$2.5 M. to victim in exchange for reduced sentences (Mafia)

American organized crime groups included traditional groups such as La Cosa Nostra & the Italian Mafia to modern groups such as Black Mafia Family. Discuss the most organized criminal groups in the United States including gangs in Canada.
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$2.5 M. to victim in exchange for reduced sentences (Mafia)

Unread post by RealTO » April 6th, 2006, 2:42 pm

McGuinty mum on Russo plea-bargain details
Premier admits criminals paying cash to victim in plea bargain new to him

Apr. 6, 2006. 04:00 PM

An unusual plea bargain that would see a Toronto shooting victim paid $2.5 million by her alleged attackers — apparently in exchange for reduced sentences — has provincial Opposition politicians up in arms.

The four men charged in the April 2004 shooting of Louise Russo in a Toronto sandwich shop, which left the innocent bystander paralyzed, will appear in court again next week.

Neither Premier Dalton McGuinty nor Attorney General Michael Bryant would confirm today that the cash payment was part of a plea bargain. They both said they can't comment because the case is still before the courts.

But that didn't stop Opposition House Leader Bob Runciman from saying the Crown should not be making deals with hired hit men, and that the government should refuse to approve any such plea bargains.

"If true, it looks as though organized crime is attempting to buy a cheaper sentence with the proceeds of criminal activities," Runciman told the legislature.

"Will you direct Crown attorneys in this province to ask for the maximum sentence in all cases of contract killers affiliated with organized crime?"

Police say that Russo was an unintended victim of the attack, which they believe was aimed at organized crime figures who were in the sandwich shop at the time.

Bryant refused to deal with the issue in the legislature, insisting he did not want to jeopardize the case, but said he would speak about it publicly after the trial was over.

The attorney general also refused to disclose any details of the deal, and said the opposition and the media should stop talking about the plea bargain until they know all the facts.

"Louise Russo has indicated to me that the speculation that takes place around this matter is very harmful and hurtful and difficult," Bryant said. "I believe her and her family have been through enough and should not be subjected to this kind of speculation."

McGuinty admitted the idea of accused criminals paying cash to victims was new to him.

"I must say that it's a new concept for me, but since it is before the courts, it's in the hands of the Crown attorney," McGuinty told reporters Thursday. "We don't direct these matters, and I'm going to allow that to unfold."

But Runciman said people would be shocked if the Liberal government allowed the Crown to negotiate such deals with criminals and tie the money to their prison sentences.

"If this goes forward as suggested, this is a horrible mistake, a very dangerous precedent," he said.

"You have to be able to assure Ontarians that the payment of money is not reducing the sentence of these contract killers. All they have to do is have the funds necessary to buy cheaper sentences. That's the precedent here."

Runciman said if Russo is to receive money for her injuries, it should come from the $40-million Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

But the board's web site said its lump sum awards to victims of crime can vary up to $25,000, a fraction of the $2.5 million said to be at the heart of the Russo deal.

The Crown attorney's office did not return calls seeking comment.


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Unread post by Aquafresh » April 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm

I'd take that deal!

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Unread post by RealTO » April 12th, 2006, 6:16 am

Russo case plea bargain set for today
5 men face charges in 2004 shooting
$2.5M compensation package expected

Apr. 12, 2006. 07:41 AM

The long-expected resolution in the case of five men facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting of Louise Russo is expected to be settled at a downtown Toronto courtroom today, sources say.

Also tied in with today's expected plea bargain is a compensation package of $2.5 million for the mother of three who was left partially paralyzed in the shooting after being caught in the crossfire as an innocent bystander in what was allegedly a bungled mobster hit.

The would-be killers were gunning for two York Region organized crime figures when Russo was shot in April 2004 as she waited at the counter of a North York sandwich shop, police investigators have said.

The California Sandwich shop, on Chesswood Dr. and Sheppard Ave., was sprayed with bullets that were meant for Michele Marrese and Michele Modica, who is currently in custody in Italy on Mafia charges, according to court documents.

Police later recovered a Colt AR-15 assault rifle that was used in the shooting.

Russo, 46, was hit in the back and had her spine shattered and is now confined to a wheelchair. She suffers constant pain, and doctors have told her she will never walk again.

Opposition MPPs have criticized the Liberal government for the unprecedented compensation package, warning that it will set a "horrible precedent" by wealthy criminal groups to pay for a lighter sentence.

Critics, such as Progressive Conservative MPP Bob Runciman (Leeds-Grenville), have said a special fund should be set up for victims like Russo, with the money coming from the assets seized by police from criminals.

The government has refused to comment, saying that the matter is before the courts. But by tomorrow, said the source, the case should be resolved.

Antonio Borrelli, Paris Christoforou, Filippo Cutulle, Mark Peretz and Peter Scarcella have been in custody since they were charged in April 2005.


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Unread post by RealTO » April 13th, 2006, 6:30 am

Russo shooting glimpse into underworld
Mob bungling led to T.O. mom's tragedy
Police relied on informer, documents show

Apr. 13, 2006. 05:33 AM

A bitter feud between a Sicilian mobster and a gang of Toronto hoodlums over a $130,000 gambling debt turned into a botched hit that left Louise Russo shot in the back and paralyzed.

The anatomy of the underworld feud and the bungled murder attempt of Michelle Modica, a 50-year-old native of Sicily, was revealed yesterday in court documents when five Toronto men pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy.

The 21-page document outlined how the police were able to piece together the plot with the help of one of the gangsters, who secretly became a police agent, apparently furious that he almost got shot while setting up Modica at the North York restaurant where Russo was wounded on the night of April 21, 2004.

The agreed statement of facts put together by prosecutors Donna Armstrong and Joseph Callaghan and the defence lawyers for the five men offered a rare glimpse into organized crime in Toronto and the treachery among crooks.

Modica had been marked for death by Mark Peretz and Paris Christoforou, after they learned that Modica had used the money he owed them to finance the smuggling of illegal narcotics into Canada.

The pair, along with confederateAntonio Borrelli, set out to kill Modica after being tipped off that he would be at a North York restaurant, the same eatery that Russo stopped by that evening to get a bite with her daughter.

But the trio of amateurish hitmen botched the killing, turning it into a bungled driveby when they opened fire on four men leaving California Sandwiches, on Chesswood Dr., none of them Modica, the document said.

Russo, waiting for her order, was hit in the back by an errant bullet, her spine shattered, leaving her confined to wheelchair for the rest of her life. Modica, and two bodyguards, drew their guns as soon as the bullets started flying. They escaped out a back door, unhurt.

But Modica vowed revenge, his beef with the Toronto gangsters turning into a long-range feud after he was deported to Sicily.

The underworld intrigue that shattered Russo's life that April evening in 2004 started three years earlier when Modica, a mobster who was involved in drug trafficking in Italy, emigrated to Canada from his native Sicily, living here as an illegal immigrant. He got involved in illegal gambling with Peter Scarcella but just six months after coming to Toronto he was arrested for possession of stolen property, and agreed to return to Sicily after the charges were dropped.

But two years later, in April 2003, Modica was back in Toronto, returning on a forged passport, the document said.

Modica quickly got involved with an unnamed partner in online gambling, and other "criminal activities."

Within a year, Modica's partner was $240,000 in debt to Peretz and Christoforou. Modica offered to collect the money from his partner and pay it back to the two men after taking his commission.

But there was no honour among these criminals.

Modica used the money he collected to finance a shipment of illicit narcotics into Canada.

When Peretz and Christoforou didn't get their money, a meeting was arranged with Modica and his unnamed partner, the document said.

But Modica thought he was being set up for a hit and kept driving by a Toronto restaurant when he spotted two suspicious-looking men waiting nearby in a car. A second meeting was arranged at a west-end hotel. This time, Modica brought some backup — two Mafia heavies from New York and a third man from Ottawa — to vouch for him.

About 30 gangland members gathered at the Marriott Courtyard hotel about two weeks before Russo was shot. It was clear to everyone there, including Scarcella, the senior mobster at the sit-down meeting, that Modica was trying to pull a fast one.

After an evening of heated debate, Modica's partner agreed to pay Peretz and Christoforou $110,000 of the $240,000 debt. Modica was told he owed the rest of the money — $130,000.

After the meeting, an angry Peretz and Christoforou confronted Modica, demanding their money. When he said he didn't have it, they shoved a gun in his mouth. They gave him two days to pay up, vowing to murder him if he didn't.

The deadline passed. Modica refused to pay. Both sides vowed to kill the other over the debt.

Raffaele Delle Donne, who had been helping Modica get a false passport so he could leave Canada, became the betrayer. He tipped Peretz and Christoforou that Modica would be at California Sandwiches on April 21. Delle Donne would later become a police informant.

Modica was at the restaurant that evening with two Sicilian confederates. All three were armed with 9 mm handguns.

Delle Donne drove to the restaurant, followed by the heavily armed trio of Peretz, Christoforou and Borrelli in a van.

Delle Donne parked beside Russo's car, and went inside to talk to Modica. Just then, four patrons of the restaurant who, like Russo, were innocent bystanders, walked out.

The trio of would-be hitmen in the van, thinking the four were Modica and his confederates, drove by and opened fire. Russo was the only one hit.

The gunmen fled, but their bungling didn't end there. The trio burned the van on a secluded road north of Toronto, foolishly leaving inside their weapons, which were found by police. After bungling the first hit on Modica, Scarcella headed up plans for a second. The plot to murder Modica continued, even after he was deported to Sicily.

After putting together their case, with the help of wiretaps and Della Donne, police swooped in on April 14, 2005.

Scarcella, 54, was sentenced to 11 years, Borelli, 30, got 12 years Christoforou, 30, and Peretz, 38, each got 11 years and Cutulle, 30, got three years.


Imagine my pain, Russo tells her assailants
Victim awarded $2-million in deal


With a report from Oliver Moore

TORONTO -- Five organized-crime figures, including a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, pleaded guilty to multiple charges yesterday in a controversial deal that awarded $2-million to Toronto mother Louise Russo, who was paralyzed during a botched underworld hit two years ago.

The plea deal, hammered out over months by police, prosecutors and defence lawyers, avoided a long trial and, in a rare move, paid its innocent victim a hefty sum from men the prosecution said are linked to the underworld.

The deal was harshly criticized by provincial opposition leaders who say it appeared as if the defendants paid cash for reduced prison time.

Mr. Justice David Watt of Ontario Superior Court praised the agreement as he presided over yesterday's hearing.

He said it "vindicates the sentencing objectives and does so without compromise."

In an appearance that reduced some spectators to tears, Mrs. Russo wheeled her way to the front of the packed courtroom, faced the defendants and described how, on April 21, 2004, "a single bullet shattered my spine and with it my life."

That bullet -- one among a volley intended to kill a Sicilian mobster -- tore into her back as she stood inside a North Toronto restaurant buying her daughter a sandwich.

In court yesterday, Mrs. Russo asked her assailants to "please try to envision my losses, my struggles and my pain."

"I miss the very basic things in life," she said.

"I've lost my balance, my energy level is limited, and I'm constantly fighting infections, which could easily lead to my demise. I live with daily painkillers, body spasms, muscle tension and fear of pressure sores. . . .

"I am a prisoner in my own body."

She wept as she described losing her role as primary caregiver for her severely disabled daughter, Jenna, 18, who cannot feed herself.

"No one could ever replace the gentle, patient, loving touch of a mother. No one."

Dressed in track suits, surrounded by armed police and court officials, the accused displayed no emotion as she spoke.

Their lawyers described them as remorseful.

The $2-million is to be paid by the court directly to Mrs. Russo in a single cheque.

It includes $670,000 seized from the homes of the accused when police arrested them in April of 2005.

The rest of it came from the three men who took part in the shooting, and some is believed to be from a Costa Rica-based on-line poker operation in which defendant Mark Peretz, 39, has an interest.

Judge Watt called the deal entirely appropriate.

"Restitution is not some get-out-of-jail early card . . . and it will not be so here," the judge said, imposing sentences ranging from 12 years to three years. They were given two-for-one credit for the year they have spent in custody, known as dead time, shaving two years off the penitentiary terms of four of the defendants.

Without the deal, police and prosecutors say, the four accused of the most serious offences would have been sentenced to about 15 years if convicted at trial. Those sentences would have been trimmed by as much as six years to offset the likely incarceration before and during a long and complex trial.

Few federal prisoners serve more than two-thirds of their sentences.

After the sentencing, Mrs. Russo, 47, said she was satisfied with the outcome. "But it's not going to bring my body back to what it was," she said.

Without the restitution payment, Mrs. Russo would have had to sue the guilty parties for damages in civil court. The province's Criminal Injuries Compensation Board allows a maximum lump-sum payment of $25,000 and a maximum monthly income of $1,000.

The man whose bullet paralyzed Mrs. Russo, Antonio Borrelli, 30, was convicted on nine counts of attempted murder -- one for each of the people who dove for cover when the gunfire erupted -- as well as conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and five firearms offences. His 12-year sentence was reduced to 10 by time spent in custody.

Peter Scarcella, 55, a long-time Mafia associate, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in a plot that did not directly involve the shooting of Mrs. Russo. He, too, was convicted of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and a firearms offence.

Paris Christoforou, 30, a full-patch member of North Toronto's Hells Angels chapter, was convicted on nine counts of attempted murder and four gun offences.

Mr. Peretz, a Hells Angels associate, was also convicted on nine attempted-murder counts and of four firearms offences.

All three received 11-year penitentiary terms, reduced to nine years by time served.

Filippo Cutulle, 30, a secondary player in the tangle of charges, was convicted on a single count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault over an attempt to injure a close friend of the Sicilian drug trafficker.

With time served, he was sentenced to 17 months in a provincial jail.

A sixth man, Emilio Zanutti, 35, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated assault and mortgage fraud and was sentenced to 4½ years. He, too, was regarded as peripheral in the tragedy.

All five defendants were also barred from possessing firearms for the rest of their lives and must submit DNA samples.

Mr. Borrelli, Mr. Christoforou and Mr. Peretz were inside a blue minivan that cruised by the sandwich shop on the night of April 21, 2004.

The bullet that hit Mrs. Russo was intended for Sicilian Michele Modica, who owed Mr. Peretz a $130,000 gambling debt.

Mr. Scarcella's conspiracy-to-commit-murder conviction stemmed from further efforts to kill Mr. Modica after Mrs. Russo was wounded.

After yesterday's hearing, Mrs. Russo told a news conference at a nearby hotel that she hopes to forgive her assailants. "But I'm not there yet. It's too fresh."

Assistant Crown attorney Donna Armstrong defended the $2-million payment. She rejected "the false impression that criminals can buy their way out of jail."

At the legislature, Attorney-General Michael Bryant said the same. "Restitution means those who have suffered are able to get some compensation from the criminals themselves . . . that is justice for the victim."

Mr. Scarcella's lawyer, John Rosen, said his client "absolutely did not" pay money in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Without the restitution order, Mr. Rosen said, "Mrs. Russo would be obliged to sue the defendants and try to collect her money through the civil courts. This short-cuts that process, that's all it does."

Others disagreed.

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory said that the perception has been raised in the public mind that criminals can buy lesser sentences.

"I don't know how they could reach any conclusion other than that these two things are connected."

Toronto lawyer Steven Skurka also said the "optics were wrong" and that the deal is likely to fuel cynicism about the justice system.

"That's unfortunately the enduring legacy of this case."

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Re: $2.5 M. to victim in exchange for reduced sentences (Maf

Unread post by HELPER » December 21st, 2013, 5:45 pm

Emilio Zanutti who was the sixth man in this case is in hiding at the moment.

Emilio Zanutti owned a website called www.myterb.com

Emilio Zanutti has changed the name to www.getsomesuga.com

www.getsomesuga.com sole purpose is to slander and defame escorts that are trying to make a living in Ontario Canada

Many Escort agency operators are on the loo out for Emilio Zanutti as he encourages unregistered guests post address of incall locations.

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Re: $2.5 M. to victim in exchange for reduced sentences (Mafia)

Unread post by POBoyKarrSt » October 23rd, 2016, 1:06 pm

This is straight BS. Look how many niggas are walking around with bullets in them and didn't get a penny for their pain and suffering. White girl gets shot and she gets paid. I remember when this first went down, the entire city was blaming black people. When it came out that bikers and the mafia were involved, the story quiet down afterwards. Then the (white) cops, (white) offenders & (white) lawyers quietly made a deal where she got paid, the criminals are out early and the police still look like heroes. Meanwhile, the black community is still vilified in the media by police.

FucK everybody involved with this BS.

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