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The Rise and Fall of an Albanian Organized Crime Ring


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Their names sound like they were lifted straight from a TV crime drama: “Big Frank,” “Nicky Nails,” “Louie,” “Fat Angelo.” But these guys weren’t fictional. They weren’t Italian mobsters, either, as their names suggest. They were real-life members of an Albanian organized crime enterprise in New York that called itself “The Corporation.” And for a time, the syndicate prospered.

Following a massive investigation by the FBI and the latest round of convictions in early January, however, The Corporation is now largely out of business and most of its leaders—including ringleader Alex “Allie Boy” or “Uncle” Rudaj—are behind bars.

The organization didn’t start from scratch. Many of its leaders had worked with established crime families in New York. But as other syndicates were decimated by criminal convictions, The Corporation moved in, muscling aside its competition through violence and intimidation.

We got wind of the crime ring in June 2001, when gang members beat a member of the Astoria gambling scene in Queens, sending a message that The Corporation was now in charge. Two months later, heavily-armed members of the syndicate stormed a rival gambling parlor and shut it down.

“We had a sense they were an organization, but we were surprised at how aggressively they challenged New York’s Italian organized crime families,” said the FBI case agent assigned to the investigation. “They started taking territory, beating up ‘made men.’ In recent years, the FBI has done such a good job going after Italian organized crime there was almost no one left to challenge them or fight back.”

At one time, the syndicate owned a massive network of gambling parlors and gambling machines. Agents estimate that it controlled at least 50 video poker machines throughout Queens, the Bronx, and Westchester County. Each machine pulled in at least $700 a week, or about $1.8 million a year altogether. A single dice game could bring in an additional $67,000 a week. “They were choking on money,” the case agent said. The Albanian ring eventually branched out into extortion, debt collection, and loan-sharking.

Up to a dozen New York agents actively worked on the case over the past five years. So far, more than 20 members and associates of the organization have been charged with various crimes. More than 10 have pled guilty, six have been convicted, and another defendant still faces trial. Some face up to life in prison.

The FBI is still looking for another fugitive linked to the organization, Miri Patani. Anyone with information about Patani or Albanian Organized Crime activities—or similar crimes—is urged to contact the New York field office.

Resources: FBI Organized Crime webpage | Department of Justice Press Release

Note: The individuals pictured or identified here may have been apprehended or may no longer be wanted by law enforcement since the above information was posted on this website. Please check our Wanted by the FBI website or contact your local FBI office for up-to-date information.