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

Monday, January 9, 2012

Judge keeps Ponzo’s finances under wraps for now

A federal judge is withholding the sealed financial affidavits of an accused hit man from prosecutors trying to build a perjury case against him, but only until former fugitive Enrico Ponzo pleads out, testifies in his own defense or his trial is resolved by a verdict, a court order states.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Timothy S. Hillman refused to bar access to the sworn statements permanently, as Ponzo hoped, saying the reputed mobster’s “wait and see approach” to pleading his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination after the feds inquired about his declared assets is an “untenable” position.
“Simply put, Ponzo cannot hide behind the Fifth Amendment to shield himself from prosecution if he chose to lie in order to obtain court appointed counsel,” Hillman said in his 10-page decision. “Sealing Ponzo’s financial affidavits only until the underlying case is concluded protects his constitutional rights and holds him accountable if he filed a deliberately misleading financial statement under the pains and penalties of perjury.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined comment yesterday. Ponzo’s attorney could not be reached. Ponzo, 43, charged with the 1989 attempted assassination of former New England Mafia godfather Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme in Saugus and other weapons and drug crimes, was captured in Idaho in February after 14 years on the lam.
Prosecutors sought access to Ponzo’s affidavit claiming indigency that was filed March 25, three days before an FBI search turned up $102,000 cash and $65,000 in gold coins at his cattle ranch.



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