|Joseph Salvatore "Skinny Joey" Merlino||A sprawling indictment was filed by federal prosecutors against 46 alleged members in a massive East Coast bust. Charging the men with a smorgasbord of crimes like gambling, loansharking, extortion, arson, gun- and cigarette-running, and conspiracy to commit assault, the feds are also alleging white-collar offenses like health care fraud, credit card fraud and extortionate extensions of credit.|
Members of the Gambino, Bonanno, Luchese, and Genovese crime families from New York, along with a crew allegedly led by Joseph "Joey" Merlino in Philadelphia, were collectively labeled "the East Coast LCN [La Cosa Nostra] Enterprise."
Joseph Salvatore Merlino
Daniel Leo, Genovese acting boss
|The mob in America might no longer be what it used to be, but it's hardly a thing of the past. The new indictment includes what most think of as "normal" mafia crimes like assault, gun trafficking, and loansharking, but also a few that surprise, like health care fraud and credit card skimming. When did the mob get into white collar crimes? Many of the Italian mafia families sought to diversify their interests into more high-tech, white-collar crimes dating back to the 1980s.|
Anthony 'Tony the Wig' Vazzano
Bradford Wedra faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if he is convicted on racketeering charges