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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Federal Prosecutors Indict Genovese Captain And Three Others On Gambling Counts

Joe ValachiJoseph Valachi via WikipediaA federal grand jury has indicted three people on gambling conspiracy counts based on charges by Rockland prosecutors accusing them of loan-sharking and operating a multimillion-dollar sports betting operation tied to organized crime.

The indictment names Frank John Fea, 70, of New Jersey; and his son Alfred Joseph Fea, 44, and the younger Fea's wife, Tracey Kosierowski-Fea, 39, both of Orange County.
They are charged with conspiracy to make extortionate loans, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business. The indictment also seeks bank accounts and property from the Feas.
The Feas have denied the charges and have been released on bail. Their next federal court appearance is scheduled for early next year.
The indictment accuses them of running a gambling operation, charging higher than legal interest on loans and then attempting to hide the proceeds from the gambling operation.
The federal indictment unsealed in August accuses the Feas of conspiring to run a gambling operation with loansharking and extortion between February 2009 to June 2010.
The Rockland District Attorney's Office brought charges against the Feas in June, culminating an 18-month investigation.
Police agencies raided 12 locations in Rockland, Orange County, New Jersey and the Bronx.
Officers seized gambling records, $376,081 in cash, 18 weapons, $3 million in bank accounts, nine electronic slot machines, poker chips, computers and six high-end vehicles. The weapons included high-powered rifles with scopes, automatic handguns and a shotgun.
Rockland prosecutors dismissed their charges against the Feas this month before Clarkstown Justice Scott Ugell.
Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said he decided to refer the case to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan for prosecution. He said federal prosecutors were better equipped to handle the case and federal penalties were harsher.
"Based upon the nature of the complaint and the fact there's a lot of properties located out of New York state beyond our jurisdiction, we consulted with the U.S. Attorney's Office," Zugibe said. "They adopted our charges and presented it to the grand jury."
The gambling operation involved associates taking bets and using Internet sites to handle bets that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, authorities said.

The illegal bets were placed on pro sports, including major league baseball, basketball, football and hockey games.
Defense attorney Deborah Loewenberg of New City said all three Feas pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in U.S. District Court. She and law partner Kenneth Gribetz are representing Tracey Fea, the mother of three children.
"We're optimistic we'll be able to have a good resolution," Loewenberg said.
Frank Fea and Alfred Fea are being represented by Bennett M. Epstein and David M. Stern, both of the Manhattan law firm of Rothman, Schneider, Soloway & Stern.
During a June press conference announcing the arrests, Rockland Sheriff James Kralik said Frank Fea has a long association with organized-crime gambling operations, going back to Genovese crime family kingpin Joseph Pagano.
Pagano, who started with the East Harlem gangs and as a hit man for Joseph Valachi, ran the mob's operation in Rockland and neighboring counties from his home in Ramapo until his death.
Pagano's son, Daniel of Ramapo, has been described as a Genovese crime family captain and has served federal and state prison time for mob-related convictions.



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