A federal indictment handed up in Camden, N.J., accused Nicodemo S. Scarfo and 12 others of racketeering conspiracy, the U.S. Justice Department said in a release. The elder Scarfo and Vittorio Amuso, head of the Lucchese crime family, both serving long prison terms, were named as unindicted co-conspirators, The Philadelphia Inquirer said.
The younger Scarfo, 46, who has served two federal prison terms, was arrested at his home near Atlantic City, N.J.
The investigation of FirstPlus Financial Group Inc., which has its headquarters in Beaumont, Texas, began in 2008. Prosecutors allege the younger Scarfo and Salvatore Pelullo, a businessman in Elkins Park, Pa., orchestrated a scheme that involved setting up dummy companies that FirstPlus bought or invested in.
The younger Scarfo and Pelullo face charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, extortion, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice, a statement by the Justice Department said.
"According to the indictment, the defendants gave new meaning to 'corporate takeover' by looting a publicly traded company to benefit their criminal enterprise," said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. "Through rampant self dealing, fraudulent SEC filings and more traditional mob methods, the defendants allegedly stole $12 million from shareholders."
The defendants include several lawyers, an accountant and former FirstPlus executives. Lisa Scarfo was indicted with her husband.