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

Sunday, October 16, 2011

North Jersey man pleads guilty to helping operate Lucchese crime family gambling ring

Mug shots of various memebers of the Lucchese ...Image via Wikipedia
A North Jersey mob associate has pleaded guilty to gambling charges and agreed to cooperate with authorities in an investigation into a multibillion-dollar bookmaking operation reputedly run by the Lucchese crime family and allegedly involving the son of a former Philadelphia mob boss.
Michael A. Maffucci, 25, entered the guilty plea during a hearing Friday in Morris County Superior Court.
He faces three to five years in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 9, according to a plea deal announced by the state Attorney General's Office.
Maffucci, of Cedar Grove, Essex County, was one of 34 reputed members and associates of the Lucchese organization indicted in May 2010.
Others charged in the case include two reputed New York leaders of the organization and the crime family's alleged top New Jersey operatives, Ralph V. Perna and Nicodemo S. Scarfo, son of jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo D. "Little Nicky" Scarfo.
The charges against the younger Scarfo include money laundering, promoting gambling, and extortion.
All the defendants in the case have remained free on bail pending a trial that has not yet been scheduled but that is expected to take place sometime next year .
Maffucci was described as an associate of the organization. He was charged in eight of the 34 counts listed in the indictment. Several of those charges will be dropped in exchange for his guilty plea and cooperation.
According to the indictment, Maffucci was part of a well-organized gambling ring that used the Internet and a wire room set up in Costa Rica to conduct what authorities alleged was a sports betting business that took in $2.2 billion over one 16-month period.
Other defendants in the case have also been charged with money laundering, extortion, and aggravated assault.
Three defendants are also accused of smuggling drugs and prepaid cell phones into East Jersey State Prison in Rahway. That scheme, authorities allege, was a joint criminal venture involving members of the Lucchese organization and members of the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the Bloods street gang.
The investigation, dubbed Operation Heat, was conducted by the Attorney General's Office Division of Criminal Justice.
Evidence includes hundreds of conversations secretly recorded on phone taps and electronic listening devices planted in automobiles used by the targets of the probe.
Scarfo, 46, of Atlantic County, has two state convictions, has served prison terms, and is also the focus of a federal investigation into allegations that he and several associates siphoned millions of dollars out of a Texas financial firm after secretly taking control of the company's board of directors.
An indictment in that case is expected before the end of the year, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the probe.



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