Alleged New England Mobsters Indicted For Fraud

Published January 20, 2011

More than 120 organized crime associates face charges including murder, extortion and narcotics trafficking in one of the largest Mafia crackdowns in FBI history, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Authorities in Rhode Island arrested two alleged members of New England’s LCN crime network — alleged longtime mob boss Luigi “Baby Shanks” aka “The Professor” aka “The Old Man” Manocchio, 83, and alleged LCN associate Thomas Iafrate, 61.

An indictment unsealed in Providence charges the defendants with extortion and conspiracy. Manocchio and Iafrate allegedly defrauded pornographic bookstores and nightclubs, including the Satin Doll and the Cadillac Lounge, both in Providence.

More from the Justice Department news release:

The indictment alleges that Manocchio, 83, a/k/a “Baby Shacks”, a/k/a “The Professor”, a/k/a “The Old Man”, began extorting cash protection payments as early as 1993 from the owner of the strip clubs and other adult entertainment businesses. The indictment also alleges that Iafrate, 63, who worked as a bookkeeper for various adult entertainment businesses including the Satin Doll and Cadillac Lounge, was responsible for setting aside, collecting and delivering the “protection” payments to Manocchio on behalf of the businesses. In addition, the indictment alleges that on November 6, 2008, Manocchio and Iafrate obtained approximately $2,900 in cash from the owner of the adult entertainment businesses and strip clubs, induced by the use of force, violence and fear.

Note that Justice refers to Manocchio as “Baby Shacks.” WBUR’s David Boeri, our Mafia enthusiast, says his nick name is, in fact, “Baby Shanks” — a reference to his short legs.

Update: I did some more digging on Manocchio’s nickname.