Thursday, March 25, 2010

Leo's sentence grows by 18 months

A conviction for loansharking and gambling has increased the prison sentence of a jailed former Genovese Crime Family boss by 18 months, according to a story by Bruce Golding of the New York Post. Daniel "the Lion" Leo, 69, is 34 months into a five-year prison sentence. Manhattan federal Judge Richard Holwell decided March 24 that the more recent loansharking and gambling charges should have been part of the original 2007 case against Leo. The judge sentenced Leo to 70 months for the additional charges but decided that Leo should be credited for the 34 months served and that half of the remaining time be served concurrently with the original five-year sentence.

Feds grab treasure at Calabrese home

Federal agents executed a search warrant March 23 at the home of convicted Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. (left) and came away with a sensational haul, according to a story by Craig Wall of Fox Chicago News.

Behind a family portrait in the basement of Calabrese's Oak Brook home, agents found a compartment in the wall paneling. Inside they reportedly discovered seven loaded handguns, 15 manila envelopes containing a total of $728,481 in cash, about 1,000 items of jewelry, recording devices and casette tapes. The items and cash were seized by the government. As part of his Family Secrets Case sentence, Calabrese owes the government $20 million and owes the families of his victims $4.4 million. Calabrese was convicted of racketeering and of participation in 13 gangland murders.

Records of the Chicago Crime Commission indicate that Calabrese was involved in criminal activities since he was a teenager. A former mob loan shark who demanded interest as high as 520% a year, he was convicted in 1954 in federal court for possession of stolen cars in interstate commerce. He has arrests for robbery, stolen autos and illegal use of firearms. His loan sharking ring operated from 1970 to 1990s. Calabrese headed the 26th Street Crew of the regional underworld Outfit. The crew oversaw gambling and loan sharking in the Chicago area.

Basciano will face capital charges

Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano's efforts to have capital charges against him thrown out have failed. An request filed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was denied on March 22, according to a story by Janon Fisher of the New York Post. Basciano had hoped to convince the appeals court that his earlier conviction as boss of the Bonanno Crime Family included the three racketeering offenses with which he is now charged. The court ruled that only one of the offenses could be thrown out. The other two, including a capital murder conspiracy charge for the Nov. 30, 2004, killing of Ralph "Randy" Pizzolo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, were left in place. A death penalty case against Basciano is scheduled to begin in 2011.

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.