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

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Gambino associate receives 40 year sentence for killing mobster pal over $750K

Arraignment of Anthony Pandrella

A reputed Gambino associate who killed his elderly mobster pal after stealing $750,000 in loansharking cash will spend the next 40 years behind bars.

Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Margo Brodie handed down the sentence to Anthony Pandrella, 63, on Wednesday, but not before the wiseguy had to face his victim’s devastated son and daughter one more time.

“He doesn’t deserve another day outside prison,” seethed victim Vincent Zito’s son, Joseph. “I hope you live a long time behind bars.”

Pandrella was close to the 78-year-old victim’s family — Zito referred to him as his “right-hand man,” and the family saw Pandrella as an uncle, someone who came to their house most days, and who promised to take care of the family if anything ever happened to their patriarch.

They never thought that Pandrella would shoot Zito on Oct. 26, 2018, leaving the victim’s body in his family’s Sheepshead Bay home, where his 11-year-old grandson would find it.

The killing stemmed from a fight over stolen cash. Pandrella agreed to hold on to $750,000 from Zito’s loanshark business because Zito was worried he was under investigation. But when Zito asked for the money back, Pandrella said it had vanished from his basement.

Enraged, Zito threatened to kill Pandrella over dinner at Battista, a restaurant in Brooklyn, just weeks before the slaying, so Pandrella acted first — then sat with the grief-stricken family the night of the murder.

Pandrella was convicted at trial in June.

“All for greed, the defendant ruthlessly executed his longtime friend after being welcomed into his home,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “Pandrella’s cold-blooded crime has cost him dearly with the loss of his freedom for decades.”

Zito’s family has struggled to stay close without their patriarch. “He was the ones that brought us close. He was the walls and the glue,” his daughter, Samantha Zito, told the court Wednesday.

Since the killing, she’s had to upend her life in New Mexico and move back to her father’s Brooklyn house, living under the same roof where she grew up and where he was murdered, to keep the property from falling into disrepair.

“The love and energy that once filled it are gone,” she said.

Pandrella, who is hospitalized and uses a wheelchair, suffers from gangrene and diabetes. “Anything far beyond the 10-year statutory minimum is going to be a death sentence,” said his lawyer, James Froccaro.

Despite his failing health, prosecutors asked Judge Brodie to sentence Pandrella to life behind bars, saying that the sentence would a send a message about the “heinous” nature of the crime.

Even though they were hoping Pandrella would get life, Zito’s children said they were satisfied justice was done.

“In essence, 40 years? Sixty-three years old? You tell me what it is,” Joseph Zito said. “But just the satisfaction of hearing ‘life.’ A life for a life, in my mind.”



  1. It’s amazing how greedy and treacherous some people can be just for a small sum of money. Society is disgusting. Rip Mr. Zito

  2. So the victim was a loan shark who likely threatened customers for payment of usurious interest and threatened to kill the defendant, and I’m supposed to feel bad for him or his family?

    Hard pass

    1. I think about the children whose college funds were wiped out to pay back these lowlife savages

    2. No one put a gun to their heads to borrow the money, the fault would lie with the borrower.