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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Member And Associates Of The Lucchese Crime Family Plead Guilty To Extortion Conspiracy

Member Carmine Avellino and Associates Daniel and Michael Capra Admit to Threatening Two Victims in Efforts to Collect a $100,000 Loan

On Friday, August 12, 2016, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, Carmine Avellino, a member of the Lucchese organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, pleaded guilty to an extortionate collection of credit conspiracy.  The proceeding took place before United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go.  United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly accepted the guilty plea earlier today.  Avellino’s co-defendants, Lucchese crime family associates Michael Capra and Daniel Capra pleaded guilty to the extortion conspiracy in July and August of this year.  When sentenced, the defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.     

The guilty pleas were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Timothy D. Sini, Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department.  Mr. Capers extended his grateful appreciation to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the City of New York Business Integrity Commission for their assistance with the case.

“Avellino, relying on his reputation as a member of the Lucchese crime family, and Lucchese associates Michael Capra and Daniel Capra, used intimidation and threats of violence to obtain payment from victims on an outstanding debt,” stated United States Attorney Capers.  “These convictions make clear that we hold accountable members of La Cosa Nostra and their associates who use extortion as a tool of their trade.” 

“As this case illustrates, members of La Cosa Nostra are still doing business as usual and continue to threaten victims with violence when a loan is not repaid.  The FBI, working with our law enforcement partners, stand committed to rooting out organized crime enterprises in our communities,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez. 

“We will not tolerate organized crime operating in our communities.  It has no place in a civilized society.  This case makes clear that law enforcement is committed more than ever to bringing criminals such as Carmine Avellino to justice,” stated Suffolk County Police Commissioner Sini.

According to prior court filings and facts presented during the guilty plea proceedings, between January and July 2010, the defendants conspired and attempted to collect a loan through the use of threats.   Avellino had previously loaned one of the victims $100,000.  After making the majority of the payments on the loan, the victim had difficulty repaying the remainder.  The defendants then used force and coercive means, including threats of physical violence, in an attempt to collect the outstanding loan amount.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Maria Cruz Melendez and Nadia Moore are in charge of the prosecution.


The Defendants:

Age: 72
Stony Brook, New York

Age: 58
Hauppauge, New York

Age: 52
Smithtown, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 13-CR-632 (AMD)


Violent Crime
Updated August 16, 2016