A Colombo crime family “underboss” sentenced to prison this week for extortion and money laundering has said he doesn’t regret the topless poolside photo that led to his arrest.
Ralph “Big Ralphie” DiMatteo, the consigliere and “number three” in the infamous Colombo American Mafia crime family, was sentenced to three years in prison this week in Brooklyn Federal Court. The sentence comes down after DiMatteo, along with 13 other suspects, all pleaded guilty in July to federal felony charges including racketeering, extortion, loansharking, money laundering, conspiracy, drug-trafficking, fraud, and more. For his role, DiMatteo, 68, pleaded guilty to racketeering involving extortion and the conspiracy to commit money laundering.
DiMatteo was the only one of the 14 Colombo family mobsters who evaded police after being indicted in 2021. The consigliere fled from New York to Florida on the eve of a massive, orchestrated mob takedown by authorities.
While in the wind, DiMatteo posed for a shirtless photo while lounging in a swimming pool in Florida, which his son, Angelo, posted on social media. Telegraph reports that the image divulged critical information concerning the mobster’s whereabouts. With authorities closing in on him, significantly aided by his poolside portrait, DiMatteo surrendered the following day.
While in court this week, DiMatteo was asked if he had any regrets concerning posing for the photo and it being posted by his son on X, which was at the time still called Twitter. Replying that he did not rue the image, DiMatteo offered an all-time great quote:
“Why? It was a great picture.”
Unsurprisingly, lifetime mobster DiMatteo is familiar with the legal system. As Daily News reports, he had been convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin and drug trafficking charges in 1985; he served eight years for those crimes. In 2001, the mobster found himself behind bars for another spell after he was sentenced to 18 months for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Aside from complimenting himself for a “great” picture, DiMatteo was relatively quiet during court proceedings. When federal judge Hector Gonzalez asked if he wanted to make a statement before being sentenced, DiMatteo replied, “I’m fine, thank you.”
For his latest crimes, DiMatteo will spend three years in prison. His lawyer, Gerald McMahon, claims that “Big Ralphie” will “hopefully” age out of his participating in the Colombo mafia syndicate, although prosecutors remain doubtful.
“Being a member of the Colombo crime family is a lifetime oath,” says Brooklyn, New York federal prosecutor Michael Gibaldi.
“There can be no doubt that the Colombo crime family has been decapitated as a result of the guilty pleas by its leadership and other facilitators of lucrative schemes,” adds Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the eastern district of New York.
Ralph DiMatteo is expected to report to prison on January 15, 2024, to begin his sentence, when he will have plenty of time to work out in preparation for his next shirtless photo shoot.