The Chicago Syndicate: Mitchell Weissman

Showing posts with label Mitchell Weissman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mitchell Weissman. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Genovese Crime Family Members Sentenced to Prison, Supervised Release

Friends of ours: Genovese Crime Family, Mitchell Wiessman, Joseph Dennis Colasacco, Charles Steinberg

A federal judge has sentenced three reputed associates of the Genovese crime family to prison and supervised release, according to court documents.

Mitchell Wiessman, Joseph Dennis Colasacco, and Charles Steinberg were arrested in June 2006 and later pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy, a charge designed to cut down on organized crime. Prosecutors said the men were involved in the Genovese family's South Florida operations.

Cases against several other men arrested with the three are still pending.

Wiessman, 54, was sentenced to approximately eight years of prison. Colasacco, 55, received approximately six years of prison and Steinberg, 31, was sentenced to more than three years. All three were also sentenced to two years of supervised release after they leave prison. They were sentenced Friday.

As terms of his supervised release, Colasacco must attend anger management courses. Wiessman has to seek help for substance abuse after his release, and Steinberg must undergo treatment for gambling.

Wiessman's attorney, John Contini, said he and his client were upset with the sentence. Describing his client as a "chubby little Jewish boy driving a used Hyundai,'' Contini said Wiessman's only crime was knowing members of the Genovese family.

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.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

2 Palm Beach County Men Among Mafia Suspects

Friends of ours: Genovese Crime Family, Renaldi "Ray" Ruggiero
Friends of mine: Mitchell Weissman, The "Sopranos "


In the hunt to take down the legendary Genovese organized crime family, investigators nabbed two associates in Palm Beach County.

They found Renaldi "Ray" Ruggiero, a 72-year-old living in a modest suburban home in Palm Beach Gardens. He is described as the "capo" in charge of the family's South Florida operations.

They also found his alleged associate, Mitchell Weissman, 54, in Boca Raton. He is not a made man, but helped the mafia carry out its traditional work of extortion, robbery, money laundering, loan sharking, possession of stolen property and bank fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Both are transplants from New York.

The two men were arrested on Friday after a grand jury indicted them along with five others from Broward and Miami-Dade counties on multiple charges including racketeering.

Until now, Ruggiero had a clean criminal record in Florida. A woman answered the door at his home, but declined comment.

Weissman was arrested once in 1994 by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on a domestic battery complaint by his wife, Sandra Weissman. At the time, she had an injured eye and told the deputy she feared violence would continue. The outcome of the case was not immediately available, but the couple is still married, state records show. Weissman did not return calls for comment.

The mafia's dealings in the indictment reads like a script for the mob drama, The Sopranos, except the scenes are set among South Florida's palm trees instead of northern New Jersey.

The cast of codefendants include those nicknamed "the Baker," "the Old Man," and "the Fat Man."

In one case, Ruggiero lured a victim to a codefendant's Coral Springs office, where a gun was held to the man's head in an effort to extort $1.5 million from him. Ruggiero later feigned that he was going to help the victim, even though he had already cut a deal to split the victim's money with the assailants, according to the indictment.

In another, Ruggiero was part of the conspiracy to rob a Boynton Beach bookie of $39,000, the indictment says.

The government is also trying to take up to $3 million of money and assets the seven men have acquired — including the three-bedroom homesteaded Palm Beach Gardens house Ruggiero bought in the Siena Oaks development in 1990 for $157,900.

Weissman lives at a house in Boca Raton he acquired from Ruggiero in 2003, county property records show.

Thanks to Rochelle Gilken

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