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Bonanno crime family capo and soldiers plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy, will forfeit $2.25 million

By David Amoruso

Bonanno crime family capo Ronald “Ronnie G” Giallanzo and Bonanno family soldier Michael Palmaccio pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy on Monday, admitting their involvement in multiple acts of loansharking. They face a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. 

Seven co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty in this case. Earlier this month, Bonanno soldier Nicholas “Pudgie” Festa also pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted to additional acts of loansharking. 

“Mobsters are known for lending large amounts of money at exorbitant rates to individuals who they know lack the financial means of paying off their loans,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney. “They intentionally extort their victims over extended periods of time using threats of violence as a means of collecting their weekly payments. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book for these crime families, and they’ve shown no inclination to stop harassing and intimidating communities in our area.”

Giallanzo, Palmaccio and Festa are members of a Bonanno family crew that operated primarily in Howard Beach, Queens. Giallanzo operated a lucrative loansharking business in which he provided money to, among others, Palmaccio and Festa to put out on the street. 

Even while incarcerated for a prior federal conviction for racketeering and extortion conspiracy, 47-year-old Giallanzo kept watch over his illicit loansharking business, directing his associates to commit acts of violence to ensure that the customers paid the exorbitant weekly interest rate. At one point, he had lent over $3 million in extortionate loans to customers. The three men were arrested by the FBI in March 2017.

At his guilty plea, Giallanzo admitted to participating in the affairs of the Bonanno family by extending and collecting extortionate loans to five different victims and agreed to forfeit $1.25 million. As part of his agreement with the government, Giallanzo is also required to sell the Howard Beach mansion he constructed with loansharking proceeds while he was on supervised release stemming from his prior federal conviction. 

46-year-old Palmaccio and 37-year-old Festa admitted to participating in the affairs of the Bonanno family by extending and collecting extortionate loans to several victims and each agreed to forfeit $500,000.

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