Joe Bruno on the Mob – 37 Reputed Gambino Crime Family Members Arrested
This just doesn’t sound right. Usually when you lose a lot of money to a bookie, you’re cut off from gambling, until you pay back what you owe.
But according to the article below in the Staten Island Advance, “’Once the bettors started losing, many were forced to keep pressing their luck – some loansharking victims were required to keep placing wagers on the numbers under the terms of their loans,’ said authorities.”
I’ve known dozens of people who bet on bad sports teams, and sometimes on three-legged horses. Once they got into a hole with the bookies, some of these people borrowed money from shylocks (loansharks), just to pay their bookies. But the word from both the bookies and shylocks, who were usually affiliated with the bookies, was always something like, “You can’t bet any more with us until you get straightened out. And don’t think you can bet with other bookies either, because we’ll find out about it and we won’t be too happy.”
Never have I heard of any gambler who was encouraged to bet, or even worse, compelled to bet, when they were stuck deep into a gambling hole. It just doesn’t make good business sense, either for the bookie, or for the shylock. The name of the game is to collect your vig; collect your money. Not force people so deeply in debt, that they might do something foolish, like going on the lam. Then the shylock’s money is gone for good, and one source of his cash flow is completely stopped. Plus, it might give other people ideas that they could do the same thing and get away with it.
No, I don’t buy it. Something was either lost in the translation, or the information provided to the Staten Island Advance by unnamed “authorities” is a stretch on the truth.
Sometimes law enforcement officials think if they throw enough spit on the wall, some of it will stick. I don’t know if the 37 men arrested are guilty, or not guilty. But I did notice that the vast majority of them have names that end with vowels. It’s like only Italian/Americans (Mafia) are involved in illegal gambling? Tell me the Jews, Albanians, Chinese, Dominicans, Jamaicans, and Russians don’t gamble illegally with their own people, and I’ll sell you the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Like I mentioned in other blogs before, Mafia busts make big headlines in the newspapers, and on TV. And in most cases, Mafia busts also advance the careers of those in law enforcement who are involved in the arrests and prosecution of alleged Mafia members, or associates.
You want proof of that? Just consider what’s big on the tube. The Sopranos. Jersey Shore. Mafia Wives. You get the picture.
I’m still waiting for the day when I read something in the press about other ethnic groups besides Italians, 37 people – 126 people – whatever, having mass arrests perpetrated on their people for such crimes as gambling, or loansharking; hardly the most vicious, or harmful of crimes, no matter what NY City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says in the article below.
I’m also still waiting for Godot.
The article below can be read at:
Gambling bust nabs 14 Islanders in Gambino crime family-controlled ring
Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 6:19 AM Updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 7:42 AM
Associated PressAttorney General Eric Schneiderman By JOHN ANNESE and FRANK DONNELLY
Talk about predatory lending – authorities say they’ve busted a mob-run loansharking and gambling operation that forced its debtors to keep on betting the numbers as a condition of borrowing cash.
Yesterday, the state attorney general’s office and the NYPD arrested 37 people – 14 of them from Staten Island – in connection with a Gambino crime family-controlled ring that brought in millions of dollars.
VIEW CHARTS OF THE ARRESTED (Courtesy Attorney General Schneiderman’s office)
Authorities dubbed their investigation “Operation Flat Rate,” and focused on three interconnected criminal enterprises – two illegal sports-gambling operations run through off-shore wire rooms, and a “policy operation” wherein people placed wagers on daily New York Lottery results, authorities allege.
The sports-betting operations generated millions of dollars’ worth of wagers on college and professional sports, as well as horse races, said state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The “policy” piece of the conspiracy brought in more than $40,000 a week, with bets placed on the New York Lottery’s “Numbers” and “Win 4” games in an illegal playing-the-numbers scheme, according to court papers.
And once the bettors started losing, many were forced to keep pressing their luck – some loansharking victims were required to keep placing wagers on the numbers under the terms of their loans, said authorities.
Officials said the arrests were based on wire taps, GPS tracking, bugs inside key locations and surveillance throughout the streets of the Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey. Some suspects conducted business on street corners in hopes of escaping detection, said authorities.
The ring used several websites for bettors to place wagers, while members of the conspiracy occasionally met on the Island – including, according to court papers, “in the vicinity of Angelina’s Restaurant on Staten Island” on Sept. 11, 2010, and at Mike’s Diner on Hylan Boulevard on July 28, 2010.
Authorities put several Islanders at the top of the three enterprises, including purported Gambino soldiers or “made men” Vincent Romano, 74, and James Outerie, 57, and purported Gambino associates or “non-made members” Louis Peteroy, 64; Frank Esposito, 56; Christopher Sorrentino, 53, and Nicolas Fulciniti, 41
Romano and Anthony Crapanzo, 49, of Barnegat, N.J., each took the helm of a sports bookmaking operation, while Louis Lombardo, 41, a reputed non-made Gambino member from Brooklyn, served as the bank for the policy arm of the ring, authorities allege.
Another Islander, Michelle Valente, 35, was charged with conspiracy in connection with the policy operation.
The other borough residents accused in the scheme are Steven Fusco, 51; Arthur Lento, 46; David Franzese, 32; Bernadette Impliazzo, 50; Joseph Casazza, 28; Mark Sini, 35; and Nicholas Disbrow, 30.
The suspects were rounded up yesterday in a series of early-morning raids and ushered into Brooklyn state Supreme Court for arraignment.
“These arrests cripple a network of criminal enterprises and the organized crime family they supported,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
Said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, “Illegal gambling rings not only promote addiction and burden families with debt from usurious loans, but the proceeds from gambling and loansharking are used to fuel organized crime and support harmful criminal enterprises.”
Nearly all the suspects were charged with enterprise corruption, which carries a maximum penalty of eight and a-third to 25 years, said authorities. Esposito and Sorrentino were also accused of extorting victims to collect weekly interest payments.