Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008 | 12:57 p.m.
Louis Eppolito, a former New York police detective dubbed "Mafia cop" in media reports, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this morning to one count of filing a false tax return.
Eppolito, who is in federal custody awaiting trial on money laundering and drug distribution charges in New York, appeared with his Las Vegas lawyer, Thomas Naylor, before U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt.
In July 2006, a federal jury in New York convicted the 57-year-old Eppolito and his former partner, ex-New York detective Stephen Caracappa, of participating in eight mob-related killings, but a federal judge later dismissed the case. The government is appealing.
Both men, who retired from the New York City Police Department and moved to Las Vegas in the early 1990s, were accused of working for the Lucchese crime family while they were police detectives.
Eppolito, who wrote the 1992 autobiography, "Mafia Cop: the Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob," appeared in several movies after his retirement and embarked on a career of writing movie scripts.
Eppolito's son, Anthony Eppolito, is scheduled to stand trial in U.S. District Court here on March 4 on charges of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.
The elder Eppolito and his wife, Frances Eppolito, were scheduled to stand trial Feb. 25 on three charges of filing false tax returns.
Naylor said Frances Eppolito is expected to avoid trial by entering a federal pre-trial diversion program which, if completed, will result in the dismissal of the charges against her.
The government, Naylor said, has agreed not to oppose giving Louis Eppolito credit for time served behind bars. He has been in custody for 31 months.
He faces a sentence of maximum of 14 months in prison on the tax charge.
According to Louis Eppolito's plea agreement, he acknowledged owing the Internal Revenue Service $102,108 for the tax years, 2000 through 2002.
Sentencing is set for May 9.