Danny "The Lion" Leo, acting boss of the Genovese organized crime family, was sentenced to 60 months in prison Thursday following his guilty plea in federal court last October to two counts of extortion, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said.
At the same court hearing Thursday, Leo's nephew and chief lieutenant, Joseph Leo, received a 45-month prison sentence. Joseph Leo had pleaded guilty in October to one count of extortion, prosecutors said.
Court documents said between 2002 and 2006 both Danny and Joseph Leo used threats of violence against a business owner to force him to repay loans and debts made to him by the members of the Genovese crime family.
The documents also said Danny Leo extorted the owners and operators of an illegal gambling business by threatening violence and economic harm in order to force them to make payments to the Genovese crime family.
Investigators said the Genovese organized crime family, once led by the late Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, is the most powerful organized crime family in the United States.
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