Michael (Mike the Butcher) Virtuoso, the loanshark accused of a Mafia shakedown of former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's personal chauffeur, pleaded guilty last month to extortion in connection with a loan that had a 250 percent interest rate, the New York Daily News reported.
According to the Daily News, sources said the shakedown occurred in the meat locker of a Brooklyn butcher shop between September 2009 and December 2010 before the chauffeur began working for Corzine.
Corzine is a former Goldman Sachs CEO and was governor between 2006 and 2010.
The driver reportedly got a $1,000 loan from Virtuoso and made the payments on the loan in the amounts of $50 and $100 in the rear office of Virtuoso's Graham Ave. Meats & Deli in Williamsburg.
On one occasion, a payment was allegedly made inside a walk-in freezer, the Daily New quoted court papers.
Although I did not threaten him, it was understood that harm could be used if he did not pay, Virtuoso told Judge Sandra Townes as reported by the Daily News.
Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch has told the New York paper that Corzine had nothing to do with the organized crime investigation.
Prosecutors have said that Virtuoso uses his butcher shop as cover up for a lucrative loanshark racket.