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

Monday, July 27, 2015

Colombo captain picked up extortion payments while on chemotherapy

Luca DiMatteo, 70, is battling bladder cancer, but that hasn't stopped him from collecting extortion and loanshark payments, according to a federal prosecutor.
Not even cancer can keep a mobster down when it comes to making an illegal buck.

A 70-year-old reputed Colombo capo was picking up extortion and loanshark payments from a victim in between his chemotherapy sessions, a federal prosecutor charged.

Luca DiMatteo’s health issues and his hands-on racketeering were an open book for the feds, who had a wiretap on the gangster’s phone for months, said the prosecutor.

DiMatteo is charged with shaking down an unidentified business owner in Brooklyn every week for more than a decade. When he was diagnosed this year with bladder cancer, that didn’t stop the alleged shakedowns.

On days that he received chemo treatments, DiMatteo sent his brother or nephew to run criminal errands for him, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes.

Otherwise, prosecutors said DiMatteo made the pickups himself. “The defendant traveled from his home in Merrick, L.I., all the way to Brooklyn to collect a measly $200,” Geddes said last week in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Defense lawyer Flora Edwards sought her client’s release on $1.5 million bail, playing the health issues card. Besides bladder cancer, DiMatteo also suffers from a heart condition and diabetes, Edwards said, offering to put surveillance cameras around the mobster’s house and have him wear an electronic ankle bracelet if he were sprung.

“Mr. DiMatteo is seriously ill,” his lawyer said with a serious face.

The prosecutor shot back that DiMatteo’s health didn’t stop him from committing crimes or directing others to commit crimes for him, so he can’t use it as an excuse to get of jail.

Federal Judge Leo Glasser agreed, pointing out that DiMatteo is charged with extortion, which is a crime of violence. “An illness doesn’t justify criminal behavior,” Glasser said.

DiMatteo winked at family members as he was led out of the bail hearing after his arrest.



Post a Comment