The Chicago Syndicate: Vincent Dragonetti
Showing posts with label Vincent Dragonetti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vincent Dragonetti. Show all posts

Monday, March 31, 2008

Eliot Spitzer's Prostitute Connected to Reputed Mobster

Federal investigators have developed information that the prostitute whom Eliot Spitzer is said to have met in Washington last month has some relationship with a man who the authorities contend is an associate of organized crime, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

It was unclear on Friday whether the investigators had determined the precise nature, or timing, of the relationship between the 22-year-old woman and the reputed organized crime figure, Anthony Scibelli, 37, a building contractor now under federal indictment in a separate case in Brooklyn.

But prosecutors and F.B.I. agents involved in the prostitution case have begun asking questions about whether anyone involved with the ring that the former governor is believed to have patronized, the Emperor’s Club V.I.P., understands how Mr. Scibelli knows the woman, Ashley Alexandra Dupré, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation.

A lawyer for Mr. Scibelli acknowledged that his client knew Ms. Dupré but said that the two did not have a sexual relationship.

“He doesn’t deny knowing her, but he does deny having any illicit relationship with her,” said the lawyer, Gerald L. Shargel. “Anthony Scibelli is a hard-working contractor. He is not a mob member. He is not a mobster. He is someone who goes to work every day.”

Mr. Shargel said his client’s only contact with Ms. Dupré, an aspiring rhythm and blues singer, was related to his efforts to further her music career. “He has contacts in the music business,” Mr. Shargel said. “She was introduced to him because of his contacts in the music business, and she obviously thought that he could help further her career, and that was the sole basis of the relationship.”

He said the two met through a mutual friend whom he did not identify.

There is no indication that Mr. Spitzer was aware of Ms. Dupré’s relationship with Mr. Scibelli, or that Mr. Scibelli knew Mr. Spitzer had reportedly been a client of Ms. Dupré’s. Indeed, two people with knowledge of the case said Ms. Dupré’s only apparent contact with the governor had been the Feb. 13 rendezvous at the Mayflower Hotel, a meeting that became famous after it was disclosed that Mr. Spitzer was referred to as Client 9 in a federal complaint against the prostitution ring. But the fact that the scope of Ms. Dupré’s contacts included someone the federal government lists as an organized crime associate underscores the dangerously vulnerable position Mr. Spitzer put himself in if he consorted with prostitutes.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Spitzer, Brandy Bergman, said the former governor had no comment, as did a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in Manhattan. A lawyer for Ms. Dupré, Don D. Buchwald, also declined to comment. Ms. Dupré did not respond to messages.

Mr. Scibelli is listed as the owner of one construction company and as an executive in another that does business in the New York metropolitan region. He served a state prison sentence in the early 1990s for felony drug sale, according to state prison records.

Last month, he was one of 62 people charged in a sweeping indictment brought by federal prosecutors against the Gambino crime family, including 3 reputed leaders of the family, 6 reputed capos, 16 men the authorities classified as soldiers and others, like Mr. Scibelli, whom the government identified as mob associates.

Specifically, the government accused Mr. Scibelli of extortion and extortion conspiracy, claiming he shook down another contractor and took over the man’s portable cement plant.

He was charged along with three other men, Nicholas Corozzo and Leonard DiMaria, identified in the indictment as Gambino captains, and Mr. Corozzo’s son-in-law, Vincent Dragonetti, a reputed soldier who is involved in a construction business with Mr. Scibelli.

Mr. Shargel noted that Mr. Scibelli was not charged with racketeering conspiracy in the Brooklyn case, as were 25 of the other defendants. And he was named in just two of the 80 counts in the 170-page indictment.

He is now free on $1 million bond that was secured by the house where he lives with his wife in Medford, N.Y., and a home there owned by his parents.

Mr. Corozzo, Mr. DiMaria and Mr. Dragonetti face more serious charges: murder, racketeering conspiracy and nearly two dozen other alleged crimes for Mr. Corozzo; racketeering conspiracy and 30 extortion, gambling and other counts for Mr. DiMaria; and a litany of construction-related extortion, money laundering and gambling charges for Mr. Dragonetti.

Mr. Dragonetti and Mr. Scibelli are involved in a construction firm called Hunter-Atlantic, in Red Bank, N.J. Mr. Scibelli is the vice president and business records list Mr. Dragonetti as the registered agent.

Mr. Scibelli also has another company, VMS Consulting Inc., which is based at his home in Medford, according to business records.

Hunter-Atlantic was involved in shoring up a landmark six-story cast-iron building adjacent to the planned site of a 20-story condominium building called 57 Reade Street in TriBeCa. The city’s Buildings Department halted work there in November after the excavation for the new building left the landmark listing.

Thanks to Willaim K. Rashbaum and Ian Urbina

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

After Husband is Arrested, Did Mobster's Wife Reach Out and Touch a Warning to Her Reputed Gambino Capo Father

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Reputed Gambino capo Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo was able to elude the feds' rubout of more than 100 of his associates Thursday - allegedly thanks to a timely, heads-up phone call from his daughter, who had just watched her mobster husband hauled away in cuffs, sources told The Post yesterday.

Vincent "Skinny" Dragonetti was busted as he walked out of his Bellmore, LI, home a few minutes ahead of the early-morning synchronized sweep. That gave his wife, Bernadette, enough time to warn her dad, who lives a few blocks down the same street.

Corozzo was so quick in fleeing that he left behind his wallet, sources said.

Bernadette refused to answer a Post reporter's questions yesterday, slamming the door in his face.

Corozzo remained on the lam as new details emerged about the historic mass arrest - which involved charges of murder, corruption, extortion, drug dealing and loan-sharking from the city to Sicily.

Its central figure, Staten Island truck-company owner Joseph Vollaro, wore a wire for more than two years.

The ex-con provided intricate details of the Gambino crime family's inner workings at meetings and meals with top bosses, sources said.

Vollaro, who had been staring at a life sentence after he was pinched with two kilos of cocaine in 2004, made the deal in exchange for his freedom and entry into the witness-protection program.

His wife has decided not to join him in the program, which he entered last week as the feds were putting the finishing details on Thursday's massive bust, sources said. The couple has no kids.

As valuable as Vollaro was in bringing down one of the city's biggest crime syndicates, the feds apparently didn't know what to expect when he first agreed to help with their large-scale investigation.

Vollaro, who shared a federal prison cell with Corozzo and began doing business with the Gambinos when he got out in 1999, was initially expected to help with a multifaceted national drug investigation. But he cozied up to the "family" so well over the next few years that he was even on the verge of becoming a made man when the hammer fell on the organization, the sources said.

Vollaro's sweetheart deal sickened the rogues gallery of thugs he ratted out.

"Everybody thought he was a nice guy," said Joel Winograd, the lawyer for Leonard "The Conductor" DiMaria, who, among other things, is charged with money laundering, stealing union benefits and gambling. "He's probably in Hawaii on the beach spending his illegally obtained drug-dealing money right now."

The evidence obtained by Vollaro was a key building block for many of the extortion and racketeering cases.

The multiple murder charges - for crimes that date back as far as 30 years - were brought with extensive wiretap evidence gathered by longtime Gambino associate Peter Zuccaro, 52.

Zuccaro was a key member of one of Corozzo's biggest crews run by Ronnie "One Arm" Trucchio. He and several other associates cut a deal with the feds after his conviction in Tampa, Fla., in 2005 on extortion and other charges.

Zuccaro, a trusted member of the late John Gotti's inner circle, provided a treasure trove of damning evidence - including information on the murder of court officer Albert Gelb, which was allegedly committed by hit man Charles Carneglia.

Thanks to Murray Weiss, Stephanie Cohen, Eric Lenkowitz

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