Reputed mob boss appeals ADT fraud conviction

 - 
08/01/2011

Security Systems News has written previously about Vincent Artuso, who was sentenced in 2009 to nine years in federal prison for his role in a real-estate scam to bilk ADT out of millions of dollars.

Now, according to a recent Associated Press story, Artuso, reputed to be a captain of the Gambino crime family's South Florida operations, has asked a federal appeals court to throw out his conviction. Artuso’s lawyers claim that prosecutors in the trial used “prejudicial evidence” about organized crime that wasn’t related to the fraud charges, the story states.

Here’s more from the July 27 report:

“Vincent Artuso's attorneys asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to toss the conviction because prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to convict him of fraud and racketeering charges involving a scam that targeted ADT Security Services Inc. They also claim the trial was tainted by a biased juror.

But federal prosecutors countered that there was ample evidence in video recordings, audiotapes and court testimony that proved Artuso was a "made member" who ran a South Florida crew for the notorious crime family. And they said defense attorneys should have raised objections at trial if they were concerned about the juror.

Artuso was convicted of the charges in a 2008 trial after prosecutors built a case contending he was a captain of the Gambino crime family and directed a powerful crew that included his own son.

Prosecutors also asserted that Artuso was linked to the infamous hit that led to John Gotti's rise to power. They cited FBI affidavits and other evidence indicating Artuso was present on Dec. 16, 1985, when former Gambino boss Paul Castellano was gunned down in front of a Manhattan steakhouse — allegedly on Gotti's orders.

Gotti, known as the "Teflon Don" for his ability to avoid criminal convictions, was convicted in 1992 of racketeering and murder and died in prison a decade later.

Artuso was never charged in the Castellano killing, but prosecutors in January 2008 accused him of setting up a sale and leasing scheme involving four office buildings owned by ADT Security Services that defrauded the company of at least $11 million over five years. He and three others were convicted of the charges in October 2008.”