Thursday, February 5, 2009

Feds charge 13 suspected Mafiosi

The former acting boss of the Genovese Crime Family and a dozen underworld associates were charged yesterday with racketeering-related crimes, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

Daniel Leo (left), former Genovese acting boss, and 11 other people were charged in a 38-count indictment charging violent extortion of individuals and businesses, loansharking, narcotics trafficking and illegal gambling. Federal prosecutors say Leo became acting boss of the family in about 2005 and supervised a crew engaged in loansharking and the operation of an illegal gambling operation. According to the prosecutors, Leo placed longtime Genovese soldier Anthony Palumbo in charge of the crime family's New Jersey operations in 2006.

A separate indictment charged Genovese Crime Family associate Thomas Tassiello with racketeering, extortion and other offenses. Prosecutors say Tassiello took an ownership interest in a Manhattan bar after its owner failed to keep up interest payments on $100,000 of loans.

Tassiello, Anthony Palumbo, 59, of New York City; Rocco Petrozza, 49, of Pompton Lakes NJ; Patsy Aversa, 67, of Wood Ridge NJ; Joseph Petullo, 30, of Fairfield NJ; and Arthur Boland, 62, of White Plains NY, were arrested yesterday morning at their homes. Felice Masullo, 37, of Brooklyn NY; Anthony Masullo, 33, of Middle Village NY; and Angelo Masullo, 39, of Maspeth NY, were expected to surrender during the day. Daniel Leo, Joseph Leo, Charles Salzano and Vincent Cotona were already in federal custody on other charges.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. 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.