The Mafia’s halcyon days may be gone, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to make a buck anywhere they can. US officials arrested 14 members of the Gambino crime family for pimping today. The New York Daily News has more:
“No crime seems too depraved to be exploited if it was a money-maker, including the sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old,” said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge George Venizelos. Authorities said the prostitution service was a first for an organized crime crew.
Allged Gambino soldier Thomas Orefice is accused of hatching the scheme to recruit young women from various strip clubs to work as prostitutes. Prosecutors say Orefice advertised the girls, ranging in age from 15 to 19, on Craigslist with ads that included the phone number of Gambino madam Suzanne Porcelli.
Porcelli set up the appointments, and Orefice’s crew members drove the women to their bookings, waited for them and took half the cash, prosecutors say. As a sideline, Orefice made these same women available to gamblers who played poker at his illegal high-stakes games, prosecutors charge.
“Rumors of the Mafia’s demise are greatly exaggerated,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
The Mafia isn’t gone, but it is resorting to desperate measures to try to increase its margins. What’s next, another reality TV show?