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

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alleged mobster's son sentenced to two years

The son of a convicted loan shark was sentenced to two years in state prison Wednesday for brutally assaulting the man who masterminded a robbery at his father's house last year and also who served as the main witness in a federal extortion case against his father.
Philip Melia, 40, of Stony Brook Drive, Stamford, pleaded guilty this past September to a single count of second-degree assault, and in exchange Stamford prosecutors agreed to stop pursuing several drug charges against him and a separate assault case. In total, Melia was sentenced to a five-year sentence, suspended after serving two years, followed by three years on probation, according to his defense attorney, Robert Bello.
He was taken into custody Wednesday morning after his sentencing.
"This was a spontaneous act that wasn't justifiable, but understandable," Bello said.
According to his arrest affidavit, Melia was accused of attacking a man with a metal tool, either a hammer or wrench, at a Liberty Street truck yard. At first the victim gave Stamford police officers several conflicting stories about what happened during the attack on April 14, 2010.
It took several months before the victim identified Melia as his attacker. He told police he lied because he was scared for his family's safety. This past March, the victim identified Melia through a photo line-up, which led to his arrest on March 23.
The victim told police he suffered several serious injuries in the April 2010 assault, including two broken fingers and a head injury, according to the affidavit.
Shortly after the robbery, the victim had admitted to Philip Melia that he helped plan a home invasion robbery in March 2010, when two men posed as delivery drivers and broke into Nicola Melia's house. They tied him up and stole cash and jewelry.
Before the assault, the victim also owed Melia's father, Nicola, several hundred thousand dollars in illegal loans.
In 2009, the victim received several large cash loans from Melia to pay for business costs, trips to casinos and his illegal drug habit, federal prosecutors said in court filings. In spring 2009 the witness received nearly $144,000 in loans. Because of business problems, gambling and drug use, the victim began missing his interest payments. Years before that the witness inherited someone else's debt and paid Melia close to $300,000 in interest since 2001, prosecutors said.
Nicola Melia threatened to use his contacts with the Bonnano crime family to extort the high interest rates from the victim, federal prosecutors said.
The victim began cooperating with federal authorities in a case against Philip Melia's father about six months after the brutal assault, federal court documents show.
Nicola Melia reached a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty to extortion this past September. Melia, 79, faces several years in prison after pleading guilty to single counts of using violent threats to collect high-interest loans and possession of firearm ammunition as a convicted felon. Federal prosecutors and Melia agreed on a recommended prison sentence of five years.



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