News and Press Releases

Eight Luchese Organized Crime Family Members and Associates Indicted for Racketeering and Other Offenses

February 28, 2008

Defendants Include Longstanding Captain Domenico "Danny" Cutaia

An indictment was unsealed this morning in Brooklyn federal court charging DOMENICO CUTAIA, MICHAEL CORCIONE, JOHN BAUDANZA, SALVATORE CUTAIA, STEVEN LAPELLA, and VICTOR SPERBER with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and other crimes. In addition, LOUIS COLELLO and JOHN RODOPOLOUS are charged with extortion and illegal gambling, respectively.1 The defendants arrested earlier today in New York are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom, at the United States Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. The case has been assigned to United States Senior District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr.

The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.

As set forth in the indictment, DOMENICO CUTAIA is a captain in the Luchese organized crime family. CORCIONE, BAUDANZA, and SALVATORE CUTAIA are made members of the Luchese family and currently hold the rank of soldier. SALVATORE CUTAIA is DOMENICO CUTAIA’s son, and BAUDANZA is DOMENICO CUTAIA’s son-in-law. At various times, CORCIONE served as DOMENICO CUTAIA’s acting captain. LAPELLA, SPERBER, COLELLO, and RODOPOLOUS are Luchese family associates.

The racketeering charges identify predicate acts dating back to the 1980s, and include loansharking, extortionate collection of credit, extortion, marijuana distribution conspiracy, illegal gambling, bank fraud, and mail fraud. According to a detention memorandum filed today, the extortions included various threats of violence. For example, when an extortion victim, who at times lived in North Carolina, was unable to repay money he borrowed from DOMENICO CUTAIA, SALVATORE CUTAIA threatened the victim and his family. In a secretly recorded telephone conversation, SALVATORE CUTAIA told the victim, “You’re going to make me get on a [expletive] plane and come down to [North] Carolina and go crazy on you.” On another occasion, SALVATORE CUTAIA threatened the victim, “I’m going to come down there with ten guys . . . .”

In addition to the racketeering counts, the indictment alleges 17 substantive charges, including illegal gambling conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy, bank fraud conspiracy, and marijuana distribution conspiracy.

United States Attorney Campbell thanked the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance in the case.

If convicted, the defendants face the following maximum terms of imprisonment: DOMENICO CUTAIA, BAUDANZA, and SPERBER, 30 years; COLELLO, 20 years; SALVATORE CUTAIA and CORCIONE, 20 years; LAPELLA, 20 years; and RODOPOLOUS, five years. In addition, the indictment seeks forfeiture of the proceeds of the racketeering activity, including the house in which BAUDANZA resides.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey Goldberg and Paul Tuchmann, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Dennis Ring, from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

The Defendants:

DOMENICO CUTAIA, also known as “Danny,”
Age: 71

MICHAEL CORCIONE, also known as “Mikey Bones,”
Age: 67

Age: 38

Age: 48

Age: 45

Age: 57

Age: 64

Age: 46




1 The charges announced today are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.