Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Genovese Family Captains NICHOLAS CALISI and RALPH BALSAMO, Genovese Family Soldiers MICHAEL MESSINA and JOHN CAMPANELLA, and Genovese Family Associates MICHAEL POLI and THOMAS POLI were sentenced by U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl following their earlier guilty pleas to racketeering conspiracy.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “La Cosa Nostra and its various Families are criminal organizations that prey on the public. These sentences demonstrate that those who seek to enrich themselves through allegiance to such organizations will face not only jail time but also real financial consequences.”
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.
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CALISI, 64, of Boca Raton, Florida, was sentenced principally to two years in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $40,000.
BALSAMO, 52, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced principally to 34 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $20,000.
MESSINA, 70, of New Fairfield, Connecticut, was sentenced principally to 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $200,000.
CAMPANELLA, 48, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced principally to 13 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $40,000.
MICHAEL POLI, 38, of Hawthorne, New York, was sentenced principally to 31 months in prison, three years of supervised release, ordered to forfeit $175,000, and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.
THOMAS POLI, 65, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced principally to 22 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $200,000.
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 prosecution of this 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.