New York, NY - March 20, 2014 - Earlier today, Thomas Gioeli, who at the time of his arrest was the street boss of the Colombo organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the Colombo family), was sentenced to 224 months in prison at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. In May 2012, a jury convicted Gioeli of racketeering conspiracy spanning nearly two decades, including three murder conspiracies as predicate racketeering acts. (Gioeli’s co-defendant, Colombo family soldier Dino Saracino, was also convicted at trial of racketeering conspiracy, loansharking, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Saracino is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3, 2014.)
The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office.
“Thomas Gioeli rose to power in the Colombo family by cultivating a lethal crew of criminals loyal to him and the mafia’s twisted code of honor,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Today’s sentence signifies the end of Gioeli’s criminal reign and also sends an important message to members and associates of organized crime. We will never stop investigating and prosecuting the violent crimes they commit, no matter how long ago they occurred, and we will hold them accountable, regardless of how long they have avoided justice.” Ms. Lynch praised the FBI and the New York City Police Department for their partnership in the government’s investigation and prosecution and also thanked the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, the New York County District Attorney’s Office, and the Nassau County Police Department for their assistance.
The evidence at trial established Gioeli’s involvement in a racketeering conspiracy that spanned from 1991 through 2008. The jury found that Gioeli participated in murder conspiracies that culminated in the June 12, 1991 murder of Frank Marasa and the March 25, 1992 murder of John Minerva, who was killed as part of the bloody Colombo family war that pitted two factions of the crime family against each other in a violent struggle for control of the enterprise. Also in connection with the Colombo family war, the jury found that Gioeli conspired to kill rival Orena faction members between 1991 and 1993.
Today’s sentencing marks the culmination of a lengthy investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. Since Gioeli’s arrest in June 2008, over 70 members and associates of the Colombo family, including its leadership, have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted.
The sentencing proceeding was held before the Honorable Brian M. Cogan, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York. During the sentencing proceeding, Judge Cogan found that, in addition to the crimes found proved by the trial jury, the government had proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Gioeli had participated in the 1995 murder of Richard Greaves, a Colombo family associate, and the 1999 murder of Colombo family underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo, and that Gioeli had a leadership position in the Colombo family. In addition, Judge Cogan entered orders of forfeiture and restitution against Gioeli, each in the amount of $360,000.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth A. Geddes, James D. Gatta, and Cristina M. Posa.
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