Crime may pay, but the government will try very hard to get that ill-gotten money from you. Not just that, they will send you off to prison for good measure. Just ask Bonanno family capo Ronald “Ronnie G” Giallanzo.
On Wednesday, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for racketeering conspiracy, including extortion and loansharking, and violating the conditions of his supervised release imposed for a prior racketeering conviction. He had already pleaded guilty earlier this year.
As part of his plea agreement with the government, the court also ordered 48-year-old Giallanzo to pay $1.25 million in forfeiture and sell his mansion in Howard Beach, Queens, which was constructed using the criminal proceeds of the Mafia capo’s loansharking business. He was also ordered to pay $268,000 in restitution to his victims.
Between 1998 and 2017, including eight years while behind bars on a prior racketeering conviction and for nearly two years while on supervised release, Giallanzo ran a loansharking operation in which he loaned millions of dollars in cash at exorbitant weekly interest rates.
He directed a crew of Bonanno family soldiers and associates to enforce the collection of the debts through violence and threats of physical injury. Giallanzo used more than $1 million of the extortion proceeds to purchase, reconstruct and furnish a mansion, which featured five bedrooms and five bathrooms, radiant heated floors, high-end appliances, a built-in aquarium, wine cellar, home gym, three kitchens and a salt water pool with a waterfall.
“Today’s sentence punishes a violent mobster for running a massive loansharking operation that victimized a community and earned him millions in illicit profits,” stated United States Attorney Richard Donoghue. “Giallanzo is headed to prison, forced to sell his mansion built on ill-gotten proceeds and held responsible for brazenly committing many of his crimes from behind bars while serving another organized crime-related sentence. Together with our law enforcement partners, this Office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute members and associates of organized crime.”
“Members of these mafia families continue to prey upon the people of their communities, lining their pockets on the backs of victims through intimidation and acts of violence,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney. “While these criminals lead lavish lifestyles, their victims struggle through years of financial distress and the constant fear of what will happen to them when they can no longer pay. The FBI New York Joint Organized Crime Task Force has been doggedly tracking members of the mafia for decades, and our work to round them up and put them in prison will not stop.”
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