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A prosecutor in California has asked that a Montrealer with alleged ties to the Montreal Mafia serve an 18-month prison term for his brief role in a fraudulent telemarketing ring that bilked elderly people of their savings through false promises of lottery winnings.
Monica Tait, the lead prosecutor in a case that has seen several Montrealers end up serving prison terms, filed the request in a U.S. District Court on Monday, asking that Alberino (Rino) Magi, 50, serve 18 months behind bars. Magi — the brother of Montreal real-estate developer Antonio (Tony) Magi, 58 — has been detained since February 2017, when the Quebec Court of Appeal rejected his challenge of the order to have him and five other men extradited to the U.S.
The case revealed that Alberino Magi has close ties to Salvatore Scoppa, the brother of Andrea Scoppa, the alleged leader of a clan within the Montreal Mafia. Magi’s brother, Tony, was developing a piece of real estate with Nick (The Ritz) Rizzuto, the son of now-deceased Mafia leader Vito Rizzuto, before the younger Rizzuto was killed in December 2009.
Nick Rizzuto was shot within shouting distance of a building on Upper Lachine Rd. in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce that used to house construction companies owned by both brothers. Tait’s recommendation for Alberino Magi’s sentence reveals, for the first time, that Magi used the building’s address at least twice while the fraudulent network was active.
“Different investigative reports link Alberino Magi to a construction company situated (on) Upper Lachine Rd. in Montreal. This company, Construction Gescor Inc., is owned by the Magi family and lists Alberino Magi as an administrator, president and shareholder of the company,” Tait wrote in her request.
The Quebec business registry still lists Alberino Magi as its president, but the address has since changed.
Tait notes that in November 2005, the address on Upper Lachine Rd. was used twice as a shipping address in the telemarketing scheme where elderly people were told they had won a lottery but had to send in large amounts of money before they could collect. Two victims were told to send $6,500 to the building on Upper Lachine Rd.
Last year, Magi pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge filed in the case. He admitted to being involved in actually calling potential victims between Nov. 30, 2006 and Dec. 19, 2006, when the RCMP arrested 39 people who were involved in the scheme. The prosecution estimates that “58 victims lost a total of $286,230” during that three-week period. Overall, the police had firm evidence that 165 victims in Canada and the U.S. lost more than $2 million in the scheme.
Read the original story over at the Montreal Gazette.