Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Member of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra Family Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy

WASHINGTON – Gaeton Lucibello, 59, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty today to participating in a racketeering conspiracy involving extortion and illegal gambling, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and George Venizelos, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. 

At the plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Lucibello pleaded guilty to conspiring to conduct and participate in the affairs of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra (LCN) Family through a pattern of racketeering activity.  He admitted to the court that he assisted in shaking down a bookmaker for “street tax” payments and operated two illegal video poker machine businesses in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy.  His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 26, 2012.

Lucibello was among 14 members and associates of the Philadelphia LCN Family charged with crimes involving racketeering conspiracy, extortion, loan sharking, illegal gambling, witness tampering, and theft from an employee benefit plan in a third superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Philadelphia on July 25, 2012.  The other defendants charged in the 52-count third superseding indictment included Philadelphia LCN Family boss Joseph Ligambi, Philadelphia LCN Family underboss Joseph Massimino, George Borgesi, Martin Angelina, Anthony Staino Jr., Damion Canalichio, Louis Barretta, Gary Battaglini, Robert Verrecchia, Eric Esposito, Robert Ranieri, Joseph Licata and Louis Fazzini. 

The trial for Ligambi, Massimino, Borgesi, Angelina, Staino Jr., Canalichio, Barretta, Battaglini, Licata and Fazzini is scheduled for Oct. 9, 2012.  The trial for Verrecchia, Esposito and Ranieri has not yet been scheduled.  Ligambi, Massimino, Borgesi, Angelina, Canalichio, Licata and Fazzini are detained while awaiting trial.  Staino Jr., Barretta, Battaglini, Verrecchia, Esposito and Ranieri are free on bond while awaiting trial. 

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney John S. Han of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank A. Labor III and Suzanne B. Ercole of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Valuable prosecutorial assistance was provided by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Pennsylvania State Police, the New Jersey State Police, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.  Additional assistance was provided by the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

12-971