EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 27, 2013

North Andover loan shark gets 2 years in prison

By Warren Talbot

---- — Joseph Giallanella of North Andover, whom prosecutors call a loan shark and top associate of the once powerful New England Mafia captain Mark Rossetti, had another date in court this week and the outcome again went against him.

On Monday, the balding, grandfatherly-looking Giallanella was in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge where he was sentenced to two years in state prison. He had pleaded guilty to charges of criminal usury (three counts), conspiracy to commit attempted extortion, and attempt to procure perjury before a grand jury.

The sentence came two weeks after Giallanella, 64, of 134 Candlestick Road, North Andover, was sentenced in Essex Superior Court to two to four years after pleading guilty to managing a gaming enterprise, using a telephone for gaming, criminal usury, two counts of conspiracy and two counts of accessory after the fact of larceny.

The latest sentence will be served concurrently with the Essex County sentence.

Attorney General Martha Coakley says the convictions against the likes of Giallanelli and Rossetti are visible symbol of the dismantling of the La Cosa Nostra in New England.

Earlier this month, Rossetti, 53, of East Boston, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for running a violent criminal enterprise across Eastern Massachusetts. He will serve the sentence simultaneously with previous punishments for selling heroin and for breaking and entering to steal from a rival drug dealer.

“The investigation into this extensive criminal organization began when authorities starting looking into Giallanella’s reputation as a bookmaker and loan shark,” Coakley said in a statement yesterday. “With this sentence, nearly 20 defendants have been found guilty and sentenced in connection with that criminal enterprise.”

Giallanella’s sentence is the result of a multi-agency targeted investigation into a highly organized and violent criminal enterprise that operated throughout eastern Massachusetts. The investigation began in 2009 and was conducted jointly by the Attorney General’s Office, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s Office, and the Massachusetts State Police Special Service Section.

In October 2010, state law enforcement officials announced the indictments of 31 individuals in connection with a violent criminal enterprise that involved extortion, drug trafficking, robberies, assaults and other crimes.

The suspected leader of the criminal network, Rossetti, was indicted in connection with organizing the network involved in extortion, drug trafficking, robberies, assaults and other crimes.

To date, nearly 20 defendants have been found guilty in Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk and Plymouth counties in relation to the investigation.

The investigation revealed that Giallanella was a local bookmaker and loan shark, and employed an “enforcer” who would collect money from gamblers who fell behind on their debts. In many cases, violence or threats of violence were used in order to collect the debts.

Giallanella was indicted in October 2010. In January, he pleaded guilty to charges of managing a gaming enterprise, use of a telephone for gaming, criminal usury, conspiracy and accessory after the fact of larceny in Essex Superior Court and was sentenced on March 11 to two to four years in state prison.

Prosecutors say Giallanella would strong arm his debtors using threats and violence.

“He was at the top of the pyramid with many agents working for him. ... He set the limits. He was the overall boss,” First Assistant District Attorney John Dawley said during Giallanella’s sentencing earlier this month. “He had a significant amount of money on the street,” he added.