NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk man pleaded guilty Friday to impersonating members of an organized crime family to extort $200,000 from a local business owner, Acting U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly said in a press release.
Joseph Casolo, 45, of Norwalk, made a series of in-person visits, phone calls and texts to a Fairfield County small business from September 2010 to December 2011. At that time, Casolo claimed he was various “organized crime figures,” according to the press release.
Casolo demanded money from the business owner and threatened the victim and his family with violence if he did not pay, investigators say. He also hired a man to identify himself as “Lorenzo” to impersonate a mafia “enforcer” to help persuade the man to pay, investigators said. In total, Casolo and “Lorenzo” took more than $200,000 from the business owner, according to the press release.
Casolo was arrested in November after a joint investigation by federal and local authorities. He pleaded guilty to one count of extortion Friday in Hartford. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 24.
The case is still under investigation by the FBI, the IRS, Stamford Police, Bridgeport Police and Connecticut State Police.