Gotti Associate Angelo Ruggiero Allegedly Continues Crimes From Georgia Pen

Angelo Salvatore Ruggiero is an alleged second-generation member of the Gambino crime organization and a longtime friend of head John Angelo "Junior" Gotti, III. According to Jerry Capeci at The Huffington Post, Ruggiero was serving eight years in a Georgia federal prison for murder, conspiracy and extortion relating to a plan to murder a baker who was suspected of having an affair with the wife of Junior Gotti's uncle, Vincent Gotti.

Although incarcerated in the Deep South, however, Ruggiero apparently did not cease his racketeering activities. Last month, Ruggiero was charged with alleged witness tampering relating to a murder and  racketeering prosecution of Junior Gotti last year. The prosecution concerned the murder of a drug dealer in 1996 allegedly by Junior Gotti associates David D'Arpino and John A. Burke. Ruggiero allegedly conspired with D'Arpino to prevent a witness for the prosecution from testifying while Ruggiero and D'Arpino were being held in custody in Brooklyn. The defendant who Ruggiero and D'Arpino were attempting to assist, James Cadicamo, ended up pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges and was sentenced to 105 months imprisonment in October.

Ruggiero decided to cooperate with the government after Daniel White, a former cellmate of Cadicamo serving time for bank fraud, told authorities about efforts by Cadicamo and others to intimidate witnesses. A Federal Judge threatened White with a severe sentence after discovering that he had continued his illegal activities while incarcerated.

In-House Counsel to the Mob? Court Denies Government's Motion to Disqualify Attorney Joseph Corozzo, Jr.

As reported by the New York Law Journal, Michael Scarpaci is current charged as an alleged associate of the Gambino crime organization in the Southern District of New York in an indictment charging racketeering violations, including murder, witness tampering, murder of a witness, extortion, narcotics and sex trafficking a minor. In a twist, however, Scarpaci's lawyer, Joseph R. Corozzo, Jr., is also alleged to have connections to the Gambino family, and the prosecution sought to disqualify Corozzo from the case for alleged conflicts of interest. Specifically, Corozzo's father, Joseph Corozzo Sr., is a consigliere of the Gambino family. His uncle, Nicholas Corozzo, is a capo. And Corozzo himself is alleged to serve as the organization's "in house counsel."

Prosecutors moved to disqualify Corozzo from representing Scarpaci, citing Corozzo's disqualification in April from representing Gaetano Napoli, Sr., on the ground that Corozzo had been present at two meetings with his client in 2009 in which they discussed what to do if Napoli was ever approached by law enforcement. Corozzo had advised Napoli to say nothing and give investigators the number for his attorney. Sound advice from a criminal defense attorney--which the government of course alleged constituted obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors also cited a 2006 recorded conversation in which Scarpaci's co-defendant, Daniel Marino, and an alleged Gambino associate, Lewis Kasman, discussed the possibility of Corozzo being arrested and disbarred, arguing that the conversation implicated Corozzo in the racketeering conspiracy charged in the indictment. Finally, the government contended that Corozzo had previously represented a witness for the government in the case.

District Judge Lewis Kaplan denied the government's motion, holding that the government had not identified any actual conflict from Corozzo's representation of Scarpaci, and noted that Scarpaci could make a knowing and intelligent waiver of any potential conflicts. The Judge found that the alleged conflict in the Napoli case was not related to the case against Scarpaci, and that the Court in that case never made any finding that Corozzo's alleged conduct obstructed justice. Judge Kaplan also observed that the conversation between Marino and Kasman did not suggest that Corozzo had engaged in any criminal conduct. The Court further noted that the subject matter of Corozzo's representation of the government witness, and was only "tangentially related" to the subject matter of the case. Finally, regarding Corozzo's family connections with the Gambino family, the Court held that there was no evidence that Corozzo's father or uncle had had in any way supervised any of the RICO acts allegedly committed by Scarpaci.