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

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reputed Gambino Mobsters Sentenced

The payback was heavy for a reputed Gambino crime family capo who oversaw a lucrative mob gambling and loansharking ring: Coughing up $1.2 million to the government and spending up to four and a half years behind bars.
Carmelo (Carmine) Sciandra, 58, who co-owns four popular Top Tomato stores on Staten Island was sentenced today in state Supreme Court, St. George, after previously pleading guilty to enterprise corruption and grand larceny.
Sciandra ran the operation that accepted millions of dollars in illegal sports bets and loaned victims money at exorbitant rates, according to state attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. Sciandra has addresses in Dongan Hills and Eltingville.
A co-defendant, Michael Murdocco, 65, of Westerleigh, a reputed Gambino soldier and "made man," who, prosecutors said, negotiated interest terms with borrowers also was sentenced today. He received two to six years in prison after pleading guilty in March to enterprise corruption, grand larceny and receiving bribes.
The scheme dates to May 2007.
It resulted, in November, in arrests of 22 people, including 11 borough residents, a high-ranking city Sanitation Department official and a Brooklyn-based state Supreme Court officer, accused of serving as a middleman in the Gambino bookmaking ring.
According to Cuomo, Sciandra oversaw a crew that loaned victims money at interest rates averaging a staggering 156 percent a year. Sciandra and his family own four Top Tomato stores on the Island, in Great Kills, Richmond Valley, Rosebank and Travis.
The cash was fronted by Benedetto (Benny) Casale of Todt Hill, owner of the Bulls Head-based Casale Tile, said prosecutors. Casale, 69, an alleged Gambino associate, pleaded guilty in March to attempted enterprise corruption in exchange for a sentence of a conditional discharge and a forfeiture of $250,000.
Sciandra's crew also ran an illegal sports gambling operation through a wire room based in Costa Rica, prosecutors said.
The operation generated millions of dollars in wagers on college and professional sports and horse racing. Cuomo, whose office is prosecuting the cases, said a series of wiretaps, surveillance and GPS tracking brought down the suspects.
In addition, Murdocco, along with his son-in-law, Sanitation Deputy Chief Frederick Grimaldi, rigged bids to help a New Jersey firm win a Sanitation contract. In exchange for kickbacks, Grimaldi, a Marlboro, N.J. resident, allegedly leaked bid information to Murdocco in May 2009. Those details were conveyed to Duramix Concrete Corp. and its president, both of whom are charged.
Sciandra's lawyer Joseph Benfante said today his client has already forked over the $1.2 million.
Justice Leonard P. Rienzi sentenced him to one and a half to four and a half years in prison.
"He made very little money in a case involving no violence whatsoever," Benfante said. "He did his best to expedite the case and move forward."
Authorities also accused Frank Datello and his brother, Joseph Datello, of running an illegal gambling and money-lending operation from Frank Datello's bar, the Night Gallery on New Dorp Plaza.
The siblings pleaded guilty in April to attempted first-degree usury. Joseph Datello was sentenced in May to one and three-fourths to three and a half years in prison. Frank Datello awaits sentencing.



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