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.