Updated: July 25, 2013 1:14PM
Nine Chicago-area men face up to 20 years in prison for their part in allegedly collecting debts for a suburban company through the use of intimidation, fear and in one instance, physical violence.
Three federal grand jury indictments that were returned Tuesday were unsealed on Wednesday after arrests by FBI special agents, according to the Chicago FBI office.
One of the indictments contains one count each of conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion against 44-year-old Paul Carparelli, of Itasca, officials said. According to the indictment, Carparelli collaborated with others to collect business debts from three business owners in Nevada, Wisconsin and New Jersey.
The indictment alleges that the debts were owed to a Carol Stream company or an affiliate of the company; that Carparelli, or others directed by Carparelli, met with business owners; and that threatening demands for payment of those debts were made to the business owners. This indictment also seeks forfeiture of $26,500 from Carparelli.
The second indictment also contains one count each of conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion against four men: Luigi Sardone, 51, of Franklin Park; Navneet Chawla, aka “Guru,” 48, of Naperville; Vito Iozzo, 41, of Lombard; and Patrick White, 46, of Aurora. This indictment alleges that the men conspired to collect a purported debt owed by someone to Chawla, who in turn owed a debt to Sardone. According to the indictment, in addition to verbal demands for payment, White and another person struck and kicked the person from whom the defendants sought the payment.
The third indictment contains one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and three counts of attempted extortion against Mark Dziuban, 52, of St. Charles (four counts); Frank Orlando, 47, of Schaumburg (one count); George Brown, 50, of Lombard (four counts); Vito Iozzo (three counts in addition to the two counts described in the second indictment); and Robert McManus, 43, of Cicero (two counts).
This indictment alleges that the defendants attempted to extort business owners in Nevada, Wisconsin and New Jersey who owed business debts to a Carol Stream company or an affiliate of that company. The indictment seeks forfeiture from all of the defendants in the amount of $26,500.
Carparelli appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox and was ordered held in federal custody. His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday, July 26, at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman.
Sardone, Chawla, Iozzo and White appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan. Sardone was ordered held pending his next court appearance, which is set to take place at 2:15 p.m. Thursday before Judge Finnegan. Chawla, Iozzo and White were released from custody. Orlando, Iozzo and McManus also appeared in court Wednesday, going before U.S. District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang. Orlando and Iozzo were released, while McManus was ordered held. He will next appear in court before Judge Chang on Monday, July 29, at 10:30 a.m.
Each count against the defendants carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.