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New York mobster ‘Sal the Shoemaker’ pleads GUILTY to organized crime charges as he admits to operating Mafia’s gambling ring in his Long Island cobbler shop


Salvatore Rubino, 61, also known as ‘Sal the Shoemaker’ was doing more than just fixing heels and worn out soles at his Long Island cobbler shop.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to his involvement with a New York Mafia gambling ring that saw his shoe repair shop used as a front for illegal activities going on in the back.

Rubino is an associate of the Genovese organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra which ran illegal gambling business associated with the crime family. 

He admitted in court on Tuesday to running card games and operating illegal gambling machines inside his former shoe repair business.

Prosecutors say the ring operated out of the innocuous front end businesses that also included a gelato shop, soccer club, and social club.

Four co-defendants and associates of the Genovese family pleaded guilty earlier this month to various felony charges stemming from their long-running operation of several lucrative gambling operations. 

Salvatore Rubino, 61, also known as ‘Sal the Shoemaker’, has pleaded guilty to his involvement with in a Mafia gambling ring in New York which was run out of Sal’s Shoe Repair in Merrick

Mark Feuer, 61, an associate of the Genovese crime family, pleaded guilty to felony charges relating to the operation of various illegal gambling businesses

Mark Feuer, 61, an associate of the Genovese crime family, pleaded guilty to felony charges relating to the operation of various illegal gambling businesses

Genovese acting caporegime Carmelo Polito, seen in 2017

Carmelo ‘Carmine’ Polito, 64, a former acting captain pleaded guilty to racketeering involving the operation of an illegal gambling business and an attempted extortion 

Carmelo ‘Carmine’ Polito, 64, a former acting captain pleaded guilty to racketeering involving the operation of an illegal gambling business and attempted extortion.

Joseph Macario, 69, also known as ‘Joe Fish,’ also pleaded guilty to racketeering. 

Joseph Rutigliano, 65, also known as ‘Joe Box,’ and Mark Feuer, 61, both associates of the Genovese crime family, pleaded guilty to felony charges relating to the operation of various illegal gambling businesses.

Rutigliano and Rubino, 60, would collect the proceeds on behalf of the Genovese crime family and distributed them up to higher-ranking members, including Polito and Macario. 

Sal’s Shoe Repair closed in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another of the fronts for the illegal gambling operation was run out of a restaurant in Lynbrook on Long Island called the Gran Caffe.

Families and children who visited the popular gelato shop had no idea that the back room was a gambling parlor operating video poker and poker games

Families and children who visited the popular gelato shop had no idea that the back room was a gambling parlor operating video poker and poker games

The crime family opened a 'lucrative illegal gambling operation' out of the Gran Caffe Gelateria in Lynbrook on Long Island, seen above

The crime family opened a ‘lucrative illegal gambling operation’ out of the Gran Caffe Gelateria in Lynbrook on Long Island, seen above

Genovese crime family ran the gambling parlors in Sal’s Shoe Repair in Merrick, Long Island

The group operated illegal gambling parlors at the Centro Calcio Italiano Club in West Babylon, also on Long Island

The group operated illegal gambling parlors at the Centro Calcio Italiano Club in West Babylon, also on Long Island

The Mafia members of the Genovese crime family who ‘ran illegal gambling dens’

  • Carmelo ‘Carmine’ Polito, 64

A former acting captain pleaded guilty to racketeering involving the operation of an illegal gambling business and an attempted extortion.

  • Joseph ‘Joe Fish’ Macario, 69

Soldier with the Genovese family. Pleaded guilty to racketeering.

Mark Feuer, 61,

Mark Feuer, 61,

Associate with the Genovese family. Pleaded guilty to felony charges relating to the operation of various illegal gambling businesses.

  • Salvatore ‘Sal the Shoemaker’ Rubino, 60

Associate with the Genovese family. Arrested in the Eastern District of New York. Released on a $150,000 bond.

  • Joseph ‘Joe Box’ Rutigliano, 65

Associate with the Genovese family. Pleaded guilty to felony charges relating to the operation of various illegal gambling businesses.

Together with the Gran Caffe, the Genovese crime family – working through Polito, Macario, Rutigliano, Rubino – the gangsters used a web of other seemingly legitimate shops as fronts for the gambling dens. 

The group operated illegal gambling parlors at establishments called Sal’s Shoe Repair in Merrick and the Centro Calcio Italiano Club in West Babylon, both on Long Island.

The businesses secretly operated ‘illegal joker poker-type gambling machines’ as well as poker games, with each of the dens bringing in more than $2,000 in illicit proceeds in a single day.

Carmelo Polito also operated an illegal gambling scheme online in which bets were placed on sporting events through a website called ‘PGWLines.’ 

Through the website, Polito would attempt to extort individuals who lost several thousand dollars in bets placed through the website.

In one disturbing incident, prosecutors say that Polito called a delinquent debtor in October 2019 and threatened to ‘break’ his ‘face’. 

Afterwards, the indictment states how that Polito instructed another individual to relay a new message to the debtor: ‘Tell him I’m going to put him under the f***ing bridge.’ 

‘With their guilty pleas, these five members and associates of the Genovese crime family have admitted they committed crimes to benefit a criminal enterprise notorious for inflicting harm on our communities for generations,’ stated United States Attorney Peace. 

‘As long as the Mafia doesn’t get it that illegal gambling is a losing proposition, they can bet on this Office and our partners vigorously enforcing the law and flushing them out of the shadows, as in this case, where they operated secretly in a coffee bar and a shoe repair shop.’

Mr. Peace expressed his appreciation to the New York City Police Department and the Nassau County Police Department for their invaluable assistance in the investigation.

‘These Mafia figures operated surreptitiously in back rooms of restaurants and retail locations in suburban Long Island, running underground gambling parlors and kicking up the profits to the Genovese crime family,’ said Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly.

‘For decades, organized crime families have steered violence and other illicit activities in our communities. With our partners at the Eastern District of New York, FBI, and the Nassau County Police Department, we are doubling down on driving out these illegal gambling operations.’

The gambling rings, operated by members of both the Genovese and Bonanno organized crime families had been running from at May 2012.

The profits earned through the gambling were then ‘kicked up’ to the bosses of the crime families.



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