Is the Mafia still in business? Friends of mine were talking about this last weekend at brunch. The Godfather? The Sopranos? Isn’t that all over?
Today Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Steven L. Crea, the Underboss of the Luchese Family, was sentenced today to life in prison, a $400,000 fine, and the forfeiture of $1 million following his conviction for the 2013 murder of Michael Meldish, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and other felonies. A jury convicted Crea and three co-defendants on November 15, 2019, following a six-week trial before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel, who also imposed today’s sentence.
Here’s the rest of the release:
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Steven L. Crea – the Underboss of the Luchese Family – is the last of a dozen made men arrested in 2017 to be sentenced for his crimes. For his role in the 2013 murder of Michael Meldish and other crimes, Crea will now spend the rest of his life behind bars. Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and NYPD, we continue our commitment to render La Cosa Nostra a thing of the past.”
According to the evidence presented at trial, the admissions of defendants who pled guilty, and other court documents:
STEVEN L. CREA was the Underboss, or second-in-command, of the Luchese Family of La Cosa Nostra, one of the “Five Families” that constitute the Mafia in the New York City area. From 2000 to his arrest in 2017, CREA helped lead the Luchese Family, which made millions of dollars in profit from crimes committed by the Family’s members and associates in New York City, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and elsewhere. In 2013, CREA helped orchestrate the murder of Michael Meldish.
In May 2017, charges were filed against 12 members of the Luchese Family, including the Acting Boss, Underboss, Consigliere, four captains, and five soldiers, for their commission of a wide array of crimes with the Mafia from at least in or about 2000 up to and including in or about 2017. With the exception of one captain who died before his case was resolved, every Luchese Family member charged in this case either pled guilty or was convicted at trial. With CREA’s sentencing today, all have now been sentenced by Judge Seibel. Eight Mafia associates were also charged. All subsequently pled guilty or were convicted at trial, and seven have now been sentenced. The defendants were convicted of being leaders, members and associates of the Mafia, and committing crimes including the murder of Michael Meldish; three attempted murders – including the attempted murder of a former witness against the Mafia; multiple assaults; trafficking oxycodone, cocaine, and other drugs; extortion; millions of dollars in fraud against a public hospital in the Bronx; loansharking; operating illegal gambling businesses; and other crimes. A chart containing the ages, residency information, convictions, and sentences of the defendants is attached.