A local restaurant owner, his son and two men from the Philadelphia area have been indicted in connection with loan-sharking activities in Baltimore that allegedly involved 100 percent annual interest rates on loans to two Baltimore gamblers.
A one-count indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore accused Dominic R. "Yama" DiFelice, the owner of Dominic's Restaurant on Fallstaff Road; his son Bruce, 33; Frank J. Lebano, 47, of Springfield, Pa.; and Harry A. Dascenzo, 65, of Somerdale, N.J., of conspiracy to make extortionate extensions of credit.
Dominic DiFelice is charged in a second unsealed indictment with eight counts of money-laundering tied to a cocaine ring centered in South Baltimore.
Prosecutors said Dominic DiFelice and his son were arrested this week and were scheduled to appear late today before a federal magistrate on the felony charges.
The FBI arrested Lebano in the Philadelphia area, but Dascenzo still is at large, prosecutors said.
The loan-sharking indictment said Warren E. Rollman, an Arbutus lawyer convicted of federal cocaine charges here last year, paid at least$150,000 to Dominic DiFelice on loans Rollman obtained to finance his massive gambling habit.
That indictment said DiFelice and the other defendants lent money to Rollman and Melvin Feldsher, a Pikesville bookie, at 20 percent interest every 10 or 12 weeks, which equates to a 100 percent annual interest rate.
Bruce DiFelice, Lebano and Dascenzo discussed and made collections on various loans to a variety of Baltimore people.
The indictment also alleged that the loans were made under threat of violence for failure to repay them.
The eight-count second indictment alleged that Dominic DiFelice laundered thousands of dollars for cocaine deals through Karen Nelson, who, according to court papers, was tied to Rollman and other drug dealers and to a man identified as David Zacur, alias Dave Santone.