Joseph Amato, 62, pleaded guilty to racketeering and stalking in Brooklyn federal court Monday morning. He admitted to extorting businesses and tracking his girlfriend with a GPS device planted on her car.
His 28-year-old son, Joseph Amato Jr., also copped to threatening an unnamed man with violence if he didn’t repay a loan in December 2018.
Amato’s commitment to tracking his girlfriend’s movements led the feds to bust his son and 18 others on racketeering, loansharking and extortion charges in 2019.
The girlfriend allegedly found the gadget, and it ended up on an MTA bus, where it was later found by a mechanic. This was done “likely to thwart Amato’s stalking efforts,” court papers said.
The feds then started wiretapping the family and allegedly uncovered a range of criminal activities from their friends, including an attempt to fix an NCAA basketball game, which About the Mafia recently reported.
“I participated in at least two overt acts,” Amato Sr. said via videoconference Monday morning.
He admitted that he extorted a Staten Island business and took property from another through violent threats.
He also admitted to consistently removing and replanting the GPS device from his girlfriend’s car to charge it between Jan. 1, 2015, and Oct. 21, 2016.
“I knew it would reasonable and emotion distress to her,” he explained during the conference.
Amato Sr. is expected to be sentenced to five to seven years as part of his plea, avoiding a much worse 20-year sentence.
His son, who remains out on bond, is expected to be sentenced to 21 to 27 months in prison.
Both Amatos are scheduled for sentencing on July 20.