Mob Capo Guilty In Illegal Betting Ring
Operation Took $10M In Sports Wagers
A reputed Gambino organized crime family captain has admitted to operating a highly sophisticated illegal gambling enterprise in Queens County and elsewhere that booked nearly $10 million in wagers over a twoyear period on professional and college sporting events, it was announced.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that Nicholas "Little Nicky" Corozzo, 68, a Gambino family "capo" from Legion Street in Bellmore, L.I., entered a guilty plea to the top count in a 29- count indictment—enterprise corruption—during an appearance in Queens Criminal Court last Wednesday, July 30.
Corozzo and 25 other reputed members of the Gambino crime family were indicted in February for allegedly promoting illegal sports betting in Queens and elsewhere and operating traditional gambling wire rooms located in Woodhaven and computerized wire rooms in Costa Rica.
"As a result of this prosecution, we have closed down a highly lucrative gambling operation that benefitted the Gambino crime family to the tune of millions of dollars each year," Brown said in a press release. "Illegal gambling has always been the bread and butter moneymaker for organized crime because of the huge profits that it generates which can then be used to fund other more insidious forms of criminal activity, such as labor racketeering, drug trafficking, prostitution, auto theft, insurance fraud and loan sharking. This case sends a clear signal to all who involve themselves in illegal gambling that law enforcement will keep up the pressure and not allow them to operate."
District Attorney Brown noted that Corozzo was also named in a federal indictment also unsealed in February which charged him and 61 other reputed crime family members with racketeering, conspiracy, extortion, loan sharking and embezzlement.
Specifically, Corozzo is charged in connection with the January 1996 double murder of an organized crime family associate and his friend in connection with a drug-related homicide. That case is presently pending.
According to the district attorney, Corozzo remained a fugitive from justice for approximately four months until his surrender to federal authorities on May 29, after his story was featured earlier in the month on the television show, America's Most Wanted. Since his surrender, he has been held in federal custody without bail.
Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron, who heard Nicholas Corozzo's guilty plea last Wednesday, set bail at $1 million and indicated that the defendant would likely be sentenced to a period of up to five to 15 years in prison. The next court date is Dec. 1.
Corozzo was returned to federal authorities following his appearance last Wednesday in state court.
Other reputed Gambino soldiers and associates who have also pleaded guilty in the state gambling case include reputed soldiers Blaise Corozzo (Nicholas Corozzo's brother) and Louis Scida, and reputed associates Todd Segarra, Neil Allstatt, and Frank Mancini, all of whom have pleaded guilty to the crime of enterprise corruption.
Altstatt and Scida are expected to be sentenced to one and one-third years to four years in prison and Segarra, Mancini and Blaise Corozzo are expected to be sentenced to one to three years in prison.
Reputed soldier Michael Scarola pleaded guilty to firstdegree promoting gambling and is expected to be sentenced to two to four years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Benjamin J. Mantell, of the District Attorney's Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gerard A. Brave, bureau chief, and Marc P. Resnick, deputy bureau chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
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