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14 Mob Suspects Arrested in N.Y.

November 15, 2002|From Associated Press

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — An investigation into the mob's takeover of a Long Island strip club ended with the arrests of 14 alleged members and associates of the Luchese organized crime family, officials said Thursday.

Charges include racketeering, illegal gambling and loan-sharking.

The probe began in February after members of the crime family forced the owner of a complex called Sinderella's -- which included a strip club, adult video store and novelty shop -- to leave at gunpoint and told him to never come back, said Suffolk County Dist. Atty. Thomas Spota.

They took over the club and began skimming about $5,000 in profits a week, Spota said. They also used it as a place for bookmaking and illegal gambling, he said.

The illegal activities netted about $2 million in profits over the last year, said John Gallagher, Suffolk County commissioner of police.

Those charged include Joseph Caridi, 53, of East Northport, the alleged underboss of the Luchese family. He was arraigned Thursday on a felony charge of enterprise corruption, a racketeering charge.

The charges came after 14 search warrants were executed Wednesday, Spota said.

In addition to Caridi, four others of those arrested will face the enterprise corruption charge, Spota said.

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