Like Father, Like Son: New York Mobster Joins Dad In Jail For Illegal Gambling Scheme

Written By Hannah Vanbiber on August 23, 2023
man stands behind jail bars

No, it’s not The Sopranos. But it feels like it. A New York mobster was sentenced earlier this month for a racketeering conspiracy and illegal NY gambling scheme that also put his father behind bars.

Michael Poli, 37, received a 31-month prison sentence in Manhattan federal court for illegal gambling and extortion. Prosecutors alleged that Poli ran the scheme with his father and four other mob members.

His father, Thomas Poli, 66, had already received a sentence for 22 months a couple of weeks prior.

Attorney makes plea for Poli family

The elder Poli will start serving his sentence on Sept. 29, while the son will start a month later on Oct. 27.

The two were accused of being part of a six-man Bronx-based bookkeeping gang that was busted in April 2022. The group had profited for over a decade “through a pattern of racketeering activity” that included extortion and illegal gambling.

Poli’s attorney, Anthony DiPietro, asked the judge for leniency in sentencing. His argument centered on the fact the family would suffer with both men behind bars.

“How will [they] continue on without the two men they rely on?” said DiPietro. He also claimed Michael was a “good man” and was needed to support his children, the third of whom was born with Down Syndrome.

Poli accused of “egregious” threats in illegal NY gambling scheme

But Assistant US Attorney Cecilia Cohen pointed out Poli’s “egregious” threats of violence to debtors whom he had roped into the scheme. She said he made verbal threats and threats with a gun.

Poli had also pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering case in 2016.

In this case, Poli could have faced a minimum of 41 to 51 months in prison, but the judge issued a 31-month sentence. The prison term also includes three years of supervised release and a $15,000 fine.

Two co-defendants – Nicholas Calisi, 54, and John Campanella, 48 – were sentenced to 24 months and 13 months respectively. They were included in the illegal gambling scheme.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Hannah Vanbiber

Hannah Vanbiber is a contributing writer for PlayNY after starting her journalism career in Chattanooga, Tennessee. From covering local sports, entertainment and business in East Tennessee, Hannah now covers legal gambling for New York as well as covering women's sports and sports betting in the New York metropolitan area.

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