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

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Colombo Consigliere pleads guilty to racketeering and awaits sentencing

No swim trunks for this photo op.

A high-ranking gangster in the Colombo crime family who infamously appeared lounging shirtless in a swimming pool while on the lam pleaded guilty to racketeering Thursday.

Ralph DiMatteo, who prosecutors say was the clan’s consigliere, admitted to extortion, conspiracy and money laundering from 2020 to 2021 in Brooklyn federal court — including a scheme to threaten a union official identified only as “John Doe No. 1.”

The 68-year-old opted for a dark blazer, dark blue shirt and dark green tie in a sedate change from the picture of him posing shirtless in a pool — a snapshot that surfaced one day after DiMatteo was supposed to turn himself in September 2021.

The Colombo family’s third most powerful member memorably jetted to Florida a day before the feds charged 13 co-defendants with major raps, including labor racketeering, extortion and money laundering related to the infiltration of a Queens labor union.

In the photo, the wise guy appeared shirtless and half-submerged in a swimming pool with a gold crucifix resting against his burly chest.

But DiMatteo’s days on the run were cut short after his son posted the pool photo to Twitter — leading to his surrendering just a day later.

The sweeping indictment involved other reputable Colombo leaders — including then-boss Andrew “Mush” Russo, who died in April 2022 while awaiting trial, and underboss Benjamin “The Claw” Castellazzo, who is set to plead guilty Friday.

Captains Theodore Persico Jr., Richard Ferrara, and Vincent Ricciardo are also named in an indictment.

DiMatteo didn’t mention the Mafia or the Colombo family during his appearance — only referring to the group as “the enterprise.”

Judge Hector Gonzalez said the guidelines for sentencing DiMatteo range between 41 and 51 months in prison.

He will be sentenced on Oct. 5.

When approached outside the courtroom, DiMatteo turned shy.

“Give us a break, will you fellas?” he said.



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