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Jury Resumes Loan Case Deliberations

A Los Angeles jury is scheduled to begin its 10th day of deliberations today in the U.S. District Court trial of seven men accused of trying to set up loan sharking and illegal bookmaking operations in Southern California and Las Vegas.

Judge Matt Byrne Jr. rejected a defense motion for a mistrial made after the jury indicated that it was deadlocked on 15 of the 47 charges against the seven defendants.

The jury has reached unanimous verdicts on 32 charges, convicting four of the defendants of making and collecting loans by extortion. They were Vito Dominic Spillone, 48, of Upland; John Clyde Abel, 41, of Chicago; Frank Serrao, 56, of Huntington Beach, and Frank Citro, 39, of Las Vegas.

A fifth man, John James Barro, 46, of Hacienda Heights, was acquitted of one of four charges against him.

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No verdicts were returned last week against two others, Joseph Bolognese, 52, of Las Vegas, and John Meccia, 51, of LaSalle, Ill. The only charges against them are the conspiracy and racketeering counts, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.


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