NY:4 members of upstart Albanian crime group sentenced, fined

4 members of upstart Albanian crime group sentenced, fined

June 17, 2006, 2:26 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Four leaders of an upstart Albanian crime syndicate
that aimed to emulate the traditional mob have been sentenced to terms
ranging from 22 to 27 years in prison, prosecutors said.

The group, dubbed "The Corporation," was led by Alex Rudaj, who founded
it with a former associate of the Gambino crime family, prosecutors
said. Rudaj was sentenced Friday to 27 years in prison, U.S. Attorney
Michael Garcia said in a news release.

Rudaj, 38, and the three other men were convicted in January of
racketeering charges involving extortion, firearms offenses,
loan-sharking, extortionate debt collection and operation of
large-scale illegal gambling businesses.

Nardino "Lenny" Colotti also received 27 years; Nikola "Big Nick" Dedaj
received 26 years and 7 months; and Prenka "Frankie" Ivezaj was
sentenced to 22 years in prison.

The men, who had faced maximum sentences of life in prison, also were
ordered Friday to forfeit a total of $5.75 million and four properties
to the government. They also must each serve five years of supervised

During a three-month trial, prosecutors described "The Corporation" as
a crime syndicate with dozens of members and associates running a
network of illegal gambling parlors and bookmaking operations.

Throughout the 1990s, the fledgling organization seized and exercised
control over illegal gambling operations in the Bronx, Queens and
Westchester County, the government said.

Two other men convicted in the case have yet to be sentenced.