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

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Genovese associate will join his dad in prison after being sentenced for illegal gambling


It’s a family affair.

An associate of the Genovese crime family is set to follow his dad behind bars — after getting sentenced Wednesday in the same racketeering conspiracy.

Michael Poli, 37, was hit with a 31-month prison term in Manhattan federal court for the illegal gambling and extortion scheme he ran with his father and four mobsters, according to prosecutors.

His dad Thomas Poli, 66, looked on from the gallery in the same courtroom where Judge John Koetl sentenced him to 22 months in the slammer just weeks ago.

The elder Poli is set to start serving his sentence on Sept. 29, while his son is expected to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons about a month later on Oct. 27. 

Michael Poli’s attorney, Anthony DiPietro, tried pleading with the judge for compassion, noting how his client’s family would suffer with both father and son behind bars.

“How will [their family] continue on without the two men they rely on?” DiPietro said in court.

He said Michael was a “good man” who had helped his own family when his third child was born with Down Syndrome.

DiPietro also asked the judge to give Michael the same sentence as his dad so the “family could be reunited” at the same time.

But Assistant US Attorney Cecilia Cohen pushed back, calling Michael’s conduct “egregious” — and describing to the judge how he had threatened debtors who got roped into the scheme.

“Do I need to f–king punch you in your f–king face to get my point across?” Poli told one debtor, according to prosecutors.

“I’ll put a f–king bullet so far into your f–king head.”

The prosecutor noted that Michael had made threats to people who owed the gang money with a gun at least once.

“What I didn’t hear today was any commentary about Mr. Poli’s victims,” she said. “What about the people who were told they would have a gun down their throat if they didn’t pay?”

Prosecutors also said that Michael had learned nothing from a prior federal racketeering case in which he pleaded guilty in 2016 — charging he “lied” to a different judge about his association with La Cosa Nostra in order to get off supervised release early.

He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in the more recent case on Feb. 8 and had faced up to 51 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

Koetl said he had weighed all aspects of the case before handing Michael the two-and-a-half year prison term, plus three years supervised release and a $15,000 fine.

The gangster could have gotten a minimum of 41 to 51 months in prison — but weighed all points before issuing the 31-month sentence.

“I just want to say thank you for reading my letter and I was sincere about what I said. Thank you,” Michael said before learning his fate. It’s not clear what he wrote in the letter to the court.

The father and son were part of a six-man Bronx-based bookkeeping crew busted in April 2022 for allegedly raking in money for the crime syndicate for a decade “through a pattern of racketeering activity” including extortion and illegal gambling, the feds said.

Two of the co-defendants — Genovese capo Nicholas Calisi 54, and soldier John Campanella, 48 — were sentenced to 24 months and 13 months, respectively, by Koetl in June.

Genovese associate Thomas Poli — who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy — was sentenced July 6 and fined $200,000.

At his plea hearing last year, he admitted to threatening people who didn’t pay their gambling debts.

“I just yelled at people and threatened them,” the wiseguy told the judge. 

Following his son’s sentencing Wednesday, Thomas Poli made a quick jet from the doors to hide from cameras.

But Michael’s mother pulled over a photographer and asked to see how her son looked in the photos.

“I’m his mom — he’s not that notorious,” she said.



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