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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Member Of The Genovese Crime Family Charged In Superseding Indictment With Destruction Of Evidence And Obstruction Of Justice

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the filing of a Superseding Indictment against JOHN TORTORA JR. a/k/a “Johnny T,” charging him with destruction of evidence, falsifying records, and obstruction of justice.  TORTORA was previously indicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, and murder for hire in United States v. Tortora, 18 Cr. 537 (SHS).  He was arrested on August 2, 2018, and has remained in custody since that time. TORTORA will be arraigned on the new charges on November 19, 2018 before the Honorable Sidney H. Stein at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said:  “As alleged in the Superseding Indictment, in an attempt to hide his illegal racketeering activity, the defendant was willing to destroy evidence and obstruct justice.  Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the FBI and the Yonkers Police Department, the defendant’s alleged attempts to impede the criminal justice process have  resulted in his being charged with additional federal crimes.”

The charges in the Superseding Indictment[1] arise from TORTORA’s alleged role in destroying video recording evidence, and in the subsequent creation of a letter containing false information about the destruction of that evidence, which was provided to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  As alleged in the Superseding Indictment, these acts were undertaken with the intent to impede the investigation into the racketeering activities of the Genovese Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra. 

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In addition to the previous charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, and murder for hire, TORTORA, 61, of Yonkers, New York, is charged with destruction of evidence, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, falsifying records, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and obstruction of justice, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the Yonkers Police Department, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Fender and Anden Chow are in charge of the prosecution.  The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.

The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Superseding Indictment and the description of the Superseding Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Updated December 10, 2018