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

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Colombo crime prince accepts an offer he couldnt refuse


Michael Persico
Colombo crime prince Michael Persico is a royal loanshark.
The mob scion copped a plea to a lowly extortion charge Friday on the eve of his racketeering and murder trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Persico, 55, became a first-time convicted felon when he admitted lending $100,000 to the owners of a trucking company and charging over 45% annual interest.
Facing less than four years in prison, it seemed Persico was granted the deal of the century — the racketeering and murder charges in the indictment carried a life sentence if he was convicted.
“The government made Michael Persico an offer that was too good to refuse,” defense lawyer Sarita Kedia said.
The son of Carmine "The Snake" Persico, longtime boss of the Colombo crime family, Michael Persico had portrayed himself as a successful businessman who owned a limousine company, pizzeria and bagel store in Brooklyn. He’s depicted in court papers as a doting father who takes his daughters to school every day.
But federal prosecutors contend that he is a powerful mob associate although he never became a made man in the crime family.
There was no press release issued by Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch announcing Persico’s guilty plea nor that of his cousin, capo Theodore "Teddy" Persico Jr. who faces only 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the 1993 murder conspiracy of Joseph Scopo.
Michael Persico walked out of the courthouse wearing Versace sunglasses and declined comment.
“A 20-year-long investigation of Michael Persico ended today not with a bang but a fizzle,” co-counsel Paul Schectman said.
The trial would have been a doozy. Teddy Persico was going to represent himself. Prosecutors claimed Kedia and Michael Persico, a widower, might be romantically involved.
Kedia, a tough-as-nails lawyer, fought the prosecutors to the last minute, even getting them to modify Michael’s bail conditions so he can speak to his father and brother Alphonse — who are both serving life sentences — on the telephone.
She also insisted that despite language in the plea agreement that calls Michael “an associate of the Colombo crime family,” her client is not admitting mob ties.
“The plea agreement speaks for itself,” Federal Judge Sandra Townes said.
Michael Persico told the judge he suffers from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but offered no other glimpse what he was thinking behind his steely fa├žade. Asked if he understood the ramifications of the proceedings, he replied, “I’m good.”
Sources said he would not agree to the plea deal on Thursday because he wanted to discuss it with his daughters first.
No Persico family members attended the hearing.


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