Reputed Genovese crime boss and 31 other alleged mob figures are charged |

Reputed Genovese crime boss and 31 other alleged mob figures are charged

NEW YORK – The reputed acting boss of the city’s most powerful Mafia family and 31 other alleged mob figures were charged Thursday with a host of underworld crimes, including a hit that prosecutors say was ordered by the don from behind bars.The charges deliver “an absolute body blow” to the Genovese family, said FBI Assistant Director Mark J. Mershon. He said 30 people had been arrested.The indictment accuses the defendants of engaging in money laundering, drug trafficking, extortion, gun running and murder for more than a decade.Liborio S. “Barney” Bellomo, who prosecutors say became boss upon the 1992 arrest of Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, was accused of authorizing from prison the 1998 killing of mobster Ralph Coppola. Bellomo is serving a 10-year sentence for extortion.Prosecutors disclosed Thursday that the message sanctioning the hit was carried by Bellomo’s lawyer, Peter J. Peluso. Peluso pleaded guilty last summer to racketeering and has agreed to cooperate against his former client.The arrests follow a three-year investigation into the family’s activities in the Bronx, Harlem and the Westchester County suburbs north of the city.Gigante, the former Genovese family boss, was dubbed “The Oddfather” for wandering the streets in a ratty bathrobe and slippers in a crazy act that kept him out of prison for many years. He died in December at age 77 of natural causes.The charges were unsealed in the same courthouse where John “Junior” Gotti, son of the late boss of the Gambino family, was on trial. He is accused of having radio host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa kidnapped in retaliation for Sliwa’s on-air rants against Gotti’s father.Vail, Colorado

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