Pubdate: Wed, 23 Jun 1999
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 1999, New Haven Register
Author: Stan Fisher


The Monaco family's Branford and Guilford homes, seized by federal
authorities for their role in a multimillion-dollar money laundering
scheme with convicted drug trafficker James Monaco, will be sold at
auction Wednesday, the U.S. Customs Service said Tuesday.

James Monaco, 79, his 72-year-old wife, Mary, and their son, David,
38, were sentenced almost a year ago to prison terms ranging from 5 to
6 BD years for conspiring with their son and brother, James, in a
money-laundering scheme that hid the origins of cash, property, and
vehicles. A sister, Linda DeMaio, 46, and her husband, Michael, 44,
also were convicted for their part in the operation.

James "Jimmy" Monaco, 50, is serving a 55-year sentence in Illinois on
federal drug trafficking charges from Florida. Monaco is said to have
recruited his parents, brother, and a sister in a plan to conceal more
than $2 million in profits from his drug importing and distribution

In addition to criminal charges, the Monacos were sued in civil court
by federal authorities. New Haven attorney John R. Williams, whose
office represented the Monacos in the civil case, said the homes are
being sold are being sold as a result of a settlement of that suit. A
confidentiality agreement covered the details of the settlement, he

Officials at EG&G Services, which formed a partnership with the U.S.
Treasury Department in 1990 to handle the disposal of federally seized
property, said the auction will include the ranch-style home at 22
Indian Woods Road in Branford, owned by James and Mary Monaco.

The 1,964-square-foot, three bedroom home and half-acre lot, with a
tax bill of $3,827 in 1997, will be available for public viewing
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and bidder registration will take
place from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday. The auction takes place at 1 p.m.
at the house.

Federal authorities say David Monaco's home at 465 Durham Road in
Guilford was built with the proceeds of his brother's drug operation,
with safes hidden in the garage floor to hide cash and valuables.

The 1,820-square-foot colonial house and .94 acre lot, for which 1997
taxes were $4,221, will be available for viewing Saturday from 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m., with bidder registration from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday. The
auction takes place at the property at 11 a.m.

In both auctions, successful bidders must provide photo identification
and a $10,000 cashier's check as a deposit. The proceeds from the
auction will go to the U.S. Treasury's asset forfeiture fund, used to
support crime-fighting efforts across the nation, EG&G representatives

Old Saybrook attorney Jeremiah Donovan, who represented the elder
Monacos in the criminal trial, said a decision is pending in the
appeal of their convictions, argued two months ago in the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The Monacos initially were confined to separate federal prisons in
Fort Worth, Texas, where James Monaco, who suffers from congestive
heart failure, underwent a medical evaluation. He since has been
transferred to a facility at Fort Dix, N.J. Mary Monaco has been
transferred to the same women's prison in Virginia where her daughter,
Linda DeMaio, is being held.

David Monaco is being held at a minimum-security facility in

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