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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reputed Lucchese Member Sentenced

A Staten Island ex-convict was sentenced yesterday to up to three and a half years in prison for loansharking out of his brother’s New Dorp saloon.

Joseph Datello, 59, and his sibling, Frank Datello, 62, ran an illegal gambling and money-lending operation from Frank Datello’s bar, the Night Gallery on New Dorp Plaza, according to state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.

Court papers said the scheme ran between October 2007 and July 2009.

Gamblers could place bets for sporting events through the brothers via an offshore wire room, or use illegal “Joker Poker” machines at the bar, court papers stated.

The brothers often loaned some gamblers thousands of dollars at an interest rate exceeding the criminal usury rate of 25 percent, authorities said.

Islander Michael Peterson was employed to collect debts. The crew then paid a “tribute” from the earnings to alleged Lucchese capo Anthony Croce of Manhattan, who allegedly spearheaded the operation with Joseph Datello.

The brothers each pleaded guilty three weeks ago in state Supreme Court, St. George, to a felony count of attempted first-degree usury.

Under the deals, Joseph Datello was sentenced yesterday to one and three-fourths to three and a half years in prison. His brother is to be sentenced June 23 to a minimum of one year in jail and a maximum of one to three years behind bars.

Frank Datello remains free on $125,000 bail, according to online state court records.

Croce pleaded guilty in March to first-degree criminal usury and awaits sentencing on June 22. Peterson’s case is pending.

After Joseph Datello entered his plea, his lawyer, Sanford Talkin, said his client “looks forward to getting on with the rest of his life.”

In 2000, Joseph Datello, a reputed Lucchese soldier and “made man,” was arrested as part of a criminal enterprise that allegedly rigged bids and extorted millions of dollars in public and private construction projects. Datello was eventually convicted of enterprise corruption and served two years in state prison.

The Datellos were arrested in November as part of a major mob bust.

Twenty-two suspects, including 11 Islanders, were nabbed. Some of the biggest fish have already cut plea deals, including reputed Gambino crime family capo Carmine Sciandra, 57, and alleged Gambino associate Benedetto (Benny) Casale, 68.

Assistant Deputy Attorney Generals Peri Kadanoff and Dana Roth are prosecuting the case.



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