Area Organized Crime Figures Cop Pleas in Massive Gambling and Loansharking Case

By Michael V. Cusenza
Five borough residents who are reputed members and associates of the Bonanno organized crime family recently entered into guilty-plea agreements with federal prosecutors, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and published reports.
Christopher Boothby, Evan Greenberg, Richard Heck, Robert Tanico, and Robert Pisani have admitted to their roles in a massive gambling and loansharking ring based in Howard Beach.
Heck copped to a single charge of extortionate extension of credit; Boothby, Greenberg, and Tanico have pleaded guilty to employing extortionate means to collect debts.
Pisani pleaded guilty earlier this month to collection of unlawful gambling debts. As part of his deal, Pisani, who owns businesses in Howard Beach and Broad Channel, will forfeit $50,000 and faces up to 21 months in prison.
All five men are scheduled to be sentenced in the spring.
In March, a 37-count indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn charging 10 members and associates of the Bonanno family with racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of murder conspiracy, attempted murder, extortion, illegal gambling, robbery conspiracy, arson conspiracy, narcotics distribution conspiracy and obstruction of justice conspiracy.
The indictment related to alleged criminal activities in Howard Beach and elsewhere between January 1998 and March 2017, according to acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde.
The indictment was the result of a long-term investigation, with evidence gathered through a variety of methods including wiretap recordings of the defendants, cooperating witnesses, government and public records, electronic evidence and visual surveillance.


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