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

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bonanno Crew Ringleader Sentenced To 12 Years

Bonanno crime familyJailed Bonanno Boss Vincent Basciano via Wikipedia
The leader of a ring of South Florida crooks tied to the Bonanno crime family was sentenced Thursday to 12 years and seven months in federal prison for orchestrating an array of felonies including arson and identity theft.
Thomas Fiore, of Boynton Beach, headed a crew of nine men and one woman, masterminded the November 2007 torching of his Royal Palm Beach gym and solicited the murder of a former business associate, authorities said. He followed in the footsteps of his uncle Gerard "Gerry" Chilli, a reputed Bonanno family captain who is now awaiting sentencing in New York federal court on a loan-sharking charge.
Fiore, 47, pleaded guilty in October to a federal racketeering charge rather than risk going to trial and facing prosecutors armed with hundreds of hours of secretly taped phone conversations. All 10 of his co-defendants arrested by the FBI in May 2009 have taken plea deals, including Fiore's older brother Nicholas and disbarred Boca Raton attorney Kenneth Dunn.

Fiore's attorney argued Thursday in Fort Lauderdale federal court that his client's criminal activities had been hyped by authorities.
"A lot of this was mere talk," said defense attorney Fred Haddad.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Schwartz recommended Fiore receive a prison sentence of 151 months, and U.S. District Judge William Zloch agreed.
"The court finds this sentence is sufficient to protect the community," Zloch said.
Federal authorities said that from 2007 until his arrest, Fiore ran the crew despite either awaiting trial or serving probation on a state racketeering charge. Fiore was busted along with Chilli in 2005 by the Broward Sheriff's Office in "Operation Coldwater" — a 14-month investigation into drug dealing, gambling and the sale of stolen booze and 10,000 pounds of Chilean salmon.
Fiore's undoing in the most recent case was the result of the intercepted phone calls as well as an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated his group posing as a corrupt businessman. Fiore solicited the agent's help in handling fake checks, laundering money through foreign bank accounts, selling stolen plasma televisions and cigarettes and committing identity theft, according to federal authorities.
Fiore also conspired to extort business owners and arranged for his own gym, Round 1 Fitness Center, to be set on fire so he could get the insurance proceeds. He admitted in court documents that he solicited the murder of a former business partner, but there is no mention of the target's name.
He also was involved in the submission of fake Medicare claims and had been arranging to buy houses where he could host illegal, high-stakes poker games, according to court records.
Fiore would travel to New York City to consult with the hierarchy of the Bonanno family, one of the five New York crime families.
He said Thursday that he takes responsibility for his actions and that the years leading up to his arrest were rough for him because of his mother's diagnosis of kidney cancer and his substance abuse problems.
Of Fiore's 10 co-defendants, seven already have been sentenced, receiving prison terms between one year and 43 months. Among the three still awaiting sentencing are Fiore's alleged enforcer, Pasquale Rubbo.

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