897 F.2d 1169 (1st Cir. 1990), 86-1331, United States v. Angiulo

Docket Nº:86-1331, 89-1212 and 89-1800.
Citation:897 F.2d 1169
Party Name:UNITED STATES, Appellee, v. Gennaro J. ANGIULO, Donato F. Angiulo, Samuel S. Granito, Francesco J. Angiulo and Michele A. Angiulo, Defendants, Appellants.
Case Date:March 05, 1990
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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897 F.2d 1169 (1st Cir. 1990)



Gennaro J. ANGIULO, Donato F. Angiulo, Samuel S. Granito,

Francesco J. Angiulo and Michele A. Angiulo,

Defendants, Appellants.

Nos. 86-1331, 89-1212 and 89-1800.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

March 5, 1990

Heard Nov. 7, 1989.

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Anthony M. Cardinale, Boston, Mass., for Gennaro Angiulo.

Robert L. Sheketoff, with whom Zalkind, Sheketoff, Homan, Rodriguez & Lunt, Boston, Mass., was on brief, for Donato Angiulo.

James L. Sultan, with whom Charles W. Rankin and Rankin & Sultan, Boston, Mass., were on brief, for Samuel Granito.

Elliot M. Weinstein, for Francesco Angiulo.

Henry Katz, Sharon, Mass., for Michele Angiulo.

Frank J. Marine, Atty., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., with whom Diane M. Kottmyer, Boston, Mass., Ernest S. DiNisco, Washington, D.C., Carol Schwartz, Sp. Attys., Dept. of Justice, and Wayne A. Budd, U.S. Atty., Boston, Mass., were on brief, for U.S.

Before BOWNES, BREYER and SELYA, Circuit Judges.

BOWNES, Circuit Judge.

These are consolidated appeals from convictions on jury verdicts rendered after an eight-month trial. The defendants, Gennaro Angiulo, Donato Angiulo, Samuel Granito, Francesco Angiulo, and Michele Angiulo, are all members or associates of the Patriarca Family of La Cosa Nostra. They were charged with conspiracy to participate and participating in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1962(d) and (c), as well as with numerous racketeering, loansharking, and gambling offenses. 1 Each having been convicted and sentenced on various counts, they now appeal on a number of grounds from their convictions. They also appeal from the district court's order forfeiting certain of their assets under 18

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U.S.C. Sec. 1963. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the defendants' convictions and sentences, but reverse certain portions of the forfeiture order.


The evidence introduced against defendants at trial was, in large part, the product of court-authorized electronic surveillance conducted at 98 Prince Street and 51 North Margin Street in Boston's North End during the period January-May 1981. Through a combination of audio and video surveillance, FBI agents monitored the arrivals and departures of persons from these premises, as well as their conversations on the premises. Tapes and transcripts from this surveillance were introduced at trial, accompanied by material seized during the execution of various search warrants. There was also testimony by a number of government witnesses. Our review of the evidence is made, as required, in the light most favorable to the government. At this time, we summarize those facts most pertinent to the issues that have been raised on appeal.

Defendants were all members of the Patriarca Family of La Cosa Nostra. Gennaro Angiulo was the underboss of this organization, in charge of its day-to-day operations. Immediately beneath him in the command hierarchy were "Capo Regimes" (captains) Samuel Granito and Donato Angiulo. Beneath the Capo Regimes, the organization consisted of soldiers and then of associates. Francesco Angiulo was a soldier, and also served as accountant for the organization's gambling and loansharking businesses. Michele Angiulo was an associate.

The organization was headquartered at 98 Prince Street and engaged in widespread racketeering, gambling, and loansharking activities. Because the specific nature of some of these activities is significant for certain of the issues before us, we state the relevant facts regarding them in some detail.

  1. Gambling Activities

    The defendants, in various combinations, were charged with the operation of four illegal gambling businesses. The first business involved the operation by Gennaro and Francesco of a series of "Las Vegas Nights" gambling events from approximately late 1978 to mid-1981. The events were a type of bazaar, ostensibly operated to benefit non-profit, charitable organizations. The proceeds from these events, however, were not given to charitable organizations, but were kept by their La Cosa Nostra operators. The immediate manager and supervisor of the Las Vegas Nights was Gennaro's son, Jason Angiulo, assisted by Carmen Lepore. 2 Gennaro was the overall owner of the business, while Francesco acted as the accountant. All of these participants shared in the profits.

    The second gambling business involved the operation of twice-weekly barbooth games at the Demosthenes Democratic Social Club in Lowell, Massachusetts during 1980-81. Barbooth is a dice game in which, typically, twelve or more players place bets on whether the shooter of the dice will roll a winning or losing combination of numbers. The house takes a percentage--usually 2 1/2%--of the amount bet on each hand. The immediate manager of the Lowell barbooth games was Peter Vulgaropoulos, assisted by Vincent Roberto as assistant manager. Ilario Zannino directed the operation and had a financial interest in it. Francesco was the accountant, and Gennaro was the ultimate overseer.

    The third gambling business consisted of the operation of a highly organized and extensive illegal numbers betting business in the Boston area. Approximately 180 people were involved in the operation of this business, including agents to collect the bets, sub-books to control the agents and pay the winning number, and office managers to supervise the day-to-day management of the business and settle accounts with the sub-books. Gennaro was

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    the principal owner and overall boss of the business. Francesco was the day-to-day supervisor of the mid-level operation. Donato controlled a number of sub-book operations and had responsibility for collecting money. Finally, Michele stood in for Francesco and also assisted in controlling several of the sub-book operations.

    The fourth and final business involved the operation of high stakes poker games at 51 North Margin Street. Electronic surveillance revealed that a number of people participated in the running of the games and possessed a financial interest in them. Specifically, defendants Gennaro Angiulo, Samuel Granito, and co-conspirators Ilario Zannino, Ralph Lamattina and Nicola Giso each had financial interests in the game. Gennaro was the overall boss. Francesco acted as the accountant. John Cincotti managed the staff, extended credit to players, and collected their debts. Finally, Zannino supervised Cincotti and directly oversaw the operation.

  2. Extortionate Credit Transactions

    In addition to their gambling activities, certain of the defendants also were involved in extortionate credit transactions. In particular, defendants Gennaro, Donato, Francesco, and co-conspirator Zannino engaged in various loansharking operations. One such operation involved extortionate loans to Donald Smoot, a regular player in the North Margin Street poker games. In early 1981, Smoot owed $14,000 to Zannino and paid interest (or "vig") at the rate of one percent per week on this debt. During this same time period, Smoot owed money to Donato as well and paid him vig of 2 1/2% per week. Intercepted conversations revealed that the amount of Smoot's debt to Donato was also $14,000, and that Gennaro and Francesco had an interest in the loan.

    A separate transaction involved a $200,000 loan to Joseph Palladino, who was the principal in the Palladino Real Estate Trust, which owned property on Canal Street in Boston. Palladino paid interest of one percent per week on this debt. The debt eventually was cancelled after a series of real estate transactions through which Palladino's Canal Street property was transferred first to the Angiulos' sister and then from the sister to the Angiulos, doing business as Huntington Realty Trust Company.

  3. Murder Conspiracies

    The final group of racketeering activities charged in the indictment involved a series of conspiracies to obstruct justice and to commit murder. Most of these conspiracies, including the conspiracies to murder Walter LaFreniere, Walter Bennett, William Bennett and Joseph Barboza, are not at issue in this appeal. The murder of Angelo Patrizzi is, however, very much at issue and we state the facts pertaining to this murder in some detail, both here and later in the opinion.

    In early 1981, Angelo Patrizzi was reputedly planning to kill Frederick Simone and Cono Frizzi--two Boston members of the Patriarca Family--because of his belief that they were involved in the 1978 murder of his half-brother. A decision was made to kill Patrizzi before he succeeded in killing either Simone or Frizzi. As evidence of these plans to kill Patrizzi, the government introduced intercepted conversations from a March 11, 1981 meeting among Granito, Simone and Gennaro Angiulo at which Simone and Granito related to Gennaro several unsuccessful attempts on their part to kill Patrizzi. At this March 11 meeting, Gennaro indicated that he would assist in the effort, and during a conversation the next day with Zannino, enlisted Zannino's assistance as well.

    On March 13, 1981, Angelo Patrizzi disappeared. In a conversation intercepted on April 3, 1981, Zannino told John Cincotti and Ralph Lamattina that Patrizzi had been killed by nine men and put in a car trunk. On June 11, 1981, authorities found Patrizzi's decomposed body in the trunk of a stolen car in Lynn, Massachusetts. Gennaro Angiulo and Granito were charged with conspiring to murder Patrizzi and with being accessories before the fact to his murder.

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  4. The Jury's Verdict

    The above activities, among others, were set forth in the indictment against the relevant defendants as predicate acts...

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