MARY JO WHITE, the United
States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, BARRY W. MAWN, the
Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the F8T, and New York
City Police Commissioner BERNARD B. KERIK announced today the unsealing of a
12-count Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court charging 12 defendants,
including virtually the entire ruling hierarchy of the Decavalcante Organized
Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra, with wide-ranging racketeering and other charges
relating to five murders, conspiracies to murder eight other
securities fraud, loansharking, gambling, extortion, and obstruction of justice.
The Indictment, representing
the culmination of a three-year investigation, charges GIOVANNI RIGGI, a/k/a
"john Riggi," who is incarcerated and the alleged boss of the Family,
STEFANO VITAHILE, who is the alleged "consiglierell or counselor of the
Family, as well as two alleged members of the Family's three-member "ruling
panel" -- GIROLAMO PALERMO and CHARLES MAJURI -- who allegedly served as
acting bosses in the absence of the jailed RIGGI.
The indictment also charges
two alleged "capos" or captains, PHILIP AHRAMO and FRANCESCO POLIZZI,
who are alleged to have controlled a crew of soldiers and associates and
directly supervised their criminal activities. In addition, the indictment
charges three alleged soldiers, LOUIS CONSALVO, GREGORY RAGO, and ANTHONY
MANNARINO, as well as three alleged associates, FRANK D'AMATO, BERNARD NiCASTRO,
and FMK SCARABIN0, with the commission of various criminal activities in
connection with the DeCavalcante Family.
The third alleged memher of
the Ruling Panel, VINCENT PALERMO, and two alleged capos, ANTHONY ROTONDO and
JOSEPH GIACOHHE, were previously charged in connection with three indictments
filed on December 2, 1999, along with 35 defendants, including members and
associates of the Decavalcante Family and four other La Cosa Nostra families.
The Indictment unsealed today charges that the
Decavalcante Family is an
organized criminal group based in New Jersey that operates several crews in New
York. The Indictment charges that the Decavalcante family engaged in a
widespread pattern of racketeering including 16 separate acts of racketeering, such
as murders and conspiracies to
commit murder, extortion, loansharking, the operation of an illegal bookmaking
network, and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The defendants are also
alleged to have engaged in their racketeering activities with members and
associates of other New York-based organized crime families.
Of the 12 defendants charged
in the indictment, 11 were arrested today and one is still being sought.
The charges grew out of a
three-year investigation by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New
York City Police Department,
and the Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering.
The Indictment charges that
the following defendants occupied the following positions in the Decavalcante
Family and committed the alleged criminal activity as
GIOVANNI RIGGI, a/k/a "John Riggi," a/k/a "Uncle
John," a/k/a "The Eagle", the Boss of the Decavalcante LCN
Family. Although RIGGI has been incarcerated since 1990, the indictment alleges
that he has continued in his position as Boss of the Decavalcante LCN Family and
has continued to direct its criminal operations from his prison cell by
out messages to other members oŁ the Decavalcante LCN Family, including (among
other things) orders that individuals be killed, dictates relating to the
Decavalcante LCN Family's internal organization, and instructions relating to
the Decavalcante LCN Family's use of its long-held control over certain unions
to extort "kickbacks" from numerous contractors in the construction
industry. Among RIGGI's criminal activities were participation in three
homicides, two additional conspiracies to murder, the extortion of money from
various businesses, and the obstruction of justice (through,
among other things, conspiring
of other LCN Families to bribe
a member of
the jury which heard his 1990
District of New
him on the major charges).
GIROLAMO PALERMO, a/k/a "Jimmy Palermo," an acting Boss on the
ruling panel of the Decavalcante LCN Family. Among PALERMO's criminal activities
were participation in two conspiracies to commit murder and the extortion of
money from various businesses.
CHARLES MAJURI, an acting Boss on the ruling panel of'the Decavalcante
LCN Family. Among MAJURI's criminal activities were participation in a
conspiracy to murder, the collection of extortionate extensions of credit
("loans harking"), an illegal bookmaking business, and the extortion
of money from various businesses.
STEFANO VITABILE, a/k/a "Steve Vitabile," the Consigliere or
counselor of the Decavalcante LCN Family. VITABILE's criminal activities
included participation in two homicides, numerous conspiracies to murder, and
the extortion of money from various businesses.
PHILIP ABRAMO, a Capo in the Decavalcante LCN Family. Among ABRAMO's
criminal activities were participation in three homicides, two conspiracies to
murder, a conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and loansharking.
FRANCESCO POLIZZI, a/k/a "Frank Polizzi," a
Capo in the Decavalcante LCN Family. Among
POLIZZI's criminal activities were
participation in three conspiracies to commit
murder and loansharking.
LOUIS CONSALVO, a/k/a "Louie Eggs," a Soldier in the Decavalcante
LCN Family. Among CONSALVO's criminal activities were participation in a
homicide, loansharking, the operation of an illegal bookmaking business and a
to commit securities fraud.
GREGORY RAGO, a Soldier in the Decavalcante LCN Family. Among RAGO'S
criminal activities were participation in a homicide, loansharking and the
operation of an illegal bookmaking business.
FRANK D'AMATO, an Associate in the Decavalcante LCN Family. Among
D'AMATO's criminal activities were participation in loansharking and the
operation of an illegal bookmaking business.
BERNARD NiCASTRO, an Associate in the Decavalcante LCN Family. Among
NiCASTRO'S criminal activities were participation in a homicide and loansharking.
FRANK SCARABINO, a/k/a "Franky the Beast," an Associate in the
Decavalcante LCN Family. Among SCARABINO's criminal activities were
participation in a homicide, two conspiracies to murder, loansharking and the
operation of an illegal bookmaking business.
ANTHONY MANNARINO, a/k/a "Marshmallow," an alleged soldier in a
crew based in Florida, with obstruction of justice.
The Indictment also seeks the
forfeiture to the United States of approximately $20 million, representing the
alleged acts of racketeering, including the homes of the racketeering defendants
as substitute assets.
The defendants are scheduled
to be presented before United States Chief Magistrate Judge FRANK MAAS in
Manhattan Federal court today.
Ms. WHITE stated; "The
Decavalcante Organized Crime Family is one of the oldest and most entrenched La
Cosa Nostra Families in the nation. These charges represent the first time that
the Decavalcante Family's top leadership has been charged with such broad
racketeering activity, including numerous acts of violence. In our continuing
effort to eradicate the corrupt , influence of all of La Cosa Nostra throughout
the metropolitan area, the effect of this prosecution will be to dismantle the
leadership of the Decavalcante Family and significantly diminish the Family's
power base in New York and New Jersey,"
Mr. MAWN stated: "The
arrests of the Boss, the Acting Bosses, the Consiglieri and several powerful
Capos, will have a crippling effect on the Decavalcante Family's ability to
operate. The effects of this investigation will not be limited just to the
Decavalcante Family but also to several of the New York-based organized crime
families with which the Decavalcantes dealt. The fallout from this investigation
will not be limited to this one organized crime family."
Commissioner KERIK stated;
"This investigation effectively wipes out the CEO and Hoard of Directors of
the Decavalcante crime family and stands as testament to the
intensive coordination and cooperation that exists between the agencies represented here today. Too often the movies and TV end up glorifying the actions of organized crime figures to the point. of making them likeable characters. The truth is, there is nothing likeable about murder, racketeering and extortion and thanks to these dedicated law enforcement professionals, today that message was delivered loud and clear."
Ms. WHITE praised the
outstanding investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of investigation,
including both the New York and New Jersey Field Offices, the New York City
Police Department, and the United States Department of Labor, Office of
Racketeering, in this investigation.
United States Attorneys JOHN M, HILLEBRECHT
and LISA P. KOROLOGOS are in
charge of the prosecution, and Assistant
United States Attorney BARBARA A. WARD is in charge of the forfeiture aspect of
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
States v. John Riggi et al., 00 Cr. 1118
John Riggi, 75, resided in Linden, New Jersey, prior to his
Girolamo Palermo, 62, resides in Ortley Beach, New
Charles Majuri, 59, resides in Linden, New Jersey
Stefano Vitabile, 64, resides in Englishtown, New
Plulip Abramo, 55, resided in Saddlebrook, New
Jersey, prior to his incarceration
Francesco Polizzi, 65, resides in Nutley, New Jersey
Anthony Mannarino, 55, resides in Boca Raton, Florida
Louis Consalvo, 43, resides in Old Bridge, New Jersey
Gregory Rago, 41, resides in Bayonne, New Jersey
Frank D'Amato, 54, resides in Fort Lee, New Jersey
Bernard NiCastro, 66, resides in West Palm Beach,
Frank Scarabino, 44, resides in Staten Island, New
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