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January 23, 2002
 
Press Release
 
VINCENT "CHIN" GIGANTE, BOSS OF THE GENOVESE CRIME FAMILY, TOGETHER WITH GENOVESE ACTING BOSS, FORMER ACTING BOSS, FAMILY CAPTAIN, 2 SOLDIERS, AND 2 ASSOCIATES INDICTED AND CHARGED WITH INFILTRATION OF LONGSHOREMEN'S UNION
 

ALAN VINEGRAD, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, BARRY W. MAWN, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and RAYMOND W. KELLY, Commissioner, New York City Police Department, today announced the unsealing of a superseding indictment, United States v. Bellomo, et al., filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging eight members and associates of the Genovese organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, including its boss, VINCENT "Chin" GIGANTE, and its acting or "street" boss, ERNEST "Ernie" MUSCARELLA, with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and related crimes. The indictment focuses upon the Genovese family's infiltration of the International Longshoreman's Association (the "ILA"), which gave the Genovese family the means to dominate, through extortion, companies operating on the piers in the New York City/New Jersey metropolitan area and Miami, Florida.

The indictment and arrests early this morning represent the continuation of a prosecution that began on April 25, 2001, with the arrests of 45 members and associates of all five New York City-area organized crime families.

Of the eight defendants charged in the new indictment, five are additions to the case. VINCENT GIGANTE, also known as "Chin," is the boss of the Genovese family and is currently serving a twelve-year sentence resulting from a 1997 racketeering conviction in United States District Court in Brooklyn. (1) ERNEST MUSCARELLA, also known as "Ernie," is the current acting boss of the family. CHARLES TUZZO, also known as "Chuckie," is a Genovese family captain. MICHAEL RAGUSA, also known as "Mickey," is a Genovese family soldier, and ANDREW GIGANTE, one of VINCENT GIGANTE's sons, is a Genovese family associate. Three other defendants - LIBORIO BELLOMO, also known as "Barney," THOMAS CAFARO, and PASQUALE FALCETTI, also known as "Patty" - were previously indicted in the case and are awaiting trial. BELLOMO, a former acting boss of the family, is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for extortion of a carting business and extortion of a labor union. CAFARO, a Genovese family associate, and FALCETTI, a Genovese family soldier, are under house arrest.

In addition to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, with which all defendants other than CHARLES TUZZO are charged, the crimes charged in the indictment, and detailed in the government's detention letter filed in court today, include the following:

1. Extortion Conspiracy Involving the Piers and the ILA

All eight defendants are charged with an extortion conspiracy arising from Genovese family control of the ILA operating in the New York City/New Jersey metropolitan area and Miami, and consequent control of businesses that require union labor on the piers. This control was exerted through Genovese selection of ILA officers, and, with these corrupt officers in place, through the extortion of businesses relying upon ILA labor.

At the core of this extortion conspiracy is the infiltration by the Genovese family of local 1804-1 of the ILA operating in New Jersey, as well as other parts of the ILA, and organized crime's domination of Metropolitan Marine Maintenance Contractors Association, Inc., the industry association for container and chassis repair companies doing business on the piers in the New York City/ New Jersey area. In tape recordings made during this investigation, THOMAS CAFARO, LIBORIO BELLOMO's right-hand-man and self-proclaimed confidant of VINCENT "Chin" GIGANTE, and PASQUALE FALCETTI, a powerful Genovese family representative on the New York City/New Jersey piers, detailed the Genovese family's domination of the waterfront.

CAFARO, for example, described how FALCETTI controls the ILA locals operating on the New Jersey waterfront, and further explained that, in conjunction with the control of the ILA, BELLOMO, ANDREW GIGANTE, VINCENT GIGANTE and CAFARO himself control the companies operating container repair and other businesses on the New Jersey piers.

FALCETTI, also captured on tape recordings in this investigation, described the Genovese family extortion operation, and described how he received orders from VINCENT GIGANTE through his son, ANDREW GIGANTE, regarding control of the ILA.

2. Extortion of John Doe I



PASQUALE FALCETTI, ANDREW GIGANTE and VINCENT GIGANTE are charged with extorting "John Doe I," an owner of shipping container repair businesses, and other businesses, operating on the piers in New Jersey and Miami. The investigation revealed that on February 6, 2001, upon the orders of VINCENT GIGANTE, communicated through ANDREW GIGANTE, PASQUALE FALCETTI picked up a $45,000 extortion payment from John Doe I in Florida and delivered it to a Genovese soldier.

3. Mail Fraud and Money Laundering Involving Union Benefit Funds



LIBORIO BELLOMO and THOMAS CAFARO are charged with scheming to exploit Genovese family control of union pension and welfare benefit funds. The unions involved were the ILA, as well as the Teamsters and Carpenters unions. The goal of the scheme was to use Genovese family influence to require that the union funds hire an "investment adviser" who was Genovese associate. A portion of the fees paid to this associate would then be kicked back to the Genovese family in a series of transactions designed to launder the money. The scheme was aborted after BELLOMO was imprisoned in 1996.

4. Vincent Gigante's Obstruction of Justice

The indictment charges that VINCENT GIGANTE obstructed justice by feigning a mental disability for years in order to delay, and attempt to prevent, federal prosecution. In fact, GIGANTE successfully delayed his 1997 trial for nearly seven years while hearings were held regarding his competency, and several doctors testified that he was unable to speak a complete sentence, was essentially incoherent, and had been so disabled for years. Ultimately, GIGANTE was found to be malingering and was tried and convicted.

Tape recordings of VINCENT GIGANTE in prison and of high-level Genovese family members made during this investigation confirmed that GIGANTE remained the boss of the Genovese family notwithstanding his conviction and incarceration, and in a coherent, careful and intelligent manner directed the family's activities from jail.

5. Orex Stock Fraud and Money Laundering

THOMAS CAFARO and ERNEST MUSCARELLA are charged with participating in a classic "pump and dump" stock fraud scheme involving the securities of Orex Gold Mines Corp ("Orex"). The charges against MUSCARELLA are new, but in an earlier indictment, CAFARO, Alan Longo, Paul Geraci, Frank Pizzolato, and Louis Colonna, were charged in connection with this scheme.

Orex was purportedly in the business of extracting gold and other precious metals from ore. After the defendants gained control of nearly all of its shares, the stock was sold to investors at artificially inflated prices by brokers at Preferred Securities Group, Inc. and J. Banks Company, both located in Boca Raton, Florida. The brokers were paid secret commissions, often in cash, to "pump" Orex stock. The investing public paid approximately $6.8 million for the stock at vastly inflated prices, which reached a high of approximately $7.50 per share in early June 1999, before plummeting to 13 cents per share two months later.

6. Labor Bribery Involving Local 32B/J

PASQUALE FALCETTI is charged in this scheme to bribe officials of Local 32B/J of the Building Services Workers Union, Service Employees International Union, A.F.L.-C.I.O. ("Local 32B/J"). (2) The scheme involved a plan for Abe Weider, the owner and manager of the Vanderveer Apartment Complex in Brooklyn, to pay bribes in order to replace Weider's unionized maintenance workers with less expensive workers. As part of this scheme, several members of the Genovese family solicited the help of members of other organized crime families in identifying and contacting Local 32B/J officials who might be willing to accept bribes.

7. Money Laundering Conspiracy and Travel in Aid of Racketeering Involving a Stolen Check



THOMAS CAFARO and PASQUALE FALCETTI are charged in a scheme to launder a $130,000 stolen check through bank accounts in the Bahamas. In a previous indictment, Salvatore Aparo, Vincent Aparo and Peter Tarangelo were also charged in this scheme.

8. Gambling



ERNEST MUSCARELLA and PASQUALE FALCETTI are charged with controlling a gambling operation run by co-conspirator Michael Squillante out of Coral Springs, Florida. Bettors from across the nation wagered on various sporting events netting the defendants in excess of a million dollars a year. Both FALCETTI and Squillante were previously been charged in this scheme. In announcing this indictment and arrests, United States Attorney ALAN VINEGRAD stated: "Today's charges represent the government's continuing effort to dismantle the Genovese Crime Family, from top to bottom, and to rid this city of the Genovese Family's longstanding, corrupt influence over our economic lives. Through its extortionate control of the New York, New Jersey and Miami piers, as well as through acts of labor bribery, stock fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling, the Genovese Family enriched itself without ever having to fire a shot. The charges announced today strike a major blow against the leadership of this powerful crime family."

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge BARRY W. MAWN stated: "This investigation has accumulated substantial evidence that Vincent 'the Chin' Gigante is truly the Boss of the Genovese Crime Family. He is not a figurehead, he is not the Boss in name only. He is a 'hands on' leader who remains actively involved in the running of the organization. With virtually its entire leadership ranks decimated, the Genovese Crime Family, once the nation's most powerful organized crime family, has been dealt another major setback."

Police Commissioner RAYMOND W. KELLY stated: "Through our investigation we intend to seize more than thirty million dollars in assets. Hitting the Genovese Crime Family in the wallet should send a clear message to organized crime: we will dismantle your organization, seize your assets, and send you to prison."

The charges in the indictment carry a range of maximum terms of imprisonment upon conviction. (3) The racketeering, extortion and money laundering charges in Counts One through Five, Ten and Twelve each carry a maximum sentence of twenty-years. The obstruction of justice charges in Counts Six and Seven each carry a maximum sentence of ten years. The securities fraud and securities fraud conspiracy charges in Counts Eight and Nine carry maximum sentences of ten and five years, respectively. The labor bribery conspiracy charge in Count Eleven, the travel in aid of racketeering charge in Count Thirteen, and the gambling charge in Count Fourteen each carries a maximum sentence of five years. The defendants also face fines of $250,000 on each count of conviction, except the security fraud counts which include fines of up to twice the pecuniary loss, and three years supervised release. Finally, the indictment seeks orders of forfeiture against THOMAS CAFARO, PASQUALE FALCETTI, and ERNEST MUSCARELLA totaling up to $30 million.

The defendants arrested in New York will be arraigned this afternoon by United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. The case is assigned to United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser.

The government's case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Weinstein, Daniel Dorsky, Paul Schoeman and F. Franklin Amanat.

 
The Defendants
Name: Liborio Bellomo
DOB: 1/8/57
Address: Incarcerated
 
Name: Thomas Cafaro
DOB: 12/6/58
Address: 6662 Newport Lake Circle
Boca Raton, Florida
 
Name: Pasquale Falcetti
DOB: 9/11/58
Address:3250 Giegrich Place
Bronx, NY
 
Name: Andrew Gigante
DOB: 9/30/56
Address: 23 17th Street
Norwood, New Jersey
 
Name: Vincent Gigante
DOB: 3/29/28
Address: Incarcerated
 
Name: Ernest Muscarella
DOB: 12/7/49
Address: 3247 Glennon Place
Bronx, New York
 
Name: Michael Ragusa
DOB: 6/22/65
Address: 101 Larrys Lane
Pleasantville, New York
 
Name: Charles Tuzzo
DOB: 11/22/33
Address: 341-343 E. 75th Street
New York, New York
 
1. GIGANTE is currently at a federal prison facility. He will be transported by the United States Marshals Service to Brooklyn for arraignment on the new charges.
 
2. In a prior indictment, FALCETTI was charged in connection with this scheme along with Salvatore Aparo, Vincent Aparo, Jerry Brancato, Peter Dichiara, John Faraci, Ismet Kukic, Alan Longo, Glen McCarthy, Michael Norrito, Louis Vallario and Abe Weider.
 

3. The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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