Prosecutors were recommending a sentence of up to two years behind bars but Judge Ann Donnelly noted Avellino’s age and health problems as reasons for her decision. The 72-year-old New York Mafia capo reportedly has progressing Parkinson’s disease and has suffered from heart attacks and a mini-stroke. Defense attorney Scott Leemon described his client’s medical situation as worsening and that prison was not the place to get the treatment he needed telling the judge “We don’t need this man dying in jail.”
According to the feds, Avellino loaned a man $100,000 and the guy later defaulted on his payments. The Lucchese family capo dispatched his cousins Daniel Capra and Michael Capra to shake down the debtor and a friend who had tried to intervene. Daniel was captured on tape talking about the debtor with his brother telling him to “shake him up a little bit.” His brother called him back days later to let him know he had slapped the guy five times in an effort to make sure he paid back Avellino. Both Capra brothers were arrested in 2013 for the shakedown scheme with Avellino being arrested a year later.
Avellino pleaded guilty to conspiring to use extortionate means to collect credit in August of last year. Daniel Capra was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in the extortion plot while his brother Michael avoided prison getting sentenced to five years probation. Prosecutors thought Avellino deserved a much harsher outcome calling him a high ranking member of organized crime who had previously served time behind bars for racketeering. Along with the year of house arrest and several years of probation, the Cosa Nostra mobster must also pay a $100,000 fine.