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

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Feds say Gambino associate killed loan shark because he feared death over a debt

It’s a kill or be killed world.

A reputed Gambino mob associate gunned down his long-time friend, a mafia-connected loan shark, because he feared the older man wanted to whack him over a debt, federal prosecutors say.

Anthony Pandrella, 62, is headed to trial next Tuesday for the 2018 murder of Vincent Zito, 78.

In two sets of court papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, prosecutors revealed there are witnesses who said Zito was murderously mad at Pandrella over a missing $750,000 that Pandrella was holding for him.

One witness is expected to testify that weeks before the slaying Pandrella heard Zito loudly tell someone at a Brooklyn restaurant that he was going to kill him over the debt.

Pandrella was holding the illicit funds for Zito because Zito was worried that the feds were eyeing his business, prosecutors said. It was Pandrella who advised Zito that he was “hot,” according to the feds.

But when Zito requested the money back, Pandrella said the cash mysteriously disappeared from his basement, authorities said.

“I gave him $750,000 and he said it’s gone,” Zito allegedly told another man expected to testify at the upcoming two-week trial, according to court papers. “The fat f--k stole my money.”

The Brooklyn restaurant dinner was not the only time Zito suggested he might use violence to resolve the debt Pandrella owed him, prosecutors said.

Another witness said Zito made a gun gesture with his hand while talking about how he was going to get his money back from Pandrella, court documents state.

Pandrella promised to partly make good on the debt by giving Zito an initial payment of $300,000 by selling property, but that did not satisfy Zito, the feds say.

The day Zito was murdered — Oct. 26, 2018 — Pandrella was supposed to square up the debt.

But instead of returning the money, Pandrella went to Zito’s Sheepshead Bay home, shot the septuagenarian once in the back of the head, swiped some expensive watches, and left, prosecutors say.

Surveillance footage allegedly shows Pandrella entering and leaving the house around the time of the robbery and murder.

The accused killer later returned to the home and spent time with Zito’s mourning family and friends, and even asked about the police homicide investigation, the feds say.

Pandrella’s lawyer, James Froccaro, declined to comment beyond saying his client pleaded not guilty and plans to fight the charges.

Jury selection is set to begin Wednesday morning. Pandrella is charged with Zito’s murder as well as robbery and illegal gun possession.


1 comment:

  1. Wow what a low life. Steals $750k from his friend, then kills him to not have to pay it, swipes expensive watches on the way out and then goes and mourns with the family. I'll never understand why in a situation like this the guy wouldn't have had 2-3 armed guys with him in case his intention was to do exactly what he did.