By JIMMY CAPECI
September 16, 2010
Wannabe Wiseguy Loses Appetite For 'The Life'
Virtually all his life, James Malpeso has wanted to become a “made man.” But a funny thing happened to the wannabe wiseguy after he was arrested last March on loansharking charges and he was held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Malpeso just lost his appetite for the “Life.” He now “HAS NOT DESIRE TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE BONANNO CRIME FAMILY,” said his attorney, VINCENT ROMANO. He called his client’s change of heart a “REVELATION” that occurred when he was placed in a “CELL WITH FECES COVERING THE WALLS AND FOREIGN MATTER IN THE TOILET ALL THE WAY UP TO THE RIM.”
That is definitely one chapter they left out of “The Godfather.”
Romano related the basis for Malpeso’s new outlook on life last week during oral arguments he made before Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis in an effort to secure bail for the reputed mob associate while he awaits trial for loansharking.
In court papers, and during his session before Garaufis, Romano offered other reasons why his client has given up the notion of becoming a mob soldier, along similar lines: Malpeso’s wife of 10 years refuses to “expose” his seven year old daughter or three-year-old twin boys to his “deplorable, degrading” conditions and refuses to bring them to visit, said the lawyer. And “his mother won’t visit him” either.
As Gang Land disclosed in July, the feds raided a Christmas party at a Brooklyn social club last year because they believed Malpeso was going to be “made” that night. The induction never took place but a bunch of Bensonhurst oldsters who had only gathered for some holiday festivities, were treated to a federal version of the Grinch who stole Christmas.
In court, Romano sought to knock down other charges against his client. He claimed that despite the government’s contention that Malpeso used a firearm as he threatened a loanshark victim, no gun can be seen on a 90-minute long FBI videotape of the encounter. The lawyer said that the tape-recorded discussion indicates that Malpeso is himself a victim of extortion, and was merely acting as a messenger between the actual loanshark and his customer.
Malpeso is charged with loaning $110,000 to an acquaintance identified in court papers only as “Ralph” four years ago, and with using extortionate means to collect the weekly interest early this year.
Romano also argued that since Malpeso has no prior arrests – and there is no evidence that his client ever possessed a firearm – he deserves to be released on bail as he awaits trial in a “ONE WITNESS CASE” that pits the words of a so-called victim against his client.
Garaufis reserved a final decision on the issue, at least until after he reads the government’s written response to Romano’s arguments.