Gambino Crime Family Soldier Sentenced to 28 Months’ Imprisonment for Loansharking Conspiracy
Defendant Called Extortionate Collection of Loan to Victim “A Beautiful Thing”
Paul Semplice, a member of the Gambino organized crime family, was sentenced today to 28 months in prison by United States District Judge Pamela K. Chen at the federal court in Brooklyn for conducting a loansharking scheme in which he extended extortionate loans with annual interest rates up to 54 percent.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sentence.
“Semplice targeted victims desperate for loans and used his status as a Mafia soldier to make sure they paid the exorbitant interest rate,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “With today’s sentence, the defendant will pay for his crimes in prison.” Mr. Donoghue thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department for their investigative work on this case.
Semplice, a long-time made member of the Gambino crime family, engaged in a conspiracy with others to make extortionate extensions of credit to multiple victims. During one recorded conversation with a cooperating witness (CW), Semplice boasted that he had a “very special relationship,” “like brothers,” with a captain in the family and “answer[ed] to nobody but him.” In another recorded conversation with the CW, Semplice explained that in connection with a $200,000 loan to victim John Doe #1, he collected $9,000 interest per month, or 54 percent, and personally kept $8,000. Semplice called the arrangement “a beautiful thing.”
On November 18, 2016, during a lawfully intercepted conversation, Semplice talked about abusing victim John Doe #2. “I started abusing him, right. He was in his forties…. Once I – I had to smack him. I go, ‘What?’ Bang! I go, ‘I’ll smack you again.’ He goes, ‘Why?’ ‘Cause I shouldn’t have to come see you.’ ”
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime & Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Tanya Hajjar and Drew G. Rolle are in charge of the prosecution.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-612 (PKC)