Genovese and Bonanno bust: Nine are charged in illegal gambling scheme


Nassau County Police Detective Hector Rosario, 49, is accused of taking bribes from mobsters operating illegal gambling dens

Nine men have been charged in connection with a Mafia gambling ring in New York, which prosecutors say operated out of innocuous front businesses including a gelato shop, soccer club, and shoe repair store.

In a federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday, prosecutors said that eight mobsters from the Genovese and Bonanno families operated the illegal gambling dens with the protection of a crooked cop.

The mobsters – including those with the nicknames Joe Fish, Sal the Shoemaker, and Little Anthony – were charged for racketeering. 

Prosecutors also accused Nassau County Police Detective Hector Rosario, 49, of taking bribes from the mob crews in return for orchestrating raids on competing gambling dens.

The collaboration between the two crime families dates back at least a decade, to 2012, when they jointly opened a ‘lucrative illegal gambling operation’ out of the Gran Caffe Gelateria in Lynbrook on Long Island, the indictment claims.

Management at the gelato shop, which boasts a wide range of rotating and seasonal flavors, did not immediately respond to phone and email inquiries from DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon.

Anthony Pipitone, 49, of Deer Park, on Long Island, is accused of being a caporegime of the Bonanno family and overseeing the illegal gambling dens. He is pictured leaving court on Tuesday, free on a $2 million bond - the highest of all

Anthony Pipitone, 49, of Deer Park, on Long Island, is accused of being a caporegime of the Bonanno family and overseeing the illegal gambling dens. He is pictured leaving court on Tuesday, free on a $2 million bond – the highest of all

Mark Feur, 59, of Oceanside, on Long Island, is seen leaving court. Feur is accused of being an associate with the Genovese family

Mark Feur, 59, of Oceanside, on Long Island, is seen leaving court. Feur is accused of being an associate with the Genovese family

Agostino Gabriele, 35, of Glendale, Queens, leaves court in Brooklyn on Tuesday. He is accused of being an associate with the Bonanno family

Agostino Gabriele, 35, of Glendale, Queens, leaves court in Brooklyn on Tuesday. He is accused of being an associate with the Bonanno family

Bonanno captain Anthony 'Little Anthony' Pipitone is seen in a 2009 mugshot

Genovese acting caporegime Carmelo Polito, seen in 2017

Bonanno captain ‘Little Anthony’ Pipitone (left, in a 2009 mugshot) teamed up with the Genovese family’s acting caporegime Carmelo Polito (right, pictured in 2017) to jointly run a gambling den in the back of a family gelato shop on Long Island, federal prosecutors say

The crime families jointly opened a 'lucrative illegal gambling operation' out of the Gran Caffe Gelateria (above) in Lynbrook on Long Island, the indictment claims

The crime families jointly opened a ‘lucrative illegal gambling operation’ out of the Gran Caffe Gelateria (above) in Lynbrook on Long Island, the indictment claims

Three of those charged in the gambling scheme were from the Bonanno family: caporegime Anthony ‘Little Anthony’ Pipitone, 49; soldier Vito Pipitone, 40; and associate Agostino Gabriele, 35.

From the Genovese family, the five charged were: acting caporegime Carmelo Polito, 63; soldier Joseph ‘Joe Fish’ Macario, 68; and associates Salvatore ‘Sal the Shoemaker’ Rubino, 58; Joseph ‘Joe Box’ Rutigliano, 63; and Mark Feuer, 59.

Eight of the defendants were arrested on Tuesday morning, while officials say that Joseph Rutigliano remains at large. 

Vito Pipitone was arrested in Wellington, Florida while the other seven were arrested in the Eastern District of New York. 

On Tuesday afternoon, seven of the nine appeared before a judge in Brooklyn. 

Detective Rosario was released on a $500,000 bond.

The ringleaders – Pipitone, the Bonanno caporegime, and Polito, the acting Genovese caporegime – were set the highest bonds, at $2 million and $1.1 million respectively.

Macario, the Genovese soldier, was released on a $700,000 bond, and Gabriele, the Bonanno associate, was freed on a $500,000 bond. 

Feuer was released on a $200,000 bond, and Rubino on a $150,000 bond – both Genovese associates.

All are next due in court on September 13, appearing before Judge Eric Vitaliano.

The nine defendants are charged with with racketeering, illegal gambling, money laundering conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and related offenses. 

‘Today’s arrests of members from two La Cosa Nostra crime families demonstrate that the Mafia continues to pollute our communities with illegal gambling, extortion, and violence while using our financial system in service to their criminal schemes,’ said US Attorney Breon Peace in a statement. 

‘Even more disturbing is the shameful conduct of a detective who betrayed his oath of office and the honest men and women of the Nassau County Police Department when he allegedly aligned himself with criminals,’ added Peace. 

Families and children who visited the popular gelato shop had no idea that the back room was a gambling parlor operating video poker and poker games, as the indictment alleges

Families and children who visited the popular gelato shop had no idea that the back room was a gambling parlor operating video poker and poker games, as the indictment alleges

La Nazionale Soccer Club in Queens was allegedly a front for a Bonanno gambling den

La Nazionale Soccer Club in Queens was allegedly a front for a Bonanno gambling den

In addition to the gelato shop in Lynbrook, prosecutors say the gangsters used a web of other seemingly legitimate shops as fronts for the gambling dens.

The indictment alleges the following locations were mob fronts: La Nazionale Soccer Club in Queens, Glendale Sports Club in Queens, ‘Soccer Club’ at 129 Rockaway Avenue in Valley Stream, Sal’s Shoe Repair in Merrick, and Centro Calcio Italiano Club in West Babylon.

Prosecutors say that the businesses secretly operated ‘illegal joker poker-type gambling machines’ as well as poker games, and that each of the dens could bring in more than $2,000 in illicit proceeds in a single day.

The profits earned through gambling dens were laundered through cash transfers to the defendants and through ‘kicking up’ to the crime families’ leaders, prosecutors say. 

Genovese crime family ran the gambling parlors in Sal’s Shoe Repair and the Centro Calcio Italiano Club, the indictment says. 

The Bonanno crime family ran the fronts at the Soccer Club, La Nazionale Soccer Club and Glendale Sports Club, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors accused Nassau County Police Detective Hector Rosario, 49, of taking bribes from the mob crews in return for orchestrating raids on competing gambling dens. Rosario is seen on Tuesday leaving court in Brooklyn following his arraignment

Prosecutors accused Nassau County Police Detective Hector Rosario, 49, of taking bribes from the mob crews in return for orchestrating raids on competing gambling dens. Rosario is seen on Tuesday leaving court in Brooklyn following his arraignment

Genovese crime family ran the gambling parlors in Sal's Shoe Repair (above) and the Centro Calcio Italiano Club, the indictment says

Genovese crime family ran the gambling parlors in Sal’s Shoe Repair (above) and the Centro Calcio Italiano Club, the indictment says

The eight accused Mafia members

BONANNO 

Anthony Pipitone, the caporegime of the Bonannos, is seen leaving court on Tuesday

Anthony Pipitone, the caporegime of the Bonannos, is seen leaving court on Tuesday

Anthony Pipitone, 49

Caporegime of the Bonanno crime family, who leads a ‘crew’ of soldiers and reports to the underboss, who in turn reports to the boss. Arrested in the Eastern District of New York. Released on a $2 million bond.

 

Vito Pipitone, 40

Soldier in the Bonanno crime family; the lowest rank of ‘made men’. Arrested in Wellington, Florida and arraigned in Miami.

 

Agostino Gabriele, 35

Agostino Gabriele, 35, is seen on Tuesday leaving court after his arraignment

Agostino Gabriele, 35, is seen on Tuesday leaving court after his arraignment

Associate with the Bonanno crime family – a ranking which applies to those who are not ‘made men’. Arrested in the Eastern District of New York. Released on a $500,000 bond.

 

GENOVESE 

Carmelo Polito, 63

Acting caporegime with the Genovese clan. Arrested in the Eastern District of New York. Released on a $1.1 million bond.

Joseph ‘Joe Fish’ Macario, 68

Soldier with the Genovese family. Arrested in the Eastern District of New York. Released on a $700,000 bond.

Mark Feuer, 59, is seen leaving the Brooklyn courthouse on Tuesday

Mark Feuer, 59, is seen leaving the Brooklyn courthouse on Tuesday

Mark Feuer, 59

Associate with the Genovese family. Arrested in the Eastern District of New York. Released on a $200,000 bond

Salvatore ‘Sal the Shoemaker’ Rubino, 58

Associate with the Genovese family. Arrested in the Eastern District of New York. Released on a $150,000 bond.

Joseph ‘Joe Box’ Rutigliano, 63

Associate with the Genovese family: remains at large. 

 

Polito, an alleged acting captain in the Genovese crime family, is also charged with operating an illegal online sports gambling scheme through a website called ‘PGWLines.’ 

In connection with the gambling website, Polito is charged with attempting to extort an individual who lost several thousand dollars in bets he placed through the website. 

In one disturbing incident, prosecutors say that Polito called a delinquent debtor in October 2019 and threatened to ‘break’ his ‘face’. 

Afterwards, the indictment says that Polito instructed another individual to relay a new message to the debtor: ‘Tell him I’m going to put him under the f***ing bridge.’ 

‘This case is further proof that organized crime is alive and well in our communities,’ said Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly in a statement. 

‘These violent criminal organizations operated secret underground gambling parlors in local commercial establishments, generating substantial amounts of money in back rooms while families unknowingly shopped and ate mere feet away,’ she added.

‘The Mafia has brought untold violence and extortion into our neighborhoods for decades, even threatening the life of an individual as part of this case,’ said Donnelly.

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