Federal organized crime prosecutors Thursday charged five Boston-area men with running an illegal gambling ring, and some of the men are also charged with loansharking from gambling customers and using extortion to collect payments.
Joseph Yerardi, 62, of Newton, Anthony Corso, 51, of Cambridge, Michael Burke, 45, of Winthrop, Robert Conway, 27, of Lynnfield, and Michael Habicht, 59, of Boston were all accused of running the ring from March 2015 through April 2016, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office said in a statement Thursday.
Yerardi and Corso also face three counts of conspiracy to make and making extortionate extensions of credit.
Yerardi, Corso, Burke, and Conway were indicted on charges of conspiring to collect and collecting extensions of credit by extortionate means from six debtors, Ortiz’s office said.
Yerardi, Habicht and Corso have all served time following federal convictions, according to the federal records.
The charges grew out of an investigation led by prosecutors in Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit along with the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and state and local law enforcement, officials said.
The men are scheduled to appear in US District Court in Boston Thursday.