By Victoria Merlino
Queens Daily Eagle
The judge gave him a sentence he couldn’t refuse.
Ronald “Ronnie G” Giallanzo, a Howard Beach loanshark and Bonnano family captain, will have to pay a $1.25 million penalty and sell his Howard Beach mansion as part of a sentence handed down in Brooklyn’s federal court Wednesday.
Giallanzo was also sentenced to 14 years in prison for his involvement in a racketeering conspiracy that lasted from 1998 to 2017. Prosecutors said he made about $3 million off his loansharking operation and used the cash to build an opulent home in Howard Beach.
“Today’s sentence punishes a violent mobster for running a massive loansharking operation that victimized a community and earned him millions in illicit profits,” said U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue. “Giallanzo is headed to prison, forced to sell his mansion built on ill-gotten proceeds and held responsible for brazenly committing many of his crimes from behind bars while serving another organized crime-related sentence. Together with our law enforcement partners, this Office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute members and associates of organized crime.”
Giallanzo loaned millions of dollars in cash at exorbitant weekly interest rates and directed members of the crime outfit to collect the debts through violence and threats of injury.
He paid for his million-dollar Howard Beach home with the loan-sharking profits. The house has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, three kitchens, a salt-water pool, a built-in aquarium and a wine cellar.
Prosecutors say other Bonanno family associates also operated out of Howard Beach. Michael “Mike” Palmaccio and Nicholas “Pudgie” Festa are waiting for sentencing after they assisted Giallanzo collect debts. All three were arrested by the FBI and March 2017.
“Members of these mafia families continue to prey upon the people of their communities, lining their pockets on the backs of victims through intimidation and acts of violence,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said in a statement. “While these criminals lead lavish lifestyles, their victims struggle through years of financial distress and the constant fear of what will happen to them when they can no longer pay.”
Giallanzo was also ordered by the court to pay $268,000 in restitution to five of his victims. At his sentencing, he told the court he would likely miss the marriages of his children and the death of his parents.
“I have no one to blame but myself,” he said, according to the New York Post.