NJ-Based Genovese Crew Indicted Again; 14 Charged

Tuzzo is a well-established ranking member of the Genovese crime family promoted when Vincent "The Chin" Gigante assumed power in the 1980s after Philip "Benny Squint" Lombardo (October 6, 1908 in New York City – April 1987) retired.
Genovese capo, charged again.....

REVISED, UPDATED, EXPANDED
They are accused of running a multi-million-dollar criminal enterprise described as "a smorgasbord of mob schemes" from October 2007 through to April 2016, according to the acting state Attorney General.

The indictment, an updated version of two-year-old charges, includes members and associates of a New Jersey-based Genovese crew operated under capo Charles "Chuckie" Tuzzo, 82, of Bayside, Queens, and soldier Vito Alberti, 57, of Morristown, who reported to the New York bosses. Also additional members and associates were involved in these crimes but are not named in the indictment.

And we read all about it in 2014. All that is new is the addition of more people -- raising the total number of the indicted from 11 to 14. Basically the updated version of the indictment includes an additional defendant charged in connection with drug-money laundering; also the wives of three of the defendants were charged with tax fraud.




Ten of the accused were charged in a similar previous 2014 case, dubbed part of "Operation Fistful," a joint investigation by the state Division of Criminal Justice and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, among other agencies.

As previously noted the Genovese crime family, the most powerful Mafia group in America, was subjected to a major bust that centered on an 80-year-old capo and part of his New Jersey-based crew, which earned more than $12 million from various rackets, including loansharking, unlicensed check cashing, gambling and a money laundering operation that included drug trafficking proceeds. (The indictment says more members and associates were involved but were not named or charged, yet, anyway. The indictment also specifies that a large portion of the unlawful revenue had been funneled to the New York-based bosses of the crime family, none of whom are part of the indictment.)

New Jersey law enforcement authorities and the Waterfront Commission named longtime family capo Charles "Chuckie" Tuzzo, a resident of Bayside, Queens, as the boss of the crew that included one soldier who lived near Newark who oversaw the crew's operations. Leading the major enterprises were associates Domenick Pucillo, who managed the check-cashing operation, and Vincent Coppola, who ran a sports-betting operation.

Tuzzo is a well-established ranking member of the Genovese crime family promoted when Vincent "The Chin" Gigante assumed power in the 1980s after Philip "Benny Squint" Lombardo (October 6, 1908 in New York City – April 1987) retired.

Genovese soldier Vito Alberti was charged with overseeing New Jersey-based operations for Tuzzo.

In 2014 Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that seven alleged members and associates of the New York-based Genovese organized crime family had been arrested and that one more was being sought on an arrest warrant; they faced first-degree racketeering charges for allegedly reaping millions in profits via New Jersey-besed loansharking, unlicensed check cashing, gambling and money laundering rackets, including the laundering of proceeds from narcotics trafficking. Three other alleged associates were charged by summons, bringing the total number charged to 11.

According to the updated indictment's press release, Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy revealed that 10 alleged members and associates of the New York-based Genovese organized crime family were indicted on the same charges, loansharking, unlicensed check cashing, gambling and money laundering, including of drug proceeds. What also was added:  a new defendant was charged in connection with the laundering of drug money, and the wives of three of the defendants were charged with tax fraud, bringing the total defendants to 14.

The recent release adds that the charges stem from “Operation Fistful,” a joint investigation involving the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor. Also assisting in the investigation: the New York and Queens County District Attorneys’ Offices and other law enforcement agencies.

Check-cashing operation
Genovese associate Domenick Pucillo's check cashing business was one focal point of Operation Fistful. The business was based out of his Tri-State Check Cashing, Inc., located in Newark, NJ. Pucillo operated both legal and illegal check cashing operations to "clean" loansharking proceeds. According to the indictment, Pucillo loaned out cash for 1 point (or 1% a week) to confidants, who, in turn, added as many points as they wanted before putting that money to work as loans on the street. The business took in $4.7 million in interest alone while it was under surveillance and being investigated.

Alberti got a share of the proceeds, as well as 2 points off the top of his own shylock business. 

The shylock customers repaid their loans by writing and then cashing checks at Pucillo's check-transaction operations.

Viriato Corp. was an illegal check-cashing business based in a neighborhood bar. More than $400 million in checks were cashed there, from which the mobsters shared and pocketed some $9 million in tax-free fees. They earned off people seeking untraceable cash who'd write large checks, including drug dealers (hence, the drug-related charges).

Currency Transaction Reports were not filed for transactions of more than $10,000; in banks a CTR is filed for every transaction in which more than 10 grand is handed over to a customer. 

Viriato got the cash from Tri-State Check Cashing, which filed CTRs.

Sports betting
Vincent Coppola, also named in the indictment, is the son of Genoves capo Michael Coppola, aka "Mikey Cigars" Coppola, busted in 2007 after a decade on the lam. Tino Fiumara's longtime partner in crime, Mikey Cigars also was a member of a ruthless group of Mafia murderers once based in Newark, where all Operation Fistful's alleged crimes took place. He's 69 and his release date is in 2024.

Vincent Coppola ran a $1.7 million sports betting operation alleged to have generated $400,000 in profits. The racket utilized an off-shore “wire room” in Costa Rica to process bets.


Brick Man Accused Of Ties To Genovese Mob Family, Charged In Multimillion-Dollar Gambling Scheme
John Trainor

Coppola also oversaw the trucking company racket but John W. Trainor, 44, allegedly managed GTS Auto Carriers, which transported cars from the docks to car dealerships and other locations.

Trainor owned and operated GTS, which obtained a lucrative contract with Nissan. After Trainor obtained the contract, Alberti created a company called AMJ Transport solely to lease trucks  to GTS. (Alberti required GTS to lease trucks to transport his cars for more than $300,000 per year.)

Alberti also allegedly required GTS to carry Coppola and another Genovese crime family associate on the GTS payroll even though neither actually worked for GTS. In addition, Trainor allegedly had checks issued from a GTS business account to fictitious persons to siphon money from GTS for himself as well as to pay Alberti and other Genovese crime family members and associates. 
In five months, Trainor allegedly cashed GTS checks totaling more than $100,000 at Pucillo’s check-cashing business, including several that Trainor forged the required signatures. 
Defendants Face Heavy Time
Ten of the defendants face first-degree charges of both racketeering and money laundering, carrying consecutive sentences of 10 to 20 years in prison for each charge.

From 2014 probe.

Updated indictment includes new faces

These 14 defendants were indicted last week. (The first eight defendants were arrested in October 2014 and initially held on $400,000 bail each. Albanese and Miranda were charged by summons at that time.)
  1. Charles “Chuckie” Tuzzo. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (3 counts, 1st degree), Conspiracy (1st degree), Criminal Usury (2nd degree), Business of Usurious Loans (2nd degree), Operating an Unlicensed Check-Cashing Facility (3rd degree) and Promoting Gambling (3rd degree).
  2. Vito Alberti. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (3 counts, 1st degree), Conspiracy (1st degree), Criminal Usury (2nd degree), Business of Usurious Loans (2nd degree), Operating an Unlicensed Check-Cashing Facility (3rd degree), Promoting Gambling (3rd degree), Filing a Fraudulent Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).
  3.  Domenick Pucillo. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (3 counts, 1st degree), Conspiracy (2, counts, 1st degree), Criminal Usury (2nd degree), Business of Usurious Loans (2nd degree), Possession of Usurious Loan Records (3rd degree), Operating an Unlicensed Check-Cashing Facility (3rd degree), Filing Fraudulent Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).
  4. Robert “Bobby Spags” Spagnola. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (1st degree), Conspiracy (1st degree), Criminal Usury (2nd degree), Business of Usurious Loans (2nd degree), Filing a Fraudulent Tax Return (3rd degree), Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree) and Failure to File Tax Return (3rd degree).
  5. Manuel Rodriguez. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (1st degree), Conspiracy (1st degree), Operating an Unlicensed Check-Cashing Facility (3rd degree), Filing a Fraudulent Tax Return (3rd degree), Failure to File Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).
  6. Vincent P. Coppola. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (1st degree), Conspiracy (1st degree), Promoting Gambling (3rd degree), Possession of Gambling Records (3rd degree), Failure to File Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).
  7. John W. Trainor. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (1st degree), Conspiracy (1st degree), Promoting Gambling (3rd degree), Possession of Gambling Records (3rd degree), Forgery (3rd degree), Failure to File a Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).
  8. Abel J. Rodrigues. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (1st degree), Conspiracy (1st degree), Operating an Unlicensed Check-Cashing Facility (3rd degree), Filing a Fraudulent Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).
  9. Jerry J. Albanese. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (1st degree), Conspiracy (1st degree), Promoting Gambling (3rd degree) and Possession of Gambling Records (3rd degree).
  10. Flor Miranda. Racketeering (1st degree), Money Laundering (3 counts, 1st degree), Conspiracy (2 counts, 1st degree), Criminal Usury (2nd degree), Business of Usurious Loans (2nd degree), Possession of Usurious Loan Records (3rd degree).
  11. Miguel Jose Varela Lopez. Money Laundering (1st degree) and Conspiracy (1st degree).
  12. Suzanne Scatturo. Filing a Fraudulent Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).
  13. Debra Spagnola. Filing a Fraudulent Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).
  14. Lisa Trainor. Filing a Fraudulent Tax Return (3rd degree) and Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree).

“This case is a smorgasbord of mob schemes, highlighting the fact that traditional organized crime remains a corrosive presence wherever it can turn a big profit,” said Acting Attorney General Lougy.

 “We must remember that behind these crimes – from the loansharking, to the illicit gambling, to the laundering of drug money – are victims whose lives were ruined because of their debts, or because of their drug or gambling problems. We’ll prosecute these predatory offenses to the full extent of the law.”

“The more the Mafia changes, the more it stays the same,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “While these defendants allegedly adopted sophisticated financial systems to hide their profits, those profits came from traditional street crimes such as loansharking and illegal gambling, over which the old threats of violence and extortion loomed. These mobsters may be changing their methods, but we also are evolving in our investigative techniques and will continue to put them in prison.”

A full list of the defendants can be found here

See 2016 indictment (PDF).




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