By Frank Donnelly
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Todt Hill resident Scott Fappiano spent 21 years behind bars for a rape he didn't commit.
But the purported Gambino crime family associate got slapped on Friday with a 366-day jail sentence for a crime he admitted to -- threatening to hurt a waste-company owner who was paying him protection money, said federal prosecutors.
Fappiano was among 32 suspects with links to organized crime who were arrested in January 2013 and accused of plotting to control the commercial waste-hauling industry in the greater New York City metropolitan area, said Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Members and associates of the Gambino, Genovese and Luchese crime families participated in the scheme, which incorporated extortion, loansharking, mail and wire fraud, said Manhattan federal prosecutors.
According to prosecutors' sentencing memorandum, Fappiano offered protection to a waste-company owner who was being extorted by other parties.
The man, who later cooperated with authorities, paid Fappiano $5,600, and the defendant also demanded that he be placed on the books to document his employment to his probation officer, said prosecutors.
Fappiano was on a term of supervised release stemming from a 2011 Brooklyn federal court conviction for participating in a loansharking conspiracy, said prosecutors.
Fappiano did "only a minimal amount" of work for the waste company and on at least two occasions telephoned the owner and threatened to hurt him, said prosecutors.
In January, Fappiano, then 52, pleaded guilty to one count of communicating a threat of bodily harm in interstate commerce.
His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.
In 2006, Fappiano was sprung from prison after DNA evidence exonerated him in the 1983 rape of a police officer's wife in Brooklyn.
He later received a $1.8 million settlement from the state for false imprisonment, said an Advance report.
In December of last year, Fappiano agreed to fork over $105,000 to resolve a civil lawsuit field against him by his brother, Mark, of West Brighton.
Mark Fappiano alleged his sibling failed to pay a $138,000 debt to him despite having the money from the false-arrest settlement.