Ronald Giallanzo, aka ‘Ronnie G,’ 47 (in 2017), pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy Monday. He will forfeit $1.25million, as well as sell the home he renovated using money obtained from his loansharking business
The Bonanno crime family’s acting captain has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and has agreed to sell the mansion he built using the money he made from a decade of loansharking.
Ronald Giallanzo, aka ‘Ronnie G,’ 47, of Queens, New York, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, and admitting to his involvement in multiple acts of loansharking over 10 years, in a Brooklyn federal court Monday, the US Department of Justice said in a media alert.
Giallanzo is said to be an acting captain in the Bonanno organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra.
A soldier in the Bonanno family, Michael ‘Mike’ Palmaccio, 46, of Queens, New York, also pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy Monday.
Nicholas ‘Pudgie’ Festa, 37, of Oceanside, New York, another Bonanno solider, had previously pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted to additional acts of loansharking on March 8.
‘Mobsters are known for lending large amounts of money at exorbitant rates to individuals who they know lack the financial means of paying off their loans,’ William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Division (FBI) said in the alert.
‘They intentionally extort their victims over extended periods of time using threats of violence as a means of collecting their weekly payments. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book for these crime families, and they’ve shown no inclination to stop harassing and intimidating communities in our area.’
The modest Howard Beach, Queens property as seen before Giallanzo renovated it
The home that Giallanzo built on the Howard Beach, Queens, property lot, using money obtained from his loansharking business. He’ll have to sell the home as part of his guilty plea
Giallanzo, Palmaccio and Festa — who were all arrested in March 2017 — were said to be members of the Bonanno family that operated in Howard Beach, Queens, according to the indictment, court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding.
Giallanzo was said to have operated a loansharking business, providing money to Palmaccio and Festa, among others, which they then used to give, and later collect, extortionate loans to many people.
At one point, the Department of Justice said, Giallanzo had lent over $3million in extortionate loans.
Giallanzo was said to have continued to oversee the illicit loansharking business when incarcerated for a prior federal conviction for racketeering and extortion conspiracy. While in prison, authorities said Giallanzo told Bonanno family members to commit acts of violence, which would ensure that the loan takers paid their exorbitant weekly interest rate.
A surveillance photo showing Giallanzo (third from left) and Nicholas ‘Pudgie’ Festa, 37 (far right) meeting with an unnamed Colombo captain and his associate in 2006
Another surveillance photo showing Giallanzo (third from left) and Festa (far right) in 2006
While entering his guilty plea, Giallanzo admitted to extending and collecting extortionate loans to five different victims. He also agreed to forfeit $1.25million and will have to sell the Howard Beach mansion he built using proceeds from the loansharking business obtained while he was on supervised release following his prior federal conviction.
Palmaccio admitted to extending and collecting extortionate loans to five victims, while Festa admitted to doing the same to two victims. They agreed to forfeit $500,000 each.
‘Through their acts of violence, Giallanzo, Palmaccio and Festa reaped substantial illicit profits at the expense of their loansharking victims,’ Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in the release.
‘With today’s guilty pleas, these defendants are being held responsible for their destructive role in perpetuating organized crime’s presence in the community.’
Giallanzo, Palmaccio and Festa each face a statutory maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.
In March 2017, ten members of the infamous Bonanno family — including the three men who pleaded guilty Monday — were nabbed in New York, with police saying $26million in illegal proceeds had been racked up by the crew.
The would-be mobsters were hit with racketeering and other related charges from a 17-year alleged crime spree in a massive 37-count indictment.
The seven other Bonanno men who were arrested — Robert ‘Rob’ Pisani, Evan ‘The Jew’ Greenberg, Michael ‘Mike’ Padavona, Richard ‘Richie’ Heck, Michael ‘Mike’ Hintze, Christopher ‘Bald Chris’ Boothby, and Robert ‘Chippy’ Tanico — had already pleaded guilty to their charges.