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

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Two Genovese gangsters sentenced in gambling and extortion scheme


Two alleged Genovese mobsters avoided serious prison time at their sentencings Tuesday after pleading guilty to racketeering charges earlier this year.

Alleged Florida-based Genovese captain Nicholas Calisi, 54, and soldier John Campanella, 48, were sentenced to 24 months and 13 months in prison, respectively, by Judge John G. Koeltl in Manhattan Federal Court.

The pair were among six alleged wiseguys charged over a scheme to rake in money for La Cosa Nostra through a “pattern of racketeering activity,” including gambling and extortion, from 2011 to 2022, according to an indictment.

They faced a maximum 20 years behind bars.

Calisi, who pleaded guilty in February, received the stiffer of the two terms — 24 months in prison — despite prosecutors requesting up to 33 months behind bars.

He offered a brief apology, saying he was sorry for the trouble he caused the court and his family.

His attorney, Lawrence DiGiansante, argued that Calisi, who lives in Boca Raton, Fla., had started a new life by moving to the Sunshine State a few years ago.

He said his client cares for his blood relatives — not the crime family he allegedly swore allegiance to.

“He made a decision about his family, not the Genovese family,” DiGiansante said.

But prosecutor Celia Cohen poked holes in DiGiansante’s claim about Calisi’s supposed new life, pointing out that the Genovese family has connections in Florida.

She also noted that the capo’s apology left out the victims of the gambling scheme.

“There is no apology to the public for the harm caused by the Genovese family,” Cohen said.

Meanwhile, Genovese soldier John Campanella brought his extended family to the courtroom — including his mobster dad, John Campanella Jr. — in an effort to show his close ties to the community.

His attorney Stacey Richman argued the judge should allow Campanella to continue to communicate with Genovese associates — after the prosecutor asked that Campanella be cut off from talking to fellow mobsters.

“This is not a rotary club, this is not a community organization,” Cohen argued.

After sentencing him to 13 months behind bars, Koeltl said Campanella could speak to his father, but would need permission to speak with other alleged mob-members.

Calisi and Campanella were charged with racketeering conspiracy in April 2022 along with four other alleged Genovese family members, including capo Ralph Balsamo, solider Michael Messina and associates Michael Poli and Thomas Poli.

Balsamo and Messina are scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday.



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