Son sentenced to life in prison for hiring a hitman to kill dad over real estate
A federal court sentenced a son to life imprisonment plus an additional 112 years for ordering a hitman to kill his father to take control of the family’s real estate empire.
Anthony Zottola Jr. received a sentence on Friday, 14 April for the murder of Sylvester Zottola.
According to a Department of Justice release, Zottola, 45, hired hitman Himen, 37, who was also sentenced to life in prison, to kill his father and brother to protect the family’s twenty-two multi-family rental properties and commercial properties, valued at $ 45 million.
On Oct. 4, 2018, known New York City mobster Sylvester was gunned down in what law enforcement described as a mafia-style assassination at a Bronx McDonald’s drive-thru while ordering a cup of coffee.
Sylvester, a reputed member of New York’s Bonanno crime family, was waiting to pick up an order from the window in his car when he was shot four times in his torso and in the head. He was declared dead on the spot.
Three months prior, Sylvester Zottola’s youngest son, Salvatore, narrowly escaped death when he was shot several times outside his Throgs Neck compound in The Bronx. The 42-year-old survived.
Anthony Zottola Sr. planned to seize control of some 90 properties throughout the borough.
During the trial, Salvatore testified that the real estate business drew more than $1 million per year in rental income worth tens of millions in value.
Meanwhile, Assistant US Attorney Devon Lash told jurors the murder followed a series of six previous botched hits, in which would-be assassins stabbed and beat the elder Zottola — but the mob associate, who paid dues to both the Lucchese and Bonanno families, survived each attempt.
One of the attempts included Sylvester being menaced at gunpoint by a masked person in November 2017. A month later, three men invaded his home and he was shot in the head, stabbed several times, and had his throat slashed.
In the end, Sylvester’s life was taken by his own son.
Up until the murder of his father, Zottola had been managing all of the properties with his brother Salvatore.
“Why? Anthony, my brother, why? What did you do? Dad gave you everything,” said Salvatore during a victim impact statement in court. “What you did to me and dad is unimaginable.”
“Zottola had not one, not two, but multiple chances to rethink his deadly intent to murder his own father. He and the others he recruited chose to continue with their savage plot and succeeded. Now, instead of living off his father’s millions, his only payday will be a federal prison,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael Driscoll said in a previous statement.