Tag Archives: mafia

Mafia queen pleads guilty to smuggling cocaine through Queens restaurant

The wife of a mob-connected Queens restaurant owner who trafficked drugs admitted on Monday to pushing the narcotics through the eatery’s basement.

Eleonora Gigliotti pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to the top charge of conspiracy to import cocaine.

She faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and also agreed to pay a $1.625 million forfeiture judgement.

Judge Raymond Dearie could sentence Gigliotti to the maximum of 171/2 years behind bars.

Gigliotti, 56, was slated to go to trial at the end of March for smuggling more than 110 pounds of cocaine from Costa Rica in shipments of cassava to her family’s restaurant, Cucino a Modo Mio, in Corona.

If Gigliotti had been convicted at trial, she could have faced life in prison, authorities said.

The Gigliotti family allegedly has ties to the Genovese mob family and served as a connection to the ’Ndrangheta crime group in Italy.

Prosecutors said in 2014 that Gigliotti had traveled to Costa Rica with more than $360,000 in cash that she delivered to cocaine dealers.

Gigliotti also agreed to forfeit the property seized, including $124,874 in cash, seven handguns recovered from the business, ammunition, an automated money counter and brass knuckles, according to a law enforcement source.

Her husband, Gregorio, 60, and 36-year-old son, Angelo, were convicted on drug and guns charges after a jury trial last July.

They face mandatory minimums of 15 and 20 years behind bars, respectively.

At the trial, Dearie concluded that lawyers for Gregorio Gigliotti and his son had tried to stack the jury with women by using all their preemptory challenges to exclude men.

After a panel of 10 women and two men was selected, federal prosecutors Margaret Gandy and Keith Edelman complained that the defense had discriminated against men.

Dearie later ruled that after reviewing the transcript of jury selection, he found “a pattern of attempting to exclude men” and was going to restore two men back on the jury.

At the time, defense lawyers Elizabeth Macedonio and Alan Futerfas had insisted that there was no bias against men — explaining that some of the challenges were based on “gut” feelings.

It didn’t work — and jurors found both men guilty on July 22 after deliberating for just three hours.

This Is What $20 Million Stuffed In A Mattress Looks Like

The idea that people “hide money under the mattress” is typically a joke. The vast majority of responsible adults choose much more responsible methods of storing their physical wealth. For example a bank, the stock market, even a safe. But surely there is still some percentage of the population that stores money in mattress-related locations. It’s probably not a ton of money. Maybe a few hundred dollars in cash for emergencies. Maybe a couple thousand dollars you made at a garage sale that you don’t want the IRS to know about. But not more than that, right? Well…

Recently, Federal Agents in Boston revealed a photo that shows the age old practice of mattress money stuffing is still very much thriving. It’s especially thriving among illegal immigrants who are running a massive telecommunications pyramid scheme!

Late last night in Westborough, Massachusetts, agents served a search warrant to a telecommunications company called TelexFree Inc. Several arrests were made and important documents/computers were seized. At the same time, using information from a cooperator, agents also searched a nondescript one bedroom apartment nearby.

The apartment was pretty normal. One bedroom, one bathroom, living room, small kitchen. Monthly rent is around $1600. So you can imagine the shock when agents searched under the queen-sized mattress and discovered a box spring stuffed with $20 million in illegal cash 🙂

Police arrested the apartment’s resident, a 28 year old Brazilian man named Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

TelexFree first made headlines back in April 2014 when agents swooped in and arrested several former executives of the telecommunications company. According to authorities, TelexFree operated a pyramid scheme that preyed upon Dominican and Brazilian immigrants. TelexFree advertised itself as a substitute to landline phone services through the sale of its VOIP program, 99TelexFREE.

But that’s not all. TelexFree also promised customers big returns on a passive income scheme involved advertising 99TelexFree. Investors paid a $50 fee on top of an additional $300 – $1400 to purchase advertising kits. Customers would then advertise the VOIP services to their friends using these kits. A participant who spent $1400 advertising these VOIP kits could supposedly earn a return of $3675.

In total, this scam helped TelexFree generate just $1.3 million worth of new VOIP revenue while collecting more than $1.1 BILLION in service fees from its participants.

Italian police busted a mafia group trying to smuggle over a billion dollars’ worth of cocaine into Europe

Italian anti-mafia police said they busted an international drug ring and arrested 54 people with ties to notorious mafia group ‘Ndrangheta attempting to smuggle cocaine with a street value of $1.7 billion into Europe.

While the ‘Ndrangheta is based in the southern Calabria region, the 54 people arrested were detained in different parts of Italy, the country’s authorities said, according to Reuters.

The group was allegedly conspiring to import about 8 metric tons, or 17,637 pounds, of cocaine from Colombia into Europe via seaports and airports in Calabria, which is at the southern tip of the Italian mainland.

Read Full Article – http://www.businessinsider.com/italy-cocaine-bust-drug-trafficking-ndrangheta-mafia-2017-1

Italy’s anti-mafia squad in overdrive as asylum seekers flood into Europe

Updated

Italy’s investigators are ramping up their efforts to stop organised criminal gangs — including the mafia — from smuggling people into the country, in the face of record asylum seeker arrivals.

The number of people who made the hazardous boat journey across Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Italy increased by 17 per cent in 2016.

A record-breaking 180,746 people arrived in the Italian regions of Sicily, Calabria, Apulia and Campania, up from 153,842 in 2015.

Dr Gery Ferrara — the lead anti-mafia prosecutor responsible for investigating the criminal networks that smuggle people to Italy — said authorities started tracking people smugglers as soon as asylum seekers disembarked.

Full Read – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-02/asylum-seekers-flood-into-italy/8157396

Venezuela closes border with Colombia ‘to destroy mafia’

Venezuela has closed its border with Colombia for 72 hours in the latest measure to combat smuggling gangs.

President Nicolas Maduro says the “mafia” operating in border areas is causing huge damage to the economy.

Many items subsidised by Venezuela’s socialist government, including diesel and petrol, are sold at a huge profit over the border in Colombia.

On Sunday, he announced that the country’s highest denomination bank note would be taken out of circulation.

‘Destroy the mafia’

President Maduro said the move would stop gangs hoarding the currency.

“Let’s destroy the mafia before the mafias destroy our country and our economy,” he said on national television.

“This measure was inevitable, it was necessary,” he added. “The mafias will go bust.”

Venezuela last closed most border crossings with Colombia in August 2015. The border was partially reopened a year later.

In 2015, the Colombian government complained that it had not been consulted or informed.

Full Read – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-38297927