September 19, 2020 – Revered Pittsburgh bookie Robert (Bobby I) Ianelli, one of the last remaining links to the old Steel Town mafia that ruled the region for decades, pleaded guilty to sports gambling and policy lottery charges in state court this week in exchange for probation. Ianelli and his son, Rusty, ran their sports book and numbers business out of Ianelli’s longtime headquarters, Chubb’s Place.
The 90-year old Bobby I will get off a 10-year parole sentence once he pays Uncle Sam back $250,000. His bookmaking rap sheet dates back to the 1950s and the rein of Pittsburgh mob boss Sebastian (Big John) LaRocca. Ianelli became one of Western Pennsylvania’s biggest gambling chiefs under LaRocca’s successor, Michael Genovese, known far and wide in the Keystone State as a “gentleman” wiseguy.
When Genovese died of natural causes in October 2006, the once strong and powerful Steel Town mafia syndicate, faded quickly. Crime experts in the area say it’s unlikely Ianelli has forked over any mob street tax since Genovese’s passing.
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