Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Domenico Cefalu, Reputed Gambino Underboss, Gets 2 Years in Prison

The Feds say Domenico Cefalu is acting underboss of the Gambino crime family. His lawyer says he's "under," all right - underpaid and underachieving.

At his sentencing on an extortion conviction on Monday, the two sides painted very different pictures of the 61-year-old Cefalu.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Brownell argued in Brooklyn Federal Court that Cefalu's sentence should reflect his high rank in the crime family as underboss. "These claims that he has very little contact with the [Gambino crime family] simply make no sense," Brownell said.

Defense lawyer Joseph Ryan had a few "under" suggestions of his own. Cefalu is "underpaid" - earning a measly $42,000 as a salesman for a bakery supply company, Ryan said.

Then Ryan came up with "underachieving" because Cefalu only pocketed about $8,000 on the shakedown of a cement company. And don't forget "undercut," Ryan noted, because his client was pushed out of another Gambino scheme involving a NASCAR race track on Staten Island.

Just in case Judge Jack Weinstein didn't get the full picture, Ryan noted that Cefalu drives a 1999 sedan, lost his $1,700-a-month rental apartment in Bay Ridge after his arrest in February and will have to move in with his elderly mother when he's released from prison.

The judge didn't comment on Cefalu's rank, but hit him with two full years in prison, which is more than the minimum 21 months he faced.

Also sentenced yesterday were retired NYPD Detective Frank Vassallo to four months and ex-NYPD cop Ronald Flam, who got time served for illegal gambling with the Gambinos.

thanks to John Marzulli

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