Wednesday, February 6, 2008

'Mafia Cop' reaches tax fraud plea deal

Former New York police detective Louis Eppolito, 57, pleaded guilty in Las Vegas yesterday to one count of filing a false income tax return, according to stories by Jeff German of the Las Vegas Sun and the Associated Press.

As part of his plea deal, Eppolito (left) acknowledged owing $102,108 to the IRS for tax years 2000 through 2002. Prosecutors agreed that Eppolito's sentence can include credit for time served. When sentenced on May 9, he faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Eppolito has already been in custody for 31 months.

A jury in June 2006 found Eppolito and his former police partner Stephen Caracappa guilty of participating in eight Mafia-related racketeering murders between 1986 and 1990. The judge in the case later threw out that verdict, deciding that the statute of limitations on the crimes had expired. Both men remained in custody pending a retrial on more recent drug trafficking and money-laundering charges.

Prosecutors in the federal racketeering case linked Eppolito and Caracappa with Lucchese Crime Family bigshot Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso and argued that the police detectives conspired with Casso to eliminate those he considered underworld threats. The families of a number of the murder victims have brought lawsuits against Eppolito and Caracappa.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and 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.