Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Colombo judge rules against the 'M-word'

Judge Naomi Rice Buchwald decided Friday that there can be no mention of the Colombo Crime Family or the Mafia during the racketeering trial of Anthony and Christopher Colombo, according to a story by Thomas Zambito of the New York Daily News.

Anthony and Christopher are the sons of Joseph Colombo, the slain boss of the crime family that bears his name (formerly the Profaci Family). They are accused of using their perceived connections to the mob to extort money from victims. Anthony is charged with demanding payoffs from a New York construction firm. Christopher is charged with running a gambling operation in East Harlem and the Bronx.

Buchwald ruled that prosecutors had not sufficiently linked the defendants with the mob clan.

Anthony ColomboIn his opening statement a day before Buchwald's ruling, defense attorney Louis Fasulo said Anthony Colombo (right) was guilty only of being Joe Colombo's son. While his client is accused of extorting $100,000 from the construction firm, the attorney argued that the firm hired Colombo to generate business - something he accomplished.

Yesterday, a prosecution witness stated that he gave Christopher Colombo $600,000 in interest payments through six years on a loan of just $90,000. "I could see that it was never, ever, going to be paid off," John Sitterly said. Sitterly, 52, is facing a five- to 15-year sentence for robbing customers of his upstate home improvement business. The Post indicated that Sitterly testified against Colombo "hoping to shave time" off his sentence.

Related MobNews posts:

NYC investigates alleged restaurant-mob link

New York City agencies are looking into allegations that a license to run Caffe on the Green in Bayside, Queens, was granted to a reputed mobster, according to a story by Murray Weiss of the New York Post.

Joseph Franco, 53, is the approved licensee. But law enforcement sources indicated that Franco and his 71-year-old brother Salvatore are also made members of the Gambino Crime Family, said the Post. In addition, the sources say that Franco's uncle, Giuseppe, 93, was selected to help run the crime family in 1992 when boss John Gotti went off to prison.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (left) pledged to look into the allegations. The Department of Investigation and the Law Department is examining the license award. The Post noted that Bloomberg was photographed with Franco last July at a political fundraiser held at the Bayside restaurant.

About Me

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.