Wednesday, February 6, 2008

PA board suspends casino owner's license

Pennsylvania's Gaming Control Board indefinitely suspended Louis A. DeNaples' license to run his Mount Airy Casino Resort today, according to a story by Mike Wereschagin of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

The license was temporarily suspended last week when DeNaples (left) was indicted by a Dauphin County grand jury for perjury on his 2006 license application. Prosecutors say the Poconos casino owner lied about connections to two reputed Mafia figures - former Scranton-area crime boss Russell Bufalino and reputed boss William D'Elia - and two other men named in a federal corruption probe in Philadelphia.

Defense attorney Richard Sprague has protested the release of information linking his client to those involved in the Philadelphia corruption matter. He said the release prejudiced the public against his client. DeNaples, owner of a Scranton landfill and other businesses, has denied any connection to organized crime, an informal allegation that has circulated since the 1980s.

During 2006 public hearings into the casino project, DeNaples brought in a Catholic nun, Sister Mary Bonaventa, who praised his "great respect for the elderly and the poor."

The October opening of DeNaples' casino breathed new life into the old Mount Airy Lodge site. The business has generated $1.2 million per week. It will be kept open during DeNaples' license suspension, administered by a Gaming Board-appointed trustee.

'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.

Russian crime boss arrested in Moscow

Moscow police arrested Semyon Mogilevich, 61, reputed organized crime boss, in late January, according to published reports. Mogilevich is believed to have had a hand in uranium smuggling, drug trafficking, money laundering, bank fraud and other criminal rackets. He was charged with corporate tax evasion amounting to $2 million, according to a story by Andrew E. Kramer of the New York Times. Authorities say he also is wanted in the United States and in Britain for decades of offenses.

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; 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.