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Long IslandCrime

Alleged LI mobster held without bail in extortion case

An alleged Long Island mobster was held without bail Tuesday on charges that he extorted $1 million from a development company that used mob muscle to try to horn in on a construction project on Boston's tony Newbury Street.

U.S. Magistrate Ramon Reyes in Brooklyn rejected a proposed $3 million bail package for Oreste "Ernie Boy" Abbamonte, 64, of Port Washington, an alleged member of the Gambino family. Abbamonte was originally indicted in Boston in May, and his case was transferred to New York in September.

Abbamonte took over a Long Island developer, identified in court papers as "Company A," and milked it by threatening the principals with violence, prosecutors say. In 2008, the government said, the company got a contract to renovate a Brooks Brothers store in Boston with the help of an Abbamonte mob friend, who threatened another bidder.

Boston federal prosecutor Laura Kaplan told Reyes that Abbamonte was a career criminal, with multiple narcotics-related convictions dating back to 1969 that included running drug networks while he was in prison on previous convictions. Reyes ordered him held after saying he posed "a threat, a danger to the community."

Abbamonte, whose lawyer described the case as "weak," has pleaded not guilty.

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