Saturday, December 03, 2005

Sentence put off for alleged Gambino Capo

Friends of ours: Gambino Crime Family, John Gotti, Salvatore Locascio

The sentencing today of a North Naples resident charged with receiving several million dollars from a massive, illegal phone cramming operation that federal prosecutors said was run by the Mafia was postponed to later this month.

Salvatore Locascio, 45, was set to receive up to 10 years in prison at a hearing today in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The sentencing may get put off into next year, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Robert Nardoza said Thursday. "The defense is looking for even more time," Nardoza said.

Judge Carol Amon will decide whether to give Locascio, 9778 Bent Grass Bend, the 10-year maximum. Federal sentencing guidelines call for between five and six years in prison. Locascio's attorneys have said they would ask the judge to impose a sentence not involving incarceration, including probation.

While Locascio's attorneys have denied Locascio was affiliated with the Mafia, prosecutors say he was a leader in the Gambino Organized Crime Family. And the defense signed an agreement that will allow the court to sentence him as a capo, or captain, in the mob family once headed by John Gotti.

Locascio pleaded guilty in February to receiving the proceeds of a $200 million phone cramming scam. He had faced up to 20 years in prison and pleaded guilty to money laundering. Also under the plea agreement, the court ordered a $23.5 million asset forfeiture divided among Locascio and six other co-defendants. Locascio's share of the forfeiture is $4.7 million.

The agreement with the prosecutors says the payments from the phone scam to Locascio's company, Creative Program Communications, won't be considered "tribute" payments. The indictment alleged the scam was run in part by lower-level operatives who paid Locascio kickbacks because he's a captain in the crime family. Locascio remains free on $10 million bond.

Thanks to Chris Colby

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