Italian & Russian Mobsters Smuggled Strippers

The Italian Cosa Nostra and Russian Mafia together allegedly smuggled Eastern European women into New York to work in high-end strip clubs — and even arranged sham marriages to keep some of them here.

Nine strip clubs were involved and 20 suspects indicted in the scheme
The women were recruited via Facebook and newspaper ads.

Twenty suspects, including seven reputed Gambino and Bonanno mobsters, were arraigned in Manhattan Federal Court on charges ranging from racketeering to visa fraud.

The schemers allegedly recruited women in Russia and neighboring countries through Facebook and newspaper ads to work as strippers.


At least nine clubs were involved in the case, specifically, (we included hyperlinks -- not that any of you would be interested in checking any of these clubs out, of course) Cheetahs in Manhattan, Perfection in Woodside, Queens, The Scene in Commack, L.I., and Gallagher’s 2000 and Rouge in Queens, officials said.

“When they saw someone that would be a good draw for the club, they would approach them,” said Special Agent-in-Charge James Hayes of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in the NY Daily News report.

Fox News reports that the ring would provide women to owners and operators of strip clubs in Queens and Long Island and would charge the clubs "protection" money, authorities said.

"The defendants procured and sent these women false job offers for waitressing and other positions they would then include on their visa applications. However, once the women arrived in the US, they worked as exotic dancers at the strip clubs, in violation of visa rules prohibiting employment in the adult entertainment industry," prosecutors said.



In the most audacious part of the scheme, the NY Daily News reports, the mobsters sent female emissaries to upstate New York to find young, single men willing, in exchange for $5,000, to marry ex-patriate ecdysiasts (a really fancy, snobbish word for stripteasers -- and this is probably the first time it has ever appeared in an urban tabloid in the U.S.).

Seven suspects were tagged as made men or associates, including reputed Gambino captain Alphonse Trucchio and alleged Bonanno captain Anthony (Perry Como) Frascone.

Trucchio, 34, of Queens, was already under indictment in an unrelated case. In this case alone, he is facing eight criminal counts -- racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, three counts of extortion, visa fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and marriage fraud, according to Fox News.

Asked why the clubs needed to bring strippers from overseas, Hayes said, “Based on what we’ve learned, they were particularly marketable."

All the suspects pleaded not guilty and were released on bond, including Boris Yusupov, who has his own plane, according to prosecutors.

The website TPMMuckraker offers a rundown of the charges, from a Justice Department press release:

Gambino organized crime family members and associates Alphonse Trucchio; William Pazienza Sr.; Christopher Colon; and Richard Gutkowski; and Bonanno organized crime family members and associates Anthony Frascone; Paul Casella; and Lawrence Zaino are charged with racketeering and extortion crimes related to their control of several strip clubs located in Queens and Long Island, N.Y., at which the women worked. These seven defendants and 13 others - Aleksandr Kravets, Thomas Devitt III, Gerald Monfort, Yong Wang, Boris Yusupov, Vitaliy Mindyuk, Zhanna Kuznetsova, Elena Turubanova, Natalia Ivanova, Christine Gunning, Jeffrey Rinchey, Oscar Zeledon and Alexander Beleson - are also charged with several other crimes related to the scheme, including visa fraud, marriage fraud and transporting, harbouring and inducing the entry of illegal aliens.

Back in January, authorities arrested an 83-year-old mobster allegedly involved in a similar strip club extortion scheme. TPMMuckraker is referring to the big January take down -- specifically of 83-year-old longtime New England crime boss Luigi “Louie” Manocchio -- who went by the names “Baby Shacks,” “The Professor” and “The Old Man” -- who was charged, along with his associate Thomas Iafrate, of "demanding cash payments from the owner of the Satin Doll and Cadillac Lounge strip clubs and other adult entertainment businesses in Providence dating back to 1993 (just around the time he started receiving Social Security, by our count)," the website reports.




Comments

  1. If u believe this then I got a bridge to sell u.
    All those women are ho's to begin with . Nobody held gun to there head . They knew what they were coming for . Go and try to fool a russian women. See how it works for u. No disrespect to other races , russians are not just any dumb imigrant that were picking oranges in the old country. They are all educated and dont forget were they come from . The old country if you dont scheem u dont eat.

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