Tag Archives: organized crime legal news

United States Indicts 10 Mafia Suspects

Acting Boss of Bonanno organized crime family and 9 other members of La Cosa Nostra indicted for racketeering and related charges

 

NEW YORK — Following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York working jointly with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), 10 individuals are being charges with racketeering and other offenses in connection with the activities of the organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra.

The indictment charges eight members of the Bonanno Family: Acting Boss Joseph Cammarano, Jr., Consigliere John Zancocchio, Joseph Sabella, George Tropiano, Albert Armetta, Domenick Miniero, Joseph Santapaolo, and Simone Esposito, all with with racketeering conspiracy involving a wide range of crimes, including extortion, loansharking, wire and mail fraud, narcotics distribution, and conspiracy to commit murder. Genovese Family member Ernest Montevecchi is charged with participating in that conspiracy as well. Several of the defendants and Luchese Family member Eugene Castelle are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion. Armetta is additionally charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same.

“The members of this criminal organization have pending charges from drug dealing and fraud to loansharking and conspiracy to commit murder,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and dismantle criminal organization like La Cosa Nostra and the Bonanno family.”

Of the 10 defendants charged in the indictment, nine were taken into federal custody Friday. Santapaolo was presented this morning before a United States Magistrate Judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The rest of the defendants will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses later today. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

As alleged in the indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, La Cosa Nostra (“LCN”), also known as the “Mob” or the “Mafia,” operates through entities known as “Families.” In the New York City area, there are five LCN Families, namely, the Bonanno Family, the Genovese Family, the Luchese Family, the Colombo Family, and the Gambino Family. Members and associates of one La Cosa Nostra family at times work together with other La Cosa Nostra families in jointly undertaken criminal ventures.

The Bonanno Family, like other LCN Families, operates through a group of individuals known as “crews,” each of which are led by a “capo” or “captain.” The crews are composed of “made” members, called “soldiers,” and trusted non-members called “associates.” Above the Capos are the highest-ranking members – the Boss or Acting Boss, the Underboss, and the Consigliere, or counselor – who oversee the Family.

At times relevant to the indictment, the defendants held the following positions with their respective LCN Families: Cammarano was a captain and the Acting Boss of the Bonanno Family; Zancocchio was a captain and the Consigliere of the Bonanno Family; Sabella was a captain of the Bonanno Family; Tropiano was a soldier and an acting captain of the Bonanno Family; Esposito was the Consigliere of the Bonanno Family; Miniero, Santapaolo, and Armetta were soldiers in the Bonanno Family; Montevecchi was a soldier in the Genovese Family; and Castelle was a soldier in the Luchese Family.

Count One of the indictment charges Cammarano, Zancocchio, Sabella, Tropiano, Armetta, Miniero, Santapaolo, Esposito, and Montevecchi with participating in a racketeering conspiracy. Count Two charges Armetta with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same. Count Three charges Cammarano, Zancocchio, Sabella, Tropiano, Miniero, and Castelle with extortion conspiracy.

Below is a chart containing the names, ages, residences, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge. The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/acting-boss-bonanno-organized-crime-family-and-9-other-members-la-cosa-nostra-indicted

Killing of ‘Narcos’ scout resurfaces Escobar trademark feud

  @CNNMoneySeptember 22, 2017: 6:45 PM ET

Pablo Escobar, one of the world’s wealthiest and most notorious drug lords, met his end nearly a quarter-century ago, but his legacy continues to cast a shadow over the Netflix drama “Narcos.”

On September 11, Carlos Munoz Portal, a location manager for the Netflix television series “Narcos,” was found dead. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds in a car on a dirt road outside Mexico City, near a site he was scouting for future episodes of the TV show.

n the wake of Portal’s death, Pablo Escobar’s brother is bringing his year-long trademark dispute with Netflix back into the headlines through an interview he gave The Hollywood Reporter (THR). In that interview, speaking of “Narcos,” which based its first two seasons on Pablo Escobar’s life, he reportedly said he would “close their little show” if the streaming service did not reach a settlement agreement with him.

Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria is Pablo Escobar’s brother and former accountant. He is also the founder of holding company Escobar Inc.. In July of 2016, his company requested $1 billion compensation from Netflix for what it contends are intellectual property violations. It claims the streaming service has reaped substantial financial benefits from the popular global series by using Escobar’s name and story.

Read Full – http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/22/media/narcos-escobar-suit/index.html

Rocco Morabito: Italian mafia boss held in Uruguay

One of Italy’s most wanted fugitives has been arrested in Uruguay after 23 years on the run from convictions for mafia association and drug trafficking.

Rocco Morabito of the ‘Ndrangheta organised crime gang was detained in the resort of Punta del Este.

Uruguayan police said he had been living there for more than 10 years under a false identity.

He was nicknamed “cocaine king of Milan” for his involvement in shipping the drug from South America to Italy.

The ‘Ndrangheta controls much of the world’s cocaine trade and police say Morabito was behind the smuggling of hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Brazil to Italy.

South American hideaway

Morabito is believed to have arrived in Uruguay in 2002.

Police arrested Morabito in a hotel in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. But officials said he had settled in the resort of Punta del Este with false Brazilian identity papers in the name of Francisco Capeletto.

Read Full – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41146886

Suspended Milwaukee lawyer faces FBI investigation into alleged international fraud scheme

, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The FBI is investigating a suspected international fraud scheme said to involve a suspended Milwaukee lawyer, $16.2 million from China, an English bank, a man who claims to be an English solicitor and … John Hancock’s signature.

At the center of the probe is veteran Milwaukee lawyer Michael Krill, whose law license was suspended by the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. The court employed a rarely used rule that allows emergency temporary suspensions before the Office of Lawyer Regulation files a formal complaint.

“Krill’s repeated acts of dishonesty, delay and contempt for the judicial process” makes his “continued practice of law … a threat to the public and the administration of justice,” Karl Wyler, an OLR investigator, wrote in a June affidavit urging the immediate suspension.

The FBI and the Racine County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating the 59-year-old attorney. The Racine investigation centers around $300,000 belonging to ex-clients that Krill received but has not turned over despite a court order that he do so.  Since May, Krill has been fined $500 a day for contempt for failing to turn the money over to the clients’ new lawyers, court records show.

Krill was ordered Monday to come up with about $350,000 — the $300,000 in client funds plus the accrued daily contempt fine — in two weeks or spend 30 days in jail.  Krill has repeatedly promised in court to produce the money in 14 days — and he repeated that pledge Monday during a brief hearing before Racine County Circuit Judge David Paulson.

Full Read – http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/crime/2017/08/28/suspended-milwaukee-lawyer-faces-fbi-investigation-into-alleged-international-fraud-scheme/595890001/