37 Suspects Rounded Up In Major Bust Involving Gambling, Loan Sharking Rings

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly announced a major takedown of organized crime activity today.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case

The long-term investigation focused on gambling and loan sharking rings — the real moneymakers for the Gambino crime family.

Kelly said that the 37 defendants were rounded up in a series of early morning raids.

One of those arrested was 56-year-old John Marinacci who appeared on episodes of “The Sopranos” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

Investigators had used wiretaps, video surveillance, GPS tracking, and bugs placed inside various locations to make their cases.

When the defendants conducted business on street corners, undercover cops were watching.

According to the charges, some of the gambling operations on professional sports and horse racing were run out of offshore wire rooms that generated millions of dollars in wagers.

The investigation was called “Operation Flat Rate.”

“These arrests cripple a network of criminal enterprises and the organized crime family they supported,” Schneiderman said. “The partnership between OCTF and the NYPD provided the skills and resources needed to bring the 37 individuals charged here to justice, and our offices will continue our work to dismantle these criminal ventures.”

“Illegal gambling rings not only promote addiction and burden families with debt from usurious loans, but the proceeds from gambling and loan sharking are used to fuel organized crime and support harmful criminal enterprises,” Kelly said. “I want to commend the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigations Division for today’s arrests.”

The defendants charged today as a result of five separate indictments from a Kings County grand jury are:

Angelo Natoli, 28, Brooklyn
Joseph Casazza, 28, Staten Island
Joseph Russo, 29, Brooklyn
Jason Sobel, 30, Brooklyn
Nicholas Disbrow, 30, Staten Island
Dave Franzese, 32, Staten Island
Michelle Valente, 35, Staten Island
Mark Sini, 35, Staten Island
Nicola Fulciniti, 41, Staten Island
Steve Heisman, 41, Toms River, New Jersey
Louis Lombardo, 41, Brooklyn
Pietro Mastrandrea, 41, Queens
Kenneth Nappi, 42, Brick, New Jersey
Ronald Piggot, 42, Watchung, New Jersey
Michael Epstein, 43, Brooklyn
Michael Bolger, 44, Brick, New Jersey
Arthur Lento 46, Staten Island
Joseph Castellano, 48, Brooklyn
Patrick Prisco, 49, Nutley, New Jersey
Anthony Crapanzano, 49, Barnegat, New Jersey
Bernadette Impliazzo, 50, Staten Island
Steven Fusco, 51, Staten Island
Martin Milone, 53, Marlboro, New Jersey
Christopher Sorrentino, 53, Staten Island
Frank Esposito, 56, Staten Island
John Marinacci, 56, New York, NY
James Outerie, 57, Staten Island
Wane Fasano, 58, Secaucus, New Jersey
Anthony Castellano, 58, Brooklyn
Richard Heck, 61, Queens
Louis Peteroy, 64, Staten Island
Alex Petrillo, 66, Brooklyn
Paul Platania, 67, Queens
Anthony Deluca, 73, Brooklyn
Joseph Esposito, 74, Brooklyn
Vincent Romano, 74, Staten Island
Joseph Gurrieri, 79, Brooklyn

More from Irene Cornell
  • Intendedscapegoat

    When your Born into the “Mother’s In Father’s Of Italian American” and you don’t want to live a life of crime. What do? Grin and Bare It! When you get fed ecoli, Anthrax, indirect threats, etc.? From the outside looking in, it may appear as a joke? IT IS NO JOKE!

  • Hank D

    Now where are the guys who are down and out suppose to go to borrow money to feet their families, you can’t go to the banks because you gotta be a Rockafella to get a loan. Go after all the licensed loan sharks in the banks. You just killed christmas for thousands of families that have know where else to borrow money. Think about it when your sittings down with your family having christmas dinner.

  • MJ

    This country is ridiculous. They are not hurting anyone. It is peoples own money that they gamble with. I agree, we are wasting millions of dollars investigating them. If the gov was not so corrupt we would not have to deal with things like this. But they want a piece of the action. That is all it is about. This is not hurting you and I.

  • jake

    Were any of these Hedge Fund Managers, Bank CEOs. Wall Street Bosses? If not, this is shameful as these are the real crooks, not these guys. These guys give you better odds on gambling then does the lottery, and they give you better interest rates than the banks. So who really are the crooks here? But…our justice system is owned by these crooks that wear suits and pretend they are honest business people. So much for justice.

    • ttrue nyc

      Give me a break. How many bankers have put a gun to your head if you dont pay the loan you dint afford in the first place. I dont see the connection between bankers and these guys. Not all people on wall street are bad people.

      • SM

        They dont need to puit a gun to your head , miss a payment theyll hound you and your family . Cause you to loose your job and take your car home whatever they want ,and they have the courts to back them up so they need no gun

    • pugphan

      that may be true divo, but these mofoes will break ya knee caps, arms and or legs if ya cain’t pay em back. Damn, soipwise soipwise…lookey hea they all be paisans

  • moe greene

    Funny, these guys wouldn’t of cost society a dime. We are so lucky to have the government spend millions investigating them, then more millions to prosecute and jail them. Literally, the money spent investigating these gamblers could of been spent to build a new school or park. what a waste. Why don’t these detectives stake out the streets and try to catch all of these alien rapists running around?

  • Jimmy

    Why don’t they they go up to the Wall Street firms and arrest the CEOs, EVPs etc. that gambled our money and lent it out like loan sharks?

    • ttrue nyc

      You sing.

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