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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mob Wives dad and Bonanno consigliere Anthony Graziano is held as Staten Island extortionist after being snagged by family informant on wire

"Mob Wives" star Renee Graziano leaves Brooklyn Federal Court last month with her ex-husband, Hector Pagan Jr. Ms. Graziano's father is back in prison on extortion charges while her ex was arraigned Monday on allegations he was part of a crew that robbed a weekly card game run by the Bonanno crime family in 2009.

Anthony Graziano may not approve of his daughter's "Mob Wives" reality show, but it looks as though he has given its producers fodder for another season of Mafia melodrama.
Graziano, 71, of Huguenot, a reputed one-time consigliere of the Bonanno crime family, has been tossed back in federal prison on extortion charges, just a few months after he was released from a halfway house and placed under house arrest.
He was busted earlier today for attempting to collect a years-old loansharking debt, federal prosecutors allege.
The Staten Island gangster, who has gone by the nicknames "TG" and "the Little Guy," is the father of Renee Graziano, one of the four stars of VH1's "Mob Wives," which returns in January.
Anthony's arrest comes just a day after Renee's ex-husband, Hector Pagan Jr., and another Islander were charged with knocking over a mob-run card game in Travis in 2009.
All three arrests were made as part of a probe by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Graziano was caught twice on a wire talking about the old debt with a confidential informant, according to a federal warrant for his arrest, and ultimately agreed to cut the debtor some slack in exchange for a smaller payout and a promise of fealty.
The warrant lays out those conversations:
"You remember this guy...? He owed me 150 thousand," Graziano said in an Aug. 16 conversation with the informant.
The informant, a Bonanno soldier who "has an extensive criminal history that includes crimes of violence," was first directed to collect the debt in 2005, upon the informant's own release from prison, court papers allege.

The informant told the aging mobster that the debtor was a panicky mess, worried about threats he had recently received.
"I went to see the guy, the guy was crying hysterical on the boardwalk. I says, listen, you know Anthony would never do anything to you," the informant said.
"Never," Graziano interjected.
"And I'm not here to do anything to you either," the informant said.
"Listen to me. Tell him ... 'Listen, Anthony says come to the house," Graziano said.
In a later conversation, with an unnamed co-conspirator, the informant described the loanshark debtor as a "peace officer."
"He's big with shackles, yeah?" the co-conspirator asked.
Finally, on Nov. 9, Graziano told the informant to cut the debtor some slack: "Let me see what he says. If he got $25k, I'll take the $25k and call it even. You belong to me, anything you do, let me know, maybe I can make some money with you."
Back in 2003, Graziano was sentenced to nine years in prison on tax evasion and racketeering charges that included a plot to kill two reputed Colombo crime family associates who'd shot a man in a former Charleston strip joint called Hipps, which was allegedly controlled by Graziano. The associates were not harmed.
After "Mob Wives" premiered, Graziano and his daughter reportedly stopped talking because he didn't approve of her involvement with the show.
Graziano's lawyer, Patrick Parrotta, said his client was released to a halfway house in early summer to serve the end of that sentence, then to home confinement about a month later. Graziano denies the most recent charges against him, Parrotta said.
"My client is going to finish serving out the rest of his previous sentence in 2012, and in the interim, we are preparing to fight the allegations by way of a trial shortly thereafter," Parrotta said.

The DEA investigation also led to the arrest of Renee's ex, Pagan Jr., 51, and Matthew Rinaldo, both Islanders. They were arraigned Monday on allegations they were part of a five-man crew that robbed a weekly card game run by the Bonanno crime family in the summer of 2009.
Two members of that crew have since become cooperating witnesses, court papers allege.
The game ran out of an illegal gambling club near the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Travis Avenue, according to law enforcement sources.
They were hoping to find "substantial sums of money" at the game, court papers allege, but the job turned out to be high-risk, low-reward -- the take amounted only to about $5,000.
Pagan pointed a gun at one of the victim's legs, and the robbers demanded the card players empty their pockets, according to the feds. A wall safe in the room turned out to be empty, though, as did an adjoining room, the feds allege.



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