By MIKE CLAFFEY
February 15, 2001
An aging Bonanno crime family soldier and three underlings are facing federal loansharking charges after a would-be victim went to the FBI AND AGREED TO WEAR A WIRE.
Tape recordings in the case catch the alleged wiseguys talking sultily about their efforts to collect debts, and the dangers of failing to make payments.
“I got a nice baseball bat in my trunk; bust your legs up,” one of the suspects, Rudy Casale, allegedly said to the cooperator, according to the arrest complaint.
In another taped conversation, Casale bragged about his prowess as a debt collector, saying: “Yesterday I got a hold of a young guy in my neighborhood. I gave him such a f-----g beating … I’ve been doing this all my life.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Dorsky said in Brooklyn Federal Court yesterday that Casale was an enforcer for reputed Bonanno soldier John (Johnny Green) Faraci of Bensonhurst.
Also charged yesterday was Anthony (Tony Buck) Geraci of Borough Park. Earlier this month, the Feds charged a fourth man, Anthony (Big Tony) Errante, with loansharking in the case.
Dorsky described Faraci, 79, as “a large-scale loanshark with numerous loanshark victims,” who, by one law enforcement estimate, had half a million dollars in loans out on the street.
The victim in the case allegedly borrowed $15,000 from Faraci and was initially being charged 5% a week, the complaint said. After he fell behind on the payments, the victim went to the FBI and agreed to record meetings with Geraci, 76, and Casale.
At one point, the alleged mobsters told the victim he could purchase “protection” by paying Errante $250 a week.
VINCENT ROMANO, Faraci’s attorney, strongly denied the charges at an arraignment yesterday. He noted that there are no tape recordings of his client, although his name was mentioned on the tapes.
“THEY HAVE NO CONDUCT THEY CAN ALLEGE,” ROMANO said. “ALL THEY HAVE IS REFERENCES.”
Magistrate Robert Levy ordered Faraci, Geraci and Casale temporarily detained while their lawyers come up with security for a bail package.