Aging bombing suspect linked to outfit; Outlaws won't get out

Federal case is window to the violent world of mob gambling
July 27, 2009 11:22:42 AM PDT
His age and his own words did him in. Eighty-five-year-old Samuel Volpendesto was denied bond by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier who determined that while the Oak Brook man "won't run for the border" he could be motivated to evade trial because he faces a minimum of 35 years if found guilty in the alleged 2003 bombing of a Berwyn video gaming business. The firm was believed to be cutting into the Outfit's illegal video gambling profits, and federal investigators say the bomb attack was intended to be a warning from Chicago hoodlums. The Outfit's video gambling take was estimated to be at least $13 million a year.

"Mr. Volpendesto isn't a spring chicken but advanced age doesn't make it impossible to flee" said Judge Schenkier adding that the wheelchair-aided defendant created a pipe bomb on behalf of the Chicago outfit that might assist him in "not being around for the trial".

Chicago mobster Michael "Fat Boy" Sarno is also a defendant in the case but was offered bail, posting one million dollars in personal property last month. He is confined to house arrest and wears an electronic monitoring bracelet that will alert authorities if he leaves home.

Judge Schenkier told the packed courtroom that he believed Volpendesto was still a danger to the public citing the defendant's own words caught on tape admitting to making the pipe bomb and bragging of making others. Because the bomb was placed outside the Berwyn business, it was a danger to those inside and on the street which shows his potential for danger, even at an advanced age.

Nathan Diamond-Falk, Volpendesto's lawyer, failed in his argument that his client was not receiving adequate medical care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where he will stay until trial.

Beside Volpendesto and Sarno, five men have also been indicted: admitted member of the Outlaws biker gang Mark Polchan, a veteran Cicero policeman Dino Vitalo; former Berwyn police officer James Formatto; Volpendesto's son Anthony and Mark Hay.


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