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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Steven Seagal asks for presidential pardon for business partner who shook him down

Steven Seagal is asking for a presidential pardon to be handed to film producer Julius Nasso, who was convicted of teaming up with the Gambino crime family to shake him down.
Even though Nasso pleaded guilty to conspiracy to extort Seagal and was sentenced to a year in federal prison in 2003, the tough-guy actor has written to the office of the pardon attorney at the Department of Justice.
In the letter, exclusively obtained by Page Six, Seagal said, “I have no objections to and would support the application (when it is timely) of Julius R. Nasso for a Presidential pardon.”
Steven Seagal 
Nasso, who had been a business partner of Seagal for 10 years, has asked President Obama to grant him an official pardon for his conviction.
It was reported that martial arts black-belt Seagal had severed his relationship with Nasso when the actor decided to stop making violent action films on the advice of his spiritual guru.
But Nasso had already lined up four action projects for him, and set up meetings with Gambino captain Anthony “Sonny” Ciccone and other Gambino associates to persuade the ponytailed powerhouse to do the movies. Seagal went to the FBI saying Nasso was trying to extort money from him.
Prosecutors said Nasso turned to Ciccone to pressure Seagal for $60 million the producer thought he was owed when the screen star backed out of the action-movie projects.
Nasso was convicted on the extortion attempt charge, the judge found no proof he was a member of an organized crime family. He was released two months early on good behavior in 2005.
Ciccone is still in a federal prison.
As part of a deal to dissolve their production companies in 2007, Seagal agreed to support Nasso in his bid to get an official pardon.
Nasso’s lawyer, Robert Hantman, said Nasso is producing movies again. “Julius is now looking forward to hopefully getting a pardon,” he said, adding, “Seagal supporting him for a pardon is apropos of two close friends who had a falling out.” Seagal’s rep didn’t comment.



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