Wednesday, October 29, 2003

REPUTED GAMBINO CRIME FAMILY CAPO SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR ROLE IN $30 MILLION-A-YEAR CRIMINAL GAMBLING ENTERPRISE; MUST SERVE INDETERMINATE TERM OF UP TO THREE YEARS

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that reputed Gambino crime family capo Ronald Trucchio has been sentenced to a prison term of up to three years for taking part in an illicit $30 million a year gambling enterprise operated out of two locations in Ozone Park, Queens.

District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant mistakenly thought that he could beat the law by running an illegal sports betting ring in Queens County but he lost his gamble and now must go to prison. Our investigation determined that the ring was accepting over $600,000 a week in illegal wagers on college and professional basketball and football and professional baseball and hockey and handling over $30 million a year in gambling action. Illegal gambling is thought by some to be a victimless crime. But it is not -- its proceeds are used by organized crime to fund its other criminal activities including auto insurance fraud, labor racketeering and prostitution.”

Trucchio pled guilty in April 2003 to Attempted Enterprise Corruption –- a violation of New York State’s Organized Crime Control Act -- before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter who imposed today’s sentence of an indeterminate term of one to three years in prison.

The defendant’s son, Alphonse Trucchio, a reputed Gambino soldier and bookmaker in the criminal enterprise, and an associate, Anthony Moscatiello, who conducted the operation’s day-to-day business and maintained bettors’ account information, both pled guilty last April to Enterprise Corruption. Alphonse Trucchio was sentenced of a term of one and one-half to four and one-half years in prison and Anthony Moscatiello to a term of one to three years in prison. Additional defendants have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from six months to three years.

District Attorney Brown said that the investigation leading to the arrest of Ronald and Alphonse Trucchio along with 15 others began in April 2002 based upon information developed by detectives of the New York City Police Department’s Organized Crime Investigations Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit.

According to the District Attorney, Ronald Trucchio, 51, of 135-43 120th Street in South Ozone Park was the operation’s leader with ultimate control over the criminal enterprise and his son, Alphonse Trucchio, 25, of 156-04 79th Street in Howard Beach was the operation’s bookmaker and head of operations who oversaw all aspects of the operation and supervised the operation’s controller, Anthony Moscatiello, 32, of 106-65 97th Street in Ozone Park who conducted the operation’s day-to-day business, maintained bettors’ account information and provided that information to Alphonse Trucchio.

According to District Attorney Brown, the Trucchio gambling enterprise consisted of “runners” who provided bettors with telephone numbers and access codes for the operation’s two wirerooms and who met weekly with bettors to settle their accounts and “clerks” who answered phones at the wirerooms, recorded wagers called in by bettors and recorded those wagers on tally sheets for Moscatiello who then transcribed the wagers onto a controller sheet.

District Attorney Brown said that the largest wager placed by bettors during the investigation was a $15,000 wager on November 10, 2002 on the Washington Redskins football team in a game played on that day.

The Trucchio organization operated two separate wirerooms, first in the basement of an attached, one-family house at 149-29 122nd Street and thereafter in a third-floor apartment at 89-07 North Conduit Avenue, both in Ozone Park.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Louis Wirth of the NYPD Asset Forfeiture Unit under the supervision of Lieutenant Steven Dato and Detective William Dwyer of NYPD Organized Crime Investigation Division under the supervision Lieutenant Brian Vertworth.

District Attorney Brown expressed his appreciation to Investigator Paul Polito of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and Detective John Carillo of the Analysis and Intelligence Division of the NYPD Organized Crime Investigation Division for their assistance in the investigation.

Assistant District Attorneys Peri A. Kadanoff and Daniel I. Schlachet of the District Attorney Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau assisted in the investigation and prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gerard A. Brave, Chief, and Marc P. Resnick, Deputy Chief. Assistant District Attorney David S. Zadnoff of the Civil Enforcement Bureau is handling the civil recovery action under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Anthony M. Communiello, Chief, and Oscar W. Ruiz, Deputy Chief. Both the criminal prosecution and the civil litigation are under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Assistant District Attorney Linda M. Cantoni, Counsel to the Investigations Division.