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

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Genovese Soldier And Others Indicted On Charges Of Money Laundering, Extortion At Waterfront

In an ongoing crackdown on organized crime on the waterfront, a Wall Township couple and a Newark man have been indicted on state charges, including money laundering and tax evasion.
The nine-count indictment, unsealed today in Superior Court in Trenton, charges Joseph Queli, 64, of Wall, and Nicholas Bergamotto, 63, of Newark, with conspiring to lend money to dockworkers at interest rates of up to 156 percent, and extorting payments under the threat of violence.
Queli’s wife, Regina Queli, 62, was also indicted on money laundering charges. The Quelis were both charged with tax evasion for failing to report proceeds of the alleged scheme.
Joseph Queli was identified as a soldier in the Genovese crime family during public hearings into organized crime on the waterfront this fall by the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, which announced the charges against him and the others in a joint release today with New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow.
The three were arrested in April, and indicted Oct. 26. The indictment wasn’t unsealed until today because of the ongoing investigation, officials said.
Also in April, the same investigation resulted in charges against Nunzio LaGrasso, 60, of Florham Park, treasurer of the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1478, and his nephew, Newark Police Officer Alan Marfia, 39, of Kenilworth.
LaGrasso was accused of extorting money from longshoremen in exchange for choice work. Marfia is accused of warning his uncle of surveillance operations against him. Charges against the two await presentation to a grand jury.
Lawyers for LaGrazzo and Marfia did not return calls for comment.
"We’ve worked effectively through the years with the Waterfront Commission, and this indictment is a significant step in our ongoing investigation of the shakedown of dockworkers," said Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for Dow.
The commission, which underwent a leadership and staff overhaul after a highly critical inspector general’s report in 2009, has been working with state and federal agencies to purge the longshoremen’s union of what the commission says has been decades of organized crime influence.
Last month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark announced charges against a former official of another ILA local, Albert Cernadas Sr., accusing him of shaking down his members under threats of violence.
According to today’s indictment, Bergamotto and Joseph Queli loaned longshoremen more than $75,000 at usurious rates between November 2005 and February 2010, and extorted payments "by threatening to inflict bodily injury." It said three would launder the money through real estate transactions, and that the Quelis failed to report the income on tax returns.
The most serious of the charges carry maximums of 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine. Bergomotto’s lawyer, Nicholas Bergamotto Jr., did not return calls. Joseph Queli’s lawyer, Anthony Gualano, declined to comment.
He and Aseltine did not know whether Regina Queli had a lawyer.



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