For Immediate Release - March 11, 2013

North Andover Man Sentenced To State Prison For Gaming and Loan Sharking

Joseph Giallanella, 64, of North Andover (also known as Jason Peters) was sentenced today to 2 to 4 years in state prison followed by 2 years of probation by Judge Maynard M. Kirpalani in Salem Superior Court.  Giallanella pleaded guilty on January 18, 2013 to Managing a Gaming Enterprise, Use of a Telephone for Gaming, Criminal Usury, 2 counts of Conspiracy, and 2 Counts of Accessory After the Fact of Larceny.   

Essex First Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley requested a 5 to 7 year sentence in state prison.  In his sentencing argument, Dawley said, “This defendant is at the top of the pyramid of an organized loan sharking and bookmaking enterprise which is the lifeblood of traditional organized crime.  He collected gaming debts and street loans using threats and violence.”  Dawley explained that one of the “victims” of Giallanella’s organization was a Wakefield Corporation that was robbed of nearly $1.8 million by an employee who owed Giallanella money.  “While people choose to associate with and do business with the defendant at their own peril, society is nevertheless harmed when those people in turn steal substantial amounts of money from legitimate businesses to cover their own gaming losses,” Dawley said.

In late 2009, the Essex District Attorney’s Office, together with Massachusetts State Police Special Services Section launched an investigation into loan sharking and gaming activity by Giallanella.  That inquiry soon ballooned into a widespread investigation into organized crime activity throughout Eastern Massachusetts.  In October 2010, the Essex District Attorney’s Office and Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced that the statewide grand jury had handed up 103 indictments against 31 individuals on charges that included drug trafficking, extortion, gaming, loan sharking, home invasion, kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms.

 Of the 31 initially charged, nearly 20 defendants have been found guilty in Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk and Plymouth counties.

 Giallanella represented by Attorneys Michael Callanan and AJ Maineri.  He faces additional charges (Assault & Battery, Attempted Extortion; Intimidation of a Witness; and Attempt to Commit Another to Commit Perjury) in Middlesex County which will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division.