July 19, 2007 Edition
BY JERRY CAPECI
July 19, 2007
What’s good for the Mafia Cops should also be good for an old-time wiseguy, Dominick “Skinny Dom” Pizzonia claims.
The Gambino capo is looking for the same relief a maverick Brooklyn federal judge gave the murderous mob-cop tandem of Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa last year when he reversed their murder convictions on statute of limitations grounds.
Like the murders attributed to the ex-detectives, Pizzonia, 66, says, the 1992 slayings of a Bonnie & Clyde robbery team and a 1996 gambling operation took place too long ago for jurors to have convicted Skinny Dom of racketeering conspiracy charges in his 2005 indictment.
In court papers, Skinny Dom’s attorney noted that his client was acquitted of five other so-called predicate acts in the conspiracy, including the only ones that occurred after May 26, 2000, five years before the indictment was filed, and asked Judge Jack Weinstein to toss the conviction.
The lawyer, Joseph Corozzo, cited Judge Weinstein’s ruling that the murders the Mafia Cops committed as NYPD detectives were too old, and that their racketeering conspiracy had ended in 1996. Crimes they committed years later when they retired and moved to Las Vegas were not part of the charged racketeering conspiracy, and the conviction must be reversed, the judge ruled. Even so, Judge Weinstein ordered the ex-detectives jailed as dangers to the community while the government appealed his ruling.
“According to the [Pizzonia] jury’s verdict,” Mr. Corozzo wrote, the racketeering conspiracy ended in 1996 and was “complete nine years prior to Pizzonia’s indictment … and must ultimately be dismissed” because “federal prosecutions must be brought within five years after the offense has been committed.”
In his motion papers, Mr. Corozzo argued that the jury’s guilty verdict was inconsistent with its findings that the specific allegations in the indictment after May 26, 2000, two loan-sharking charges, were “not proven” and the conviction should be set aside.
Prosecutors Paige Petersen and Joey Lipton are expected to argue that the racketeering conspiracy statute does not require prosecutors to prove any specific acts, merely that Skinny Dom was a member of the conspiracy charged in the indictment, the Gambino crime family, after May 26, 2000, and that the jury’s verdict showed that the government had done so.