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Colombo crime family associate 'Fat Jerry' pleads guilty of racketeering

March 26, 2019 - 7:22 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- An associate of the Colombo crime family nicknamed "Fat Jerry" pleaded guilty Tuesday to racketeering.

According to court filings and facts presented during the guilty plea proceeding, Jerry Ciauri, 59, of Brooklyn, made extortionate loans and used extortionate means to collect payments on those loans from six victims, the Department of Justice said.

In connection with this loansharking business, Ciauri once threatened to shoot a loansharking partner who had fallen behind making payments to Ciauri, and on another occasion, enlisted an associate to slash a victim’s tires in the middle of the night, the Department of Justice added. 

Last week, another member of  the Colombo family, Vito Difalco, 63 -- also known as “Victor” and “The Mask" --  and two Colombo family associates, Salvatore Disano, 48, and Joseph Maratea, 42, pleaded guilty to racketeering.  

Disano assisted Ciauri in collecting debts enforced with extortionate means, the Department of Justice said. 

Rizzo and Ciauri also stalked Ciauri’s former loansharking business partner after he started to cooperate with law enforcement officers and stopped assisting Ciauri with the business.

Difalco and Maratea also ran a loansharking business.  In connection with that business, Difalco used extortionate means to collect debts from eight victims, and Maratea helped collect debts from five of those victims.  In one conversation, Difalco threatened a loansharking victim by telling him that he had a past history of setting fire to the cars of those who failed to make timely payments; Difalco told the victim, “Good things happen to me when I stay calm see like I was by your house the other day….  Four years ago, I would have put the Benz on fire.”  

When sentenced, Ciauri, Difalco, Disano and Maratea face up to 20 years’ imprisonment.  Rizzo faces a maximum of five years on the stalking conspiracy charge.