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

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Judge sentences longtime Colombo mobster nicknamed Shrek and the Wig to over two years in prison


Despite a criminal history dating back nearly three decades, reputed Colombo crime family mobster Daniel Capaldo insisted he has turned over a new leaf.

“I’m done with the past,” the Staten Island resident told a social worker during a pre-sentencing evaluation earlier this year, according to court documents. “I can’t wait for it to be over. I just want to go back to work, come home to my family, do the right thing, and make my family proud of me.”

With the love and support of his kin, Capaldo, 57, is determined to walk the straight-and-narrow path and deserved to remain out of prison, wrote defense lawyer Peter J. Guadagnino in a pre-sentencing memo to the court.

A sentence of time served with three years’ supervised release was appropriate for the defendant, said the attorney.

Capaldo had previously pleaded guilty to two racketeering acts, which occurred in 2019 and involved or implied threats of violence.

“Mr. Capaldo has an extended loving family who is supportive and would guide him in living a law-abiding life,” Guadagnino wrote. “… This strong support makes it more likely than not that Mr. Capaldo will not commit further crimes.”

Brooklyn federal court Judge Brian M. Cogan disagreed.

On Wednesday, the judge sentenced Capaldo, known as “The Wig” and “Shrek,” to 27 months behind bars and two years’ supervised release.

The defendant is also subject to a $1,500 forfeiture judgment.

Federal guidelines had called for a sentencing range of 27 to 33 months.

Brooklyn federal prosecutors sought a sentence within that range, pointing to Capaldo’s criminal history, his mob ties and the nature of his crimes.

Sentencing guidelines are advisory, and judges are not bound by them. They can impose a harsher or less-severe sentence if they choose.

“Over a period of decades, the defendant has sustained several convictions in connection with his association with and/or membership in the Colombo crime family,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Geddes and Megan E. Farrell in a pre-sentencing memo. “After serving a lengthy term of incarcerations in the 1990s and 2000s, the defendant was released and rather than reject its criminal means, the defendant was formally inducted as a member of the crime family.”

“A sentence within the guidelines range will at least incapacitate the defendant, thereby protecting the public from further crimes he would otherwise commit during that period of time,” prosecutors said.

Capaldo has at least four prior felony convictions for offenses such as narcotics sale and possession and collecting an unlawful debt, said prosecutors.

In October 2019, Capaldo was among 20 suspects indicted in Brooklyn federal court on wide-ranging charges including racketeering, extortion, loansharking and stalking.

Seventeen defendants were Staten Islanders, and 11 of the suspects are members or associates of the Colombos, officials said.

One defendant was sentenced last year to probation for trying to fix an NCAA men’s college basketball game between Wagner College and St. John’s University in December 2018.

However, as it turned out, no money ever exchanged hands, said prosecutors.

Capaldo was not charged in that scheme.

Prosecutors said Capaldo reported to Joseph Amato Sr., a Colombo capo, and the highest-profile defendant among those arrested.

In November 2020, Capaldo resolved his case by pleading guilty in Brooklyn federal court to two racketeering acts: Extortion conspiracy and financing an extortionate extension of credit.

In the first instance, Capaldo and others relied “on their reputation as inducted members of the Colombo crime family” and threatened two men over an outstanding gambling debt, said prosecutors.

In the other case, Capaldo advanced money to Thomas Scorcia, a loanshark and fellow Colombo family member, said authorities.

Capaldo knew Scorcia was going to loan the money to a third party and violence would be used, if necessary, to collect the debt, authorities said.

Scorcia also was among the suspects arrested in October 2019 and was sentenced last year to 42 months in prison for racketeering.

Capaldo is now the last defendant to be sentenced in the case.

“It’s a guidelines sentence,” said Guadagnino, the defense lawyer. “The judge gave him the lower end based on his health issues. He’s just concentrating now on the future so that he can help out his family, his wife and daughter. That’s all he’s really worried about now.”



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