Nine suburban men have been indicted by a federal grand jury on extortion and attempted extortion charges.
FBI officials announced the charges yesterday after the indictments were unsealed.
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All nine men appeared in court Thursday. Three remain in custody, while six were released after posting an unspecified bail amount, according to an FBI release. Authorities said the men used "intimidation, fear and in one instance, physical violence" to collect debts.
The first indictment charges 44-year-old Itasca resident Paul Carparelli with conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion. Authorities said Carparelli "collaborated with others" to collect business debts owed an unnamed Carol Stream company from owners of companies in Nevada, Wisconsin and New Jersey by threatening the owners. Federal officials are also seeking a $26,500 forfeiture from Carparelli. Carparelli remains in custody.
In the second indictment, 48-year-old Navneet "Guru" Chawla of Naperville is charged with conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion for his part in a violent plan to collect a debt owed to him. The indictment also names Vito Iozzo, 41, of Lombard; Patrick White, 46, of Aurora; and Luigi Sardone, 51, of Franklin Park, with similar charges. The indictment alleges White and another individual attacked the person who owed Chawla money so that Chawla could pay Sardone. Sardone remains behind bars.
The third indictment charges Mark Dziuban, 52, of St. Charles; Frank Orlando, 47, of Schaumburg; George Brown, 50, of Lombard; Robert McManus, 43, of Cicero; and Iozzo with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion for their part in planning to collect debts from business owners in Nevada, Wisconsin and New Jersey for an unnamed company based in Carol Stream. The release is not clear on whether the company is the same one referenced in the first indictment. McManus also remains in custody, according to authorities.
Each of the men faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted as well as a $250,000 fine.