New York Men Charged with Extorting Connecticut Resident
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 13, 2014|
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that ERNEST SYKU, 43, of the Bronx, New York, and ROBERT FRANCELLA, also known as “Bobby Fingers,” 54, of Yonkers, New York, were arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging them with collection of an extension of credit by extortionate means.
According to statements made in court, SYKU and FRANCELLA are alleged to have threatened a Connecticut resident with violence in order to induce this individual to pay an alleged $240,000 debt.
Following their arrests, SYKU and FRANCELLA appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and were detained pending detention hearings that are scheduled for next week.
If convicted of the charge of collection of an extension of credit by extortionate means, both SYKU and FRANCELLA face a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the Bridgeport Police Department, and the Connecticut State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.