Home Law Loansharking pleas in Mob waste-hauling case

Loansharking pleas in Mob waste-hauling case

Two senior citizens and alleged Mafia members from Westchester and Putnam counties face up to 20 years in federal prison and $250,000 fines  after pleading guilty to loansharking in connection with an alleged scheme by three organized crime families to control commercial waste-hauling businesses in the metropolitan area.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced Wednesday in Manhattan that Dominick Pietranico, 82, of Mahopac, and Joseph Sarcinella, 79, of Scarsdale, each pleaded guilty to one charge of making an extortionate extension of credit. A third defendant, 60-year-old William Cali of Queens, pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit extortion in the same scheme to control waste-hauling in Westchester, Rockland and Nassau counties and metropolitan New Jersey.

Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in January announced the indictment of 32 defendants charged with various crimes that include extortion, loansharking, mail and wire fraud, and stolen property offenses. Two other defendants have entered guilty pleas in the case.

Prosecutors said Pietranico and Sarcinella are soldiers in the Genovese crime family who provided protection and “backing” to the operator of a waste disposal company who was the government’s cooperating witness in the investigation. The defendants loaned the witness money at an annual interest rate of more than 100 percent, the indictment charged.

Cali, a Genovese crime family associate, admitted collecting regular protection payments that the cooperating witness made under the threat of harm.

The men are scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.


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