The feds' knockout of the Gambino crime family looks more like a phantom punch.
Reputed boss John (Jackie Nose) D'Amico and reputed underboss Domenico (The Greaseball) Cefalu took a plea deal Wednesday, admitting to a single extortion count, and could end up spending less than two years in prison.
In the last two weeks - and with a June 7 trial date looming - prosecutors dropped their demand that D'Amico plead guilty to racketeering, which carried a more serious penalty, defense lawyer Elizabeth Macedonio said.
D'Amico and Cefalu admitted extorting a $100,000 payment from businessman-turned rat Joseph Vollaro in exchange for permission to sell his Staten Island cement company. Prosecutors did not object when D'Amico said Vollaro would suffer "economic harm" if he didn't pay up, rather than violence.
Despite great fanfare accompanying last February's indictment of 62 Gambinos, there was no new defection of a high-ranking turncoat, and Vollaro was unable to record conversations with D'Amico, Cefalu or reputed consigliere Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo, a government source acknowledged.
Corozzo is scheduled to plead guilty to a new complaint that drops a drug trafficking charge against him. "Plea [deals] are based on lack of evidence and quality of evidence," Macedonio said.
For aging mobsters like D'Amico, 71; Cefalu, 61, and Corozzo, 66, convictions after trial would have resulted in virtual life sentences. None of the 52 defendants cutting deals faces more than three years in prison.
Thanks to John Marzulli
Best of the Month!
- Chicago Mob Infamous Locations Map
- The Chicago Syndicate AKA "The Outfit"
- One Family's Rise, A Century of Power
- Mafia Links of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
- THE OUTFIT'S GREATEST HITS
- Top Ten Signs a Mafia Boss is Nuts
- Profile: Harry Aleman
- Firm with reputed mob ties flourishes
- Top Ten Ways The Mafia Can Improve Its Image
- Chicago Alderman Ed Burke Charged with Extortion by Federal Prosecutors #Corruption