Howard Beach Publisher Gets Prison Time For Threatening Father of Sex Crime Victim On Behalf Of Bonanno Mobster

A Howard Beach-based newspaper publisher has been sentenced to five months in prison for attempting to threaten a sex crime victim's father on behalf of a Bonanno crime family aassociate.

Robert Pisani, alleged associate of the Bonanno crime family.
(They used to hide their face just for being wiseguys.)

Patricia Adams, who operates the weekly Forum Newsgroup, threatened to use her position as publisher to have a hatchet piece written and published in a Queens newspaper about a woman who had accused a mobbed-up deli owner of a sex crime.

Adams was sentenced on Oct. 11. She also must pay a fine of $200, though the full restitution amount has not yet been determined.

Adams had pleaded guilty on June 25 to misprision of a felony, acknowledging her efforts to conceal the felonious crime of interfering in the sex assault case against Robert Pisani, an associate in acting capo Ronald Giallanzo's Bonanno crime family crew. Pisani was among a group of 10 reputed Bonanno crime family members arrested for participating in various crimes over the past two decades ranging from racketeering to loan sharking and attempted murder. Leading that indictment was Howard Beach’s Giallanzo, 46, who allegedly oversaw a criminal enterprise that netted $26 million in earnings since 1998, federal prosecutors said.

Pisani's rap sheet stretched back to 1992 and included assault, insurance fraud, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment charges.

Following his March arrest with the other reputed mobsters, Pisani and his wife posted a $500,000 bond for his federal racketeering case and he was released. Then this past May, just as he was departing the downtown Brooklyn federal courthouse after a hearing related to the racketeering case, Pisani was re-arrested by a plainclothes sex crimes detective.

According to the criminal complaint, Pisani allegedly groped a female employee and exposed himself to her at his All-American Bagel and Barista Company at 82-51 153rd Ave., on April 28. Pisani allegedly cornered his victim in the back office one afternoon and grabbed her buttocks. He then allegedly unhooked the 28-year-old’s bra and tried to pull her shirt up when the woman shoved him away. Pisani then allegedly grabbed her hand, whipped it out, and wanted her to grab it.

After learning of his arrest for sexual assault, federal prosecutors moved to have Pisani’s bail revoked. Soon after a hearing was scheduled, law enforcement sources said, Pisani reached out to Patricia Adams, publisher of The Forum Newsgroup, a weekly newspaper based in Howard Beach, and asked for her help. The Forum serves numerous southern Queens neighborhoods including Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill and Woodhaven. Her paper had previously written favorable articles about Pisani and his bagel business, the complaint noted.

According to the complaint, Adams is considered a known associate of the Bonanno family and was buried by a massive debt owed to the Bonannos over her gambling habits “which resulted in losses of up to $1,500 per week.” She played cards regularly at an Ozone Park social club that the Bonannos controlled.

Shortly after Pisani’s bail revocation hearing was scheduled, prosecutors said, Adams reached out to the sex assault victim’s father and asked to meet with him. They agreed to meet on May 13 at a local Starbucks cafe. Adams allegedly threatened to smear the victim in the pages of The Forum newspaper if she dared to testify in court that Pisani had sexually assaulted her, according to a federal indictment.

During the nearly three-hour conversation, which the victim’s father recorded, law enforcement sources said, Adams allegedly told him that she was close with Pisani and that she was “in a position … to have to expose the whole situation if we get to that point.”

“I won’t hurt you if you don’t deserve — that’s for my enemies,” she allegedly told the victim’s father. “I will not hurt you … but in the newspaper, thoroughly, thoroughly objective … For my good, for everybody’s good — I’m hoping that she’ll decide to drop it.”

She went on to say she was “I’ve been trying to get out for two years. But because of certain obligations, I’m forced to stay on. I’m kind of under their thumb.” Federal agents believe she was referencing her alleged obligations to the Bonanno family.

Federal agents arrested Adams, 59, in August 2017. She was booked on witness tampering charges for attempting to interfere in a sex assault case against Pisani. Adams was arraigned in federal court on charges of tampering with a witness. She was released on $150,000 bail but ordered to be detained at her home and fitted with a electronic monitoring device.

The victim’s father recorded the conversation and turned over the recording to federal agents, which ultimately led to Adams’ arrest.

Pisani was ultimately found guilty of forcible touching and harassment on June 27, but was acquitted of sexual abuse. However, due to the guilty verdict, the federal government submitted a recommendation to the judge in his loansharking case suggesting the court impose a sentence of 30 months in prison.

In a letter to Judge Dora Irizarry, the U.S Attorney’s Office stated the reasoning for the recommendation is “his recent conviction for a crime he committed while on pretrial release that increases his criminal history score.”

The previous recommended time of imprisonment was 21 months.

The letter noted that Pisani had harassed one of his female employees at his deli, All American Bagel and Barista, and that he was involved in a conspiracy to attempt to tamper with the victim.

In regard to the conspiracy, the letter states that “with the intent to obstruct the prosecution and sentencing in the Federal Case, the defendant knowingly participated in a plan in which one of his associates, Patricia Adams, approached the Victim’s father and ... harassed him in an attempt to dissuade the Victim from cooperating with law enforcement.”

In the letter, text messages seized by the federal government from Adams’ phone were listed as proof that Pisani was involved in the attempted witness tampering.

Adams had reached out to other local newspapers to try and have them hold the story and not use Pisani’s name or his store. The letter also said that calls were made from Adams’ phone to a number associated with Pisani.

According to the Daily News, Adams’ lawyer, Sanford Talkin, asked for leniency, provoking Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to respond by saying, “Here’s someone who used her position, her stature, her power in the press, to threaten into silence a victim of sexual assault. Think about it. She used that power to threaten the victim’s disabled father.”

The judge added, “She repeatedly threatened the victim through her father using the newspaper to threaten reputational harm. She also suggested physical harm. She said, ‘I would hurt her if I have to.’”

In a written statement, the victim said she’s been living in fear for the past year-and-a-half, and she “felt like in a movie plot with me ending up dead if I spoke up.”

“Her intention was clear: She meant to slander and blackmail me using my civil liberties against me,” the victim wrote. “I couldn’t strap my child into the car seat without thinking somebody would come up behind me and hurt me or hurt him.”

Her mother read the statement in court. (I'd be very interested in speaking with her, if she or someone who knows her happens to read this.)

Patricia Adams

Adams apologized to the victim, telling the judge, “I am a person who does not walk away from my actions.”

Adams said, “I’m staring back at 25 years of good and sometimes great, work that I flushed down the toilet in two-and-a-half hours. I think there’s nothing worse than that, and there’s nothing more pathetic than that.”

She’s scheduled to surrender Jan. 11 to begin her sentence.