The Chicago Syndicate: Salvatore Locascio
Showing posts with label Salvatore Locascio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salvatore Locascio. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Canaries Get Tweet Salvation

Friends of ours: Junior Gotti, Bonanno Crime Family, Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, Patrick DeFilippo, Vito DeFilippo, Gambino Crime Family, Salvatore LoCascio, Genovese Crime Family, Joseph Ida, John Gotti, Joey "The Clown" Lombardo

Today's rats escape sleepin' with fishes

The stampede of Mafia turncoats joining Team U.S.A. is radically changing the way gangsters try to beat the rap. Faced with damning testimony from high-ranking rats, wiseguys are wising up to the fact that it's futile to deny they're in the mob.

It was once a violation punishable by death to publicly acknowledge one's membership in a crime family. But John A. (Junior) Gotti has done it. So too has a gaggle of gangsters in the hope the wiseguys can neutralize the government's weapons.

"He's in the Bonanno family," declared defense lawyer Barry Levin last week at the trial of Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano, once the clan's acting boss. "We don't care. So if you spend three weeks listening to the Bonanno family, you've heard it here. You can take a nap."

Levin's strategy so infuriated prosecutors they asked the judge to instruct the jury that it was out of bounds. The lawyer for Basciano's co-defendant Patrick DeFilippo was also up front with jurors about his client's mob lineage. "His father Vito was a member ... and it was as natural for him at that time a long time ago to join as it was, say, for me to become a lawyer," said attorney Richard Levitt.

Recently, lawyers for Gambino capo Salvatore LoCascio and Genovese soldier Joseph Ida admitted their clients were made men, but insisted each had decided to quit the Mafia.

It's a long way from the bold denials John Gotti's mouthpiece Bruce Cutler was making in 1990 when he said: "There is absolutely no evidence of what prosecutors call an Italian-American Mafia in America."

Mafia historian Thomas Reppetto recalled that Chicago gangster Joey (The Clown) Lombardo even took out an ad in a newspaper in 1992 to proclaim he wasn't in the Mafia anymore. Lombardo was indicted last year on a raft of charges.

For years wiseguys and their lawyers nervously tiptoed around naming the criminal enterprise when pleading guilty to racketeering. Has omerta - the Mafia's code of silence - been revised? "Apparently so," said former federal prosecutor Edward MacDonald. "There's no point in contesting membership anymore. The evidence is so overwhelming. You might as well concede the obvious."

Thanks to John Marzulli

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Reputed Mobster Gets 30 Months

Friends of ours: Salvatore Locascio, Frank Locascio, John Gotti

Salvatore Locascio was indicted in February on multiple felonies alleging he received several million dollars from a massive, illegal phone cramming operation that scammed thousands of customers. With a sick wife and a felony charge to which he had already pleaded guilty, North Naples resident and reputed Mafia captain Salvatore Locascio entered a New York courtroom Monday hoping to avoid a prison term at his sentencing. Locascio, 45, didn't succeed, but he did persuade the judge to sentence him to well below the minimum under federal guidelines — 2½ years in prison. The sentencing took place in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Locascio, pleaded guilty in February to money laundering. He was indicted on multiple felonies alleging he received several million dollars from a massive, illegal phone cramming operation that scammed thousands of customers by placing charges on their bills for unauthorized, unordered services. He faced up to 10 years in prison, with federal sentencing guidelines calling for between about five and seven years behind bars. So the 2½-year sentence was several years below the minimum.

"Now he hopes to return to his family and focus on them so they can cope with his absence for the next year and a half," one of Locascio's attorneys, Eric Franz, said after the hearing. Judge Carol Amon granted Locascio's request to begin his prison sentence June 1, 2006. He wanted to remain free to attend his son's high school graduation and care for his wife, who has multiple sclerosis.

The subject of the Mafia actually played little part in the sentence, even if prosecutors alleged it played a significant part in Locascio's past. Locascio's father, Frank, was the consigliere, or counselor, to Mafia crime boss John Gotti. The U.S. Attorney's Office has alleged Salvatore Locascio inherited his father's Bronx street crew in the mid-1990s. And the federal prosecutors argued the phone cramming operation was a Mafia-related business, with the payments to Locascio as tribute due to his position as a captain in the crime family.

The defense had signed a stipulation indicating they wouldn't oppose the characterization of Locascio as a mobster for purposes of the sentencing. One of the grounds under which the defense asked the judge to sentence below the minimum was for "extraordinary rehabilitation." So despite initial denials by Locascio and his attorneys that he was part of the organized crime world, they relied on that allegation to argue he had left the mob to start a clean life in Naples. He has a prior conviction and prison term in a tax evasion case.

Franz didn't want to comment on any mob-related allegations. But he said the business that conducted the illegal phone cramming, Creative Program Communications, was formed by Locascio and several other investors 20 years ago and had nothing to do with the Mafia.

Franz said Locascio moved from New York in 2000 or 2001 "to start a new life in Florida, free of organized crime, and the money he received was not a form of tribute." When asked Monday by Judge Amon whether the U.S. Attorney's Office had any evidence Locascio is currently involved in organized crime activities, the prosecutors said they didn't. So with there being no dispute over that issue, the judge didn't press for any argument or discussion on it during the sentencing. Locascio addressed the court and asked for any form of punishment that didn't involve incarceration. He spoke mostly of his family in North Naples and the need to care for his wife. Until he turns himself in to begin his sentence, he'll remain free on $10 million bond.

After his prison sentence, he must also serve three years of supervised release, which is similar to probation. He'll pay a $50,000 fine. And he must satisfy a $4.7 million asset forfeiture. Franz said Locascio may consider selling his Pelican Marsh home, valued at $2.1 million. And Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said Locascio has said he'll forfeit property on Indigo Bush Way in Grey Oaks. He'll sell commercial property he owns in the Bronx. And he presented the court with a check for more than $500,000 on Monday.

The phone cramming scheme generated $50,000 to $600,000 a day between 1997 and 2001. In total, the scheme is alleged to have produced about $200 million in gross revenues and $100 million in profits, prosecutors said. (From 1997 to 2001, assuming the full years for each is 5 years total. My calculator procudes a gross revenue range of $91, 250,000 to over a Billion dollars. The average take was probably a little over $100,000 day. It's good work if you can get it.)

If convicted of charges under his original indictments, Locascio could have faced up to 20 years in prison on the racketeering charge; 20 years in prison on the racketeering conspiracy charge; 20 years in prison on each wire fraud charge, five years in prison on the wire fraud conspiracy charge, and 20 years in prison on the money laundering conspiracy charge, federal prosecutors said. Instead, almost all those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Thanks to Chris Colby

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Sentence put off for alleged Gambino Capo

Friends of ours: Gambino Crime Family, John Gotti, Salvatore Locascio

The sentencing today of a North Naples resident charged with receiving several million dollars from a massive, illegal phone cramming operation that federal prosecutors said was run by the Mafia was postponed to later this month.

Salvatore Locascio, 45, was set to receive up to 10 years in prison at a hearing today in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The sentencing may get put off into next year, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Robert Nardoza said Thursday. "The defense is looking for even more time," Nardoza said.

Judge Carol Amon will decide whether to give Locascio, 9778 Bent Grass Bend, the 10-year maximum. Federal sentencing guidelines call for between five and six years in prison. Locascio's attorneys have said they would ask the judge to impose a sentence not involving incarceration, including probation.

While Locascio's attorneys have denied Locascio was affiliated with the Mafia, prosecutors say he was a leader in the Gambino Organized Crime Family. And the defense signed an agreement that will allow the court to sentence him as a capo, or captain, in the mob family once headed by John Gotti.

Locascio pleaded guilty in February to receiving the proceeds of a $200 million phone cramming scam. He had faced up to 20 years in prison and pleaded guilty to money laundering. Also under the plea agreement, the court ordered a $23.5 million asset forfeiture divided among Locascio and six other co-defendants. Locascio's share of the forfeiture is $4.7 million.

The agreement with the prosecutors says the payments from the phone scam to Locascio's company, Creative Program Communications, won't be considered "tribute" payments. The indictment alleged the scam was run in part by lower-level operatives who paid Locascio kickbacks because he's a captain in the crime family. Locascio remains free on $10 million bond.

Thanks to Chris Colby

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