The feds claim that cash made from mafia activities flowed up to Bonanno crime family captain Nicholas Santora as testimony continued in the Bonanno mob trial.
In typical Cosa Nostra fashion proceeds from gambling and loan sharking among other crimes made its way through the Bonanno family hierarchy according to prosecutors. Santora is on trial along with fellow mobsters Anthony Santoro, Vito Badamo, and Ernest Aiello all busted back in 2013. The alleged mobsters were part of a mafia crew run by Santora according to the feds and are on trial for enterprise corruption charges which include drug dealing, illegal gambling, and loan sharking.
“Left to Right: Vito Badamo, Ernest Aiello, Anthony Santoro, Nicky Santora“
Detective Angelo Barone took the stand and testified that Badamo and Santoro collected the profits from their mob activities and kicked up to Santora. He said “The money goes up,” the detective testified. “Santoro collects the money, gives it to Badamo and a piece goes to Santora.” Prosecutors presented audio recordings, texts, and surveillance of Badamo and Santoro exchanging money and talking about gambling debts owed to them during various meetings. In one conversation the New York mafia duo talks about taking care of a problem before it got to “front street” which prosecutors claim meant they wanted it handled before Santora got involved.
Santora’s attorney Michael Alber didn’t agree with the prosecutors analysis of the evidence and questioned how they determined that cash was being kicked up to his client. He asked detective Barone if he ever seen anyone actually give Santora any money to which Barone answered no. Alber’s also noted that his client is not shown in any of the surveillance gathered by the feds and no reference was made to his client in the evidence collected from search warrants of the defendants homes. Badamo’s attorney also noted that no evidence of gambling activity was recovered during the search of his clients home and vehicle.
But prosecutors recorded Badamo talking to a Bonanno family associate named Dominick Siano about the raid. Saino says during the recording “Uncle Chap (nickname of Badamo), we got big problems,they got my computer, It shows I went onto the site (the alleged illegal Internet gambling site the Bonanno’s ran.) Badamo the asks “Who else was hit by the search warrants?” Prosecutors claim his reply proves he had knowledge of the illegal gambling site.