The Chicago Syndicate: Albert Facchiano
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Showing posts with label Albert Facchiano. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Albert Facchiano. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Albert "The Old Man" Facchiano Pleads Guilty

Friends of ours: Albert "The Old Man" Facchiano, Genovese Crime Family

Albert Facchiano pleaded guilty Wednesday to racketeering conspiracy and other offenses prosecutors say he committed for the Genovese crime family, but its unlikely that the mobster will serve a day behind bars.

At 96, Facchiano, known in crime circles as "The Old Man," is in frail health and will likely be sentenced to house arrest, the Associated Press reports. Faces charges robbery, money laundering and bank fraud, the aged gangster pleaded guilty to a Florida charge of racketeering conspiracy and a New York charge of witness tampering.

Although Facchiano could have faced a maximum sentence of 30-years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines, under a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended that he be placed under house arrest, the AP reported. He's scheduled to be sentenced May 25.

Facchiano was among 30 alleged members of the Genovese crime family charged in a wide-ranging federal case.

What surprised some observers is that the charges against Facchiano stemmed from crimes committed late in his life. Prosecutors charged that from 1994 to 2006, Facchiano supervised associates who committed robberies, laundered money, engaged in bank fraud, and possessed stolen property. Prosecutors, defense attorneys and experts in organized crime say Facchiano may be the oldest racketeer ever prosecuted for crimes committed so late in life.

Facchiano's lawyer, Brian McComb told the AP that his client must see a doctor four times a week for back pain and other maladies, and "couldn't have stood trials in both Florida and New York."

Facchiano, who has an arrest record dating to 1932, walks with a cane and in court used a special headset to hear questions from the U.S. District Judge James Cohn.

A "made" man in the Genovese crime family, he spent eight years in prison on a 25-year sentence for racketeering after being arrested in 1979. The FBI, which monitors known members of organized crime, considers Facchiano a low-level figure.

Facchiano turns 97 on March 10.

Thanks to William Macklin

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Still in the Mob at Almost 100?

Friends of ours: Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Carlo Gambino, Albert "Chinky" Facchiano, Corelone Crime Family, Genovese Crime Family, Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello, John "Dapper Don" Gotti, Liborio "Barney" Bellomo, John Ardito

Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Carlo Gambino are long gone. Murder Inc. is out of business. Las Vegas has been so cleaned up it resembles Disneyland. And Havana? Forget about it since Castro took over. But Albert "Chinky" Facchiano, at 96, is still standing. And like Michael Corleone in "The Godfather III," he is still very much involved in the family business, according to the FBI.

At an age when most people are long retired and happy just to be alive, the reputed mobster was indicted earlier this year in Florida and New York. He is accused of trying to intimidate and possibly kill a witness against the powerful the Genovese family of New York in 2005. He is also accused of helping to run the rackets in Florida.

It was unclear whether Facchiano intended to break legs with his own gnarled, 96-year-old hands.

There have been plenty of elderly Mafia defendants, including 86-year-old Genovese family member Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello, who pleaded guilty to federal charges recently in Connecticut. But prosecutors, defense lawyers and Mafia experts say they can't remember someone Facchiano's age facing crimes of such recent vintage.

"I don't think there's anybody older than him," said Jerry Capeci, author of several books on organized crime and operator of the Internet site ganglandnews. "The rule is, you go in alive and you go out dead. You're not allowed to quit."

It appears that Facchiano, also known as "The Old Man," lived up to that Mafia credo, according to prosecutors. Facchiano, born in 1910, has been a "made member" of the nation's largest and most powerful Mafia family for decades, but was a low-level figure, rising no higher than soldier, according to the FBI. His nickname is apparently a play on his last name.

He was a boy when Arnold Rothstein supposedly fixed the 1919 World Series. He was a young man during the Depression when he took his first arrest. He was entering middle age during La Cosa Nostra's go-go years in the 1940s and '50s, when the Mafia skimmed its share of America's postwar prosperity. And he was a senior citizen in the 1980s and '90s when John Gotti and other bosses were taken down by the FBI.

In Florida, Facchiano was indicted along with the reputed Genovese chief in the Miami area and several others on charges of extortion and racketeering. Prosecutors say Facchiano from 1994 to 2006 mainly supervised associates who committed such crimes as robbery, money laundering and bank fraud.

The New York indictment accuses Facchiano and more than 30 other alleged Genovese members, including acting family boss Liborio "Barney" Bellomo, of a range of mob-related crimes. Facchiano is accused specifically of trying in 2005 to locate and intimidate a government witness known as "Victim-5" in court papers.

In one conversation picked up on an FBI listening device, Genovese associate John Ardito said he and Facchiano were "the hit men" who were looking for Victim-5, according to federal prosecutors. Ardito traveled from New York to Florida to meet with Facchiano about Victim-5, who had "gone wrong," according to an FBI transcript.

Facchiano pleaded not guilty and is free on bail, living at a condominium in swank Bal Harbor with a daughter. Facchiano's lawyer in the Florida case, Brian McComb, would not discuss the charges. He said his client is in reasonably good health, apart from a bad back and difficulty hearing. "He's got the typical ailments of an almost 97-year-old man," McComb said. "From day to day, who knows? He seems like a very nice gentleman."

Facchiano's first arrest came in 1932, on robbery and receiving stolen goods charges out of Pittsburgh, according to an FBI rap sheet. He got a sentence of two to five years, then was arrested again in 1936 in New York on grand larceny charges and yet again in 1944 on a bookmaking count. The records do not show how much prison time he did, if any.

"Chinky" stayed relatively clean until 1979, when he was arrested on federal racketeering charges and got a 25-year sentence. He served eight years, winning release at age 79. Then, nothing until his twin arrests this year.

If convicted on all charges, Facchiano could be looking at a sentence of well over 60 years in prison. Given the slow pace of federal prosecutions, he could be nearly 100 by the time he is sentenced.

U.S. Bureau of Prisons records show that as of the end of 2003 - the last year complete records are available - there were 30 inmates 80 and older. Officials could not say whether anyone as old as Facchiano is behind bars in the federal system.

As for his chances of actually being sent to prison, Ryan King, policy analyst with the nonprofit Sentencing Project, said: "A judge might look at someone in their 90s and consider the likelihood of re-offending. Are they really going to go out and commit another crime?"

Capeci, the Mafia expert, said someone Facchiano's age might have some difficulty keeping up with the younger wiseguys if he does go free. "There's no way a guy at age 96 can threaten people, break legs, do the normal routine that guys 50 and 60 years younger can do," he said. "But the guy is, according to the rules of the Mafia, still a made guy. He still has to take orders from the superiors and do what they tell him."

Thanks to Curt Anderson

Monday, July 10, 2006

Feds: Indictment Targets Genovese Crime Family

Friends of ours: Genovese Crime Family, Renaldi "Ray" Ruggiero, Albert "Chinky" Facchiano, Liborio S. "Barney" Bellomo
Friends of mine: Joseph Dennis Colasacco, Francis O'Donnell, Charles Steinberg, Mitchell Weissman

A federal judge considered Friday whether five reputed South Florida members of the Genovese crime family should remain in jail pending trial on charges of extortion, robbery, money laundering and other acts of racketeering.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer was expected to decide whether Renaldi "Ray" Ruggiero, 72, whom federal prosecutors identified as a Genovese capo or captain, and four of his co-defendants should be released before trial.

Ruggiero and Joseph Dennis Colasacco, 54, Francis O'Donnell, 47, Charles Steinberg, 30, Mitchell Weissman, 54, and Genovese "soldier" Albert "Chinky" Facchiano, 96, were arrested June 30. Facchiano, of Miami, was released on a $100,000 bond on Friday.

The case, considered the latest blow to New York's most powerful Mafia family, deals with 10 years of alleged criminal activity, including murder. The family's reputed acting boss, Liborio S. "Barney" Bellomo, and 31 others were arrested in February in New York.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Kaplan told the court the investigation of the group began in 2001 and lasted mainly through 2003, when Internal Revenue Service agents searched Ruggiero's home. More than 130 undercover recordings of the men's conversations "bought out the violent nature of the defendants," Kaplan said.

Prosecutors alleged that Colasacco beat a man with a gun while Weissman held a baseball bat over him. The victim eventually escaped, covered in blood, Kaplan said. The men later met the victim at Ruggiero's Palm Beach restaurant, aptly named Soprano's, to again threaten him, prosecutors said.

Ruggiero's attorney, Michael Salnick, repeatedly stopped prosecutors who claimed his client was connected to the Mafia or that he was a dangerous person. Salnick asked the court that his client be released before trial, noting that Ruggiero suffers from serious health problems. Salnick noted that Ruggiero has no passport and has left the country only once in 20 years.

The indictment covered alleged illegal enterprises from 1994 to the present, with a few specific examples. In one instance in 2003, Ruggiero allegedly gave approval to Colasacco to extort a man identified as "Victim-1."

Prosecutors claimed the victim was lured to O'Donnell's office, where a gun was held to his head and he was ordered to pay $1.5 million. Prosecutors said Ruggiero feigned innocence when confronted by the victim and promised to intercede, but later agreed to split the money with other defendants.

The group is also accused of laundering money through as many as six companies. An undercover agent gave O'Donnell $250,000 in cash to launder and "made it clear the cash was from drugs," Kaplan alleged.

If convicted under the racketeering charges, Ruggiero could face up to 120 years in prison and fines of up to $1.75 million. Convictions would result in slightly lower maximum sentences for the other defendants.


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