Architect of Stamford Jewelry Store Robbery that Resulted in Owner’s Murder Sentenced to 32 Years in Federal Prison
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that THOMAS LIBERATORE, 66, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 384 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for offenses stemming from the robbery of Marco Jewelers in Stamford in March 2020. During the robbery, the owner of Marco Jewelers was shot and killed.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 28, 2020, at approximately 2:48 p.m., Stamford Police Officers responded to Marco Jewelers, located at 16 Sixth Street in Stamford. When officers arrived, they found evidence of a robbery and encountered the storeowner, Mark Vuono, lying on the ground in front of an open safe. Emergency medical personnel arrived and pronounced Vuono deceased.
Investigators collected and analyzed surveillance video from Marco Jewelers, surrounding businesses and Stamford city cameras. Video obtained from Marco Jewelers revealed that, on March 28, 2020, Paul Prosano drove Robert Rallo and Liberatore in a black Jaguar to Marco Jewelers. Rallo and Liberatore then entered the store. Rallo, armed with a handgun, engaged in a physical altercation with Vuono, while Liberatore stole items from the display cases. Vuono, who also possessed a firearm, and Rallo struggled next to a large open safe. During the more than three-minute struggle, Rallo reached into the safe and pulled out a third firearm, a .357 Magnum revolver. Rallo subsequently shot and killed Vuono with the .357 revolver.
Between $360,000 and $430,000 worth of jewelry was stolen during the robbery.
Following the robbery, law enforcement located the black Jaguar in Staten Island and maintained surveillance on the vehicle. On March 31, 2020, at approximately 5:30 p.m., a black BMW X3, driven by Prosano, pulled up beside the black Jaguar. Rallo exited the rear door of the BMW and entered the driver’s door of a black Jaguar. The two vehicles then left the area and rapidly accelerated. The Jaguar crashed on Tompkins Street. Rallo attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly apprehended. The BMW crashed into a tree and parked car at the intersection of Daniel Low Terrace and Corson Avenue. Prosano also attempted to flee and was apprehended.
A search of the BMW revealed 63 rings, eight bracelets, two tie pins, an earring and a cufflink, and a search of Prosano’s residence revealed 23 pairs of earrings and three rings. These items were stolen from Marco Jewelers.
Liberatore has been detained since his arrest on April 1, 2020. On December 19, 2022, a jury found Liberatore and Prosano guilty of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery) and interstate transportation of stolen property. Liberatore was also found guilty of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm to cause a death during a robbery. The trial evidence established that Liberatore, who formerly resided in Stamford, orchestrated the robbery of Marco Jewelers.
Liberatore has a lengthy criminal history, and he served a total of approximately 30 years in prison prior to the Marco Jewelers and the murder of Mark Vuono. He met Rallo and Prosano while incarcerated within the New York State Department of Corrections.
On April 5, 2022, Rallo pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery, interstate transportation of stolen property, and using a firearm to cause a death during a robbery. On March 1, 2023, he was sentenced to 40 years of imprisonment.
On July 5, 2023, Prosano was sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Stamford Police Department and Greenwich Police Department, with the assistance of the New York Police Department, Yonkers (N.Y.) Police Department and New Rochelle (N.Y.) Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis, Rahul Kale and Margaret Donovan.
Updated December 19, 2023