Organized crime - as embodied by the U.S. mafia - hasn't gone away and is a nationwide concern for businesses and consumers, the head of the FBI said on Thursday after over 100 mafia members and associates were arrested and charged with a wide-range of crimes.
Some believe organized crime is a thing of the past; unfortunately, there are still people who extort, intimidate, and victimize innocent Americans. The costs legitimate businesses are forced to pay are ultimately borne by American consumers nationwide, FBI director Robert Mueller said.
Over 110 individuals were arrested and 127 were charged on Thursday, according to U.S. authorities.
Often referred to as the Mob and La Cosa Nostra, members of crime families in the greater New York area and Boston were among those arrested and charged.
Among the alleged illegal activity individuals were charged with were murder and murder conspiracy. Also on the list were crimes such as loansharking, extortion, and labor racketeering. Arson, narcotics trafficking, robbery, and illegal gambling were also alleged.
One fraud scheme carried out by the Colombo crime family allegedly defrauded consumers with poor credit histories out of one-time payments that the consumers believed they were making to secure loans, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
Other charges allege that the crime families extorted money from union members, including some belonging to the International Longshoremen's Association, and a concrete union in New York, Holder said.
Several of those charged were elderly bosses and top figures in their late 60s, 70s and even an 83-year old. More than 30 official members of La Cosa Nostra, or made men were charged, authorities said.