The offspring of a renowned New York Mafia gambling mogul will spend the remainder of his life in jail for masterminding the slaying of his father.
Anthony Zottola orchestrated the murder of his father, Lucchese associate Sylvester Zottola, to gain control of his estate empire, as heard in court. (Image: New York Post)
In the fall of last year, Anthony Zottola was found guilty of recruiting a hitman to kill Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola, 71, who was shot dead in a Bronx McDonald’s drive-thru in October 2018. On Friday, a federal judge in Brooklyn sentenced him to a mandatory life term, along with an additional 112 years in prison.
Sylvester Zottola was an alleged affiliate of the Lucchese crime family, one of the five Mafia families in New York City. He ran an illegal gambling machine operation in bars and private clubs and had converted the profits into a $40 million property empire.
Six Failed Assassination Attempts
The court heard that Anthony Zottola arranged for assassin Himen Ross to kill his father so as to gain control of his real estate business. Sylvester Zottola was shot multiple times in the head and body while sitting in his car at the fast-food joint, waiting for his coffee. Ross was also sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
Anthony Zottola supposedly hired Bloods gang leader Bushawn Shelton to arrange a series of assaults on his father and older brother, Salvatore Zottola, according to court documents.
This led to at least six failed assassination attempts prior to the murder, prosecutors said.
In November 2017, Sylvester Zottola was “threatened at gunpoint by a masked person.” A month later, three men attacked him in his home, striking him on the head with a gun, stabbing him and slashing his throat.
The defendant also attempted to kill his own brother. Salvatore Zottola was shot in the head, chest and hand outside his home in July 2018. He lived to tell the tale and testified at the trial.
“Why?” Salvatore questioned his brother, as reported by FOX 5 NY. “Dad gave you everything. You had everything in life.”
Motive was Greed
Anthony Zottola’s legal team tried to blame the killing solely on the Bloods gang, and then on Albanian gangsters who it claimed were trying to muscle in on the gambling machine business.
Nevertheless, US District Judge Hector Gonzalez figured out that the defendant had planned the assaults due to “greed.”
Over the course of more than a year, the elderly victim, Sylvester Zottola, was stalked, beaten, and stabbed, unaware of who orchestrated the assaults,” US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
“It was his own son, who was so determined to control the family’s lucrative real estate business, that he employed a gang of hit men to murder his father,” Breon continued. “For sentencing his father to a violent death, Anthony Zottola and his co-defendant will spend the rest of their lives in jail.”