Wednesday, March 28, 2018

5 Things to Know about the Lucchese Crime Family Arrests #OperationTheVigIsUp

Authorities have arrested the alleged Mafia-linked members of the 'largest' loansharking and bookmaking operation ever investigated by the state Attorney General's Office.

The operation centered on Westchester County and the details, as presented by the Attorney General’s Office, paint a picture that might have been taken out of a Hollywood Mafia movie.

Here are five things to know about the arrests announced by the attorney general.

1. Yes, they’re allegedly Italian mafia

  • Among those arrested in what Attorney General Eric T. Shneiderman called the “largest such operation ever investigated by the New York attorney general,” was Dominick Capelli, allegedly a “made member” of the Lucchese crime family.
  • In addition to Capelli, who lives in New Rochelle, officials charged Robert Wagner, Frank McKiernan, Anthony Martino, Michael Wagner, Steve Murray, Seth Trustman, Richard Caccavale, Jessica Bismark and Robert Wagner Jr., some of whom were identified as Lucchese “associates” or “non-made” crew members in Westchester and the Bronx.
2. The alleged operation was HUGE
  • Most of the charges centered on loan-sharking, and the numbers are staggering, with the defendants allegedly charging huge, unpayable interest rates on loans, “averaging over 200 percent per year, effectively creating a high-cost debt trap,” according to a statement from Schneiderman.
  • Those payments exceeded $1 million from 47 alleged victims.
3. Police said they caught them on tape
  • Included in the indictment are a series of conversations police say were between the suspects.
  • “What do these people expect? Don’t they realize how it works?” Bismark allegedly said to McKiernan about a specific victim.
  • Police said they talked about individual payments: “He gave me 15,” Michael Wagner allegedly said to Robert Wagner. “He said he’d see you with the five tomorrow.”
 4. There was a lot of surveillance involved
  • The indictment is 70 pages long and the investigation lasted a year.
  • In that time, Schneiderman said investigators used all the tools available, including wiretaps, covert surveillance cameras, a car bug, undercover police officers and hidden cameras.
  • The operation was called “Operation The Vig Is Up.”
 5. There were also illegal gambling and drugs charges
  • Two indictments were also filed, police alleging that two New Rochelle residents, Michael Lepore and Vincent Tardibuono, ran an online bookmaking operation via website ezplay2001.com, which generated over $1.5 million in annual wagers.
  • In addition, Lucien Cappello of New Rochelle was charged with second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony, six felony counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and seven misdemeanor counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.


Thanks to Jordan Fenster.

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