Reputed “associates” of the Lucchese organized crime family are facing federal charges stemming from the takeover of a Texas mortgage company, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey announced Tuesday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Nicodemo S. Scarfo, the son of imprisoned former reputed Philadelphia-area mob boss Nicodemo D. "Little Nicky" Scarfo, was among the 13 people under federal indictment.
Salvatore Pelullo, the other alleged “associate” of the Lucchese crime family, was also among the 13 under indictment on racketeering and other charges connected with the takeover of FirstPlus Financial Group.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the 13 suspects were all involved in the “alleged extortionate takeover of a publicly traded company.”
The takeover began in 2007, authorities say.
The younger Scarfo and Pelullo used threats to help control the company, according to the indictment. Pelullo is accused of telling a member of the FirstPlus board that if he didn't go along with the plan, "your kids will be sold off as prostitutes."
Authorities say Scarfo discussed some of the details by phone with his father “Little Nicky" who is now in prison and not charged in the alleged plot.
Once the group had control of the company, authorities say, they allegedly funneled money from FirstPlus to companies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
But those companies were set up just as places to launder money, according to the indictment. It says the mobsters extracted more than $12 million and used some to buy a home, cars, including a Bentley, a yacht, helicopter and jewelry, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities say the criminal enterprise hid its connections to the deal by omitting their identities from filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Some of the suspects were not yet arrested by Tuesday morning, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.