TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Six members of the Lucchese crime family, including a top New Jersey capo and a ruling boss in New York, have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an investigation of an international gambling enterprise, the New Jersey attorney general said Thursday.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Six members of the Lucchese crime family, including a top New Jersey capo and a ruling boss in New York, have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an investigation of an international gambling enterprise, the New Jersey attorney general said Thursday.
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said the six pleaded guilty Wednesday to racketeering charges. They were charged in 2007 after investigators targeted an international criminal gambling enterprise that allegedly handled more than $2 billion in wagers over a 15-month period, mainly on sporting events.
Hoffman said the investigation "revealed that traditional organized crime remains a corrosive presence in the U.S. and continues to reap huge profits through criminal enterprises such as the international gambling operation."
Among those to plead guilty was 80-year-old Matthew Madonna of Selden, New York, who faces up to five years in prison. Authorities said Madonna is a member of the three-man panel that rules the family.
Also pleading guilty was 69-year-old Ralph Perna of East Hanover, who is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison under terms of a plea agreement. Authorities said he leads the family's New Jersey operations.
The others were Joseph Perna, 45, of Wyckoff and John Perna, 38, of West Caldwell, both sons of Ralph Perna; alleged former Lucchese underboss Martin Taccetta, 64, who is currently in prison on other charges, and John Mangrella, 72, of Clifton.
Taccetta was convicted of racketeering and extortion in connection with a golf club beating death in the 1980s. In the current case, he was accused of extorting money from a labor union over a construction project at a BMW dealership in Morristown after he was released from jail and given a new trial in the golf club killing. Taccetta pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering and faces a recommended prison sentence of eight years.