Monday, October 01, 2012

Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra Associate Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison

WASHINGTON—Louis Barretta, 48, of Philadelphia, was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy involving loan sharking and illegal gambling, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Zane David Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and George C. Venizelos, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.

Barretta was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In addition to his prison term, Judge Robreno ordered Barretta to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $7,500 fine. On September 5, 2012, Barretta pleaded guilty to conspiring to conduct and participate in the affairs of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra (LCN) family through a pattern of racketeering activity. At the time of the plea, Barretta admitted he made usurious loans and collected payments on these loans by using extortionate means, and he conducted a sports bookmaking business in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy.

Barretta is among 14 members and associates of the Philadelphia LCN family charged with crimes involving racketeering conspiracy, extortion, loan sharking, illegal gambling, witness tampering, and theft from an employee benefit plan in a third superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Philadelphia on July 25, 2012. The other defendants charged in the 52-count third superseding indictment included Philadelphia LCN family boss Joseph Ligambi; Philadelphia LCN family underboss Joseph Massimino; George Borgesi; Martin Angelina, Anthony Staino, Jr.; Gaeton Lucibello; Damion Canalichio; Gary Battaglini; Robert Verrecchia; Eric Esposito; Robert Ranieri; Joseph Licata; and Louis Fazzini.

Lucibello pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges on August 2, 2012, and was sentenced to 51 months in prison. Angelina also pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges on August 8, 2012, and was sentenced to 57 months in prison.

The trial for Ligambi, Massimino, Borgesi, Staino, Canalichio, Battaglini, Licata, and Fazzini is scheduled for October 9, 2012. The trial for Verrecchia, Esposito, and Ranieri has not yet been scheduled. Ligambi, Massimino, Borgesi, Canalichio, Licata, and Fazzini are detained while awaiting trial. Staino, Battaglini, Verrecchia, Esposito, and Ranieri are free on bond while awaiting trial.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney John S. Han of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank A. Labor, III and Suzanne B. Ercole of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Valuable prosecutorial assistance was provided by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the New Jersey State Police, the Philadelphia Police Department, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. Additional assistance was provided by the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

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