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Press Release

Six Genovese Organized Crime Family Defendants Plead Guilty To Racketeering

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

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the guilty pleas of four members and two associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family to racketeering conspiracy.  Genovese Family associate THOMAS POLI pled guilty before United States District Judge John G. Koeltl on September 29, 2022, and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Koeltl on April 13, 2023.  Genovese Family Captain NICHOLAS CALISI, Solider JOHN CAMPANELLA, and associate MICHAEL POLI pled guilty before Judge Koeltl on February 8, 2023, and are scheduled to be sentenced by him on June 27, 2023.  Genovese Family Captain RALPH BALSAMO and Soldier MICHAEL MESSINA pled guilty before Judge Koeltl earlier today and are scheduled to be sentenced by him on June 28, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “We remain committed to protecting the people of the Southern District of New York from being preyed on by organized crime.  Today’s pleas demonstrate that those who swear a lifetime allegiance to criminal organizations will be prosecuted, no matter their efforts to insulate themselves.”

According to the Superseding Indictment, the defendants’ statements when pleading guilty, and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

The Genovese Organized Crime Family is part of a nationwide criminal organization known by various names, including “La Cosa Nostra” (“LCN”) and the “Mafia,” which operates through entities known as “Families.”

Like other LCN Families, the Genovese Organized Crime Family operates through groups of individuals known as “crews.”  Each “crew” has as its leader a person known as a “Captain” and consists of “made” members, known as “Soldiers.”  Soldiers are aided in their criminal endeavors by other trusted individuals, known as “associates,” who sometimes are referred to as “connected” or identified as “with” a Soldier or other member of the Family.  Associates participate in the various activities of the crew and its members.  In order for an associate to become a made member of the Family, the associate typically needs to demonstrate the ability to generate income for the Family and/or that the associate is capable of committing acts of violence.

A Captain is responsible for supervising the criminal activities of his crew, resolving disputes between and among members of the Family, resolving disputes between members of the Family and members of other Families and other criminal organizations, and providing Soldiers and associates with support and protection.  In return, the Captain typically receives a share of the illegal earnings of each of his crew’s Soldiers and associates.

At times relevant to the charges in the Superseding Indictment, NICHOLAS CALISI and RALPH BALSAMO were Captains in the Genovese Family, MICHAEL MESSINA and JOHN CAMPANELLA were Soldiers in the Genovese Family, and MICHAEL POLI and THOMAS POLI were associates of the Genovese Family.

Members of the Genovese Family, including CALISI, BALSAMO, MESSINA, and CAMPANELLA, and associates MICHAEL POLI and THOMAS POLI, engaged in extortionate extensions of credit, financing extortionate extensions of credit, collecting extensions of credit by extortion, extortion, operating illegal gambling businesses, and the transmission of gambling information.

*                *                *

A chart containing the ages, residency information, and the charges to which the defendants pled guilty, as well as the maximum penalties they face, is attached.  

The maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Office of the New York Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its assistance in this investigation.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Celia V. Cohen, Rushmi Bhaskaran, and Justin Rodriguez, as well as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Murray, are in charge of the prosecution. 



City Of Residence


Max Penalties



New Fairfield, CT

Racketeering conspiracy

20 years



Boca Raton, FL

Racketeering conspiracy

20 years



Bronx, NY

Racketeering conspiracy

20 years



Bronx, NY

Racketeering conspiracy

20 years



Hawthorne, NY

Racketeering conspiracy

20 years



Bronx, NY

Racketeering conspiracy

20 years


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated February 9, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-051