Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Albert "The Old Man" Facchiano Pleads Guilty

Friends of ours: Albert "The Old Man" Facchiano, Genovese Crime Family

Albert Facchiano pleaded guilty Wednesday to racketeering conspiracy and other offenses prosecutors say he committed for the Genovese crime family, but its unlikely that the mobster will serve a day behind bars.

At 96, Facchiano, known in crime circles as "The Old Man," is in frail health and will likely be sentenced to house arrest, the Associated Press reports. Faces charges robbery, money laundering and bank fraud, the aged gangster pleaded guilty to a Florida charge of racketeering conspiracy and a New York charge of witness tampering.

Although Facchiano could have faced a maximum sentence of 30-years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines, under a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended that he be placed under house arrest, the AP reported. He's scheduled to be sentenced May 25.

Facchiano was among 30 alleged members of the Genovese crime family charged in a wide-ranging federal case.

What surprised some observers is that the charges against Facchiano stemmed from crimes committed late in his life. Prosecutors charged that from 1994 to 2006, Facchiano supervised associates who committed robberies, laundered money, engaged in bank fraud, and possessed stolen property. Prosecutors, defense attorneys and experts in organized crime say Facchiano may be the oldest racketeer ever prosecuted for crimes committed so late in life.

Facchiano's lawyer, Brian McComb told the AP that his client must see a doctor four times a week for back pain and other maladies, and "couldn't have stood trials in both Florida and New York."

Facchiano, who has an arrest record dating to 1932, walks with a cane and in court used a special headset to hear questions from the U.S. District Judge James Cohn.

A "made" man in the Genovese crime family, he spent eight years in prison on a 25-year sentence for racketeering after being arrested in 1979. The FBI, which monitors known members of organized crime, considers Facchiano a low-level figure.

Facchiano turns 97 on March 10.

Thanks to William Macklin

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