A mobster whose links to disgraced Bronx County Clerk Luis Diaz led to the pol’s conviction last year was ordered Thursday to serve just 22 months in prison for an unrelated racketeering scheme.
Reputed Genovese associate Thomas Poli — who pleaded guilty in September to threatening people who didn’t pay their gambling debts — got the lenient penalty from Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl.
Poli was also fined $200,000.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, the gangster could have gotten a minimum of 33 months and a max of 41 months.
But judges aren’t bound by these guidelines.
Poli, 66, admitted to being a part of a Bronx-based bookkeeping operation that included five other Genovese mobsters, including Poli’s son and two capos.
“I just want to apologize to my family and the court,” Poli said before the sentencing.
Poli’s lawyer Calvin Scholar asked Koeltl for leniency not only because of the gangster’s age, but because of his role in caring for an autistic grandson.
The lawyer added that a long prison stint would also end Poli’s legit business, M&L Vending, a vending machine equipment and supplies company.
Scholar asserted that Poli wasn’t likely to commit another crime in the future.
“He’s had a life that has touched a lot of people,” Scholar said, as Poli’s family members looked on from the courtroom gallery.
Meanwhile, Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Rushmi Bhaskaran said it wasn’t Poli’s first conviction, and didn’t buy the argument that Poli’s family would keep him in line.
“All of this occurred when the defendant had serious family obligations,” Bhaskaran said.
Koeltl, however, said he considered Poli’s grandson, his business and the fact that Poli was the first person to plead guilty in the case in handing down a lighter sentence.
In July 2022, Diaz was convicted of accepting a bribe after lying to a Bronx court that Poli had fulfilled community service in a 2019 criminal case.
Diaz was barred from holding public office again or working for nonprofits in the state.
He also had to complete 100 hours of community service.
Last month, two other Genovese co-defendants of Poli — mob captain Nicholas Calisi, 54, and soldier John Campanella, 48 — were sentenced by Koeltl to 24 months and 13 months, respectively.
All the men were charged in April 2022 with gambling and extortion in a scheme that ran from 2011 through 2022.
At Poli’s plea hearing, he admitted he “yelled at people and threatened them” when they didn’t make good on their gambling debts.
This article was originally posted here