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Former NYPD Members Involved in Illegal Betting and Loan Sharking Enterprise on Staten Island; 15 others Apprehended: DA Announced

Former NYPD Members Involved in Illegal Betting and Loan Sharking Enterprise on Staten Island; 15 others Apprehended: DA Announced

Seventeen individuals have been apprehended for their involvement in a flourishing network of illicit gambling and loansharking on Staten Island, which was under the influence of the infamous Gambino crime family.

An 84-count indictment has shed light on the operations of a secretive organization that generated an astonishing $22.7 million through illegal gambling, while also distributing $500,000 in exploitative loans.

Leading the operation were reputed members of the Gambino crime family, including John LaForte, Anthony Cinque, and John Matera, along with a group of associates.

Officials have announced that the accused individuals are facing charges such as enterprise corruption, promoting gambling, criminal usury, and conspiracy.

“Illegal gambling and loan sharking schemes have long been part of the mob’s repertoire,” stated Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday.

Frederick Falcone Sr. and Edward LaForte, both former members of the NYPD, played crucial roles in a loansharking operation. They kept detailed records of the victims and the overwhelming debts they accumulated.

Meanwhile, LaForte had a crucial role in overseeing the extensive illegal sports gambling operation, using an offshore website to handle bets.

Over 70 bettors were reportedly involved in the operation, with the accused individuals allegedly sharing the proceeds.

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Amy McLaughlin, who identifies as LaForte’s common-law wife, has also been accused of playing a role in the gambling ring. She allegedly kept records of the weekly gambling figures and handled the collection and distribution of proceeds.

According to James, these criminal enterprises have managed to extract large sums of money from New Yorkers, leaving many individuals burdened with significant levels of debt.

Authorities worked together to dismantle the alleged operation of the syndicate, utilizing wiretaps, covert surveillance, and offshore gambling site warrants.

Officials claimed that members would convene to discuss the operation at Eltingville Shopping Center and the Greenridge Shopping Center.

The notorious Gambino crime family is a part of the “Five Families” and is renowned for their involvement in racketeering, gambling, and loansharking.

An extensive three-hour debate took place as a large group of defense attorneys presented their arguments, according to the publication.

Defense attorneys stated that they had prior knowledge of the charges for the past year, following the execution of warrants in May 2023.

The case has been rescheduled for August 13th.

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