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

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Lucchese family soldier Boobsie again tries to get out of prison

Reputed mobster wants out of prison. Says he nixed plea deal on lawyer’s bum advice.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

That old maxim appears to be the mantra of a reputed mobster who is taking another stab at an early release from prison, despite his prior failures.

Alleged Lucchese crime family member Eugene "Boobsie" Castelle, 61, has asked a federal judge to let him take a plea deal which he previously refused.

The Staten Island resident contends, in a pro-se motion, he was led astray by his lawyer.

The defendant, who is serving a 77-month sentence after being convicted at trial of running an illegal gambling business and racketeering conspiracy, had rejected the government’s offer of eight to 14 months behind bars prior to his trial two years ago.

Castelle maintains he nixed that deal because his attorney, Gerald J. McMahon, had miscalculated his likely sentence if he was convicted at trial.

McMahon told him he faced 33 to 41 months behind bars if found guilty of those charges, said Castelle, who public records indicate lives in Annadale.

However, Manhattan federal court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein determined the sentencing guidelines to be 51-63 months in prison.

As it turned out, Hellerstein hit Castelle with 77 months, which is 14 months above his own interpretation of the guidelines’ maximum.

Judges are not bound by the guidelines in imposing sentence.

Castelle contends McMahon failed to do his homework in estimating the guidelines range.

“Pointedly, had counsel accurately advised movant, he would have accepted the government’s 8-to-14-month plea offer,” wrote Castelle.

As it stands, Castelle’s anticipated release date is in September 2025.

Ordered by the judge to respond within 30 days, McMahon didn’t waste any time.

Or mince words.

“Castelle’s assertions are factually incorrect,” McMahon wrote the court. “Whether the post-trial guidelines were 33-41 months, 51-63 months, or some different numbers entirely, the fact is that Castelle wanted a trial, regardless.”

“Having just triumphed (with the undersigned as counsel) in a racketeering case in Brooklyn Supreme Court, which included among other charges the gambling case with co-defendant Anthony Greco, Castelle wanted a dismissal or trial in SDNY (Southern District of New York – Manhattan federal court),” McMahon wrote.

In support, McMahon pointed to an excerpt from Castelle’s sentencing transcript, which the defendant included in his motion.

“My client wanted the trial. Notwithstanding what his attorney recommended, my client wanted a trial, and he got a trial,” the transcript quoted McMahon as saying.

In fact, the lawyer said he had “strongly recommended” that Castelle accept prosecutors’ 8-to-14-months plea offer.

McMahon said he emphasized to Castelle he could only estimate the guideline range.

Moreover, he said he told the defendant prosecutors would likely seek a higher sentence, and the court could put him behind bars for up to 20 years.

The lawyer even took a shot at the judge.

Hellerstein increased the sentencing range after finding that Castelle had extorted Greco, his gambling partner and former state court defendant, wrote McMahon.

But no jury found that Castelle extorted Greco, McMahon said. And Manhattan federal prosecutors never charged Castelle with extorting Greco, he said.

“It certainly was not unreasonable or ‘wrong’ for counsel not to anticipate such an unwarranted — indeed, made-up — enhancement,” wrote McMahon.

Prosecutors must respond to Castelle’s motion by Aug. 8, after which the defendant has 30 days to reply.

No date has been set for a ruling.


Castelle has been down this road before.

A federal appeals court previously denied his motion to overturn his conviction and sentence.

In addition to 77 months behind bars, Castelle was sentenced in June 2019 to three years’ supervised release, fined $100,000 and ordered to forfeit nearly $189,000 in criminal proceeds.

In March, Hellerstein, the Manhattan federal court judge, denied Castelle’s bid for early release due to COVID-19 concerns.

Hellerstein cited Castelle’s 2019 sentencing in which the defendant “refused to acknowledge any responsibility for his conduct, denied his guilt and expressed no remorse for his crimes.”

Castelle, he said, had “immediate(ly)” returned to the Lucchese family and a life of crime despite serving a prior 88-month sentence for racketeering conspiracy.



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