A man was sentenced to life in prison on Friday after he hired a hitman to kill his mafia-linked father at a McDonald’s drive-thru in 2018.
Anthony Zottola, Sr. and Himen Ross were both sentenced in the US District Court in Brooklyn on Friday for their roles in a “murder-for-hire” plot, which was part of a scheme to take over a multi-million dollar real-estate business.
Zottola’s father, 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola, was killed by Ross at a McDonald’s drive-thru while he waited for a cup of coffee, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office.
“Over the course of more than a year, the elderly victim, Sylvester Zottola, was stalked, beaten, and stabbed, never knowing who orchestrated the attacks,” Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said.
“It was his own son, who was so determined to control the family’s lucrative real estate business that he hired a gang of hit men to murder his father.”
Zottola’s father controlled a real-estate empire that was worth tens of millions of dollars at the time of his death, according to authorities.
Zottola helped to manage the business that prosecutors allege was built on illegal gambling proceeds linked to the mafia, per the Associated Press.
Zottola was an associate of the Lucchese and Bonanno crime family in the Bronx and was nicknamed “Sally Daz,” prosecutors previously said, per CNN.
The Associated Press reported that there were “audible sobs” in the courtroom as Zottola’s family spoke to him.
Salvatore Zottola, the defendant’s brother, asked: “Why? Dad gave you everything. You had everything in life.”
Anthony Zottola Sr. plotted to kill both his brother and father in an attempt to take over the lucrative family business.
In a failed attempt to have his brother killed in 2018, a gunman shot Salvatore Zottola in the head, chest, and hand outside of his home, prosecutors said.
Anthony Zottola had also arranged a series of violent attacks on his father before his eventual murder, including a day in December 2017 when a gang broke into Sylvester Zottola’s home, “struck him on the head with a gun, stabbed him multiple times, and slashed his throat,” per the press release.
US District Judge Hector Gonzalez concluded his motive was centered around greed, per the AP. Zottola showed little remorse for “the unimaginable horror he caused his family,” Gonzalez said.
Six other men have pleaded guilty to their roles in the plot.