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Shelby Restaurateurs Convicted of Rival's Beating to Face Extortion Charges

Owners of the former Tirami Su restaurant in Shelby Township have been indicted by a federal grand jury on extortion charges.

The Shelby Township restaurant owner and his brother convicted last year of beating a competitor with a baseball bat are heading back to court after a federal grand jury indicted them on charges of allegedly extorting the same individual.

In an indictment unsealed Thursday, Giuseppe "Joe" D’Anna, 60, and Girolamo "Mimmo" D’Anna, 48, were charged with one count of Hobbs Act conspiracy and two counts of attempted Hobbs Act extortion, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Hobbs Act is a U.S. federal law enacted in 1946 that prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

The indictment alleges that the brothers, "and other co-conspirators" who have not been named, attempted to extort the owner of Nonna’s Italian Kitchen starting in 2009 and continuing through April 2011. Nonna's is owned by Pietro Ventimiglia and his wife.

The D'Annas owned Tirami Su Ristorante on 23 Mile and Schoenherr roads at the time of the alleged extortion. The restaurant has since changed its name to Il Pomo d’oro and come under new ownership.

In January 2012, the D’Annas were sentenced in Macomb County Circuit Court to two months in jail and three months on house arrest for assaulting Ventimiglia.

The brothers were accused of striking Ventimiglia multiple times in the head with an aluminum baseball bat, causing him to suffer a closed head injury and broken jaw, among other injuries.

While both D'Annas initially faced charges of assault with intent to murder – punishable by up to life in prison – extortion and witness intimidation, they later pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and a second witness intimidation charge. As a result, the men received greatly reduced sentences.

However, the brothers could face further jail time if convicted of the charges listed in the indictment.

The brothers appeared in U.S. District Court for the first time Thursday.

The investigation of this case was led by the FBI’s Detroit Field Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Straus of the Eastern District of Michigan and Principal Deputy Chief David Jaffe of the Organized Crime and Gang Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

News2me February 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM
I was wondering how they only got two months for the mentioned charges, whereas my nephew had the same charges, for like incidence, and got two years in prison! I do not understand how these two received such a slap on the hand for the crime they committed. For shame on the justice system.
Omerta February 22, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Have you seen the Sopranos? Kind of like that. They're people who know people.
Satori February 22, 2013 at 05:20 PM
I'm wondering who the Macomb County Prosecuter and Judge were on this case ??? Two months in jail for beating someone in the head with a baseball bat "Good Fellas" style...... I know of people that got two months in jail for possesion of a couple of joints of marijuana for personal use. Just wondering if the punishment fits the crime ?
Sarah Franklin February 22, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Agree penalty seems very light. I cringe just thinking how being on the receiving end of a bat would feel. But these guys at least took an added financial hit with the decline in the restaurant biz they were trying to protect and now have to fight the Feds; so maybe justice will indeed catch up with them OJ style.
macombresident February 23, 2013 at 12:06 AM
Not that i'm condoning it either way but working in the legal field, your nephew getting 2 years for assault is not typical...much longer than i've ever heard of actually..unless he had priors or something. Most assault charges result in 3 months or less along with probation
Mike February 23, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Does anyone know why they beat the guy up?
Petra February 24, 2013 at 02:32 PM
they own Vince & Joe's Grocery store on 25/Van Dyke don't they?
todd b February 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM
boy i would sure like to know if this is true. if so, we will not shop there any more.
Michelle Rodgers February 25, 2013 at 02:19 PM
I was told by a previous employee @ Vince & Joe's that they are the ones who owned the restaurant and beat up those people. No one at that store is very friendly and the deli girls come and go.
Jason February 27, 2013 at 06:11 PM
vince and joes is not related to this incident at all. please stop smearing the name of another local business
Gaspare February 28, 2013 at 06:50 AM
The D'anna family owns both Vince and Joe locations. Stop shopping at Vince and Joe's to show support for the poor guy that got beat up. People like this shouldn't be in business and belong in prison!!!!!!
todd b February 28, 2013 at 03:44 PM
i agree i would not shop there either if indeed these kneebusters are the owners. but it seems like there are conflicting opinions as to whether this is true or just a rumor. perhaps a good lead for Channel 7 action news to investigate further.
Jimmy March 01, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Todd B, I think that's a great idea. What a story that would be......
Rick March 05, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Everyone knows that Vince and Joe Vitale own Vince and Joe's Markets, they have been the only two owners of those stores. None of those danna own Vince and Joes
Robert March 05, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Your absolutely right Rick. I know for a fact that Vince and Joe Vitale are the only two that own Vince and Joe's markets. That's so not right to push that local business into this matter. The only thing people should be posting about Vince and Joe's is how great their stores are.
smith jay March 06, 2013 at 02:26 AM
the two guys that commited the crime is one of the owners of vince and joes wives brothers

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