The United States Department of Justice has sentenced the Underboss of Philadelphia organized crime family, La Cosa Nostra.

According to court documents, 59-year-old Steven Mazzone, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for “for conspiring to participate in the affairs of a racketeering enterprise, including making extortionate extensions of credit and conducting an illegal gambling business”, stated the press release.

Mazzone was the underboss of “Philadelphia organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra and directed a vast network of criminal activity that spanned Philadelphia and parts of New Jersey”

“The Department of Justice has long been committed to dismantling LCN across the country and reducing its reach and influence,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. .

The investigation utilized court-ordered wiretap interceptions of cell phones used to conduct illegal sports betting and loansharking in the Philadelphia area. Evidence from the wiretap showed Mazzone financing “high-interest loans to customers of the sportsbook who were unable to pay their debts, resulting in the collection of loans with interest rates as high as 264%.”

“LCN members and associates made threatened debtors who did not pay with violence, including one threat to make a victim “disappear” for nonpayment on a loan.”

“Even though the Philadelphia mob has been weakened over the decades due in large part to persistent law enforcement, the LCN and its criminal activities are still very much a problem and are damaging the communities in which it operates,” said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

This arrest marks Mazzone’s 2nd federal conviction in connection to the LCN.

His previous offences occurred in 2000, when he was “convicted of conspiracy to commit racketeering and illegal sports bookmaking”. Mazzone was captured on intercepted wiretap conversations discussing an extortion where one of the victims was shot and seriously injured.

Mazzone was sentenced to nine years in prison. .

“The FBI is dedicated to eliminating transnational organized crime groups like La Cosa Nostra who continue to threaten our national and economic security,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

The U.S Attorney’s office, FBI, and Pennsylvania State Police are committed to prosecuting federal crimes such as this one, and to work with all law enforcement to seek justice against organized criminal threats.