1992 FBI mugshot
Steven Lorenzo Crea
July 18, 1947
|Other names||Wonder Boy|
|Children||Steven D. Crea Jr.|
|Allegiance||Lucchese crime family|
Murder, racketeering (2019)
|Criminal penalty||34 months (2004)|
Life imprisonment (2020)
Steven Lorenzo "Wonder Boy" Crea (born July 18, 1947) is an American mobster and former underboss of the Lucchese crime family. In August 2020, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and racketeering.
Lucchese crime family
Rise to power
Crea was inducted into the Lucchese crime family sometime in the 1980s, under the reign of boss Anthony Corallo. By 1990, family boss Victor Amuso appointed Crea capo, taking over Samuel "Sammy Bones" Castaldi's crew in the Bronx. Crea specialized in labor rackets, and gained power over Carpenter's Local 608, using it to extort New York City contractors. Crea also held a no-show job at Inner City Drywall, one of the city's largest drywall contractors and was involved with Local 282 of the Cement and Concrete Workers Union.
In 1993, with Amuso and Anthony Casso's support, Crea became underboss of the Lucchese family. Using his new clout, Crea shifted the family's power center away from the Brooklyn crews and back to the Manhattan and Bronx crews which had historically controlled the family for decades. In the early 1990s, several Amuso/Casso loyalists, including George Zappola and Frank "Spaghetti Man" Gioia, Jr. hatched a plot to kill Crea, and take over the family.  They planned to lure Crea to a sitdown and then murder him. However, the plot fell through after Zapolla, Gioia, and the rest of Amuso/Casso regime were indicted and imprisoned.
From 1997 through 1999, Crea served as the head of the "Lucchese Construction Group", which also included Lucchese capos Dominic Truscello, head of the Prince Street crew, and Joseph Tangorra, head of a Brooklyn crew. The Construction Group brokered the bribes and "mob tax" payments to be received from contractors, and settled disputes over who would dominate a particular construction site. Also, the mobsters were placed on the company payroll so they could report legitimate taxable income to the U.S Internal Revenue Service (IRS). During its existence, the Construction Group controlled over $40 million in construction contracts, increasing overall construction costs by 5%.
In December 1999, Crea and Joseph Datello talked about bribery and extortion with Sean Richard, the son-in-law of John Riggi, the boss of the DeCavalcante crime family. It was later revealed that Richard was wearing a hidden recording device.
Guilty plea on corruption charges
On September 6, 2000, Crea and other members of the Lucchese Construction Group were indicted in New York on state enterprise corruption, labor racketeering, extortion, and bid-rigging charges. The District Attorney charged that these schemes had systematically siphoned off millions of dollars from both public and private construction projects. Specifically, Crea used mob associates to extort building contractors who wished to receive rights to no-bid jobs or who wanted to reduce the number of union members on their payrolls. Crea's attorney was able to negotiate a favorable plea agreement which called for Crea to plead guilty to enterprise corruption and restraint of trade charges, and in January 2004 he received a 34-month prison sentence. Crea also pleaded guilty to similar federal charges and served both sentences concurrently.
Back to power
On August 24, 2006, Crea was released from prison with parole restrictions that prohibited him from associating with other mobsters or union officials. On November 17, 2009, Crea's parole restrictions expired. Since his release it was speculated that he would take over the Lucchese crime family when his parole was up. In March 2010, the FBI observed at a Bronx social club Crea meeting with capo John Castellucci.
In July 2014, Jerry Capeci reported that Vic Amuso remains the official boss while Crea serves as acting boss. When the US attorneys office in Manhattan arrested him in 2017, they alleged he was the underboss of the family.
Racketeering indictment and life sentence
On May 31, 2017, Crea was indicted and held without bail for racketeering, fraud and murder conspiracy. The indictment built on charges previously filed against a reputed Lucchese soldier and associate in February 2017 with the murder of Michael Meldish in the Bronx on November 15, 2013; Matthew Madonna, Crea and Crea Jr., were charged and suspected of serving as co-conspirators in the Meldish gangland execution.
Crea is also accused of ordering the attempted murder of a Bonanno crime family associate. The FBI also accuses Crea of giving his approval for one of his underlings driving to New Hampshire in an attempt to find and murder an informant. Crea was personally charged with mail and wire fraud in connection of his skimming involvement with the construction of a New York City hospital.
On November 15, 2019, Crea, Madonna, Christopher Londonio and Terrence Caldwell were convicted in White Plains federal court of executing the murder of East Harlem Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish.
- New York County District Attorney's Office News Release September 6, 2000
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- Eberhart, Christopher J. "Federal judge sentences Luchese family underboss to life in prison". The Journal News. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
- U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York (August 27, 2020). "Final Mafia Member In 2017 Takedown Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder, Racketeering, And Other Crimes". Department of Justice. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
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- Judge Hands Labor Racketeering Kingpin a Soft Sentence, Over Prosecutors' Complaints by Tom Robbins
- Luchese Underboss and Captain Plead Guilty to Extortion Charges in Federal Court District Attorney of New York (October 1, 2003)
Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso
| Lucchese crime family