Daily News: “10 Luchese Mobsters Cuffed in Loan-Sharking Ring in the Bronx, Westchester”
March 28, 2018
As published by The New York Daily News, on March 27.
A Luchese family made man and nine mob associates offered one-stop shopping for gamblers: A place to make their bets — and take out crippling loans to cover their losses.
All 10 members of the crew were indicted and arrested for the loan-sharking ring operating in the Bronx and Westchester County, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday.
One of the mob suspects, in an unusual twist, was a woman: Jessica Bismark, 32 of New Rochelle, caught on a wiretap griping about one of the loan-sharking marks.
“What do these people expect?” she asked during the Oct. 5, 2017, chat with co-defendant Frank McKiernan. “Don’t they realize how it works? They expect you to go in your pocket?”
Bismark was an employee at McKiernan’s Lawton Street Tavern.
Some four dozen loan-sharking victims were targeted in “Operation The Vig Is Up,” with each of the 10 suspects accused of enterprise corruption, usury and promoting gambling, officials said.
The top count carries a charge of up to 25 years in prison. Half of the suspects reside in New Rochelle and two are residents of the Bronx.
“The brazen ring of criminals preyed on New Yorkers — using a gambling operation to funnel victims into their loan-sharking operation,” said Schneiderman.
Made man Dominick Capelli, 61, of New Rochelle, and two co-defendants face additional charges of running an illegal online gambling operation at bxbets.com, taking more than $500,000 a year in bets, authorities charged.
Capelli was also involved in the loan-sharking operation that took in outrageous paybacks, bringing in more than $1 million during the year-long probe, officials said.
The weekly loan rates averaged out to 200% interest paid per year, officials said.