A once-powerful Lucchese crime capo now suffering from an advanced stage of multiple sclerosis was sentenced on Friday to three years in prison for bank fraud.
Domenico (Danny) Cutaia, 72, hobbled into Brooklyn Federal Court with a walker hoping to get off with a sentence of home confinement.
Federal Judge Brian Cogan noted that the gangster is a “pretty hardened criminal,” but acknowledged that he was looking at a man who was seriously ill and clinically depressed.
“What kind of message are we sending if we allow someone to commit crimes for 40 years, and when they get caught, they say, ‘I’m too old and in poor health’ to go to jail,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Goldberg argued. “He should not be able to use health and age as a sword and a shield.”
Cutaia reportedly had held a position on the Luchese crime family’s ruling panel in the past.
The judge reluctantly agreed.
“He’s a tough guy. … That’s who he is and who I have to sentence,” Cogan said.