Thursday, October 9, 2008

Jury in Florida finds four guilty of racketeering

Four men, including a the alleged leader of a Gambino Crime Family crew in South Florida, were convicted of racketeering and other charges on Oct. 3, according to a story published by the Miami Herald.

A federal jury found Vincent Artuso, portrayed by prosecutors as a made member of the Gambino clan, guilty of rackeering and fraud. His son John Vincent Artuso, Gregory Orr and Philip Edward Forgione were also convicted on similar charges. Prosecutors depicted the younger Artuso, Orr and Forgione as crime family associates.

KasmanThe prosecution's case was aided by the testimony of Lewis Kasman (left), a informant once regarded as the late Gambino boss John Gotti's "adopted son."

Addressing the jury, defense attorney Mike Pasano contested the prosecution's portrayal of the defendants. He said the idea that the Gambino clan had a branch operating in South Florida was "ludicrous."

Another defendant in the case William Larry Horton pleaded guilty earlier and will be sentenced on Oct. 23. The trial judge dismissed charges against defendant Robert Gannon.

The case was related to the operation of a phony subscription telemarketing company, according to a Jan. 24, 2008, press release of the Miami FBI office. The company's operation defrauded numerous individual victims as well as ADT Security Services, Inc., the press release said. ADT lost an estimated $7 million through the fraudulent rigging of a property sale-lease back scheme over five years.

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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.