Accused racketeer to plead guilty

PROVIDENCE, RI – The U-S Attorney's office has secured guilty pleas in two high profile cases.

One involves a Citizens Bank branch manager who has agreed to plead guilty to embezzling more than 140-thousand dollars.

Thirty-three year old Janeth Blandon of Lincoln faces up to 30 years in prison but in exchange for her guilty plea the government has agreed to recommend the lowest sentence possible under federal sentencing guidelines.

The other case involves mobster Thomas Iafrate.

Seventy-year-old Thomas Iafrate could spend the rest of his life in prison as a result of the guilty plea he has agreed to.

According to documents on file in U.S. District Court, Iafrate will admit to one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.

In exchange for his acceptance of responsibility, the government will drop two counts of extortion and recommend a sentence at the low end of federal sentencing guidelines.

Iafrate will admit to being an associate of the New England Mafia who shook down Providence adult entertainment businesses of more than 800-thousand dollars in "protection money" over a period of 18 years.

He was one of 120 people, including top mobster Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, arrested in an organized crime sweep of the Northeastern states in January.

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