the initial $40,000, Tsioumas said.
“I started calling Hamlet. He said, ‘I’m going to give you the rest of the money this week.’ And that was it. He just disappeared. And that’s when he got arrested,” Tsioumas said.
“This guy was a sweet talker . . . Everybody got a little bamboozled there.”


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Genovese gangster is released on $10M bond

A taste of freedom was hardly free for the son of late mob boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante.
The former Genovese family leader’s namesake love child was released last week on a $9.8 million bond backed by $1 million cash and his mom’s Upper East Side townhouse, the Daily News has learned.
Vincent Esposito, 50, was jailed immediately after his January arrest on charges linked to a long-running Mafia shakedown of local unions. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Esposito was “obviously thrilled to be out” after his three-month stay inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center, said his attorney Jeffrey Lichtman.
He is now back living with his mother under house arrest inside her $8.3 million E. 77th St. townhouse, a home with a long mob history.
“No comment, no thank you,” said Esposito, in a white T-shirt and pajamas pants, when he answered the door Thursday. “Please don’t come back here.”
His mother Olympia Esposito, the Chin’s longtime mistress, took ownership of the property in 1983 when mobbed-up record company executive Morris Levy transferred the building into her name for $16,000.
Even then, the building was valued at $1 million.
According to court filings, Esposito’s bail terms also include the hiring of a round-the-clock armed security guard “in order to prevent any unauthorized exit.” The defendant would pay for the guard.
Lichtman said they will fight the costly requirement, which he estimated could run as high as $500,000. Esposito’s trial is set for a Sept 24. start.
Real-time video surveillance at the front and back doors is another requirement of his release, allowing 24-hour federal monitoring, court filings indicated.
A search of the four-story home after Esposito’s arrest turned up $3.8 million in cash stuffed inside old ammunition boxes, sacks, shoe boxes and envelopes.
The building also came under FBI scrutiny in the 1980s as the feds pursued Gigante, considered the city’s most powerful mob boss.
Agents observed the Chin behaving like a normal, rational man, undercutting Gigante’s long and successful dodge of prosecution by feigning mental illness.
Gigante died in federal prison in December 2005.


Bonanno mobster's Queens house hits market for $3M

This is some loanshark luxury living.
A month after Bonanno crime family big Ronald "Ronnie G" Giallanzo pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, the Daily News has learned his mobbed up mansion — with a wine cellar, gym and pool — is on the market for almost $2.9 million.
Giallanzo must sell his palatial, five-bedroom, three-bathroom and two half-bathroom Howard Beach pad.
That's according to his deal with Brooklyn federal prosecutors, who said the acting capo was at the top of a long-running loansharking operation, which lent millions at sky-high interest rates.
The feds filed pictures of the once modest, low-slung house before Giallanzo tore it down and used his ill-gotten gains to erect his custom-built compound.
The three-year-old home with 6,500 square feet of living space was “a daily visual reminder to those in his neighborhood of (Giallanzo’s)wealth and power,” prosecutors said.
Listing pictures show off amenities like a “banquet size dining room” and a spacious kitchen. There's a classy-looking den stocked with top-shelf liquor and a workout spot with “only the strong survive” emblazoned on the wall.
And there's no need to sleep with the fishes at the Giallanzo estate. You can watch them and TV at the same time in a media room with a wide flat-screen television mounted above a large built-in fish tank.
The house also boasts “surveillance, fire and home alarm plus surround sound system,” the listing notes.
Giallanzo, 47, has two years to complete the sale, according to court papers. Proceeds from the sale go to Giallanzo's $1.25 million forfeiture requirement. But he could still face additional fines and restitution when he's sentenced in June.
During his guilty plea, Giallanzo admitted he extended and collected extortionate loans from five different people.
He's scheduled to be sentenced on June 29 and he faces up to 20 years in prison.
The home's listing agent declined to comment and Giallanzo's lawyer could not be reached for comment.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Court documents reveal turncoat Rhode Island mobster will testify his brother became a made man after body disposal

Newly filed court documents reveal longtime Rhode Island mobster Robert "Bobby" DeLuca is set to testify that his brother, Joseph, was inducted into the mob shortly after disposing of a body for former mob boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme.
Salemme, 84, is charged with murder of a witness for the 1993 gangland slaying of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro. A flurry of court documents filed ahead of next month's trial in Boston reveal what the DeLuca brothers are expected to say in their testimony.
One document filed last week by prosecutors from the Massachusetts U.S. attorney's office states Bobby DeLuca will testify that Salemme elevated him to "capo" - or mob captain - in 1990, and "Salemme also 'made' DeLuca’s brother, Joseph, shortly after the murder of DiSarro."
It marks the first time the government has publicly identified Joseph DeLuca as a made member of the New England La Cosa Nostra.
Steven O'Donnell, a law enforcement analyst for Eyewitness News who used to investigate organized crime for the R.I. State Police, said the DiSarro murder likely explains why Joseph DeLuca was inducted into the mob.
"To shut him up, basically, to be quiet," O'Donnell said. "When you get sworn in you swear an oath of silence, 'omerta,' that you never talk about it ... bring him in so in their mind that would help silence him."
"Obviously that's not happening today," he said.
In the filings, prosecutors say Bobby DeLuca will testify that his brother volunteered to meet with Salemme alone, and to dispose of the body.
Joseph wanted to go without Bobby because "he was concerned that his brother had small children and might be caught," court documents say.
Investigators say Joseph DeLuca met Salemme at a pharmacy in North Providence, then drove with him to a nearby jewelry manufacturing plant where DiSarro's body was transferred to DeLuca's car.
It was then buried by Joseph and two other unnamed people behind a mill building on Branch Avenue in Providence. Land records show the building was owned by William Ricci, a longtime associate of Bobby DeLuca.
The DiSarro cold case was reinvigorated when Ricci confessed to the FBI, following his arrest in a separate case in 2015, that the body was buried on his property.
As Target 12 first reported, the FBI exhumed DiSarro's remains in March 2016, and Salemme along with codefendant Paul Weadick were charged a short time later.
Prosecutors allege DiSarro was strangled on May 10, 1993, at his Sharon, Massachusetts, home by Salemme's son, Frank Jr., while Weadick held his legs. (The younger Salemme has since died of natural causes.)
Salemme, his son and Weadick were revealed to be silent partners in a South Boston nightclub called The Channel, which was officially in DiSarro's name. Investigators allege Salemme's son - who was under investigation at the time - was growing concerned at the time of the murder that DiSarro was cooperating with the FBI.
"Similarly, Robert DeLuca will testify that Salemme expressed concerns that DiSarro was stealing from them," prosecutors wrote. "According to Deluca, he told Salemme he should 'get rid of him' meaning he should fire DiSarro."
Prosecutors say Deluca will tell a jury that Salemme responded, "well Frankie Boy will take care of that."
Bobby DeLuca has already pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about what he knew of the DiSarro case and will be sentenced after he testifies against Salemme.
O'Donnell said DeLuca's checkered history with the truth makes him a difficult witness for prosecutors.
"Bobby DeLuca has testified in court that's he's lied, he's pled that he lied, and also 20 years ago he's had a different version of the events," O'Donnell said. "It's a battle of credibility."
But he said prosecutors have lined up other witnesses who will corroborate DeLuca's story.
"That's just what a jury will do, they will decide if somebody lied, are they lying now or were they lying before?" O'Donnell said. "That's the beauty of a trial - letting them figure out what they believe is factual."
As Target 12 previously reported, Joseph DeLuca was granted immunity from prosecution.
Salemme and Weadick have both pleaded not guilty to charges. Salemme's attorney, Steven Boozang, did not immediately return a call for comment but has previously said his client is looking forward to taking this case to trial.
Jury selection is set for the end of this month with opening arguments on May 9.


Prosecutors share note mob murder victim left son


An “extremely distraught” Steven DiSarro, dubious about a sit-down he’d been summoned to with the godfather of the New England Mafia, left a note at his home in Westwood for one of his sons telling him it would be a while before they saw each other again.
The nightclub owner then stepped into a waiting ride and vanished, prosecutors plan to tell a jury later as Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme’s murder trial gets underway this month.
Salemme, 84, who was arrested in 2016 while in the U.S. Federal Witness Protection Program, and Paul Weadick, 62, of Burlington are due to go on trial April 24 in U.S. District Court for the May 10, 1993, hit on DiSarro, then the owner of the popular waterfront rock club The Channel.
In court filings of the anticipated testimony of his two star underworld witnesses, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi and Robert P. DeLuca, Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak Jr. provides a chilling view into the hours before and after DiSarro, 43, was strangled in Salemme’s son’s home in Sharon to stop him from talking to the FBI about his suspected business dealings with the mob.
Salemme’s late son Francis Salemme Jr. had once worked at The Channel as an assistant manager and was on GPS and house arrest in Sharon when, according to Wyshak, he throttled his former boss as his father watched and “while Paul Weadick held DiSarro’s legs off the floor.”
Wyshak said Flemmi — who is serving life at an undisclosed prison for 10 murders — is expected to testify that during an unannounced visit, he saw Salemme’s son walking DiSarro to the back of the house and witnessed him being killed.
DeLuca, 72, who Wyshak said is a made member of the New England La Cosa Nostra, will testify against Salemme as part of a plea deal under which he pleaded guilty in 2016 to obstruction of justice and making false statements, but has yet to be sentenced. Wyshak said DeLuca will testify that he called the elder Salemme from a pay phone and was told by Salemme he had “a package” he would deliver to DeLuca in Rhode Island, and to make sure to “get a hole dug.”
Salemme is accused of driving DiSarro’s body to North Providence wrapped in a blue tarp in an SUV and transferring it to the trunk of a car for others to dump in a pit after dark.
The veteran prosecutor, whose brief describes the doomed DiSarro as “extremely distraught” about meeting with Salemme, will also put DiSarro’s widow, Pamela, on the stand to testify about a note her husband left in their son’s bedroom before he disappeared “that indicated he would not be able to see his son for an unspecified period of time.”
Wyshak said DiSarro “was never seen again by any member of his family.”


Jury selection to begin in plot to kill Canadian mobster

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in less than three weeks in the case where Maurice (Mom) Boucher is charged with plotting to kill organized crime figure Raynald Desjardins.
Superior Court Justice Éric Downs and the lawyers involved in the case will begin the process on April 23. The trial will be heard at the Gouin courthouse in northern Montreal. Boucher, 64, will be represented by defence lawyer Mathieu Poissant and the Crown will be represented by prosecutors Matthew Ferguson and Marie-Christine Godbout.
Boucher was present for a pretrial hearing held at the Gouin courthouse on Friday. He faces one count of conspiring to murder Desjardins, a well-known organized crime figure, between July 2015 and Nov. 9, 2015. Desjardins, 64, was behind bars at the time. Boucher was arrested on Nov. 19, 2015 as part of an investigation led by the Sûreté du Québec.
Details on what was said during the hearing on Friday cannot be published due to a standard publication ban ordered because the trial date is approaching.


Lucchese mobsters strong armed doctor into writing prescriptions for over 230,000 Oxycodone pills

A Brooklyn doctor was strong-armed by a couple of wiseguys into writing prescriptions for more than 230,000 Oxycodone pills that were then trafficked by members of the Lucchese crime family, according to the Brooklyn US Attorney’s office.
Anthony Grado, 54, a solider for the family, was recorded telling the hapless doctor that he would feed him “to the [expletive] lions” if he wrote prescriptions without the mob’s permission, US Attorney Richard Donoghue’s office said Thursday.
Grado, Lawrence Tranese, 55, a mob associate, and others used both such threats and actual violence to have the doctor write the bogus scripts — and at one point the doctor was stabbed by a Lucchese associate on Grado’s orders, according to officials.
Grado and Tranese — who both pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone in Brooklyn federal court — along with other gangsters filled the prescriptions themselves and hawked the pills, the US Attorney’s office said.
Grado was also recorded saying that if the doctor’s newly ordered prescription pads “go in anybody’s hands” besides his, “I’ll put a bullet right in your head.”
“Lucchese family member Grado imperiled our community, threatening a doctor to force him to write prescriptions for oxycodone and then trafficking in the addictive drugs,” stated Donoghue.
“Violent threats to a doctor by Mafia defendants, combined with their trafficking of oxycodone pills, posed an especially serious danger to our community.”
“Organized crime groups and other criminal entities are seizing on the outbreak of addiction plaguing our country to make money,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “It shouldn’t be a shock that members of the Lucchese crime family used violence to force a member of the medical community to further their criminal enterprise.”
The defendants face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million when sentenced.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Genovese family soldier charged in bid rigging scheme

An alleged Staten Island mobster and another man are accused of colluding to fix construction bids for a luxury apartment building in Brooklyn, authorities said.

Christopher Chierchio, 49, a reputed soldier in the Genovese organized crime family, and Anthony Milohnic, 43, of Long Island, have been charged with felony agreement, arrangement, or combination in restraint of trade or competition, the attorney general announced Thursday.

Chierchio also is charged with criminal tax fraud for allegedly evading $94,094 in personal income tax, officials said.

"We have zero tolerance for crooks who try to game the system to line their pockets," said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. "We'll continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to crack down on bid-rigging, tax fraud, and all other forms of corruption."

Authorities allege the defendants schemed to ensure there was a lack of competition for the plumbing, sprinkler and HVAC bids for a new luxury residential building at 613 Baltic St. in Brooklyn.

The investigation included information from court-authorized wiretaps, the execution of search warrants and the review of financial records.

The indictments filed in Manhattan Supreme Court were part of a previous joint investigation, "Operation Shark Bait," which led to the indictment and arrest of 13 defendants for enterprise corruption in Brooklyn, authorities said.

The probe was conducted by the Organized Crime Task Force, in collaboration with the New York City Police Department's Criminal Enterprise Investigations Section, the New York City Department of Investigations, the United States Department of Labor - Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

"Bid-rigging undercuts fairness and equality in the contracting process," DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said. "DOI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to expose and stop this type of pernicious corruption."


Feds ink plea deal with Philadelphia boss Skinny Joey Merlino

Reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino has inked a plea deal just weeks after his racketeering trial ended with a hung jury, the Daily News has learned.
Merlino’s lawyers and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office told Judge Richard Sullivan they “have agreed on the terms of a pretrial disposition” and “have entered into a plea agreement,” according to a court document filed late Wednesday.
Sullivan has also received a copy of this signed plea deal, the filing also revealed.
The exact terms of the agreement were not immediately available.
Merlino’s change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for April 27.
Merlino went on trial in Manhattan Federal Court this January on health care fraud charges.
On Feb. 20, after three days of deliberations, the jury wrote Sullivan a note stating “We the juror(s) have continued deliberating and are at a continued impasse…Unfortunately, we will be unable to come to a consensus on any of the four counts.”
Merlino, who reputedly beat three murder raps, has been convicted in federal court twice before, including a 2001 conviction for racketeering and a 1990 conviction for theft.
He also has prior New Jersey court convictions for violating the casino control act and assault in 1998 and 1984, respectively.
If Merlino follows through with his deal, it would be the first time he pleaded guilty to a crime.
Merlino’s lawyer, John Meringolo, declined to comment.
Prosecutors did not comment.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Colombo mobster busted for scamming immigrant businesses

Looks like Big Mike is settling for a smaller piece of the action.

A Brooklyn mobster who once ran a million-dollar wire fraud scheme is now scamming immigrant-run businesses in Long Island out of $20 by posing as a fire extinguisher inspector, law enforcement sources said.

Michael "Big Mike" Castellano, 51, ran his alleged low-rent swindle on at least 30 businesses across Suffolk County, ultimately scoring a little more than $1,000 total, prosecutors said.

That's a far cry from the MoneyGram scam Castellano ran for the Colombo crime family in the late 2000s — a scheme which cost him $1.4 million in restitution and landed him in federal prison for more than three years.

After his conviction in the MoneyGram case, Castellano said in a handwritten letter to his sentencing judge that he wanted to devote himself to caring for his autistic son, and declared, “The life I lived is behind me forever!”

But that epiphany didn’t take, authorities said.

This time around, Castellano paid unannounced visits to small businesses whose owners spoke English as a second language.

Michael "Big Mike" Castellano, 51, scammed immigrant-run businesses in Long Island out of $20 by posing as a fire extinguisher inspector.

Claiming to inspect fire extinguishers for Liberty Fire Extinguisher Sales Co., he charged businesses $20 a fire extinguisher, replacing each can's inspection tags without doing any work on the equipment, prosecutors allege.

He collected at least $1,050 since August and prosecutors are looking for additional victims to come forward.

“This is not just a matter of bringing a scam artist to justice; it is a matter of ensuring that our small businesses are safe and in compliance with fire safety laws," said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini.

When investigators confronted him he admitted to running the con, according to a criminal complaint.

"I know what this is about, the fire extinguishers and fake tags. I'm not hurting no one. Other guys do it. I don't charge much, $20, $40," he said, according to the complaint.

"I'm doing them a favor in a way. The real companies are the crooks. Liberty is not a real company I know. If it was legit, I wouldn't be here."

Castellano charged businesses $20 per fire extinguisher.

Castellano’s last two scams landed him two separate federal prison stints.

In the 1990s, he and other Colombo mobsters placed ads in newspapers, falsely promising to loan money to people with bad credit in exchange for an up-front payment. They took the payments, but never loaned out any cash.

Then, in 2011, Castellano was scooped up in a 39-suspect mob sweep, accused of being the “mastermind” of a sophisticated years-long scheme to impersonate MoneyGram employees and wire money to locations across the Eastern seaboard.

Castellano told the court in 2012 he was addicted to marijuana, prescription pills and gambling, and that led to his life of crime.

He was sentenced to 37 months behind bars and three years of supervised release.

Castellano now faces charges of falsifying business records, scheme to defraud and petty larceny.

He was ordered held on $20,000 bond.