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Reputed Mob Boss Pleads Guilty

December 08, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

The reputed acting boss of the Luchese organized crime family pleaded guilty to extorting money from New York garment center businesses by threatening them with violence and labor unrest. Joseph Defede, 64, and at least 10 other members of the Luchese, Gambino and Genovese crime families teamed up from mid-1990 through August 1996 to shake down business owners in Manhattan's Garment District, according to prosecutors. Defede, who suffers from heart disease, pleaded guilty because of his age and "because of his family and many other considerations, other than whether he was guilty," said defense lawyer Stanley Teitler.

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