Life imitates art: Sopranos actor sent to jail for mob-related extortion

 @Gooch700
on February 09 2011 6:57 PM

The actor who played mafia capo “Larry Boy Barese” on the HBO mob drama “The Sopranos” turns out to be gangster in real life.

Anthony Borgese, who uses the stage name Tony Darrow, pled guilty in Brooklyn federal court to one count of participating in an extortion conspiracy to collect a debt.

Borgese, who has also appeared in mobster films “Goodfellas” and “Analyze This”, apparently used enforcers connected to the Gambino crime family.

The conspiracy occurred in Monticello in upstate New York in 2004 and Borgese was indicted on the charges two years ago.

Under a plea agreement with the US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, the 72-year-old Borgese is expected to serve between 33 and 41 months in a federal prison.

According to press reports, had Darrow gone to trial rather than plead out, he might have faced up to 20 years in the slammer.

It's a difficult time for him, his attorney, Kevin Faga, told reporters. He's not going to make any comment. Darrow is hardly the first actor from The Sopranos to get in serious trouble.

Tony Sirico, who played the murderous, but hilarious, “Paulie Walnuts” on the popular program was a low-level associate of the Colombo crime family in the 1960s and 1970s and served prison time for armed robbery.

In more recent years, Richard Maldone, who played Albert Barese on the show was arrested in connection with a drug-dealing ring that operated out of Howard Beach, Queens, N.Y. Maldone and a crew of about 45 co-horts were nabbed for selling marijuana, cocaine, Ecstasy and ketamine.

Maldone also reportedly served time in the 1990s for assault.

Another actor who had a small part in the Sopranos, Lillo Brancato, was sentenced to ten years in prison in 2009 for first-degree attempted burglary in connection with the murder of a New York City Police officer. Brancato, who played “Matt Bevilacqua” on the show, was cleared of murder charges.

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