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

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man admits role as loan shark for the Philadelphia mob

In the restroom of an upscale Gibbsboro restaurant, two men with alleged mob ties warned a borrower about the importance of repaying a debt — in this case, a $25,000 note with monthly interest of $3,000.

“No disrespect… but you [expletive] with me! You know what’s gonna happen right?” said Anthony Staino, an alleged mob captain, or capo, from Swedesboro.

Moments later, Robert Ranieri, a Glendora man and Staino’s “muscle,” stressed the same point.

“Yeah, do me a favor,” Ranieri told the borrower. “Don’t (expletive) with him.”

The debtor, however, turned out to be an undercover FBI agent who was taping the conversation as the men dined at The Chophouse in August 2004.

The incriminating words appeared in a court document Thursday as Ranieri, 37, pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges. He faces up to 40 years in prison after admitting he was a loan shark for the local mob, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

According to the court record, Ranieri and Staino, 56, believed they were making a loan to “Dino,” a man who had developed a business and social relationship with Staino from the latter half of 2003 until mid-2005. During that time, the record says, Staino and the agent, David Sebestiani, “met for dinner, drinks, sports betting and introducing each others to various friends.”

At a March 2004 meal at the Chop House, authorities say, Staino described himself as the local mob’s CFO, or chief financial officer. He also compared a deadly mob war between the Joey Merlino and John Stanfa factions in 1993 to a hostile merger between two corporations.

“Two different companies. Here’s our company, here’s the bad company. The bad company gets taken over,” he said.

Staino also pointed out a muscular man in room, identified as “Vince,” saying he had been absorbed from the “bad company,” and inferring the man could be used for muscle, if the agent needed.

At the August 2004 meeting, the court document shows, Staino told Sebastiani that personal feelings were secondary to business concerns.

“Please on my life. I like you,” he told the agent. “I don’t want to (expletive) have to hurt you.”

Two days later, authorities say, Ranieri and the agent met in the parking lot of the Adelphia restaurant in Deptford. Ranieri gave Sebastiani a cereal box that held $25,000, some of it in money wrappers, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Staino’s and Ranieri’s fingerprints were found on the box, officials said. Staino’s fingerprints also appeared on the liner and two money wrappers.

After making an interest payment later that month, Sebastiani returned the $25,000 to Staino via Ranieri in September 2004. He then was told to send Staino an IRS Form 1099 at the end of the year.

Ranieri is to be sentenced Sept. 25 by U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno.

Staino pleaded guilty in August to participating in a racketeering conspiracy, committing loan sharking and illegal gambling. He is to be sentenced on July 17 and faces a potential sentence of up to 70 years.



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