Prosecutors Say Man Impersonated Mob Enforcer To Extort Money

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Federal prosecutors say a Norwalk man extorted more than $200,000 from a small business owner by impersonating organized crime figures.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Friday that 45-year-old Joseph Casolo pleaded guilty Thursday in Hartford to extortion.

Authorities say Casolo threatened the victim in person, in phone conversations and in text messages using multiple personas. Prosecutors say he repeatedly stated or implied that if the victim failed to make the extortion payments, the victim, the victim’s spouse, and the victim’s daughter would be harmed with violence.

Authorities say Casolo also enlisted an individual who identified himself as “Lorenzo,” the organized crime family’s “enforcer,” and made multiple threatening calls to the victim at Casolo’s direction.

Casolo faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 24.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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