Howard Beach mob witness nabbed in Florida

An undated photo of Yvonne Rossetti. (Feb. 26,

An undated photo of Yvonne Rossetti. (Feb. 26, 2009) (Credit: Handout)

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A former Howard Beach housewife who once stiffed the mob for $100,000 and became a witness against Bonanno crime family members has been arrested in Florida on fraud charges, law enforcement officials said.

The arrest on charges that Yvonne Rossetti defrauded a Florida businessman out of a $36,000 real estate escrow payment could cause further complications for her because she has been on probation for her 2009 conviction in Brooklyn federal court for scamming a Queens pharmacist out of $700,000 in a Howard Beach real estate deal.

"Our concern is that we are looking for additional victims to come forth," Twis Lizasuein, a spokeswoman for the Osceola County sheriff's office, said Wednesday. "There may be others out there. . . . She put together a plan to do multiple transactions."

Lizasuein said Rossetti got out on bail Tuesday after being jailed Oct. 18, and that detectives were aware of the Bonanno crime family allegations. Bail was $5,000. Rossetti and her family weren't in the federal witness protection program, said Lizasuein. Neither she nor her Florida attorney could be reached.

Rossetti, 46, became a focus of attention in 2006 when a number of Queens investors in her real estate dealings alleged fraud. On top of that, after failing to pay back a $100,000 investment made by a reputed mob associate, Rossetti allegedly became the subject of death threats from men linked to the Bonanno family. The money actually came from a reputed Bonanno loan shark.

"Listen, either they're getting paid or she is going in the trunk of a car," one reputed mob associate told Rossetti's husband, Vincent, in a taped conversation.

Some of Yvonne Rossetti's family members from Queens and Long Island also alleged in court in earlier court proceedings that she used the illness of her 21-year old quadriplegic daughter to get cash, which she failed to repay.

"If she has done these things she is supposed to have done, she is a criminal to the bone," Rossetti's aunt, Joanne Posik of Smithtown, said Wednesday. She said she lost $27,000 in cash.

Rossetti and her husband, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to different fraud charges, became witnesses in a 2007 Brooklyn federal prosecution of a number of reputed Bonanno family members, including acting underboss Nicholas Santora. Ultimately, Santora pleaded guilty to charges unrelated to the Rossetti extortion case.

While she was cooperating with federal investigators, Yvonne Rossetti moved with her children, and relatives said they were living under their own names in Florida.

Yvonne Rossetti pleaded guilty in 2009 to federal fraud charges and was given five years probation by U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie. Vincent Rossetti became a government witness in the 2009 trial of Gambino soldier Charles Carneglia, who was convicted of racketeering. In 2010, Dearie sentenced Vincent Rossetti to four years of probation as well.

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