4th Man Charged in Web Pornography Fraud
Source: The New York Times
By Thomas J. Lueck
Date: May 21, 2003
Federal prosecutors yesterday charged a fourth man, whom they described as a captain in the Gambino crime family, in a scheme involving pornographic Web sites that investigators say were used to bilk Web users of $230 million.
Linda Lacewell, an assistant United States attorney in Brooklyn, said the man, Salvatore Locascio, 43, of Naples, Fla., was in custody yesterday and had been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Ms. Lacewell said Mr. Locascio was involved in the scheme through an associate in the Gambino crime family, Richard Martino, one three men charged in a federal indictment on March 18.
Prosecutors said Mr. Martino passed $8 million in proceeds from the illegal Internet operations through Mr. Locascio to the Gambino family.
In announcing the initial indictments in the case, Roslynn R. Mauskopf, the United State attorney in Brooklyn, said the scheme involved pornographic Web sites that falsely offered "free tours," and then billed customers as much as $90 a month.
Besides Mr. Martino, 43, of Harrison, N.Y., the indictments on March 18 named Bruce Chew, 50, of Lloyd Harbor, N.Y., and Norman Chanes, 56, of Manhattan.
All three pleaded not guilty. They were charged with bilking thousands of people in the United States, Europe and Asia. Full Story
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