Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Carmel on the Case: Death Threats
When authorities busted South Florida pain clinics last week, the biggest fish caught in the crackdown was Vincent Colangelo. But 7 News has learned he's made death threats. Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
WSVN -- Anthony McHugh and Tanya Battista are the proud parents of a 3-year-old son. But they are worried for his safety and their own because of threats, they say, from Tanya's uncle, Vincent Colangelo.
They recorded one.
Vincent Colangelo: "I'm going to get out, and I'm going to (expletive) kill you, bro."
Colangelo did time for drug trafficking and is now facing money laundering charges.
Anthony McHugh, In Fear: "He threatened to kill me. He threatened to kill my fiancé and my 3-year-old son, which is his godson."
Anthony and Tanya say they were partners in this Pompano Beach paint business with Colangelo. They say "Uncle Vinny" cut them out of the business, claiming Anthony gave it up.
Anthony McHugh: "Which makes no sense, because it's my only source of income. It's my life's work."
But pills, not paint, according to the feds, was Colangelo's main source of money. They say he was the hidden owner and manager of a pharmacy and seven pain clinics in an enterprise that stretched from Miami to Pompano Beach.
Before he was busted on money laundering charges, we saw him outside Commercial Medical, one of the busiest pain clinics in South Florida.
Just steps away, a customer appeared to crush and snort pills.
Federal authorities say Colangelo was making more than $150,000 a day.
And he spent a lot of it on cars.
Here he is cruising Pompano Beach in a Rolls Royce.
At the time, he didn't seem to have a care in the world.
But it was quite different for the young family. They were in hiding, in fear of what, they say, Uncle Vinny might do.
Carmel Cafiero, Investigative Reporter: "When the couple came to the Broward Sheriff's Office to file a complaint, they learned Vincent Colangelo had already been here to file a complaint against them."
The report reads Colangelo believes "between $400,000 to $1.3 million has been stolen and/or misappropriated."
Dani Moschella, Broward Sheriff's Office: "The bottom line here is our economic crimes unit, because so much money is involved, is looking at the case to determine exactly what happened."
According to the report, Colangelo admitted threatening to kill the couple, but that "they were just angry words and they were family."
Tanya Battista, In Fear: "We're hiding out away from our house. I can't go back to my home. I can't go there, because I'm scared he'll have people go there and hurt us."
BSO says there's nothing it can do about the death threat.
Dani Moschella: "There was nothing to prove that he intentionally planned to harm these people."
Carmel Cafiero: "Mr. Colangelo, would you wait a minute? Channel 7. We have a few questions for you."
Now that he's been locked up, the young parents are relieved but are certain they haven't heard the last from Uncle Vinny.
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