WASHINGTON – Martin Angelina, 50, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty today to participating in a racketeering conspiracy involving loan sharking 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 C. 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, Angelina 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 attempted to collect payments related to usurious loans by using extortionate means and operated an illegal video poker machine business in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2012.
Angelina 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, Gaeton Lucibello, Anthony Staino Jr., Damion Canalichio, Louis Barretta, Gary Battaglini, Robert Verrecchia, Eric Esposito, Robert Ranieri, Joseph Licata and Louis Fazzini.
Gaeton Lucibello pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges on Aug. 2, 2012, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 26, 2012.
The trial for Ligambi, Massimino, Borgesi, Staino, 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, Canalichio, Licata and Fazzini are detained while awaiting trial. Staino, 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.