Rhode Island Woman and Son Sentencd for Interstate Extortion Related to Organized Crime
|U.S. Department of Justice December 17, 2010|
PROVIDENCE, RI—Dorothy St. Laurent, 71, of Johnston, R.I.; and her son, Anthony St. Laurent Jr., 44, of Cranston, R.I., were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., for their participation in an interstate extortion scheme, in violation of the Hobbs Act, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Boston Field Office.
U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith sentenced Anthony St. Laurent Jr., to 78 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, to include 500 hours of community service each year during the term of supervised release. Judge Smith sentenced Dorothy St. Laurent to three years of probation, the first six months of which will be served in home confinement. She also was ordered to perform 500 hours of community service per year during the term of supervised release.
Dorothy St. Laurent and Anthony St. Laurent Jr., were charged in a criminal complaint in February 2010 with extorting payments from bookmakers in the Taunton, Mass., area on behalf of Anthony St. Laurent Sr., (Dorothy St. Laurent's husband and Anthony St. Laurent Jr.'s father). According to information presented in court, Anthony St. Laurent Sr., has been identified by law enforcement as a member of New England's La Cosa Nostra organized crime family. The defendants pleaded guilty in August 2010 to interference with commerce by threats or violence.
According to information presented in court, beginning at least in 1988 and continuing through early February 2009, Dorothy St. Laurent and Anthony St. Laurent Jr., conspired with each other and others to extort "protection" payments from a group of illegal bookmakers operating in and around Taunton.
Dorothy St. Laurent and Anthony St. Laurent Jr., in conversations recorded by the FBI in late 2008 and early 2009, discussed efforts to maintain the extortion scheme, which was generating $4,100 in cash every two weeks at the time. According to the plea agreement, the defendants extorted more than $800,000 and less than $1.5 million during the course of the scheme.
According to information presented at court and in court documents, Anthony St. Laurent Sr., functioned as the overall leader of this scheme. Dorothy St. Laurent served as the primary collection agent of the cash payments provided by the bookmakers, while Anthony St. Laurent, Jr.'s role was to both threaten violence and on at least one occasion, to engage in actual violence to ensure continued payment.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Scott Lawson of the Criminal Division's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland of the District of Rhode Island assisted in the prosecution of this case.
The case was investigated by the FBI, with the assistance of Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department.