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Acting Boss of N.Y. Genovese Crime Family Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Charges

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By Allan Lengel
For Aol News

The acting head of the Genovese organized crime family, Daniel Leo, aka “The Lion,” and his nephew Joseph Leo, a lieutenant, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Manhattan federal court to racketeering charges related to loan sharking, extortion and illegal gambling.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that Daniel Leo became the acting boss of the Genovese organized crime family in 2005, rising from the family’s ruling council to run the show. The Genovese family is one of New York’s five legendary Mafia families.

Today’s guilty pleas were considered significant, part of the ongoing crackdown in recent years on the infamous New York mob, which has often been glamorized in films and TV. But the FBI asserts that Genovese and Gambino crime families in particular continue to thrive.

“They certainly have taken hits with the RICO statute (Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations Act), but organized crime in the New York City area is alive and well,” said David Shafer, assistant special agent in charge of the New York Office of the organized crime branch. “The Genovese family is a very, very strong family.”

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