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

Friday, April 1, 2011

Judge rejects $1 million bond request for mob figure

A federal judge rejected a $1 million request to release a reputed Gambino crime family connected loanshark adding that only "24/7 supervision" would protect the public from Nicola Melia.
"And that is not possible," said U.S. District Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons who released Melia on $5 million in 2004 only to be later told by federal investigators that Melia conducted meetings and loaned money in his then 96-year-old mother's nursing home room.
"I do not regard Mr. Melia as someone the court can trust," she said. "I can not fathom what conditions could be fashioned to protect the community."
Melia, 78, of Bushwood Road, Stamford, is expected to be indicted next week on charges of making extortionate loans and using threats to collect the money.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen said Melia has "hundreds of thousands in loans on the street ... his home functions as a bank for his loan-sharking activities. For him to go back there would be misguided."
The prosecutor said a search of Melia's home last week led to the seizure of 40 hollow-point bullets, papers and notes, which corroborate the loan-sharking business, a DEA badge, a switch blade, a billy club and cash.
The prosecutor said Melia is still on U.S. Probation supervision as a result of a 2005 racketeering conviction involving Gambino and Patriarca crime family figures that landed him a 33-month federal prison stint. The supervision does not end until September and most probably will result in it being violated, which could add more prison time.
In 2000, Melia did four months in federal prison for under reporting $150,000 on his 1994 return.
Because of these felony convictions, Melia is not allowed to possess a gun or ammunition.
Victor Sherman, one of Melia's lawyers, suggested that Melia be confined to his home wearing an electronic monitoring device after posting the equity in property he owns at 20 Bushwood Road and 36 Starin Drive, both in Stamford. The New York lawyer said his client suffers from numerous medical conditions, all of which are "life threatening."
Sherman said the arrest warrant alleges Melia lent $375,000 to an individual, but also told him "as long as I am alive no one is going to hurt you."
But Chen added that the recorded quote is preceded by the words "They got a big crew. They go in the house and kill people."
The borrower, who reportedly has a substance abuse problem, allegedly set up a burglary at Melia's home last fall in which the reputed organized crime figure and his wife were bound and gagged before the assailants fled with money and jewelry, Sherman charged.
Melia reportedly told federal authorities he turned down an offer to become a `made' member of organized crime.
The defendant's 39-year-old son, Philip, was arrested by Stamford police last week on assault and criminal mischief charges for allegedly beating one of the robbers.



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