Reputed Gambino organized crime family “capo” Nicholas Corozzo has admitted to operating a highly sophisticated illegal gambling enterprise in Queens County and elsewhere that booked nearly $10 million in wagers over a two-year period on professional and college basketball and football, professional baseball and hockey and other sporting events, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.
District attorney Richard A. Brown said that Nicholas “Little Nicky” Corozzo, 68, of 2430 Legion Street in Bellmore, Long Island, appeared Friday before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron and was arraigned on a 29-count indictment charging him – together with 25 other reputed members of the Gambino crime family – with promoting illegal sports betting in Queens County and elsewhere and with being involved in traditional gambling wire rooms located in Woodhaven, Queens, and non-traditional computerized wire rooms in Costa Rica.
“As a result of this prosecution, we have closed down a highly lucrative gambling operation that benefitted the Gambino crime family to the tune of millions of dollars each year”, Brown said. “Illegal gambling has always been the bread and butter moneymaker for organized crime because of the huge profits that it generates which can then be used to fund other more insidious forms of criminal activity, such as labor racketeering, drug trafficking, prostitution, auto theft, insurance fraud and loan sharking. This case sends a clear signal to all who involve themselves in illegal gambling that law enforcement will keep up the pressure and not allow them to operate.”
Corozzo pleaded guilty to the top count of the indictment –enterprise corruption. Justice Kron set bail at $1 million and indicated that Corozzo likely faced a sentence of up to five to 15 years in prison. The next court date is Dec. 1.
District Attorney Brown said that Corozzo had been named in the state indictment, as well as a federal indictment, in February 2008. The federal indictment charges him – together with 61 other reputed organized crime family members – with racketeering, conspiracy, extortion, loan sharking and embezzlement. Corozzo specifically is charged with respect to a January 1996 double murder of an organized crime family associate and his friend in connection with a drug-related homicide. That case is presently pending.
The District Attorney noted that Corozzo remained a fugitive from justice for approximately four months until his surrender to federal authorities on May 29 after his story was featured earlier in the month on the television show, “America’s Most Wanted.” Since his surrender, he has been held in federal custody without bail. He was returned to federal authorities following his appearance today in state court.
Other reputed Gambino soldiers and associates who have also pleaded guilty in the state gambling case include reputed soldiers Blaise Corozzo (Nicholas Corozzo’s brother) and Louis Scida, and reputed associates Todd Segarra, Neil Allstatt, and Frank Mancini, all of whom have pleaded guilty to the crime of enterprise corruption. Altstatt and Scida are expected to be sentenced to one and one-third years to four years in prison and Segarra, Mancini and Blaise Corozzo are expected to be sentenced to one to three years in prison.
Reputed soldier Michael Scarola pleaded guilty to first-degree promoting gambling and is expected to be sentenced to two to four years in prison.
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