Two mob associates on Wednesday admitted to federal charges alleging they shook down businesses in Springfield with threats of violence, authorities said.
Francesco Depergola, 61, of Springfield, and Gerald Daniele, 52, of Longmeadow, both associates of the Genovese La Cosa Nostra crime family, entered their pleas in US District Court in Worcester, according to Acting US Attorney William D. Weinreb’s office.
The men and their co-defendants “engaged in various criminal activities in Springfield, Mass., including loansharking and extortion from legitimate and illegitimate businesses, such as illegal gambling businesses and the collection of unlawful debts,” Weinreb’s office said in a statement.
Some threats were downright chilling.
Depergola, for instance, admitted that he and three other co-defendants targeted a Springfield businessman in 2013, with one conspirator assaulting the victim and threatening “to cut off his head and bury his body” if he didn’t pay up, the release said.
The victim forked over $20,000 over a four-month period, according to prosecutors.
Daniele told the court that he extended “two extortionate and usurious loans to an individual” and, along with other mob associates, threatened that victim if he failed to pay back the debt, according to authorities.
Depergola and Daniele are both scheduled to be sentenced in January.
Daniele pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of using extortionate means to collect an extension of credit, and Depergola admitted to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence and one count of interference with commerce by threats or violence, the release said.
Each charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.
The forecasting industry gets it right a lot, but in the face of ever-changing conditions, sometimes even the professionals get it wrong.Continue reading »
The fourth storm of the month, dubbed the “four’easter,” continued to weaken overnight, decreasing snowfall estimates across the state and making way for a warmer Thursday.Continue reading »
As yet another nor’easter brought the promise of snow and wind to the region, some schools announced closures for Thursday.Continue reading »
The new driver’s licenses, known as Real ID, require drivers to show more documents to prove US citizenship or lawful presence in the country, as well as Massachusetts residency.Continue reading »
“There is no need for any citizen in the city of Boston to be carrying high powered weapons of this kind,” police Commissioner William Evans said.Continue reading »
“Our dad loved the children of all ages who remembered being on his show and was always grateful for their kind words,” Avruch’s family said in a statement to WCVB.Continue reading »
The scandals speak to an organization suffering from a breakdown of professional culture and accountability, police and legal specialists say.Continue reading »
Thirty-nine percent who became mothers strongly considered leaving their training programs, according to the survey by a Brigham and Women’s researcher.Continue reading »
The president took a rolling tragedy in this country, one that killed 64,000 people last year, and bent it to his hateful world view.Continue reading »