The members of La Cosa Nostra are often viewed as “untouchables,” because they have the money and profile to carry out criminal operations with impunity. Matthew Madonna, said to be a member of the “three-man ruling panel” of the Lucchese crime family (one of the Five Families of New York’s Mafia) was, indeed “touched” by the judicial system of New Jersey. He was sentenced to five years in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton for his involvement in a multi-billion dollar gambling ring. The sentence comes after Madonna pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in June.
According to NJ.com:
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said in a statement Thursday the charges stemmed from a 2007 investigation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice dubbed “Operation Heat.” The investigation uncovered an “international criminal gambling enterprise” that saw $2.2 billion in wagers shuttled between password-protected websites and a Costa Rican “wire room,” authorities said.
Operation Heat led to the arrests of 32 individuals involved in the gambling scheme, on charges ranging from racketeering to money laundering to weapons possession to tax evasion. The investigation also led to charges against a former state corrections officer and a member of the Bloods who plotted with the Lucchese family to smuggle drugs and prepaid cell phones into East Jersey State Prison.
Sentenced alongside Madonna was already incarcerated Lucchese underboss Martin Taccetta, 64, for his involvement in the scheme. He got eight years tacked onto his life sentence,which he caught in 1993 for racketeering.