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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Feds Drop Charges Against Former NJ Lucchese Underboss

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman moved to dismiss the pending counts against Taccetta “because further prosecution of these charges is not in the interests of the United States at this time,” according to a court order.
U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler, who was to preside over Taccetta’s trial on July 6, signed the order Wednesday.
Taccetta, 59, of East Hanover, is already serving a state prison sentence of life plus 10 years. He was pleased with the turn of events, said his attorney, Maria Noto.
“We’re happy, of course. We always felt it was a weak case against Marty and that’s why were were going to trial,” Noto said Thursday.
Noto declined to speculate why the government sought a dismissal.
Taccetta was among 23 reputed members and associates of the Gambino and Lucchese mob families indicted on May 2, 2008 for what the FBI called a “veritable smorgasbord” of crime. All of the other defendants accepted plea deals and are awaiting sentencing.
The 30-count indictment targeted a Gambino crew led by Andrew Merola and outlined schemes to shake down a lunch truck vendor, put mobsters in no-show jobs, use union muscle to collect payoffs from contractors, and rake in millions of dollars in bets on sporting events and casino-style games over a website based overseas.
Taccetta, named in only three of the counts, was accused of conspiring to use extortion to collect a loan from an unidentified debtor. He also is charged with conspiring with Merola and others to demand and receive about $20,000 in unlawful payments to allow non-union labor on a construction project at a Morristown BMW dealership in 2007.
Merola, 42, of East Hanover, pleaded guilty in January to racketeering conspiracy charges and will be sentenced with the other defendants on Oct. 21.
Taccetta was convicted in 1993 on state racketeering and extortion charges, but acquitted of murder for the 1984 golf-club beating death of an Ocean County businessman. He served 12 years before a judge released him and ordered a new trial on grounds he had been misinformed by his lawyer on the impact of his plea agreement. Last July, the New Jersey Supreme Court overruled the lower court and reinstated his life sentence.


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