Daniel Leo, 66 (left), reputed boss of the Genovese Crime Family, faces up to six years in prison and $75,000 in fines after admitting today to engaging in an extortion racket, according to stories in the New York Post and the New York Daily News.
New Jersey resident Leo admitted that he ordered underlings to extort money from an East Harlem gambling enterprise and from taxi company. Prosecutors say Leo threatened harm to the taxi company owner if he did not pay back $150,000 owed to Leo-affiliated creditors.
His nephew, underworld confidant and codefendant in the federal case, Joseph Leo, 45, could be sentenced to more than four years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of extortion. Sentencing for the pair is scheduled for Jan. 31 in Manhattan Federal Court.
Federal investigators believe Daniel "the Lion" Leo, of Rockleigh, NJ, took the reins of the Genovese clan after the 2005 death of Vincent "the Chin" Gigante. His name surfaced in news reports one year ago. The extortion case was based upon FBI electronic surveillance. Agents placed a listening device in Joseph Leo's car after failing in more direct attempts to listen in on Daniel Leo's conversations. Daniel Leo was initially charged May 30 with four counts of extortion.