LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Acting Boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family, DANNY LEO, a/k/a “The Lion,” 66, and his primary lieutenant and nephew, JOSEPH LEO, 45, pleaded
guilty today to charges of extortion. DANNY and JOSEPH LEO
pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court before United States
Magistrate Judge ANDREW J. PECK. According to the Indictment and
statements made during bail hearings and the guilty pleas:
From 2002 to November 30, 2006, DANNY LEO and JOSEPH
LEO agreed to extort a business owner (“Victim-1”) by threatening
Victim-1 with physical violence and other harm if he did not make
prompt repayment of various loans and debts. Also, from about
January 2003 to January 2006, DANNY LEO agreed to extort the
owners and operators of an illegal gambling business involved in
interstate commerce (“Victim-2” and “Victim-3”). DANNY LEO and
other members and associates of the Genovese Organized Crime
Family, agreed to use threats of economic harm and violence to
force Victim-2 and Victim-3 to make payments to a member of the
Genovese Organized Crime Family.
DANNY LEO pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to
commit extortion. Magistrate Judge PECK ordered both defendants
to continue to be detained. JOSEPH LEO pleaded guilty to one
count of extortion. DANNY LEO faces a maximum sentence of 40
years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. JOSEPH LEO
faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a maximum
fine of $250,000.
Mr. GARCIA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the New
York State Police in this investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys ERIC SNYDER and
BENJAMIN GRUENSTEIN are in charge of the prosecution.