Genovese and Bonanno bust: Nine are charged in illegal gambling scheme
Nassau County Police detective Hector Rosario, 49, charged with taking bribes from mobsters who operate illegal gambling houses
Nine men have been charged in connection with a New York mafia gambling ring, which prosecutors say operated from innocent fronts, including an ice cream shop, football club and shoe repair shop.
In a federal indictment released Tuesday, prosecutors said eight mobsters from the Genovese and Bonanno families operated the illegal gambling dens under the protection of a corrupt cop.
The mobsters — including those nicknamed Joe Fish, Sal the Shoemaker and Little Anthony — were charged with racketeering.
Prosecutors also charged Nassau County Police detective Hector Rosario, 49, of taking bribes from the mob squads in exchange for orchestrating raids on competing gambling houses.
The partnership between the two crime families dates back at least a decade to 2012, when they opened a “lucrative illegal gambling operation” together out of the Gran Caffe Gelateria in Lynbrook, Long Island, the indictment alleges.
The management of the gelato store, which offers a wide variety of changing and seasonal flavors, did not immediately respond to phone and email inquiries from DailyMail.com Tuesday afternoon.
Bonanno captain ‘Little Anthony’ Pipitone (left) teamed up with Genovese’s acting caporegime Carmelo Polito (right) to run a gambling den together in the back of a family ice cream shop on Long Island, federal prosecutors say
The crime families together opened a “lucrative illegal gambling operation” out of the Gran Caffe Gelateria (above) in Lynbrook on Long Island, the indictment alleges.
Three of those charged with the gambling program belonged to the Bonanno family: caporegime Anthony “Little Anthony” Pipitone, 49; soldier Vito Pipitone, 40; and collaborator Agostino Gabriele, 35.
Of the Genovese family, the five accused were: acting caporegime Carmelo Polito, 63; Private Joseph ‘Joe Fish’ Macario, 68; and collaborators Salvatore “Sal the Shoemaker” Rubino, 58; Joseph ‘Joe Box’ Rutigliano, 63; and Mark Feuer, 59.
Eight of the defendants were arrested Tuesday morning, while officials say Joseph Rutigliano is still at large.
Vito Pipitone was arrested in Wellington, Florida, while the other seven were arrested in New York’s Eastern District. All were due to appear in court for the first time on Tuesday afternoon.
The nine defendants are charged with racketeering, illegal gambling, money laundering conspiracy, obstruction of justice and related crimes.
“Today’s arrests of members of two crime families in La Cosa Nostra show that the mafia continues to pollute our communities with illegal gambling, extortion and violence, while using our financial system in the service of their criminal schemes,” US Attorney Breon said. Peace in a statement. .
“Even more disturbing is the shameful behavior of a detective who violated his oath of office and the honest men and women of the Nassau County Police Department when he allegedly sided with criminals,” Peace added.
Families and children visiting the popular ice cream shop had no idea that the back room was a gambling hall where video poker and poker games were performed, as the indictment alleges
La Nazionale Soccer Club in Queens was reportedly a front for a Bonanno gambling den
In addition to the ice cream shop in Lynbrook, prosecutors say the mobsters used a web of other seemingly legitimate stores to cover up the gambling houses.
The indictment alleges that the following locations were mafia 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, Centro Calcio Italiano Club in West Babylon.
Prosecutors say the companies secretly operated “illegal joker-poker-like slot machines” and poker games, and that each of the dens could generate more than $2,000 in illegal proceeds in a single day.
The profits made from gambling houses were laundered through money transfers to the defendants and through “kicks” to the leaders of the crime families, prosecutors say.
Genovese crime family ran the gambling houses at Sal’s Shoe Repair and the Centro Calcio Italiano Club, the indictment says.
The Bonanno crime family ran the fronts of the Soccer Club, La Nazionale Soccer Club and Glendale Sports Club, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors accused Nassau County Police Detective Hector Rosario, 49, of taking bribes from mafia crews in exchange for orchestrating raids on competing gambling houses
Genovese crime family ran gambling parlors at Sal’s Shoe Repair (above) and Centro Calcio Italiano Club, indictment says
Polito, an alleged acting captain in the Genovese crime family, is also accused of operating an illegal online sports gambling system through a website called ‘PGWLines’.
In connection with the gambling website, Polito is accused of extorting a person who lost several thousand dollars on bets he placed through the website.
In a disturbing incident, prosecutors say Polito called an overdue debtor in October 2019 and threatened to ‘break’ his face.
Afterward, the charge says that Polito ordered another person to pass a new message to the debtor: “Tell him I’m going to put him under the damn bridge.”
“This case is further proof that organized crime is very much alive in our communities,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said in a statement.
“These violent criminal organizations operated secret underground gambling dens in local commercial establishments, generating significant amounts of money in back rooms, while families unknowingly shopped and ate just a few feet away,” she added.
“The mafia has brought untold violence and extortion into our neighborhoods for decades and even threatened the life of an individual as part of this case,” Donnelly said.