The Chicago Syndicate: Arthur Gianelli

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Showing posts with label Arthur Gianelli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arthur Gianelli. Show all posts

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Convictions for 4 in Racketeering, Loan Sharking and Extortion Case Including Arthur Gianelli

Reputed Mafia associate Arthur Gianelli kept meticulous records for his sprawling sports betting and loan shark ring, including a list of so-called problem people that included deadbeat gamblers and mobsters who were shaking him down for a cut of his profits.

He warned his girlfriend to "keep your mouth shut" about his gambling business, unaware that State Police investigators were secretly recording that phone call and hundreds more as he and his associates blabbed about arson, extortion, money-laundering, and other crimes.

Yesterday, after weighing all those records and phone calls, a US District Court jury in Boston found Gianelli, 51, of Lynnfield, guilty of hundreds of charges, including racketeering, arson, illegal gambling, money laundering, and attempted extortion.

The jury of six men and six women, which deliberated 23 hours over four days, also found Gianelli's three codefendants - Dennis "Fish" Albertelli, 56, and his wife, Gisele Albertelli, 54, of Stow, and Frank Iacaboni, 65, of Leominster - guilty of racketeering conspiracy and a variety of other charges in the case that prosecutors say marked the downfall of a sprawling enterprise protected by the Mafia.

"This prosecution eliminated one of the largest gambling and loan-sharking operations operating in the Greater Boston area," Assistant US Attorney Fred Wyshak said after the verdict. "It was affiliated with organized crime, and this is part of the government's battle against organized crime."

There was testimony during the eight-week trial that Gianelli, who is the brother-in-law of disgraced former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., paid $2,000 a month in tribute to New England Mafia underboss Carmen "The Cheese Man" DiNunzio from 2001 to 2003. In exchange, the Mafia protected Gianelli's organization, prosecutors said.

Jurors also heard tapes and testimony indicating that another reputed mobster, Dennis LePore, allegedly started shaking Gianelli down for money after relatives told him they had heard Gianelli's gambling business was booming.

In a Feb. 5, 2004, call recorded by State Police and played at the trial, Gianelli accused Daniele Mazzei, then his girlfriend, of putting him in jeopardy with the Mafia by talking about his business to LePore's nephew. "Just don't tell anybody these [expletive] things, because it ends up a [expletive] problem," Gianelli said. "These [expletive] people are jealous against everybody, and and they're lookin' to rob everybody, all right? And they ain't gonna rob me."

In a telephone call with LePore the next day, Gianelli agreed to pay him $15,000.

Jurors found Gianelli ran an organization involved in sports betting, video poker machines, and later online gambling. They also convicted Gianelli of attempted extortion for trying to seize control of Clarke's Turn of the Century Saloon in Faneuil Hall and McCarthy's Bar and Grill on Boylston Street in Boston, between 1998 and 2002.

Gianelli's lawyer, Robert Sheketoff, who had argued that the government's witnesses were not credible, urged jurors not to be swayed by the sheer size of the 333-count indictment. He declined to comment after yesterday's verdict.

Gianelli's wife, Mary Ann, who pleaded guilty last month to money-laundering, racketeering, and other charges and is awaiting sentencing, is the sister of Connolly's wife, Elizabeth. The Gianellis and Connollys lived next door to each other in Lynnfield. Connolly was convicted of federal racketeering in Boston in 2002 and sentenced to 10 years.

Last November, Connolly was convicted of murder in Florida for helping longtime informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi orchestrate the 1982 slaying of a businessman.

Yesterday, Gianelli, who had been in custody while awaiting trial, showed little emotion as the verdict was read, and he said nothing afterward.

Iacaboni, who was convicted of eight of nine charges against him, said, "This is a shock," after the verdict was read.

Gianelli, Iacaboni, and Dennis Albertelli were all convicted of arson in plotting to burn down the Big Dog Sports Grille in North Reading in a bid to force its owners to sell Gianelli and Albertelli another bar in Lynnfield. The arson conviction carries a minimum mandatory 15-year prison term.

Gisele Albertelli's lawyer, Page Kelley, said, "I'm disappointed that they returned so many 'guilties,' because there were a lot of counts on which the evidence was dubious. The problem with an indictment like this that alleges so many crimes is that it's hard to overcome the presumption of guilt."

Dennis Albertelli's lawyer, Edward Pasquina Jr., referring to prosecution witnesses who were granted immunity in exchange for their cooperation, said, "Certainly the government marched in a parade of horribles, and they [jurors] took their word for it."

US District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton set sentencing for July 17 for Gianelli; July 23 for Dennis Albertelli, the following day for Iacaboni, and July 29 for Gisele Albertelli.

The case, investigated by the Massachusetts State Police Special Service Section, began with a wiretap and quickly mushroomed.

Thanks to Shelley Murphy

Monday, March 09, 2009

Arthur Gianelli, Reputed Mafia Associate, Led Sprawling Criminal Enterprise According to the Feds

Reputed Mafia associate Arthur Gianelli of Lynnfield headed a sprawling criminal enterprise whose members were involved in gambling, money laundering, loan sharking, arson, and extortion, a federal prosecutor said this morning.

Gianelli, 51, and his three co-defendants "committed hundreds of crimes between 1999 and 2005," Assistant US Attorney Fred Wyshak Jr. said during opening statements at their racketeering trial in federal court.

Millions of dollars flowed through the organization's gambling operation, which took bets on football games and later shifted its operation from Massachusetts to an Internet operation in Costa Rica. The organization also created phony companies to hide profits, Wyshak said.

Wyshak said Gianelli had ties to the Mafia, making weekly payments to reputed New England underboss Carmen "Cheese Man" DiNunzio. "It was that association between this organization and organized crime that allowed Gianelli to flex his muscle, that allowed Gianelli to make people pay money that didn't want to pay," Wyshak said. "Gianelli is under the umbrella of the Mafia."

But Gianelli's lawyer, Robert Sheketoff, told jurors that, based on the government's theory of the case, Gianelli would have been a victim of DiNunzio because of the payments he was forced to make. Also on trial are Dennis Albertelli, 56, and his wife, Gisele, 54, of Stow, and Frank Iacoboni, 65, of Leominster.

Gianelli is accused of using threats and intimidation in an unsuccessful bid to force the owners of two Boston bars to sell their businesses to him between 1998 and 2002.

Gianelli, Dennis Albertelli, and Iacoboni are also charged with arson for allegedly plotting to burn down the Big Dog Sports Grille in North Reading in 2003 in an attempt to intimidate the owners into selling them another bar that they were poised to open in Lynnfield.

Defense lawyers told jurors that the most serious charges in the case involve the extortion and arson, and urged them to be skeptical of those allegations and the witnesses who testify about them.

"This is not some extortion that took place in some back room," said Sheketoff, telling jurors that there was a legal dispute between Gianelli and the Big Dog owners after he invested heavily in their financially troubled business.

Calling one of the owners, Mark Colangelo, "a swindler and a thief,'' Sheketoff said "he took my client for $1 million and my client took him to court to get it back. The suggestion that he is a victim in this case is almost laughable.''

Gianelli's wife, Mary Ann, pleaded guilty yesterday to 19 counts of racketeering, money laundering, filing false tax returns, and illegally structuring cash transactions, just as she was about to stand trial with the others.

Thanks to Shelley Murphy

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wife of Reputed Mafia Associate, Arthur Gianelli, Pleads Guilty

The wife of reputed Mafia associate Arthur Gianelli pleaded guilty to federal racketeering, money laundering, and other charges just as she was about to stand trial with him and three other people.

Mary Ann Gianelli, a 52-year-old nurse from Lynnfield and the sister-in-law of convicted former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., admitted that she helped her husband run his illegal gambling business after he was indicted on federal racketeering charges in 2005 and placed under house arrest.

Assistant US Attorney Michael Tabak told the judge that Arthur Gianelli used to personally collect cash from various locations where his bookmaking and video poker businesses operate, but hired another man to do it after his arrest. When that man was called to a federal grand jury in 2006, he revealed that he collected more than $10,000 a month for Gianelli, according to Tabak.

The man told the grand jury he stuffed the cash in a shoebox, then drove to a North End garage at lunchtime on the 16th of each month and left the box inside an unattended silver Mercedes parked in a predetermined spot.

Tabak said investigators conducted surveillance at the garage on the 16th of one month and "in came a silver Mercedes and Mrs. Gianelli was driving it."

The prosecutor said that if Mary Ann Gianelli had gone to trial the government would have proved she collected illegal proceeds from her husband's business, filed IRS returns in 2002 and 2003 falsely claiming that she drew legitimate income from a trucking company, and was involved in other wrongdoing.

Mary Ann Gianelli pleaded guilty to 19 counts of racketeering, money laundering, filing false tax returns, and illegal structuring of cash transactions. Under a plea agreement, the government dropped an additional 141 money laundering counts against her.

US District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton allowed her to remain free on bail and set sentencing for June 5. Prosecutors said they would recommend an 18-month jail term. Her lawyer said he would recommend probation with a period of house arrest.

"Mary Ann Gianelli played a minuscule role in the grand scheme of this case," said Boston attorney E. Peter Parker. "Her crimes consist solely of handling money in the wrong way. Her criminal conduct is out of character with the way she has lived her life."

He said she and her husband were high school sweathearts who have been married for 28 years and have two children.

Mary Ann Gianelli's sister, Elizabeth, is married to Connolly. Connolly is the once-decorated former FBI agent who was convicted of federal racketeering charges for protecting long-time informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi from prosecution. He was also convicted of murder in Florida in November for plotting with the two gangsters to orchestrate the 1982 slaying of a Boston businessman.

The Connolly and Gianelli families have had homes next to each other in Lynnfield for many years.

Jury selection is continuing today in the trial of her husband; Dennis Albertelli, 56, and his wife, Gisele, 54, of Stow; and Frank Iacoboni, 65, of Leominster. A dozen codefendants previously pleaded guilty. Opening statements in the trial are expected Thursday.

Thanks to Shelley Murphy

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