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

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Judge blasts Genovese captain as he hands out potential death sentence

A ​no-nonsense ​Manhattan federal court judge blasted an aged wiseguy Thursday before sentencing him to seven years in prison — saying he should have thought beforehand about joining the mob if he didn’t want to die behind bars.
“There’s a long history of capos who have died in prison,” Judge Richard Sullivan coldly told 73-year-old Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello before handing down the sentence — which brought audible gasps of disbelief from the packed courtroom.
“You must have understood this, you had 88 months to think about it before,” he added.
The jurist was referencing the reputed Genovese capo’s previous stint in prison on racketeering charges, and then went on to reference the bushels of letters submitted on his behalf, which touted the namesake of Bronx sauce joint Pasquale’s Rigoletto as a kind, generous, and charitable man.
Sullivan noted the letters resembled those he’d read in connection with the mobster’s last sentencing — saying some were nearly identical.
“[The letters] can’t be a get out of jail free card when they’ve been used before,” the judge bristled. “He did take for granted a second chance.”
The judge also scorned claims made by defense attorney Mark DeMarco regarding his client’s intense Roman Catholicism and his faith.
“I don’t think Roman Catholicism takes a favorable view toward extortion,” Sullivan said, interrupting the attorney.
Parrello — who is mostly deaf and kept his index finger inserted in his left ear throughout the two-hour sentencing — pleaded guilty to various extortion charges earlier this year. He was arrested last August alongside dozens of other alleged crime family members.
Prosecutors said Parrello instructed henchmen on the best way to shake down debtors who’d gotten behind on payments to their illegal gambling ring — often instructing his goons to resort to violence.
“First of all, I’d like to apologize for everything that transpired,” the frail-looking mafioso told the court. “I feel remorse for all the things I’ve done, and I’ve taken responsibility and am just trying to be a better person.”
The gallery was packed with Parrello’s friends and family, including a wheelchair-bound, 107-year-old WWII veteran whose friendship the defense repeatedly dangled as proof of the mobster’s good deeds.
“To his friends and family he is a kind, generous, and loving man, he sends meals to this WWII veteran, and also organized transportation for him to come to the restaurant,” DeMarco said, adding his mobbed-up client also “counseled young people he felt were moving in an unfavorable direction.”
Assistant US Attorney Lauren Abinanti, conversely, called Parrello a “man of two faces,” who used his multiple personas to remain a beloved community figure while “never taking no for an answer” in his quest to collect debts.
As part of the sentence, Parrello was also instructed to pay a $15,000 fine, and a $63,800 forfeiture. DeMarco immediately produced the hefty check, and handed it over to the court.
“I hope you reflect on what got you here,” Sullivan told Parrello as marshals re-shackled him.
As he was led out, the capo nodded to his wife, asking “you alright?” and then said “thank you for everything” to the packed pews.
“We love you, Patsy!” the nearly 50 people yelled. “Love you,” he mumbled as he shuffled out.
Later on Thursday, Sullivan went much easier on another defendant in the case sentencing John “Tugboat” Tognino — one of the other 46 men from four crime families rounded up last year for a variety of illegal schemes — to just six months of home confinement.
The 75-year-old man faced four to 10 months in prison after taking a plea deal in May for running gambling schemes with codefendant Anthony “Tony the Wig” Vazzano.
Sullivan said “this is a guy who has been engaging in this conduct for a long time,” referring to Tognino’s previous convictions.
But the judge also said he thinks Tognino’s addiction to gambling played a big role in committing these crimes and believes his treatment has made him contrite.
“Enough is enough. I promise my wife it’s finally over,” Sullivan read from Tognino’s letter noting, “[the letter] strikes me as sincere.”
Sullivan also said he took into consideration Tognino’s health problems when giving him such a light sentence.



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