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

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stamford mob figure indicted on extortion charge

Two weeks after his arrest on loansharking and extortion charges, longtime reputed Stamford Gambino crime figure Nicola Melia was indicted by a New Haven federal grand jury Wednesday for allegedly collecting high-interest loans by threats of violence.
The 78-year-old Melia, of Brushwood Road, is being held by federal authorities without bail after a federal judge rejected a $1 million request to release him one week ago.
According to a press release from David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, the indictment charges Melia with five counts of collecting extensions of credit by extortionate means.
According to the allegation, Melia made street loans to an unnamed Fairfield County individual at high interest rates.
On five occasions between Nov. 14, 2010 and Jan. 30, 2011, Melia threatened the individual with violence if the debts were not paid, according to an investigation undertaken by the FBI's Organized Crime Task Force, which includes members of the Stamford Police Department, the release said.
Melia was first arrested on the loansharking and extortion charges on March 23.
If convicted, Melia faces a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the five counts.
In 1981 Melia found himself in the middle of an international murder-for-hire plot and is currently under federal supervision as a result of a 2005 racketeering conviction that also netted the Gambino family's then underboss.
In 2000, Melia did four months in federal prison for under-reporting $150,000 on his 1994 tax return.
Just before his latest arrest, Stamford police arrested Melia's 39-year-old son, Philip, of Stony Brook Drive, Stamford, on state charges of first-degree assault and third-degree criminal mischief in connection with the beating of a truck driver in April 2010. In March 2010, two men broke into Melia's home and bound and robbed him at gunpoint.
Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly Fitzsimmons -- who released Melia on $5 million bond in 2004 only to be later told by federal investigators that Melia conducted meetings and loaned money in his then 96-year-old mother's nursing home room -- refused to let him out on $1 million bond.
"I do not regard Mr. Melia as someone the court can trust," she said.



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