Mafia Charged With Looting $12M From Texas Lender

Law360, New York (November 1, 2011, 8:14 PM EDT) -- Prosecutors unsealed a sweeping indictment Tuesday in New Jersey accusing 13 individuals, including two connected to the Lucchese crime family, of using extortion to take over and plunder $12 million from FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. while lying to investors of the now-bankrupt Texas lender.

Lucchese member Nicodemo S. Scarfo and associate Salvatore Pelullo threatened FirstPlus board members in order to seize control of the company, and then looted it through a series of fraudulent consulting agreements and acquisitions of Scarfo- and Pelullo-controlled companies, according to a 25-count indictment filed in New Jersey federal court on Oct. 26.

The indictment also targets...

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