The Chicago Syndicate: Danny Leo
Showing posts with label Danny Leo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Danny Leo. Show all posts

Friday, February 06, 2009

38 Charge Indictment Announced Against the Genovese Crime Family and Alleged Acting Boss, Daniel Leo

Lev L. Dassin, Acting U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Joseph Demarest, Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the FBI, and Raymond W. Kelly, Police Commissioner of the City of New York (NYPD), announced the unsealing of a 38-count indictment (the Leo indictment) against 12 defendants, including Daniel Leo, the alleged former acting boss, and various members and associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra. The Leo indictment charges the defendants with racketeering and other offenses, including violent extortions of individuals and businesses, loansharking, narcotics trafficking and operation of illegal gambling businesses.

Also announced was the unsealing of a second indictment (the Tassiello indictment), charging Genovese associate Thomas Tassiello, a/k/a “Tommy,” with racketeering, extortion and other charges. Shortly after Tassiello’s arrest today, FBI agents executed a search warrant at the New Jersey residence of Andy Gerardo, a member of the Genovese Organized Crime Family, which was used by members and associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family in connection with their illegal activities.

Anthony Palumbo, Rocco Petrozza, Patsy Aversa, Joseph Petullo, Arthur Boland and Tassiello were arrested this morning at their homes by members of the Joint Organized Crime Task Force, which includes agents of the FBI and detectives of the NYPD. Felice Masullo, Anthony Masullo and Angelo Masullo surrendered earlier today in Magistrate Court. Daniel Leo, Charles Salzano, Joseph Leo and Vincent Cotona are in federal custody on other charges.

According to the Leo Indictment, unsealed today in Manhattan federal court: Daniel Leo, Charles Salzano, Rocco Petrozza, Felice Masullo, Patsy Aversa, Vincent Cotona, Joseph Leo, Joseph Petullo, Anthony Masullo and Angelo Masullo participated in racketeering offenses related to the affairs of the Genovese Organized Crime Family. Daniel Leo served as acting boss of the Genovese Family beginning in approximately 2005. During the time he served as acting boss, he supervised racketeering crimes of his own “crew” of Genovese Family members and associates, including Soldier Charles Salzano and associates Joseph Leo and Arthur Boland. Salzano and Joseph Leo are charged with various racketeering offenses, including loansharking and operation of an illegal gambling business.

Additional charges against defendants named in the indictment include making and collecting extortionate loans to small business owners and other individuals, including owners and operators of bartending schools in New York City and New Jersey, and threatening victims with physical harm if they did not repay the loans.

In 2006, Daniel Leo placed long-time Soldier and Acting Capo Anthony Palumbo in charge of the New Jersey operations of the Genovese Family. Palumbo and other New Jersey-based family members and associates under his supervision, including his driver Felice Massulo and Soldier Rocco Petrozza, are charged with, among other offenses, forcibly taking over a small business in Jersey City, N.J., to collect payment on a loanshark loan. Petrozza and associates Patzy Aversa, Vincent Cotona, and Joseph Petullo are charged with extortion of the owners and operators of this same business.

Felice Masullo – who served as Palumbo’s driver and was proposed as a member of the Genovese Family – is charged with his brothers, Anthony Masullo and Angelo Masullo, with racketeering offenses including the trafficking of cocaine and crack cocaine, loansharking, and operating an illegal sports-betting business.

According to the Tassiello indictment, unsealed today in Manhattan federal court: Beginning in at least 2004, through the date of the indictment, the defendant, Thomas Tassiello, a/k/a “Tommy,” used his status as an associate of the Genovese Organized Crime Family to make a string of extortionate loans to Manhattan-based small business owners and to threaten them with physical violence and other harm when they failed to make prompt repayment of their loans. In one instance, Tassiello took ownership interest in a Manhattan bar after its owner did not keep up with weekly interest payments on a series of loans totaling approximately $100,000.

After Tassiello became aware of a federal investigation into his loansharking operation, he instructed his victims to provide false and misleading information to a federal grand jury and special agents of the FBI.

Tassiello is also charged with the operation of an illegal gambling business that engaged in sports bookmaking and illegal lottery schemes, and the transportation across state lines of stolen property.

Tassiello is charged with two counts of racketeering, six counts of conspiracy to make and collect extortionate loans, one count of interstate transportation of stolen property and one count of operating an unlawful gambling business. If convicted of all the charges contained in the indictment, Tassiello, 61, of New York City, faces a maximum sentence of 70 years in prison.

All of the defendants who were arrested today appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. Daniel Leo, Charles Salzano, Joseph Leo and Vincent Cotona are expected to be arraigned on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009, at noon.

Mr. Dassin praised the work of the Joint Organized Crime Task Force in the investigation, and added that the investigation is continuing.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David B. Massey, Avi Weitzman, John T. Zach and Steve Kwok are in charge of the prosecutions. he charges contained in the indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Genovese Mob Boss Heading to Prison

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.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Alleged Genovese Mafia Boss & Lieutenant Plead Guilty To Extortion

MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Acting Boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family, DANNY LEO, a/k/a “The Lion,” 66, and his primary lieutenant and nephew, JOSEPH LEO, 45, pleaded guilty today to charges of extortion. DANNY and JOSEPH LEO pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge ANDREW J. PECK.

According to the Indictment and statements made during bail hearings and the guilty pleas:

From 2002 to November 30, 2006, DANNY LEO and JOSEPH LEO agreed to extort a business owner ("Victim-1") by threatening Victim-1 with physical violence and other harm if he did not make prompt repayment of various loans and debts. Also, from about January 2003 to January 2006, DANNY LEO agreed to extort the owners and operators of an illegal gambling business involved in interstate commerce ("Victim-2" and "Victim-3"). DANNY LEO and other members and associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family, agreed to use threats of economic harm and violence to force Victim-2 and Victim-3 to make payments to a member of the Genovese Organized Crime Family.

DANNY LEO pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to commit extortion. Magistrate Judge PECK ordered both defendants to continue to be detained. JOSEPH LEO pleaded guilty to one count of extortion. DANNY LEO faces a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. JOSEPH LEO faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Mr. GARCIA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the New York State Police in this investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys ERIC SNYDER and BENJAMIN GRUENSTEIN are in charge of the prosecution.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Cosa Nostra is Alive and Well in New York

Friends of ours: Danny "The Lion" Leo, Vito Genovese, Genovese Crime Family, Vincent "the Chin" Gigante, "Fat Charlie" Salzano

New Yorkers have been given a rude awakening to the continued presence of the Mafia in their midst with the arrest of Danny "the Lion" Leo, the reputed boss of the city's most powerful crime family.

Many had assumed the tide of prosperity pouring through New York had washed away the Mafia clans who once terrorised their city. Instead, it appears the mafia is very much alive.

Prosecutors say that Leo, 65, arrested on charges of loan sharking and extortion, is head of the powerful Genovese family, one of the so-called "five families" that ruled the Mafia in New York for half a century. "Two hundred or so members of this violent, ruthless criminal organisation can only commit acts of violence with the approval of the acting boss," said Eric Snyder, the assistant US attorney. "That's the type of power he holds."

Leo's indictment reads like pages from Mario Puzo's bestseller The Godfather. There are "soldiers", the hit men, "capos" or captains, and defendants with colourful nicknames. Prosecutors claim that Leo's right-hand man is "Fat Charlie" Salzano, a 26½ stone enforcer caught on wiretaps threatening to shoot his victims.

Leo has been charged with conspiring to demand $250,000 protection from a Harlem taxi company owner, with Salzano promising in the wiretap evidence that he will "turn you out" if the money is not paid.

Leo, who lives in a mansion in New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York, insists he is innocent, pleading not guilty to all charges.

His supporters point to his almost unblemished criminal record: he has a single conviction, 25 years ago, for contempt of court when he refused to testify in a murder trial. But prosecutors say he is proof of the continuing existence, and prosperity, of arguably the biggest and most successful criminal organisation in history - the infamous five families.

They were first revealed to the world in evidence in a 1959 investigation. The five families had been set up before the Second World War as an arrangement whereby the city's crime gangs attempted to rationalise their organisations. Killings of justice officials were banned, a "commission" set up to regulate disputes, and the omerta, the Sicilian vow of silence, was cemented in place with a promise of execution against any member breaking it.

The Genovese family, named after its founder, Vito Genovese, was arguably the most powerful, smashing its way to the top by bringing mass heroin smuggling to the United States.

Leo is accused of taking the mantle of leader from the former Genovese boss Vincent "the Chin" Gigante. When Gigante died in prison two years ago many assumed that his "family" - actually a grouping of several families - would plough their money into legal enterprises and leave the gangster life to the newer, hungrier, gangs from Russia and Central America.

Leo's arrest comes a fortnight after the justice department announced a separate trial of two men accused of being from the same crime family, charged with conspiracy to murder. And New Yorkers are waiting to see if it will mark the start of a new campaign by the authorities against organised crime.

Mr Synder insists that the Mafia remains potent and that the trial will expose the hold that criminal gangs have in the US.

Thanks to Chris Stephen

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