For Immediate Release - March 26, 2013

Top Rossetti Associate Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Loan Sharking, Conspiracy to Commit Extortion

BOSTON – A North Andover man and top associate of alleged mob captain Mark Rossetti has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in state prison in connection with loan sharking and conspiracy to commit extortion, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

Joseph Giallanella, age 64, pleaded guilty on Monday in Middlesex Superior Court to charges of Criminal Usury (3 counts), Conspiracy to Commit Attempted Extortion, and Attempt to Procure Perjury before a Grand Jury. After the plea was entered, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Maureen Hogan sentenced Giallanella to two years to two years and a day in state prison. The sentence will run concurrent with a two to four year sentence in Essex County that Giallanella received after pleading guilty to Managing a Gaming Enterprise, Use of a Telephone for Gaming, Criminal Usury, Conspiracy (2 counts), and Accessory After the Fact of Larceny (2 counts).

“The investigation into this extensive criminal organization began when authorities starting looking into Giallanella’s reputation as a bookmaker and loan shark,” said AG Coakley. “With this sentence, nearly 20 defendants have been found guilty and sentenced in connection with that criminal enterprise.”

This sentence is the result of a multi-agency targeted investigation into a highly organized and violent criminal enterprise that operated throughout eastern Massachusetts. The investigation began in 2009 and was conducted jointly by the Attorney General’s Office, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s Office, and the Massachusetts State Police Special Service Section.

In October 2010, AG Coakley, DA Blodgett, and retired Colonel Marian J. McGovern, former superintendent of the State Police, announced the indictments of 31 individuals in connection with this highly organized and violent criminal enterprise that involved extortion, drug trafficking, robberies, assaults and other crimes. 

The suspected leader of the criminal network, Rossetti, was indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury in connection with organizing this criminal network involved in extortion, drug trafficking, robberies, assaults and other crimes. As the investigation developed and crimes outside of Essex County were identified, DA Blodgett and AG Coakley collaborated resources, leading to one of the first and most successful uses of the Statewide Grand Jury, which heard evidence for five months, much of it gathered utilizing state-of-the art investigative techniques. Investigators and prosecutors developed evidence against Rossetti and other individuals associated with the criminal organization and dismantled it. To date, nearly 20 defendants have been found guilty in Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk and Plymouth counties.

Utilizing state-of-the art investigative techniques, investigators and prosecutors developed evidence against Rossetti and other individuals associated with the criminal organization and identified Giallanella as Rossetti’s associate. The investigation revealed that Giallanella was a local bookmaker and loan shark, and employed an “enforcer” who would collect money from gamblers who fell behind on their debts. In many cases, violence or threats of violence were used in order to collect the debts.

Giallanella was indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury in October 2010. In January, he pleaded guilty to charges of Managing a Gaming Enterprise, Use of a Telephone for Gaming, Criminal Usury, Conspiracy (2 counts), and Accessory After the Fact of Larceny (2 counts) in Essex Superior Court and was sentenced on March 11 to two to four years in state prison. He pleaded guilty yesterday in Middlesex Superior Court and was sentenced to two years to two years and a day in state prison.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Patrick Hanley and Marina Moriarty, of AG Coakley’s Enterprise and Major Crimes, with assistance from Dean Mazzone, Chief of AG Coakley’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division. Essex County First Assistant District Attorney John Dawley is prosecuting all defendants charged in Essex County. Shannon Legrice of the AG’s Victim/Witness Services Division and paralegal Lindsay Bonda, from the Enterprise and Major Crimes Division, also assisted in the case. It was investigated by the Special Service Section of the Massachusetts State Police, the Essex District Attorney’s Office and Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Essex District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from various local police departments.

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