Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Now Comes The Cash: Guilty Pleas And $3.7 Million In Forfietures For Philadelphia Gambler Joe Vito Mastronardo
Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering organized crime trials in Philadelphia and South Jersey for Bigtrial.net.
First came the guilty pleas.
Now comes the cash.
A federal judge yesterday entered a preliminary forfeiture order that will have gentlemen gambler Joe Vito Mastronardo forking over $3 million seized by authorities during an investigation that targeted his international bookmaking operation. More than $1.2 million was found stashed in PVC pipes that had been buried in the backyard of his posh Italianate mini-mansion in the Meadowbrook section of Abington Township.
The government will get an additional $700,00 from co-defendants in the case, including Mastronardo's brother John. The authorities also get to keep Joe Vito's 2001 Cadillac DeVille and a 2009 Nissan Altima used by another key figure in the bookmaking operation, according to the preliminary court order signed by U.S. District Court Judge Jan DuBois.
The forfeitures come in the wake of a global guilty plea entered by Mastronardo and 12 co-defendants in January. As part of that plea deal, prosecutors have agreed to drop a money-laundering charge against Joanna Mastronardo, Joe Vito's wife. She was the only defendant not charged with racketeering.
Joanna Mastronardo is the only daughter of the late Frank L. Rizzo, the former law-and-order Mayor and Police Commissioner of Philadelphia. Joe Vito was Rizzo's son-in-law. The Mastronardo's only child, a son named Joe, was Rizzo's only grandchild. Joe Mastronardo, 31, is a co-defendant in the case and is awaiting sentencing.
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You can also read an earlier post on Mastronardo via the below link: