New York Man Sentenced to 35 Months in Prison for Role in Extortion Scheme
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that EDWARD MEMOLI, 66, of Unadilla, N.Y., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 35 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for his role in an extortion scheme. Judge Bryant also ordered MEMOLI to pay $26,000 in restitution to the victim of his scheme.
On October 30, 2014, a jury found MEMOLI guilty of one count of conspiracy to obstruct interstate commerce by extortion and one count of aiding and abetting the obstruction of interstate commerce by extortion.
According to the evidence at trial, between approximately September 2010 and December 2011, MEMOLI conspired with Joseph Casolo of Norwalk to extort 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 enlisted the assistance of MEMOLI, who identified himself as “Lorenzo,” the organized crime family’s “enforcer,” and made at least 20 threatening calls from a restricted telephone number to the victim at Casolo’s direction. At the time, MEMOLI was living in Greenville, South Carolina.
MEMOLI specifically threatened to cause the business owner’s daughter, who was pregnant, to have a miscarriage if the extortion payments were not made.
The investigation revealed that the victim made more than $200,000 in cash payments to Casolo as a result of these threats. Casolo shared a portion of these funds with MEMOLI by sending them to him via Western Union money transfer.
Casolo and MEMOLI also targeted another Fairfield County resident for extortion. Posing as “Lorenzo,” MEMOLI made calls to the victim’s cellular telephone and the victim’s place of work in which MEMOLI made veiled threats to the victim’s wife and two children.
Law enforcement learned of Casolo and MEMOLI only after information regarding their extortion scheme came to light on a court-authorized wiretap investigating genuine organized crime activity in Fairfield County.
Casolo pleaded guilty to one count of extortion and, on October 24, 2013, he was sentenced to 57 months of imprisonment.
MEMOLI was ordered to report to prison on July 10, 2015.
This matter was investigated by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force and the Stamford Police Department, with the assistance of the FBI’s Binghamton Field Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hal Chen and Charles Rombeau.