Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mafia Justice

This week I have three stories and three different takes on justice.  

The first one is takes us to Rhode Island where the former boss of the New England family, Frank Salemme, is facing charges for allegedly murdering Steven DiSarro, a nightclub manager, in 1993. DiSarro ran a Boston nightclub for Salemme and his son.  Frank and his son were worried that DiSarro would talk to the Feds.  They also believed he was stealing money from the club.  So Frank Salemme Jr. strangled him while Paul Weadick held his legs.  Salemme's son is dead now.  Paul Wedick and Salemme are facing charges of murdering a federal witness, which can carry the death penalty.  A former capo, Robert Deluca, and Steve Flemmi, a former partner of Whitey Bulger, both agreed to testify against the two men.  You have Robert Deluca telling the Feds that he told Salemme to get rid of him, only now coming forward after many years in the witness protection program. Steve Flemmi is also cooperating after being charged with murdering a lot of people.  

The next case is Colombo capo Luca Dimatteo.  His doctors claim he will be dead within the year due to cancer.  DiMatteo was charged with running an offshore bookmaking operation and shylocking.  He collected money from loans on a weekly basis once when he finished up his chemotherapy.  In 2004 he received a 57 month sentence for racketeering and went right back to the life within months of his release.  This time, Judge Leo Glasser did not want to hear about how sick he was.  DiMatteo was asking for home confinement, but the Judge gave him 33 months in prison.  The Judge told him, “You’ve done this to yourself.”

The third case brings us to New Jersey, where lawyer Cory Leshner helped Nicodemo Scarfo Jr. and other Lucchese family members loot a Texas mortgage company.  The lawyer helped them take over Firstplus Financial Group and steal 14 million dollars, which they then used to buy homes, yachts and a plane.  Before the case went to trial, Leshner agreed to cooperate and he testified against those he helped.  He agreed to a five year plea deal and admitted they stole millions.

Retired FBI Agent Joe Gilson testified last week at Lehshner’s sentencing hearing.  He told the court of a phone call he got from Leshner in the summer. Leshner told him he just wanted to call and thank him for saving his life. The Judge at the sentencing hearing gave him three years instead of five and three years of supervised release.  

The Judge has never lowered a sentence before, but he felt Leshner went above and beyond with his testimony and he had truly changed his life around. Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., on the other hand, was handed a 30 year sentence for his part in the fraud.

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