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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Man gets 30 months in gambling and loansharking case

A 72-year-old gambler long linked to organized crime was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison in connection with a multimillion-dollar Rockland-based gambling and loan-sharking ring he ran with his son, which involved others with ties to the county.
Frank Fea of Upper Saddle River, N.J., fronted most of the money for the gambling ring’s loan-sharking operation, prosecutors said. The loan-sharking involved lending money to people at illegally high interest rates to repay losses or placed bets, according to court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.
Prosecutors said the investigation by Rockland law enforcement also found Fea paid money from the illegal operation to Ramapo resident Daniel Pagano, a Genovese crime family captain whose late father once ran gambling and other illegal operations in Rockland and the Lower Hudson Valley.
Fea pleaded guilty July 14 to a federal charge of conspiracy to make extortionate loans, one charge in the 52-count indictment. U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan sentenced Fea to 30 months and fined him $60,000, followed by three years’ supervised release after his term expires.
For his role in the Fea-run gambling ring, Haverstraw barber shop owner Anthony DePalma was sentenced Friday in Rockland County Court in New City to 60 days in county jail on the felony count of second-degree promoting gambling, his lawyer Kenneth Gribetz said. As part of DePalma’s probation, his house can be searched at any time by probation authorities.
Two other participants, Marco and Joseph Minuto, both with reputed links to organized crime, had been sentenced in state courts to conditional discharges.
The Rockland Special Investigations Unit investigated the gambling ring that led to indictments. District Attorney Thomas Zugibe referred the case to the U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara because federal crimes come with more stringent prison sentences.
Castel last month sentenced Fea’s son Alfred Joseph, 46, to a 27-month prison term and his daughter-in-law, Tracey Kosierowski-Fea, 42, to six months of home confinement and three years’ probation because of her young children.
Gribetz, a former Rockland district attorney, and Deborah Wolikow Loewenberg, a former prosecutor, represented the Minutos, as well as Kosierowski-Fea.
Frank Fea received the heaviest sentence as the leader of the loan-sharking operation from at least early 2009 until June 2010, according to the sentencing memorandum filed by Daniel S. Goldman and Jennifer E. Burns, both assistant U.S. attorneys.
The prosecutors and probation department recommended a prison term of 30 to 37 months.
The loan-sharking included loans and interest payments of approximately $370,000, which was supplied and paid to Frank Fea, according to ledgers seized as part of this investigation from Fea’s house and the homes of two of his collectors.
The loan-sharking operation involved threats of violence by his son and others to force people to pay, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors wrote that Fea contended his role was an aberration and caused by his son.
“Fea was the admitted leader of a widespread loan-sharking operation that had ties to significant organized crime figures,” the prosecutors’ memorandum stated.
“The government does not intend to intercede in this family dispute, but would instead emphasize that both Feas were fully involved in the loan-sharking operation and both had direct ties to, and paid up to, organized crime figures,” prosecutors said.
The wiretap interceptions revealed numerous communications between Frank and Alfred Fea and Pagano, as well as surveillance of meetings between the Feas and Pagano, the prosecutors said.
“Many of these communications were designed to arrange for meetings where the Feas could provide money to Pagano,” the prosecutors said.



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