By MARIE FIERO & MAKEET FINCH
It was a mob scene at Brooklyn Federal Court on Thursday, where a court date was set for 20 alleged mobsters charged with crimes including racketeering, extortion, and loansharking.
The 20 men were defended by 11 attorneys, who gathered in a crowd in front of Judge I. Leo Glasser. Each defendant raised their hand from the audience as attendance was taken. The seats were packed with friends and family of the charged men. A hush came over the crowd as three defendants entered the courtroom in prison garb, including Joseph Amato, reputed mob boss.
The case was set to begin on December 10 at 11am, which gives lawyers 60 days to prepare for the case because it is so complex. The government requested a protective order for discovery material and wiretaps, to safeguard those who are cooperating in the case.
This status conference came after the indictments were released last Thursday for racketeering, extortion, loansharking, stalking, attempted sports bribery and related offenses. Wiretapping allegedly shows that Benjamin Bifalco and Joseph Amato Jr. planned to pay a college basketball team thousands of dollars to lose a game. Amato Jr. was arrested last Thursday, but was released on a $1 million bail on Monday. Federal prosecutors objected to his release because he often touts his father’s name around Staten Island. In 2014, he used his name to threaten a man and beat him so brutally that he needed staples in his scalp.
The elder Amato was arrested for allegedly trying to track his then-girlfriend in 2014. She found the tracking device on her car, and got rid of it by sticking it to an MTA bus. This event prompted the government to begin wiretapping Amato’s devices.
“This is my island. Not yours. I have eyes all over,” Amato said in an email, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office.
The defendants include: Joseph Amato, 60; Joseph Amato Jr., 26; John Cahill, 27; Daniel Capaldo, 54; Primo Cassarino, 31; Christopher Coffaro, 21; John Dunn, 30; Philip Lombardo, 61; Joseph Marra, 58; Albert Masterjoseph, 57; Dominick Ricigliano, 30; Thomas Scorcia, 52; Vincent Sucra, 58; Anthony Silvestro, 28; Krenar Suka, 26; John Tucciarone, 39; Anthony Bosco, 26; Nicholas Bosco, 30; Joseph Bosco, 55; Benjamin Bifalco, 25.