Longtime Associate of the New England La Cosa Nostra Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Extortion and Racketeering Conspiracy
WASHINGTON – Thomas Iafrate, 70, of Johnston, R.I., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., to 30 months in prison for participating in an extortion and racketeering conspiracy involving “protection” payments from several Rhode Island businesses, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha for the District of Rhode Island.
Iafrate also was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William E. Smith to three years of supervised release. Iafrate pleaded guilty on July 21, 2011, to one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. Iafrate admitted to the court that he was an associate of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN).
According to information presented in court, Iafrate was an associate of the NELCN enterprise while working as a longtime bookkeeper for various Providence adult entertainment businesses, including the Satin Doll, Cadillac Lounge and Northeast Sales. Iafrate participated in the racketeering conspiracy by setting aside and by delivering extortion payments to members of the NELCN, including co-defendant Luigi Manocchio, on behalf of the owners. All three businesses were owned by the same people.
Four alleged members and associates of the NELCN, including an alleged former boss, were charged with crimes involving racketeering, extortion and related crimes in a superseding indictment unsealed in Providence on March 1, 2011. Iafrate was initially charged in an indictment unsealed in January 2011 as part of a coordinated nationwide takedown of organized crime figures. At that time, 91 leaders, members and associates of seven organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra were charged with federal crimes in four judicial districts, including Rhode Island.
The superseding indictment charged longtime NELCN boss Luigi Manocchio, aka “Louie,” “Baby Shacks,” “the Professor” and “the Old Man,” and Iafrate with racketeering conspiracy, extortion conspiracy and extortion. Richard Bonafiglia and Theodore Cardillo also are charged with racketeering conspiracy and extortion conspiracy. A second superseding indictment returned on Sept. 22, 2011, charged Edward Lato, aka “Eddy”; Alfred Scivola, aka “Chippy”; Raymond R. Jenkins, aka “Scarface”; and Albino Folcarelli aka “Albie” related to their alleged participation in the NELCN. An indictment is merely an allegation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Manocchio, Bonafiglia, Lato, Scivola, Jenkins and Folcarelli are detained while awaiting trial. Cardillo is free on bond while awaiting trial.
The cases against the eight defendants are being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sam Nazzaro of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland of the District of Rhode Island.
The matter was investigated by the District of Rhode Island’s Organized Crime Task Force, which includes law enforcement agents from the FBI, Rhode Island State Police, the Providence Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Division.