A North Andover man convicted of loan-sharking in connection to a Boston mob will spend the next couple years in prison.
Joseph Giallanella, 64, of North Andover, was sentenced to serve 2 to 4 years in state prison followed by two years of probation by Judge Maynard M. Kirpalani in Salem Superior Court Monday afternoon.
Giallanella was charged in 2011 with conspiracy and receiving stolen property along with three other men with ties to a Boston mob in connection to embezzlement of almost $660,000 from a temp agency in Wakefield.
According to prosecutors, the men who embezzled the money used it to pay gambling debts to Giallanella, a loan shark, by paying money toward Giallanella's mortgages.
Giallanella and the other men were already out on bail for charges of with assault and battery, intimidating witnesses and extortion, among other crimes, after a lengthy investigation into the alleged widespread organized crime empire of accused Boston mob boss Mark Rossetti. Rossetti's organization allegedly engaged in drug trafficking and other serious crimes as well.
Giallanella pleaded guilty in January of this year to managing a gaming enterprise, use of a telephone for gaming, criminal usury, two counts of conspiracy and two Counts of Accessory After the Fact of Larceny.
Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley had requested a 5-to-7-year sentence in state prison.
"This defendant is at the top of the pyramid of an organized loan sharking and bookmaking enterprise which is the lifeblood of traditional organized crime," Dawley said. "He collected gaming debts and street loans using threats and violence."
Giallanella still faces charges of assault and battery, attempted extortion, and witness intimidation in Middlesex County.
Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office, in cooperation with the Massachusetts State Police, began investigating Giallanella's loan sharking activities in 2009. That investigation eventually expanded into an investigation into organized crime throughout the eastern part of the state, Blodgett's office said in a statement Wednesday.
And in 2010, a grand jury had indicted 31 people in connection to drug trafficking, extortion, gaming, loan sharking, home invasion, kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms. Almost 20 of them have since been convicted.