The Chicago Syndicate: Mark Hay
Showing posts with label Mark Hay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Hay. Show all posts

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mark Hay Gets Six Years in Prison

A burglar who was a key government informant against reputed Chicago mobsters has been sentenced to six years in prison for his crimes.

Prosecutors sought leniency for 56-year-old Mark Hay, noting that he'll likely be in the witness protection program for the rest of his life.

Hay was in a criminal group overseen by Michael "The Large Guy" Sarno, a mob boss recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for racketeering and other charges.

Hay wore a wire during meetings with group members and helped the government get others to become witnesses.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu says the so-called Chicago Outfit "does not look kindly on individuals who cooperate against it."

Hay allegedly continued to commit burglaries after promising the government he wouldn't commit crimes while cooperating.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sketch Artist Forbidden From Drawing Co-Defendant at Mob Bombing Trial

In federal court Tuesday, the mob racketeering trial of Michael "the Large Guy" Sarno and four alleged accomplices was abruptly halted when a witness was asked about Sarno's mob connections.

In this intelligence report: Why that wasn't the only unusual event during the trial.

Mike Sarno, a convicted Outfit boss, is accused of ordering the bombing of a Berwyn video poker machine maker that was in competition with the Outfit.

For the past two days one of Sarno's co-defendant's in the case has been testifying. Mark Hay is a career burglar, and unbeknownst to his accused criminal colleagues, he was cooperating with the FBI.

Tuesday, as the free-on bond "Large Guy" walked into federal court for another day of trial, his attorney Terry Gillespie was able to cross-examine one of the government's prime witnesses. His name: 54-year-old Mark Hay.

In an extraordinary request, the past two days, Judge Ronald Guzman asked that our ABC7 courtroom sketch artist not draw Hay's face, even though he was sitting in full view in a public courtroom and is a named defendant.

It is thought that Hay will enter the federal witness protection program and be given a new identity once this case is done.

More unusual is that Hay's picture is readily available to anyone searching the Illinois Department of Corrections website. He has been serving a lengthy sentence at the Logan Correctional Center on numerous burglary convictions.

The past two days, not only has Hay's testimony been seen and heard, so have his undercover tapes.

On those tapes Hay expresses his surprise that Mike Sarno hadn't been indicted during the fed's Operation Family Secrets, the feds' much more expansive mob murders prosecution from a few years ago.

It is unclear why a news organization's sketch artist would be singled out and asked not to draw a picture of someone who is appearing in a public courtroom when that person's current prison photo is available for anyone to see on a government website.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Racketeering Indictment Nabs Reputed Mob Boss and Police Officer

A reputed mob boss, a police officer and five other men were charged Thursday in a sweeping racketeering indictment that alleges eight years of armed robberies, burglaries, jewel thefts and arson based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Michael "The Large Guy" Sarno, 51, of Westchester allegedly masterminded much of the group's illegal activity, including a February 2003 pipe-bomb explosion that wrecked the storefront offices of a company distributing video poker machines.

Prosecutors say the bombing was a message from organized crime to stop intruding on its $13-million-a-year video poker gambling business.

Sarno, 51, went to prison in the early 1990s as a member of an organized crime family based in the western suburbs headed by Ernest Rocco Infelice.

Federal agents searched Sarno's home last July and also raided the headquarters and various hangouts of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. An alliance has developed between the violence-prone club and the Chicago mob, prosecutors say.

Sarno's attorney, Terence P. Gillespie, did not return a message for comment. But he said in a previous interview with The Associated Press that Sarno was not a mob member and was "a legitimate businessman."

Attorneys for the other defendants were not reached immediately. Messages were left at the offices of four defense attorneys whose names were learned.

Two men arrested the day of the July 2008 searches and later indicted, Mark Polchan, 41, an acknowledged member of the Outlaws, and Samuel Volpendesto, 85, were also charged in the fresh indictment. They are accused of setting off the bomb that demolished C&S Coin Operated Amusements of Berwyn, a video poker device distributor. At the time, a video poker distributing company controlled by members and associates of the Chicago mob had a grip on the market for the devices, experts say.

Video poker devices are legal in Illinois if they are not used for gambling, but bartenders often pay winners under the table in many places and experts say the mob frequently takes a healthy cut of what the machines take in.

Gov. Pat Quinn is deciding whether to sign a bill to make video poker gambling legal to finance public works _ something good government forces deplore. They say the machines are addictive and some breadwinners have gambled away their paychecks.

Also charged in the indictment:

_James Formato, 42, a former Berwyn police officer accused of serving as a courier for stolen money, taking part in an attempted robbery and other crimes.

_Mark Hay, 52, described as taking part in the robbery of jewelry stores.

_Anthony Volpendesto, 46, son of Samuel Volpendesto, who also is alleged to have taken part in robbing jewelry stores.

_Dino Vitalo, 40, a Cicero police officer since 1991, accused of searching law enforcement data bases and using the information to tip off criminals and searching for electronic surveillance equipment around a jewelry store operated by Polchan. Cicero officials on Thursday placed Vitalo on administrative leave.

Prosecutors are asking the court to force the defendants if convicted to forfeit $1.8 million _ a possible measure of the amount taken in the robberies.

Thanks to Mike Robinson

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