Francesca Rispoli, the daughter of imprisoned ‘Ndrangheta mafia boss Vincenzo Rispoli, has been sentenced to four and a half years plus 10 days for her role in what an Italian appeal court ruled as an extortion beating that took place in Malta.
Judges have sentenced ‘Ndrangheta associates brothers Michele and Giuseppe Di Novara to eight years each, as well as Giovanni Lillo, Rispoli’s husband, to 10 years and eight months incarceration for carrying out a brutal beating of businessman Giovanni in Marsaskala in January 2020.
All four were also charged with mafia aggravating circumstances over their involvement in a ‘Ndrangheta mafia clan that operates in Legnano, just outside of Milan.
D’Alessandro, who lives in Malta and owns Valmeda Srl, a building company that was working on several construction sites in Malta, owed some €3,000 to two of the three assailants for off-the-books illegal work they had done for his construction company between November 2019 and January 2020.
The savage beating they administered to D’Alessandro left him hospitalised with broken ribs and teeth.
The three assailants had travelled to Malta on 25 January on an Air Malta flight from Linate Airport, with tickets booked by the 31-year-old mafia boss daughter Francesca Rispoli.
Anti-mafia prosecutors’ phone taps between the assailants and relatives show how they bragged about brutally punching and kicking the victim, with Lillo giving Rispoli details of the attack saying that “there was blood everywhere and teeth all over floor”. Lillo also bragged to his wife about having sabotaged D’Alessandro’s heavy machinery.
According to investigations coordinated by Colonel Antonio Coppola and Lieutenant Colonel Cataldo Pantaleo, the three left for Malta at the end of January 2020 with the aim of getting paid by D’Alessandro.
Giuseppe ‘Zio Pino’ Di Novara told Francesca Rispoli in the phone intercepts, “I broke it all…all full of blood… I have the keys and the phone… I have the fanny pack…he doesn’t even have a lira.”
“Love, I went bowling tonight, I got a strike,” a message Lillo sent to his wife said.
“I punched him from underneath,” he then told a friend when he returned to Italy. “His teeth were crushed, I gave him the first punch under the chin and after that he didn’t understand anything.”
The details of the beating have been confirmed in a medical report from Mater Dei Hospital, where the businessman had himself treated that evening.
The report listed, trauma wounds, the loss of several teeth, back abrasions, a hematoma on the left side of the head, a fracture of the 12th rib, a suspected fracture of the tenth rib, and a slight left-sided collapsed lung.
Rispoli is recorded as having encouraged and applauded them, saying in the recording, “This way he’ll know the ‘Ndrangheta still exists”.
After the phone taps, an investigation was conducted by the Carabinieri and arrests were made in September 2020.
The mafia charges come from investigators’ belief that the perpetrators acted “in order to facilitate the consortium activities of the Legnano-Lonate Pozzolo branch of the ‘Ndrangheta”.
The branch is believed to be the most powerful in Lombardy. It is run by the Rispolis and is linked to the Farao-a in Cirò Marina.