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Press Release

Five Members and Associates of the Genovese Crime Family Plead Guilty to Various Felony Charges, Including Illegal Gambling

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Salvatore Rubino, also known as “Sal the Shoemaker,” an associate of the Genovese organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, pleaded guilty to operating an illegal gambling business associated with the crime family.  Previously, on April 5, 2024, four co-defendant members and associates of the Genovese crime family pleaded guilty to various felony charges stemming from their long-running operation of several lucrative gambling operations in the Eastern District of New York.  Carmelo “Carmine” Polito, a former acting captain and a soldier within the Genovese crime family, pleaded guilty to racketeering involving the operation of an illegal gambling business and an attempted extortion.  Joseph Macario, also known as “Joe Fish,” a soldier within the Genovese crime family, also pleaded guilty to racketeering.  Joseph Rutigliano, also known as “Joe Box,” and Mark Feuer, associates of the Genovese crime family, pleaded guilty to felony charges relating to the operation of various illegal gambling businesses also associated with the crime family. The proceedings were held before United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Anne T. Donnelly, District Attorney, Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, announced the guilty pleas.

“With their guilty pleas, these five members and associates of the Genovese crime family have admitted they committed crimes to benefit a criminal enterprise notorious for inflicting harm on our communities for generations,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “As long as the Mafia doesn’t get it that illegal gambling is a losing proposition, they can bet on this Office and our partners vigorously enforcing the law and flushing them out of the shadows, as in this case, where they operated secretly in a coffee bar and a shoe repair shop.”

Mr. Peace expressed his appreciation to the New York City Police Department and the Nassau County Police Department for their invaluable assistance in the investigation.

“These Mafia figures operated surreptitiously in back rooms of restaurants and retail locations in suburban Long Island, running underground gambling parlors and kicking up the profits to the Genovese crime family,” said Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly. “For decades, organized crime families have steered violence and other illicit activities in our communities. With our partners at the EDNY, FBI, and the Nassau County Police Department, we are doubling down on driving out these illegal gambling operations.”

As detailed in earlier court filings and in facts presented at the guilty plea hearings, members of the Genovese and Bonanno organized crime families operated several illegal gambling operations in the Eastern District of New York.  Beginning in at least May 2012, the Genovese and Bonanno families jointly operated a lucrative illegal gambling operation in Lynbrook, New York called the Gran Caffe.  The profits earned through the Gran Caffe and other illegal gambling locations generated substantial revenue, which was then “kicked up” to the crime families’ leaders.  Rutigliano and Rubino collected the proceeds for the Genovese crime family and distributed them up to higher-ranking members, including Polito and Macario. In addition to the Gran Caffe, the Genovese crime family—through Polito, Macario, Rutigliano, Rubino and others—operated illegal gambling parlors at establishments called Sal’s Shoe Repair and the Centro Calcio Italiano Club. 

Carmelo Polito, a former acting captain in the Genovese crime family, also operated an illegal online gambling scheme in which bets were placed on sporting events through a website called “PGWLines.”  In connection with his operation of PGWLines, Polito attempted to extort an individual who lost several thousand dollars in bets he placed through the website.  For example, in an October 2019 call concerning a delinquent debtor whose “face” Polito had previously threatened to “break,” Polito instructed another individual to relay a new message to the debtor: “Tell him I’m going to put him under the f------g bridge.”

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Tanya Hajjar, Drew Rolle, Anna Karamigios and Sean Sherman are in charge of the prosecution. 

The Defendants:

JOSEPH MACARIO (also known as “Joe Fish”)
Age:  69
West Islip
, New York

CARMELO POLITO (also known as “Carmine Polito”)
Age:  64
, New York

SALVATORE RUBINO (also known as “Sal the Shoemaker”)
Age:  60
, New York

JOSEPH RUTIGLIANO (also known as “Joe Box”)
Age:  65
, New York

Age:  61
, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-356 (ENV)


John Marzulli                                         
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated April 16, 2024

Violent Crime