Monday, July 30, 2007

A Prison "Cap" to Petey's Life of Gambling

Friends of ours: Genovese Crime Family
Friends of mine: Peter "Petey Cap" Caporino

"Petey Cap" could have cashed in his chips and gone home, but he just couldn't give up his illegal gambling racket in Hudson County . And now it's going to land the 70-year-old back in prison for up to seven years.

"He just doesn't know how to do anything else," attorney Sam DeLuca said of his client, Peter Caporino, who pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Peter Vazquez yesterday.

Caporino ran illegal gambling for more 40 years and was an FBI informant for two decades. He operated out of his social club, the Character Club, on Monroe Street in Hoboken . A portion of his take was passed up the chain of Genovese crime family bosses.

In 2002, Caporino pleaded guilty to money laundering involving illegal gambling proceeds and was sentenced to five years in prison, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said. That sentence was suspended when he agreed to wear a wire for the FBI and help prosecute 15 reputed Genovese crime family associates. During that federal prosecution last year he testified that he continued to run his illegal gambling business even though the feds told him to stop.

After those prosecutions Caporino could have walked away and never looked back. Instead, things quickly fell apart.

Last month, he was arrested at his Hasbrouck Heights home and charged with leading an organized crime network, promoting gambling and possession of gambling records, officials said.

On Aug. 16 last year, he was arrested in Hoboken by Jersey City police and charged with promoting gambling and possession of gambling records, officials said.

The plea deal struck yesterday includes reinstatement of the five-year suspended sentence. Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to leading an organized crime network and prosecutors are asking that he be sentenced to seven years for that crime. He also pleaded guilty to promoting gambling, and prosecutors are seeking a five-year term for that. The prison terms are to run concurrently.

The sweep that netted Caporino in June also resulted in the arrest of his wife, Ann Caporino, 68, on the charge of possession of gambling records; and Andy Rush, 70, of Liberty Avenue in North Bergen , on the charge of conspiracy to promote gambling, officials said. The charge against Ann Caporino was dropped as part of her husband's plea deal. The charge against Rush stands.

Caporino was in prison from June 21, 1996 to April 21, 1997, corrections officials said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7.

Thanks to Michaelangelo Conte

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