Monday, June 24, 2024

Mafia News: Final Mafia Member In 2017 Takedown Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder, Racketeering, And Other Crimes


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.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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