PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The former New England Mafia boss was sentenced Friday to 5½ years in prison for his role in the shakedown of Providence strip clubs, becoming the first ex-mob leader to be locked up in a case that has ensnared nine people described by prosecutors as having ties to organized crime.
The sentence for the 84-year-old Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio means he may live out his final days in prison. He turns 85 next month.
Manocchio’s role in the extortion plot went back to about 1992 and netted $800,000 to $1.5 million in ill-gotten gains through protection payments paid by strip clubs, including the Satin Doll and Cadillac Lounge, according to prosecutors. Manocchio maintained at his sentencing that he never personally threatened anybody.
Last month, authorities arrested reputed acting New England mob boss Anthony L. DiNunzio, 53, on charges connected to the same plot. DiNunzio, who lives in the East Boston section of Boston, has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
Edward “Eddy” Lato, 65, the captain of the mob’s Rhode Island crew, and mob member Alfred “Chippy” Scivola, 71, have also pleaded guilty to charges in connection to the scheme. They await sentencing.
The payments were set aside for the Mafia by Thomas Iafrate, 71, a former bookkeeper at the Cadillac Lounge, prosecutors said. Iafrate is serving a 2½ -year prison sentence for racketeering conspiracy. The monthly payments ranged from $2,000 to $6,000, the indictment said.
Manocchio started overseeing the collection of the protection payments in 1995 after another member of the Mafia was imprisoned, prosecutors said. Manocchio resigned his position as crime boss in 2009 but remained a member of the organization, according to authorities.
Another man, Raymond “Scarface” Jenkins, 48, was sentenced Friday to 3 years and 1 month in prison for his role in a plot hatched by the mob to shake down a used-car salesman for $25,000. He pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy.
Prosecutors say the used-car salesman, who owed a debt to a third party, approached Jenkins about the situation and asked for help.
Jenkins agreed to intervene, but the salesman later said he could not come up with the money he once thought he could get, prosecutors said.
An admitted mob associate, 54-year-old Albino Folcarelli, went to the Johnston dealership where the salesman worked to intimidate him, according to prosecutors. The man was not there at the time of the visit and two people called to warn him to stay away from work, prosecutors said. Later, Folcarelli drove into the driveway of the salesman’s home, prosecutors said.
After that, the man paid $20,000 to Jenkins, and $5,000 to a different person, prosecutors said. The funds, prosecutors say, were withdrawn from a retirement account belonging to the salesman’s wife.
Folcarelli has pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.