Norwalk Man Pleads Guilty to Impersonating Organized Crime Figures to Extort $200,000 from Fairfield County Businessman
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 02, 2013|
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that Joseph Casolo, 45, of Norwalk, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford to one count of extortion.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between approximately September 2010 and December 2011, Casolo extorted money from a small-business owner in Fairfield County by impersonating organized crime figures. Casolo threatened the victim in person, in phone conversations and in text messages using multiple personas, repeatedly stating or implying that if the victim failed to make the extortion payments, the victim, the victim’s spouse, and the victim’s daughter would be harmed with violence. Casolo also enlisted the assistance of an individual who identified himself as “Lorenzo,” the organized crime family’s “enforcer,” and made multiple threatening calls to the victim at Casolo’s direction.
The investigation has revealed that the victim made more than $200,000 in cash payments to Casolo as a result of his threats. Casolo shared a portion of these funds with the individual who played the role of Lorenzo.
Casolo, who has been detained since his arrest on November 20, 2012, is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford on October 24, 2013. Casolo faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Stamford Police Department, the Bridgeport Police Department, and the Connecticut State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hal Chen.