Martin Taccetta a member of the Lucchese crime family and a leader of the mafia families New Jersey based crew wants to withdraw his guilty plea to racketeering charges. Feds claim Taccetta served as second in command under his brother Michael in the New Jersey based Lucchese family crew. The 64 year old mobster was charged along with 32 suspects back in 2007 in connection with a money laundering and illegal sports betting scheme. According to authorities the operation had netted approx $2.2 billion dollars during a 15 month period relying on violence to insure collection of debts.
This recent legal trouble is nothing new to Taccetta who has spent half his life either behind bars or being prosecuted. He is currently serving a 30 year to life sentence from a conviction in an unrelated racketeering charge. He was indicted in Ocean County back in 1991 on multiple charges including racketeering and 1984 murder of a mafia associate. He was cleared of the murder charge but was still convicted on racketeering charges in 1994 and sentenced to life plus 10 years being eligible for parole after 30 years. The jury specifically found him to be a member of the New York mafia and the Lucchese family.
He served 10 years of his sentence before being granted an appeal by state Supreme Court and was released in 2005 only to return to prison in 2009 to resume his sentence after his conviction was upheld. The aging mobster wants his sentence lowered from agreed upon eight years down to five as he is now petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his appeal on the Ocean City case. If his appeal were to be granted he could potentially be released again from prison and doesn’t want to be caught behind bars by this latest case.
His lawyers noted that their client feels as though he is being used as a tool by the feds as five other plea deals they made with fellow defendants were contingent upon him pleading guilty. He is also worried that if he follows through with this sentence his June plea allocution could be used against him by the feds for a new tax evasion case. He was set to be sentenced during the hearing on Thursday when he requested his instead his plea be withdrawn.
The judge reviewed the plea forms and transcripts of Taccetta’s June plea and noted he was aware of the charges he was pleading too along with the agreed upon penalty. The judge noted that along with the defendants criminal history would not justify him to lower the state’s either year plea offer to five and he has no control over the actions taken by federal government who also stuck to their original eight year offer. The judge did give lawyers for Taccetta to Sept. 30 to file a motion for their client to officially withdraw his plea and continue negotiations.