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Organized Crime – US Criminal Law – Eighteen Arrested in Luchese Crime Family Takedown

LawFuel.com – US Legal Newswire Service –
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, ANDREW CUOMO, the Attorney General
of the State of New York, JANET DiFIORE, the Westchester County
District Attorney, and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner
of the City of New York, announced the unsealing of an indictment
charging nineteen individuals for their participation in a
racketeering conspiracy involving the illegal gambling, sports
betting, and loan sharking activities of the Luchese Organized
Crime Family. Eighteen of the nineteen defendants were arrested
earlier this morning and late last night and are expected to
appear in Manhattan federal court later today. ANTHONY GARCIA
remains at large.

This morning’s arrests are the culmination of
“Operation Crooked House” — a two-year investigation conducted
by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New
York, the New York State Organized Crime Task Force of the New
York State Attorney General’s Office, the Westchester County
District Attorney’s Office, and the New York City Police
Department (“NYPD”) into the racketeering activities and other
crimes of members, associates and co-conspirators of the Luchese
Organized Crime Family.

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today:
Twelve of the nineteen defendants — ANDREW DISIMONE,
DOMINICK CAPELLI, JOHN ALEVIS, PETER VELTRI, TOMISLAV DOBRILOVIC,
SETH TRUSTMAN, STEVEN MAYER, CLEMENTE CASTRACUCCO, EDGAR
CONCEPCION, PAUL CUZZO, ERNEST CUZZO, ANTHONY CUZZO — are
charged in the Indictment as members, associates, and coconspirators
of the Luchese Organized Crime Family of La Cosa
Nostra. All of these defendants are charged with conspiring to
conduct and participate in the racketeering activities of the
Luchese Organized Crime Family. Eighteen of the defendants are
charged with operating various illegal gambling and sports
bookmaking businesses. Four of the defendants are additionally
charged with conspiring to operate a loansharking business and
conspiring to use extortionate means to collect loans from
victims. (A chart of the charges contained in the Indictment and
corresponding maximum potential penalties is attached to this
press release.)

Income for the Luchese Organized Crime Family was
generated, in part, through the operation of illegal gambling
parlors, sports bookmaking, and loan sharking. Its members and
associates used various techniques to avoid or obstruct law
enforcement scrutiny, including the use of coded language to make
arrangements for meetings and to refer to other members and
associates of the enterprise, meeting in locations with loud
background noise, and not specifying the names of those about
whom they were speaking.

In furtherance of some of the racketeering activities,
from approximately 2006 through August 2007, CAPELLI, MAYER,
CASTRACUCCO, PAUL CUZZO, ANTHONY CUZZO, ERNEST CUZZO, CONCEPCION,
VINCENT LAFACE, and PAUL AUST participated in a scheme to bribe a
corrupt sergeant and detective with the NYPD to protect various
illegal gambling parlors in the New York City metropolitan area.
The sergeant and detective who accepted the bribes, however, were
actually acting undercover as corrupt police officers.
ANDREW DISIMONE, 46, resides in Tuckahoe, New York.

DOMINICK CAPELLI, 52, resides in the Bronx, New York. JOHN
ALEVIS, 57, resides in Rockville Center, New York. PETER VELTRI,
47, resides in New Rochelle, New York. TOMISLAV DOBRILOVIC, 31,
resides in West Nyack, New York. SETH TRUSTMAN, 27, resides in
New York, New York. STEVEN MAYER, 48, resides in New York, New
York. CLEMENTE CASTRACUCCO, 48, resides in Tuckahoe, New York.
EDGAR CONCEPCION, 31, resides in Queens, New York. PAUL CUZZO,
54, resides in Thornwood, New York. ERNEST CUZZO, 67, resides in
Yonkers, New York. ANTHONY CUZZO, 40, resides in Yonkers, New
York. VINCENT LAFACE, 30, resides in Pittston, Pennsylvania.
THOMAS MANTEY, 61, resides in City Island, New York. PAUL AUST,
36, resides in Queens, New York. PHILIP MERCURIO, 48, resides in
New Rochelle, New York. MICHAEL SILVERMAN, 31, resides in New
York, New York. ANTHONY GARCIA, 39, resides in Queens, New York.
OSAMA GHOUBRIAL, 46, resides in Queens, New York.

Mr. BHARARA praised the outstanding cooperative efforts
of the New York State Attorney General’s Office, New York State
Organized Crime Task Force, the Westchester County District
Attorney’s Office, and the New York City Police Department in the
investigation of this case.

“The defendants charged today allegedly committed
crimes to finance the Luchese Organized Crime Family and
attempted to conceal their criminal activity by corrupting
officers of the law. Today’s arrests mark another important step
in our continued efforts to shut down La Cosa Nostra in New York
City once and for all,” said United States Attorney PREET
BHARARA.

“These defendants not only allegedly operated a highly
organized criminal enterprise, but actually attempted to
infiltrate and corrupt the NYPD to protect themselves and their
profits. This multi-agency investigation revealed a complex web
of illegal gambling, sports betting and loan sharking, whose
mob-connected principals are charged with bribing and cheating
their way into business. My Office will continue to work with
our fellow law enforcement officials to uncover this kind of
corruption and conspiracy, and hold the alleged perpetrators
accountable,” said Attorney General ANDREW CUOMO.
“This cooperative multi-agency effort involving local,
state and federal law enforcement was instrumental in taking down
illegal gambling enterprises that featured wide ranging high
stakes card games operating with seeming impunity in Westchester
County and New York City. This same enterprise engaged in sports
betting and loan sharking throughout Westchester County and the
Metropolitan Area. What’s most troubling about these rackets are
the large amounts of money that were being funneled to finance
organized crime activities and the paying of protection money to
police to ignore the illegal activities,” said Westchester County
District Attorney JANET DiFIORE.

“Attempts by members of organized crime to bribe law
enforcement into protecting their illegal gaming parlors turned
out to be a bad bet made by bad people. Thanks to the
coordinated efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement
nineteen members of the Luchese organized crime family are now
facing serious criminal charges. I want to acknowledge the
NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Division’s Major Case Squad for their
work in securing these important indictments,” said NYPD
Commissioner RAYMOND W. KELLY.
Assistant United States Attorney STEVE C. LEE and
Special Assistant United States Attorneys PERI A. KADANOFF and
LIVIA RODRIGUEZ are in charge of the prosecution. Ms. KADANOFF
is First Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the Organized Crime
Task Force of the State Attorney General’s Office and Ms.
RODRIGUEZ is an Assistant District Attorney in the Organized
Crime and Criminal Enterprise Bureau of the Westchester County
District Attorney’s Office.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.
09-324 ###
-5-
United States v. Andrews DiSimone, et al.
Count Charge Defendants Maximum Penalty
1 Racketeering
Conspiracy
ANDREW DISIMONE,
DOMINICK CAPELLI,
JOHN ALEVIS,
PETER VELTRI,
TOMISLAV DOBRILOVIC,
SETH TRUSTMAN,
STEVEN MAYER,
CLEMENTE CASTRACUCCO,
EDGAR CONCEPCION,
PAUL CUZZO,
ERNEST CUZZO,
ANTHONY CUZZO
20 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
2 Racketeering DOMINICK CAPELLI,
JOHN ALEVIS,
PETER VELTRI,
TOMISLAV DOBRILOVIC,
SETH TRUSTMAN,
STEVEN MAYER,
CLEMENTE CASTRACUCCO,
EDGAR CONCEPCION
20 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
3 Operating
Illegal Gambling
Businesses
DOMINICK CAPELLI,
JOHN ALEVIS,
STEVEN MAYER,
CLEMENTE CASTRACUCCO,
PAUL CUZZO,
ERNEST CUZZO,
ANTHONY CUZZO,
VINCENT LAFACE,
THOMAS MANTEY,
PAUL AUST,
SETH TRUSTMAN
5 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
4 Operating
Illegal Gambling
Businesses
DOMINICK CAPELLI,
JOHN ALEVIS,
PETER VELTRI
TOMISLAV DOBRILOVIC,
SETH TRUSTMAN
5 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
5 Operating
Illegal Gambling
Businesses
DOMINICK CAPELLI,
JOHN ALEVIS,
STEVEN MAYER,
EDGAR CONCEPCION
5 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
Count Charge Defendants Maximum Penalty
-6-
6 Operating
Illegal Gambling
Businesses
JOHN ALEVIS,
SETH TRUSTMAN,
MICHAEL SILVERMAN
5 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
7 Operating
Illegal Gambling
Businesses
STEVEN MAYER,
ANTHONY GARCIA,
OSAMA GHOUBRIAL
5 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
8 Operating
Illegal Gambling
Businesses
ANTHONY CUZZO,
ERNEST CUZZO,
PAUL CUZZO,
THOMAS MANTEY
5 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
9 Operating
Illegal Gambling
Businesses
DOMINICK CAPELLI,
PHILIP MERCURIO
5 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
10 Using Facility
in Interstate
Commerce in Aid
of Racketeering
Enterprise
DOMINICK CAPELLI,
STEVEN MAYER,
CLEMENTE CASTRACUCCO,
PAUL CUZZO,
ANTHONY CUZZO,
ERNEST CUZZO,
EDGAR CONCEPCION,
VINCENT LAFACE,
PAUL AUST
5 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
11 Conspiracy to
Make
Extortionate
Extensions of
Credit
DOMINICK CAPELLI,
JOHN ALEVIS,
PETER VELTRI,
TOMISLAV DOBRILOVIC
20 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense
12 Conspiracy to
Use Extortionate
Means to Collect
Extensions of
Credit
DOMINICK CAPELLI,
JOHN ALEVIS,
PETER VELTRI,
TOMISLAV DOBRILOVIC
20 years in prison
and a fine of
$250,000 or twice
the gross gain or
loss from the
offense

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