EIGHT PEOPLE WITH ALLEGED TIES TO ORGANIZED CRIME ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF ENTERPRISE CORRUPTION AND OTHER OFFENSES IN CONNECTION WITH AN ILLEGAL GAMBLING AND LOAN-SHARKING OPERATION
Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced today the arrest and indictment of eight reputed members or associates of an organized crime family, including a New York City firefighter, for allegedly operating a sports betting and loan-sharking operation that generated profits in excess of two million dollars a year.
A grand jury indicted seven of the eight defendants on a top count of Enterprise Corruption, a Class B felony offense punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 25 years imprisonment. Those seven defendants are: Joseph Sarcinella, 77, of Scarsdale, New York, Frank Mastracchio, 56, of the Bronx, Dominick Totino, 44, of the Bronx, Dominick Pietranico, 81, of Mahopac, New York, Bruno Travostino, 81, of Manhattan, John D’Ambrosio, 54, of Bronxville, New York, and Thomas McMahon, 29, of City Island, the Bronx.
In addition to the Enterprise Corruption charge, those seven people have also been charged with multiple counts of Promoting Gambling in the First Degree, a Class E Felony, Possession of Gambling Records in the First Degree, a Class E Felony, Criminal Usury in the Second Degree, a Class E Felony, and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a Class A Misdemeanor. Frank Mastracchio was also charged with illegal gun possession stemming from the recovery of an illegal hand gun and a sawed-off shotgun during the execution of a search warrant at his home.
An eighth defendant, William Cali, 58, of Bellrose, New York has been indicted on one count of Criminal Usury in the second degree, a Class E Felony offense, and one count of Conspiracy in the fifth degree, a Class A Misdemeanor.
The crimes alleged in the indictments occurred between December 1, 2009 and June 23, 2011.
The charges in the indictments are merely allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
All of the defendants were arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett.
It is alleged that the defendants, acting in concert with each other and others, ran an illegal sports betting operation utilizing two gambling wire-rooms at 1500 Mace Avenue and 709 East 189TH Street. The wire-rooms were staffed by workers who manned telephone lines for the purpose of taking bets, managing betting activity, and setting betting lines and spreads. Additionally, a social club at 1480 Mace Avenue was used to pay out on winning bets and collect on losing bets.
Several defendants also allegedly engaged in loan-sharking by charging at least one debtor hundreds of dollars a week in interest and fines which amounted to a 100% interest rate over a one year period.
Information gathered during the course of the investigation indicated various ties between most of the defendants and the Genovese Crime Family. It was also learned that one of the defendants, Thomas McMahon, is currently employed as a firefighter with the FDNY.
District Attorney Johnson thanked the following members of his staff and the NYPD Organized Crime Control Bureau for their efforts which resulted in these arrests: Chief Anthony Izzo, Inspector Brian O’Neil, Captain John Dusanenko, Lieutenant Christopher Fasano and Detective Charles Walsh, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Leahy, Chief of the Investigations Division, Assistant District Attorney Stuart Levy, Chief of the Rackets Bureau, Assistant District Attorney James Cudden, Supervisor, Rackets Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Daniel Haines, Rackets Bureau.