NEW YORK — Three Mafia family godfathers and five underlings were sentenced today to prison terms of up to 100 years for running "The Commission" that directed murders, loan-sharking and racketeering since the days of Al Capone.
U.S. District Judge Richard Owen sentenced the mobsters in a courtroom packed with press and spectators, granting the prosecution's request for stiff sentences.
Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno, leader of the Genovese crime family, and Colombo family don Carmine (Junior) Persico were sentenced to 100 years in prison and fined $240,000. The head of the Lucchese family, Anthony (Tony Ducks) Corallo, 73, of Oyster Bay Cove, N.Y., also received a 100-year sentence and a $250,000 fine.
Five underbosses also were sentenced, including Gennaro (Gerry Lang) Langella, 47, of Brooklyn, who received a 100-year sentence and a $240,000 fine. Prosecutors said Langella was an underboss of the Colombo family and helped run the family during the many years Persico spent in prison for other organized-crime convictions.
Verdict Being Appealed
All eight men, convicted for a total of 17 racketeering charges and 20 related crimes, are appealing the verdict.
Authorities say Salerno, 75, of Rhinebeck, N.Y., is considered the most powerful Mafia figure in the country. Persico, 53, of Brooklyn served as his own lawyer in the trial.
--Ralph Scopo, 58, of Queens, a Colombo family soldier and former president of the Cement Workers District Council, was sentenced to 100 years and fined $240,000.
--Salvatore (Tom Mix) Santoro, 72, of the Bronx, a Lucchese family underboss, was fined $250,000 and given a 100-year sentence.
--Christopher (Christie Tick) Furnari, 62, of Staten Island, a consigliere, or counselor, of the Lucchese family, was sentenced to 100 years and fined $240,000.
--Anthony (Bruno) Indelicato, 38, of Manhattan was sentenced to a maximum 40 years, with a recommendation no parole, and fined $50,000.
Indelicato, the only defendant named in murders "authorized" by the commission, was convicted of helping carry out the June, 1979, slaying of Bonanno family boss Carmine Galante, a crime for which he is said to have been elevated to the position of a Bonanno family captain.
In sentencing Salerno, Judge Owen said, "You sir, in my opinion, essentially spent a lifetime terrorizing this community for your financial advantage."
Prosecutors maintained that the commission was established in 1931 to settle disputes, authorize killings and rule the underworld's loan-sharking, hijacking, gambling and union racketeering operations after the jailing of Capone, the Chicago gangster who was convicted of tax evasion.
Law enforcement officials have said the case, which they describe as the most successful federal mob prosecution to date, will create a power vacuum that will cause turmoil in the ranks of organized crime and give the edge to investigators.