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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Second time the charm in mob plea deal

After a series of false starts, two made members of the New England crime family pleaded guilty for their roles in shaking down strip clubs for protection money.
Mobsters Edward “Eddie” Lato, 64, of Johnston, and Alfred “Chippy” Scivola, 71, of Providence, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and will be sentenced in June.
The hearing for Lato didn’t come without some bumps. When asked by the judge if he agreed with all the facts laid out in the case, Lato said he took exception with the government’s position that he was a high-ranking member of the mob.
“I agree with everything but the leadership role,” Lato told the judge.
U.S. Disitrict Court Judge William Smith then called attorney’s from both sides to the bench. Defense attorney Mark Smith engaged in discussions with prosecutors William Ferland and Samuel Nazzaro with Judge Smith looking on.
Ten minutes of back and forth ended with Lato’s defense attorney consulting with his client before being asked again if he agreed with the plea agreement that stated he was an “organizer or leader” of the enterprise that engaged in extortion schemes. After a pause Lato said, “yes.”
“Are you sure,” asked Judge Smith.
“Yes,” Lato said.
The agreement with prosecutors also means both men admit their membership in the mob. Investigators say Lato is a capo regime in the criminal organization.
Tuesday’s plea hearings were a second attempt for both men after they backed away from the deal they signed onto with federal prosecutors last month. U.S. District Court Judge William Smith allowed both sides more time to hammer out the kinks in the agreement after the defendants took issue with some of the details laid out by the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s office.
At his first hearing, Lato denied accusations that he helped shakedown the Satin Doll strip Club for protection money, indicating he was only involved with the extortion plot involving the Cadillac Lounge.
During Tuesday's hearing, prosecutors left out the Satin Doll in their description of the extortion, naming only the Cadillac Lounge and "other businesses."
In exchange for pleading guilty, prosecutors will drop three charges against Lato and one against Scviola.
Lato – who has a lengthy criminal record – faces between 92 and 115 months behind bars. Scivola could see as much as 51 months in a federal prison. Judge Smith will decide their fate on June 11.
Four other defendants in the case have changed their pleaded guilty, including the reputed former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio. The 84 year-old Manocchio will be sentenced on May 11.
Already serving prison time is convicted mob associate Thomas Iafrate. He was the first to plead guilty and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Of the eight local men arrested in the sweeping national crackdown into organized crime, there remains two hold-outs.  Accused mob associates Albino Folcarelli and Theodore Cardillo are still headed for a May trial date.
Both Scivola and Lato have been incarcerated at the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls since their arrest last year.



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