Brooklyn Boro

Five from South Brooklyn indicted on loan sharking and illegal gambling charges

Defendants are alleged members and associates of the Colombo and Gambino crime families

July 11, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Five alleged mobsters from South Brooklyn were indicted in federal court on Wednesday and face a litany of charges related to loan sharking and illegal gambling that could land each of them in prison for up to 20 years. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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The last vestiges of the mob are still alive in South Brooklyn. The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York is attempting to bring down five alleged members and associates of the Colombo and Gambino crime families, who were indicted in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday.

The 32-count indictment charged two inducted members and two associates of the Colombo organized crime family with racketeering, including acts of extortion, extortionate collection, money laundering and illegal gambling. A fifth defendant, an inducted member of the Gambino organized crime family, was charged with extortionate collection and a related conspiracy.

“The mob is certainly diminished, but it is not dead,” said NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

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The defendants, who are all from Brooklyn, operated their alleged criminal activities in Brooklyn, Staten Island and other places between December 2010 and June 2018.

Jerry Ciauri, also known as “Fat Jerry,” and Vito DiFalco, also known as “Victor” and “The Mask,” are the alleged members of the Colombo family charged. Salvatore Disano, also known as “Sal Heaven,” and Joseph Maratea are the alleged associates of the Colombo family charged. Anthony Licata, also known as “Anthony Suits,” was charged.

All were arrested Wednesday and were indicted in front of magistrate judge Ramon E. Reyes Jr.

“This investigation shows that members of La Cosa Nostra continue to prey on members of our community, enriching themselves and their criminal network by making extortionate loans and using threats of violence to collect,” stated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue. “Rooting out traditional organized crime’s dangerous and corrupting influence continues to be a high priority for this Office and our law enforcement partners.”

According to the indictment, Ciauri is charged with making predatory loans and using extortionate means to collect debts from six victims and laundering the money to conceal the loansharking business.

Disano is charged with using extortionate means to collect debts from three victims and assisting Ciauri in laundering the proceeds, according to the indictment. Disano allegedly threatened to shoot someone who fell behind on payments to him. He is also charged with hiring people to slash a victim’s tires in the middle of the night.

DiFalco, who is charged with making extortionate loans with eight victims, threatened a victim by telling him that he had a past history of setting cars on fire.

“Good things happen to me when I stay calm see like I was by your house the other day … Four years ago, I would have put the Benz on fire,” DiFalco allegedly told one victim, according to the indictment.

Maratea was charged with using extortionate means to collect debts from five victims. He was allegedly known for making debtors provide a copy of their driver’s licenses and other contact information.

All five defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison on the racketeering, money laundering and extortionate collection offenses if prosecutors for EDNY can prove their case.


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