Reputed Staten Island wiseguy and crime family boss to be sentenced Tuesday

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- He's the alleged acting boss of the Bonanno organized crime family, but a federal judge will dictate Vincent Badalamenti's fate on Tuesday.

The Annadale resident, known as "Vinny TV," will be sentenced in Brooklyn federal court. He faces up to 27 months behind bars.

Badalamenti, 54, was among a number of alleged wiseguys arrested earlier this year for racketeering, extortion and other charges. Prosecutors said the suspects used violence and intimidation to get cash from victims, and some crimes date back to 1999.

Four of the defendants -- Badalamenti, Anthony "TG" Graziano, 71, Vito Balsamo, 56, and Anthony Calabrese, 44 -- purportedly have high-ranking positions in or ties to the Bonanno family.

Graziano, father of "Mob Wives" reality-TV star Renee Graziano, is a reputed Bonanno consigliere; Balsamo is an acting captain and Calabrese a solider within the family, according to court documents. Another defendant, James LaForte Jr., 35, who served time for his role in a Nassau County real-estate scam, is a Gambino crime family associate, prosecutors said.

Earlier this year, Badalamenti, Graziano, Balsamo and Calabrese each pleaded guilty to collection of unlawful debt conspiracy. LaForte pleaded guilty to illegal gambling. He was accused of operating an illegal sports-betting operation on Staten Island between Sept. 1, 2008, and Jan. 31, 2009

Court papers said Badalamenti is the highest-ranking Bonanno member on the street. He "wields day-to-day control over all other Bonanno members and associates who are at liberty," those documents said. He also allegedly controls a mob social club on 20th Avenue and 72nd Street in Brooklyn's Bensonhurst section.

Prosecutors allege that Badalamenti, in 1999, ordered a bar taken over on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn when its owner failed to pay a debt.

Some of the alleged incidents occurred while Graziano and LaForte were living in federal halfway houses shortly after their release from prison.

Another defendant, Nicholas (Nicky Mouth) Santora of Long Island, allegedly broke the law in some instances while on supervised release after serving a stint behind bars, court papers said. The reputed Bonanno captain is slated to be sentenced next month.

In one incident, Graziano directed his former son-in-law and mob turncoat, Hector Pagan, to see a loanshark victim and to "break his (genitals)" and "open him up," court filings state. In another, Pagan told Graziano that a second man from whom he was trying to collect a debt "was crying hysterical," those documents stated.

In the original court filings, prosecutors accused Calabrese and unnamed others of extorting and beating the owner of The Square pizzeria in New Dorp between May and August of 2010.

Feathers were ruffled over the shop's pizzas, which were considered too similar to those of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn. However, the owner, whose two sons previously worked at L&B, has denied being attacked or forced to pay money to end the hostilities, according to published reports.

Last month, Graziano was sentenced to 19 months in prison; LaForte was sentenced to 17 months, Balsamo received a year and a day and Calabrese got six months in a medical jail and eight months' house arrest, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Dennehy, one of the prosecutors who handled the case for Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Each must pay $5,000 restitution and is subject to three years' post-release supervision, Dennehy said.

Badalamenti's sentencing was adjourned, pending a hearing.

According to court papers, sentencing guidelines recommend a range of 21 to 27 months in prison.

Badalamenti's lawyer, Ronald P. Fischetti, has argued that his client, at the very least, should be credited with 12 months' jail time toward any sentence. That's the time he's already served under a prior plea to a different charge arising from the same offense, Fischetti maintains.