Reputed Crime Figure to Begin Serving Sentence

Reputed organized crime figure Salvatore Pisello, sentenced to four in years in prison for evading taxes on more than $300,000 in income he earned through a series of business deals with MCA Records, was ordered by a federal judge in Los Angeles to begin serving his sentence today.

Pisello's attorney, Stephen Rawson, asked U.S. District Judge William J. Rea to allow Pisello to remain free for a few weeks until federal authorities assign Pisello to a specific prison. Pisello has been free on bail since his conviction in April, 1988. He was sentenced in May of that year.

Rea declared that Pisello had "reached the end of the line on this" and would have to turn himself in today to the U.S. marshal at the federal courthouse. He must serve at least one-third of the four-year sentence before he is eligible for parole. Federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Justice Department's Organized Crime Strike Force, have identified Pisello in court affidavits and memos as a member of the Gambino organized crime family.

Pisello, 66, has denied any affiliation with organized crime. MCA executives have said that they had no knowledge of Pisello's alleged ties to organized crime when they did business with him from 1983-85, and have added that Pisello was not an employee of the company.

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