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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Colombo consigliere lists reasons why he shouldn't go to prison

 Colombo Consigliere Richard Fusco, leaving Broolkyn Federal Court on Novermber 8th, 2012, following his sentencing to four months in a prison hospital for an extortion conviction.
An elderly Colombo gangster — who whined he shouldn’t do any hard time because he has less than a year to live — may have gotten the last laugh.
Taking a page from “Junior” Soprano’s playbook, reputed consigliere Richard Fusco, 76, pushed a walker into Brooklyn Federal Court and cited a litany of maladies as reasons why he shouldn’t go to prison for shaking down a rival crime family.
Prostate cancer. Three heart attacks. Kidney failure. Claustrophobia. Depression. Early onset of Alzheimer’s, to name a few.
Fusco insisted he was practically stone deaf in the courtroom, repeatedly blurting out that he couldn’t hear a word Judge Kiyo Matsumoto was saying. After the judge’s clerk outfitted him with wireless headphones, Fusco continued to claim he still couldn’t make out the words.
But after Fusco was sentenced to serve a measly four months in a federal prison hospital — he faced up to two years — he appeared to be a new man.
Miraculously, the wily wiseguy appeared to be hearing just fine in the courthouse lobby as he chatted and joked for a half hour.
Approached by a Daily News reporter, Fusco displayed a pretty sharp memory. “You called me a geezer,” he snapped, referring to a September 2011 article in The News.
Asked how his hearing appeared to be much improved, Fusco shot back: “I read lips. I’m reading your lips.”
Why couldn’t he read the judge’s lips?
“She was sitting up there behind a desk,” he said. “I’ve got nothing more to say.”
Earlier, defense lawyer Martin Adelman argued passionately, even begged the judge, to show mercy for the ailing mobster.
“I feel my client’s life hangs in the balance,” he said. “I’m concerned about the box that will come out of the Bureau of Prisons facility with Mr. Fusco in it soon after he arrives,” referring to a coffin.
Adelman dismissed questions about whether the hearing loss was an act. “He does read lips,” Adelman told The News. “And we didn’t make the argument that he’s handicapped due to a hearing impairment.”
But Adelman actually did assert in court papers that his client is partially deaf due to a “missile firing accident” when he served in the Air National Guard, and suffers from chronic ringing in his ears.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes did not dispute that Fusco had significant health problems. But noted that he was undergoing dialysis three times a week while serving as the crime family’s consigliere, attending captains’ meetings, and sponsoring gangsters for inductions.
In 2010, he presided over the extortion of the Gambino crime family after an affiliate of that family stabbed a Colombo associate. Fusco pressed for a six-figure settlement that would come from the Gambinos’ cut of the 18th Ave. street feast in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, according to court papers.
“To come in here today and suggest these medical conditions are so serious that he shouldn’t be punished for his crimes is hollow,” Geddes told the judge.
Matusmoto said the defendant was entitled a break because he’s so sickly, but concluded that he had to serve some jail time, albeit in a prison hospital, because he had returned to the mob life after completing his previous sentence for racketeering.



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