Genovese Mobster Fat Sal Sentenced To 25 Years For Murder Conspiracy, Racketeering

Genovese associate Salvatore (Fat Sal) Delligatti was sentenced to 25 years in prison yesterday (August 16) for conspiring to murder Joseph Bonelli, another wiseguy in the Genovese crime family, among other crimes.

Salvatore Delligatti

Specifically, Delligatti, 42, was convicted for racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, murder-for-hire conspiracy, participation in an illegal gambling operation, and a firearms offense.

He was convicted by a jury following a three-week trial this past March.

He was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest. Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the sentence yesterday.

Delligatti was on the Fed's radar as an associate of the Genovese crime family in 2010 and earned by participating in extortion and illegal gambling rackets, according to the Feds.

In May and June 2014, Delligatti earned his quarter -century sentence when he hired Bronx-based members of the Crips street gang to ambush and murder Bonelli outside his home. Delligatti offered to pay them several thousand dollars for pulling off the hit, and provided them with a loaded .38 caliber revolver and a getaway vehicle.

The plot to kill Bonelli, also an associate of the Genovese crime family, was set in motion following a barroom incident between Delligatti and Bonelli. Fat Sal and others had suspected that Bonelli was snitching about Mafia-related bookmaking activity in Queens.

The attempted June 2014 hit for which Fat Sal was convicted was actually the third attempt to get Bonelli, and it was more Keystone Cops than The Godfather. Members of the Crips street gang were driving toward Bonelli's house armed when they were caught red-handed by the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office who were using wiretap surveillance of Delligatti. The men in the vehicle were apprehended just a few blocks from their target on June 8, 2014.

The first attempt to kill Bonelli had to be aborted because the hired assassins forgot to bring the gun.

The second attempt was aborted because Bonelli was with his girlfriend, identified in reports as Virginia Alvarez (remember her name, ok? Remember her name). Fat Sal still expressed regrets, noting they should've just killed her, too, as per the testimony of Kelvin Duke, who was the go-between between Delligatti and the Crips.

“Salvatore Delligatti, an associate of the Genovese Crime Family, recruited individuals to ambush and kill his intended victim, even providing them with a gun and getaway car. Now, thanks to the outstanding work of our law enforcement partners, Delligatti will spend 25 years in prison, " the U.S. Attorney said yesterday.

Bonelli is actually quite a character. We believe at least one veteran prosecutor may have quietly felt a momentary rush of regret that the attempted hit was never carried out.

In early 2008, a prosecutor faced charges that she had offered to keep Bonelli out of prison if he hired her alleged boyfriend as his defense attorney.

Bonelli, then 26, of Whitestone, had accused Queens Assistant District Attorney Barbara Wilkanowski of offering him the deal in 2006, after he was caught selling cocaine to an undercover Queens detective, as per

Queens District Attorney Spokeswoman Helen Peterson confirmed Bonelli’s allegations, saying her agency had launched an internal investigation. Meanwhile, Wilkanowski, who supervised narcotics cases in Queens County Supreme Court, was put on extended leave when the charge surfaced in mid-December.

Bonelli reportedly accused the prosecutor of promising a conditional discharge and no prison time in 2006 if he hired Manhattan attorney Robert Kelly for $20,000. 

“She told me that all I had to do was sign the agreement,” the defendant reportedly told “She said I wouldn’t have to do anything.”

“I asked her how she could do it, and she told me to just sign it, and she would take care of the rest. Something about, ‘They look at effort and don’t worry about it.’”

The alleged off-the-record offer — which may have included a pledge to keep Bonelli from testifying against associates — came while he was free on bail after being nabbed in July 2006 for dealing cocaine to an

Charged again in September 2006 with illegally possessing a weapon, Bonelli faced up to 25 years behind bars. The following month, he hired Kelly as his defense attorney and, on December 27, 2006, pleaded guilty to drug possession charges.

It was all bullshit.

In May 2008, Bonelli admitted made the whole thing up. In a sworn statement he revealed that he had "misstated, exaggerated and falsely characterized" his tale about Assistant District Attorney Barbara Wilkanowski.

"As a result of information I obtained through mutual friends, I had personal information about ADA Wilkanowski and knew of her kind nature and took advantage of this information," Bonelli wrote in the statement filed in Queens Supreme Court.

He also withdrew his claim that Wilkanowski and the defense attorney who Bonelli hired were romantically involved.

"From the onset, we have believed that the defendant's allegations about an assistant in this office were not only totally without basis in fact but were made for the purpose of forcing a favorable disposition of his pending criminal cases," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Wednesday. "[Bonelli's] guilty plea and recantation of his allegations about our assistant more than vindicate our position."

Bonelli submitted the sworn statement as part of a guilty plea to the 2006 drug bust and an assault outside a Whitestone bar on Dec. 28, 2007. Bonelli had stabbed a construction worker in the stomach during a brawl outside a Whitestone bar. Bonelli, who reportedly has a “hair-trigger temper” — was held on $500,000 bail.

"Mr. Bonelli is doing what's in the best interest of himself and his family at this time," said Bonelli's lawyer, Virginia Alvarez. (Catch it?)

Bonelli was sentenced in May of that year to five years in prison.

Since then, a request was filed to place him in protective custody. Several years prior, Bonelli was purportedly marked for death by Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano, boss of the Bonanno crime family, for shooting up a restaurant while collecting a $7,800 debt.

Sources told us that it was the current acting boss of the Bonanno crime family who Vinny Gorgeous ordered to kill Bonelli. He never acted on the order, however. We wrote all about it in New Boss Deftly Eluded High-risk Hit Order