JOINT LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORT LEADS TO SEIZURE OF ASSETS
FROM LOANSHARKING BUSINESS
$768K Going Back to the Community
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz announces seizure of $768,000 from a loansharking forfeiture in a joint law enforcement investigation during an equitable sharing distribution presentation.
On December 12, 2007, Albert Calvanese was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to 63 months’ incarceration and ordered to forfeit $132,000 in proceeds from his loansharking business. Although Calvanese had earlier pleaded guilty to making and collecting loanshark loans as a result of a joint investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies into the large scale loansharking business he operated in the Springfield area, he proceeded to trial in December of 2007 on the forfeiture allegation. In a separate civil forfeiture proceeding before U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns, Calvanese was ordered to forfeit another $636,308 from his loansharking business.
Law enforcement officers obtained evidence of a long standing, large loansharking business during an investigation which included conducting electronic surveillance.
The investigation was conducted by the Springfield office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Special Services Section; Springfield Police Department; and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. The investigation included consensually monitored conversations in which Calvanese was heard threatening a victim. Search warrants were executed at Calvanese’s home as well as of his mother’s home. This resulted in the seizure of documents which demonstrated that Calvanese had amassed a significant amount of profit from his loansharking business.
Today, U.S. Attorney Ortiz announced that equitable sharing proceeds would be provided to the following law enforcement agencies for their assistance in the investigation:
Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney David F. Capeless, $127,261.71; Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, $153,196.91; Massachusetts State Police, Colonel Marian McGovern, $51,870.60; Hampden County District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni, $127,261.71; Springfield Police Department, Commissioner William J. Fitchet, $76,598.51; and U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Special Agent in Charge William P. Offord, $232,119.16.
U.S. Attorney Ortiz congratulated each of the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for their cooperative efforts which resulted in the elimination of a large loansharking business and the forfeiture of $768,308 in loansharking proceeds. The equitable sharing of the forfeited proceeds will enable these law enforcement agencies to continue their efforts to investigate and prosecute organized crime throughout their communities.