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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Two alleged Rhode Island mobsters ordered held without bail

The aging alleged boss of the Rhode Island branch of the New England mob and one of his foot soldiers were ordered detained on Thursday in an extortion case involving Providence-area strip clubs.
Edward "Eddy" Lato, 64, and his alleged soldier, Alfred "Chippy" Scivola, 70, were held following separate hearings in U.S. District Court in Providence. Lato's defense attorney, Mark L. Smith, said making a case for freedom would be "futile" given his client's 1999 conviction for racketeering conspiracy.
Scivola, however, did make a bid for release, prompting federal prosecutors to reveal some of the evidence from cooperating mob members and secretly recorded conversations.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland said the recorded conversations show Scivola "throwing his weight around as a member of the mob."
He read portions of a conversation he said Scivola had on July 12 outside a cafe in Providence with a cooperating witness. The witness was delivering $2,000 in government money that was presented as an extortion payment from the Cadillac Lounge. Ferland said Scivola delivered the money to Lato.
Lato and Scivola are accused of conspiring to continue the extortion of several strip clubs even after alleged former mob boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, 83, and mob associate Thomas Iafrate, 70, were arrested in January.
Scivola and Lato deny the charges. Manocchio has pleaded not guilty and is behind bars awaiting trial. Iafrate pleaded guilty in July to racketeering conspiracy and will be sentenced next month.
In another conversation recorded in August, Scivola discussed with the informant where to retrieve another extortion payment, Ferland said. He said that 40 minutes after the phone conversation, Lato was observed picking up the purported Cadillac Lounge payment from a mailbox at a Rhode Island home.
Defense attorney Victor Beretta Jr. portrayed Scivola as lifelong Rhode Island resident in declining health who lives on Social Security and his wife's $350 weekly earnings. He said the couple lives in a rented home in Johnston. Scivola's criminal record, which goes back three decades, has no "extreme violence," Beretta said.
Beretta said Scivola has never missed a court date and sat in a Nevada jail for 21 days earlier this year while waiting for Rhode Island authorities to pick him up after he was arrested on state racketeering and extortion charges while on vacation.
"Mr. Scivola clearly presents no risk of flight," Beretta said.
He also detailed Scivola's health problems, including heart trouble, diabetes, hypertension and blood-borne illnesses. Beretta said Scivola has been hospitalized repeatedly during the last eight months for respiratory problems. He took a puff from an inhaler at his arraignment on Friday.
Beretta described the evidence against Scivola as "weak," amounting to him delivering a payment and explaining where another could be picked up over the summer.
Scivola blew a kiss to his wife before being escorted from the courtroom after Magistrate Judge David L. Martin announced he would detain him.
Earlier in the day, Lato's attorney said he didn't think he could win a bail fight.
"You don't try to fight the battles you can't win," Smith said.
Lato, Scivola and two alleged mob associates -- Raymond "Scarface" Jenkins, 47, and Albino "Albi" Folcarelli, 53 -- were arrested last week. They are being held at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls.
Jenkins and Folcarelli are charged in the extortion scheme on an unidentified debtor. They deny the charges.
Mob associates Richard Bonafiglia, 57, and Theodore Cardillo, 67, were indicted earlier this year in the case and have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say Bonafiglia and Cardillo kept Manocchio informed of the goings-on at the Cadillac Lounge, where they worked as a bouncer and manager, respectively.



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