Conviction for men with Italian mafia ties in death of Gravesend businessman

March 20, 2014 Heather Chin
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It took two weeks for a federal jury to find two men, from New Jersey and Staten Island, guilty in the July 2, 2010 robbery and murder of Gravesend businessman James Donovan.

Richard Riccardi, 41, and Louis Grasso, 46, were convicted on all counts on March 20, 2014. They will be sentenced in August and face a penalty of 10 years to life in prison, plus a fine of $250,000 or more.

The men, described by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as “associates of La Cosa Nostra,” also known as the Sicilian Mafia or the American-based Italian Mafia, are said to have spent weeks watching Donovan, who runs a check-cashing business, before ambushing, shooting and robbing him in the middle of the afternoon. Donovan was shot in the leg and slowly bled to death. The group is said to have split the stolen $200,000 amongst themselves.

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Guns used in the robbery were later found in Riccardi’s car and home in New Jersey.

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