Tag Archives: Genovese


Sentencing of convicted Genovese organized crime family member Emilio Fusco temporarily suspended

NEW YORK — A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily suspended a sentencing proceeding for Emilio Fusco, of Longmeadow, a Genovese organized crime family member convicted of racketeering conspiracy and other crimes after a three-week trial in April.

Fusco was acquitted of the 2003 murders of onetime Springfield Mafia boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno and low-level criminal associate Gary D. Westerman. Prosecutors have nonetheless continued to argue Fusco was culpable in the slayings along with gangsters in Western Massachusetts and New York, and are seeking a 45-year prison sentence.

Fusco, an Italian native, has been using an interpreter throughout two years of court proceedings. U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel suspended an already lengthy hearing because Fusco needed an additional interpreter.
The sentencing will resume in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday.


Lucky Luciano

Crime History: Luciano power play changes Mafia forever

On this day, Sept. 10, in 1931, Charles “Lucky” Luciano took over the New York crime world with an orchestrated series of hits, culminating with the murder of the “Boss of Bosses” Salvatore Maranzano.

Luciano arranged for a gang of hitmen to pose as government tax agents to enter Maranzano’s offices in the prestigious Helmsley Building on Park Avenue. Three men stabbed Maranzano and another shot him.

To prevent future mob wars, Luciano formed the Five Families and established a governing commission to replace the Mafia’s “boss of bosses” arrangement. He’s considered the father of organized crime in the United States.

Under Luciano’s ascendancy, the Mafia grew into a national crime syndicate. It focused more on making money than racking up bodies, infiltrating legitimate business, politics and law enforcement.

Source:washingtonexaminer.com — Scott McCabe


Vincent ‘The Chin’ Gigante’s Daughter Pens Memoir of Family Life with International Crime Boss

NEW YORK, May 24, 2012—  Notorious crime boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante was not your “average” mobster; he was, in fact, the Capo di tutti capi — the head of all five New York crime families: the Bonannos, Colombos, Gambinos, Genoveses, and Luccheses. In an effort to protect himself and his family, Gigante created a facade of a mentally unstable person, complete with public theatrics, often wearing his infamous Golden Nugget bathrobe around town. His story is most intriguing for the level of secretiveness it has maintained. Finally, six years after his death, Vincent’s youngest daughter Rita pens a tell-all of her life growing up with the most powerful mafia leader of that time.

The Godfather’s Daughter: An Unlikely Story of Love, Healing and Redemption, releasing September 18th by Hay House publishing, is a never-before-heard account of what it was like to live a life of deceit, secrecy, oppression, and violence. In this breakthrough true story of the turmoil that permeated within the mafia lifestyle, Rita delves deep into the adversities she had to overcome as a young gay woman in a strict Italian Catholic family. She recounts being misunderstood and bullied by her own family members for resisting the life that was expected of her. Forced to live a lie to protect her family and her father’s ego ultimately created an unstable environment filled with frustration, confusion, and fear. After years of deception Rita finally hit rock bottom and realized she could no longer bear the anguish of her demons; she had to live a life true to herself. Throughout Rita’s personal growth, the bond with her father evolved as well. It was upon her father’s passing that she was finally able to achieve the improbable relationship with him that she had longed for her entire life — a relationship where they could share an uninhibited exchange of love and an understanding for who they really were.

“The inspiration to write the book began about 13 years ago. I started to see the changes in myself as I began to speak up about who I was and began to live my life as authentically as possible. I started to share that with people so that they could also stand in their truth and do the same. I knew I couldn’t write it while my father was alive … and after he passed, I knew I had to give my family time to grieve. The timing is right now,” says Rita Gigante.

The Godfather’s Daughter uncovers the truths a crime boss’s daughter must face to shed family secrets and accept what cannot be changed. Complete with an insider view of the mafia world, Rita’s story tells of the importance of forgiveness in an unforgiving world and shows the eventual transformation from a troubled girl into a more fulfilled woman.


Source: ereleases.com


Alleged Genovese Organized Crime Family Member and Associates Among 14 Charged in Racketeering Conspiracy

Thirteen individuals, including one alleged member of the Genovese organized crime family and 12 members and associates of its LaScala Crew, were charged today in connection with an illegal online gambling operation, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy in a complaint unsealed this morning in conjunction with arrests in the case. Two defendants remain at large. A fourteenth defendant is charged with transmission of wagering information. The defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark S. Falk in Newark federal court.

“The acts alleged in this criminal complaint show that traditional organized crime continues to pursue its bread and butter—illegal gambling, loan-sharking, and cargo theft,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “The new wrinkle here is the use of off-shore sites and the Internet for processing bets. Law enforcement will use countermeasures that are just as sophisticated to bring these criminal enterprises to justice.”

“Today’s arrests serve as a stark reminder that traditional organized crime continues to operate in New Jersey,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Ward said. “Bookmaking, loan-sharking, cargo thefts, and illegal gambling in social clubs are the staples by which organized crime funds further criminal activity. The use of Internet gambling and off shore locales demonstrates an evolution and increased sophistication, but the threat of force or violence to serve their purpose remains the same, as does the negative impact of organized crime on the citizens of this state.”

According to the complaint unsealed this morning in Newark federal court:

The Genovese crime family of La Cosa Nostra operated out of smaller groups, sometimes referred to as “crews,” that operated in northern New Jersey and elsewhere. Each crew was headed by a “captain,” “capo,” or “skipper.” Each captain’s crew consisted of “soldiers” and “associates.” The captain was responsible for supervising the criminal activities of his crew and providing the crew with support and protection. In return, the captain often received a share of the crew’s earnings.

Joseph Lascala, 80, of Monroe, New Jersey was a capo and a made member of the Genovese crime family, directing various criminal activities of a group of associates referred to in the complaint as the “Lascala Crew.” These activities included the theft of goods and cargo, the receipt of stolen property in interstate commerce, extortion, illegal gambling, and the collection of unlawful debt.

Members and associates of the Lascala Crew and others, together with individuals that own and operate the website Beteagle.com (“website”), used the website to profit through the operation of an illegal gambling business that operated in northern New Jersey and elsewhere.

High-level associates of the Lascala Crew acted as “agents” of an illegal gambling business that was operated through the website. Before the advent of computerized betting, these agents would be referred to as “bookmakers” or “bookies.” Through the use of a username and password, the agents accessed the website and tracked the bets or wagers placed by their bettors. This “electronic portfolio” was referred to as the agent’s “package.” The agent also had the ability, through the website, to create packages for sub-agents. Sub-agents, who also were members or associates of the Lascala Crew, operated under the agent, maintained their own bettors, had access to the website related to their package, and were required to share their profits with the agent and ultimately, Lascala.

Bettors first received a username and password from the agent or sub-agent, which could be used to place bets. The bettor, however, did not use a credit card to either access the website or to pay gambling losses or to receive gambling winnings. The bettor usually was assigned or chose a player name, such as “Shark,” “Colt,” or “Ace.” The agent or sub-agent also established a betting limit for each bettor. The bettor used his or her user name and password to place bets through the website or over the telephone.

The website was maintained in Costa Rica and referred to as the “office.” Although the website was maintained in Costa Rica, the bettors either paid money for losses or received money for winnings from the agent, his sub-agent, or their co-conspirators in New Jersey. If a bettor was unable or unwilling to repay gambling losses, then the agent or sub-agent converted these losses in debts that the bettor was required to repay. The agent or sub-agent often tacked exorbitant amounts of interest onto these debts and they used extortionate means to collect these debts, including the express or veiled threat that the agent, sub-agent, or their co-conspirators had the backing of the Genovese crime family.

After the agent obtained money, usually in the form of cash, from his sub-agents or directly from the bettors, the agent kept a portion of the cash for himself and then distributed the remainder of the money, through intermediaries, to others, including members and associates of the Lascala Crew and the individuals who owned and maintained the Website.

The Lascala Crew, in confederation with the website, directed, coached, assisted, and caused bettors in New Jersey and elsewhere to place wagers on sporting events and contests, such as football.

The complaint details a recorded conversation wherein defendant Joseph Graziano describes the operation:

“You’re in the wrong business now, you know?…You should be in the sports business….They’re gonna build it up to, like, [expletive] no end….I call the kid up. In the office down there, I’m really proud of him. I mean, he has 50 phones in his [expletive] place….And, it’s nice, it’s like an auction…”

The Lascala Crew also profits by operating social clubs in northern New Jersey and elsewhere. At these social clubs, members of the Lascala Crew profit through card games and other illegal games of chance.

The complaint also charges that the Lascala Crew engages in cargo theft and the receipt and sale of stolen goods in interstate commerce, which stolen goods the members of the Lascala Crew refer to as S.W.A.G. (stolen without a gun).

The defendants named in the complaint are:


The defendants named in the complaint are:


Defendant, age  a/k/a  Residence 
Joseph Lascala, 80 Pepe, Ziggy Monroe, New Jersey
Patsy Pirozzi, 72 Uncle Patsy Suffern, New York
John Breheney, 47 Johnny Fugazi, Fu, Johnny Fu Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey
Eric Patten, 35 EP Bayonne, New Jersey
Franklin Militello*, 71 The Flea, The Fox  
Mark Sanzo, 53   Bayonne
Robert Scerbo*, 54 Worm Bayonne
William Bruder, 42 Willie  
Michael O’Donnell, 48 Mikey O Wall, New Jersey
Salvatore Turchio, 44   Little Egg Harbor
Jose Gotay, 74   New Milford, New Jersey
Joseph Graziano, 75 Joe Graz, Graz Springfield, New Jersey
Dominick Barone, 42 Harpo Springfield
Kenneth Baran, 49   Bayonne

 (*not in custody)


Each of the defendants, with the exception of defendant Kenneth Baran, is charged with racketeering conspiracy in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d). This count carries a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Defendant Ken Baran is charged with transmission of wagering information, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1084 and Section 2. This count carries a maximum term of two years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; the Special Investigations Unit of the Bayonne Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Kubert; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge JoAnn S. Zuniga; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes; and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw, with the investigation leading to today’s arrests.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Moscato and Serina M. Vash of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.


Source: ionglobaltrends.com


Too tough to fuggedabout: Notable Mafia nicknames

Former New England Mafia boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio was sentenced Friday to 5 1/2 years in prison for his role in the shakedown of Providence, R.I., strip clubs. AP takes a look at some of the more notable nicknames associated with the mob and tries to shed light on their sometimes murky origins:

– Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano, former acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, owned a beauty salon in the Bronx called “Hello Gorgeous” and was known for being obsessed with his personal appearance; serving life on racketeering and murder charges.

-Anthony “Tony Bagels” Cavezza, an accused Gambino family mobster known for his affection for New York bagels. He was indicted in Jan. 2011 as part of a sweep in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island and awaits trial on charges including running an illegal gambling business scheduled later this month; has pleaded not guilty.

-Anthony “Tony Ducks” Corallo, a New York City mobster and boss of the Lucchese crime family, earned his nickname because of his ability to duck subpoenas and convictions during his long criminal career. Died in a prison hospital in 2000.

-Carmen “The Cheeseman” DiNunzio, former underboss of the New England mob, got his nickname because he was the portly owner of a cheese shop in Boston’s North End; now serving a 6-year prison sentence for bribing an undercover FBI agent posing as a state official to try to win a $6 million contract on Boston’s Big Dig highway project.

-Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, headed the Genovese organized crime family, known for faking mental illness for decades to hide his position. His nickname apparently came from his mother’s pronunciation of “Cincenzo,” a variation of his name in Italian, and his childhood friends shortened that to “Chin”; died in prison in 2005 at age 77.

– Manocchio is also sometimes called “Baby Shanks.” The nickname “Baby Shacks” is said to have been given to him because he had an older relative nicknamed “Shacks,” which was bestowed because of that man’s relationships with numerous women.

-Carmine “The Snake” Persico, de-facto boss of the Colombo crime family, earned his nickname for switching sides in a mob faction battle. Persico has been serving a 139-year sentence since 1987 on racketeering charges.

-Harry “The Hunchback” Riccobene, a Philadelphia mobster. At 4-foot 11-inches, he was known as “little Harry” until a police officer dubbed him “Hunchback” for his short, bent stature. He died in prison in 2000 while serving a life sentence for murder.

-Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, former boss of the New England mob, so named because he owned a bunch of auto body garages in Boston. Salemme later became a government witness. Released from prison in 2009, he is now believed to be in the witness protection program.

-Philip “Chicken Man” Testa, briefly led the Scarfo crime family in Philadelphia. Testa’s nickname is believed to have come from his involvement in a poultry business. He had a heavily pockmarked face, caused by a bad case of chicken pox, which is also thought to be one of the reasons for his nickname. Testa was killed by a bomb in a mob assassination.


Sources: AP, newspaper archives, FBI.

emilio fantasticfour

Emilio Fusco acquitted in mob slayings of Al Bruno, Gary Westerman following 2-week trial in New York

NEW YORK – After a two-week trial and two days of jury deliberations in federal court in Manhattan, Emilio Fusco, of Longmeadow, was acquitted of the 2003 Western Massachusetts murders of crime boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno and low-level associate Gary Westerman.

Jurors convicted Fusco, 43, of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to commit extortion, and interstate travel in aid of racketeering. However, the panel cleared him of involvement in the murders, direct participation in a shakedown of Springfield strip club owner James Santaniello, and a a direct role in other extortion schemes prosecution witnesses testified about.

Prosecutors argued Fusco was a made member of the New York-based Genovese crime family who played key roles in murder plots, drug deals, loan-sharking, illegal gaming and other mob-related schemes as he made his way up the ladder in the so-called Springfield Crew of the Genovese family after emigrating there from Italy in the 1990s. Government witnesses including onetime soldier Anthony Arillotta offered testimony against Fusco including that he spearheaded a movement to kill Bruno in 2003 and helped bludgeon Westerman to death the same year.

Jurors were apparently not entirely convinced by Arillotta and other prosecution witnesses who ushered in convictions for three other defendants on parallel charges in the same courtroom last year. Former Arillotta henchmen Fotios “Freddy” Geas and his brother Ty Geas, of West Springfield, were convicted of the Bruno and Westerman murders and an array of other crimes along with onetime acting Genovese boss Arthur “Artie” Nigro, of Bronx, NY, and are serving life sentences.

In that case, the government successfully convinced jurors that a power shift in the Springfield mob sparked a spike in violence, more aggressive shakedowns of business owners and culminated in public shoot-outs and the Bruno and Westerman murders. The investigations into the slayings had stagnated somewhat until Arillotta was arrested in connection with the case and led investigators to Westerman’s remains in a wooded lot in Agawam, Mass nearly seven years after Westerman was was killed.

Arilotta testified that he, the Geases and Fusco conspired to kill Bruno and that Fusco helped bury Westerman’s remains after the men killed him.

Fusco was tried separately because he had traveled to Italy when the indictment against him was unsealed in 2010. Prosecutors argued he fled, since he was arrested as a fugitive there in July of that year. Defense lawyer Richard B. Lind countered that Fusco was there on family business and not to avoid prosecution.

Fusco embraced defense lawyer Richard B. Lind as jurors delivered their verdict late on Wednesday. The panel’s decision unfolded in painfully slow fashion after it reported to U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel at 3:30 that they had reached unanimous verdicts but were deadlocked on a sentencing enhancement question with regard to the Bruno murder. The quirky, partial verdict sent lawyers for the government scrambling to confer with supervisors and Lind to consult defense colleagues. After 90 minutes of wrangling, lawyers agreed to let jurors return a partial verdict and continue to deliberate on the underlying question at 5 p.m.

However, after jurors trudged back to the deliberation room, Castel pressed the government on the sentencing enhancement issue, and prosecutors ultimately decided to figuratively take a knee on the issue and release the jury in the morning.

Fusco’s wife, Jenny Santos-Fusco, attended much of the trial with the couple’s two sons and was moved to tears after the verdict.

“I don’t have the words. This was the right thing. He’s a good man,” she said.

Lind declined to comment extensively on the case, but said: “I’m thrilled,” conceding that acquittals are rare in federal court.

Though Fusco could conceivably still face 45 years in prison by adding up the statutory maximums of his convictions, it is likelier he will get a far lesser sentence. The murder acquittals represented a huge victory for the defendant in context, as he vehemently denied involvement in the schemes from the start and faced life sentences in connection, if convicted.

Jurors are scheduled to return to court Thursday morning, only to be immediately discharged.


Source: masslive.com

emilio fantasticfour

Emilio Fusco murder trial jurors finish 1st day of deliberations with no verdict in mob case

NEW YORK – Jurors in the Emilio Fusco Mafia murder trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan concluded their first day of deliberations without a verdict on Tuesday.

Fusco, 43, of Longmeadow, is accused of a racketeering conspiracy prosecutors say spanned 10 years and included the 2003 murders of Springfield, Mass., organized crime boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, gunned down in a downtown parking lot, and low-level associate Gary D. Westerman, whose remains were unearthed by law enforcement officials in Agawam, Mass., in 2010.

Fusco has denied involvement in any of the scams in a five-count criminal indictment unsealed in 2009. Other allegations include illegal gaming rings, marijuana trafficking and shakedowns of western Massachusetts business owners including strip bar owner James S. Santaniello.

The jury went out around 10 a.m. and throughout the day asked several questions of U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel including: a clarification of the federal “aiding and abetting” statute – specifically, whether a criminal plan that was initially hatched had to be the plan that came to fruition. The panel also inquired of the date of a 2001 surveillance photo of Fusco, and to see the direct testimony of cooperating witnesses Anthony Arillotta and Felix Tranghese, regarding meetings with Santaniello about stepped-up extortions in 2003.

Fusco faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murders. Jurors are scheduled to resume deliberations Wednesday morning.


Source: masslive.com