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Former Philadelphia Police Inspector Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Extortion

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 04, 2011
  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania (215) 861-8200

PHILADELPHIA—Carlo Daniel Castro, 47, a former inspector with the Philadelphia Police Department, was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for his involvement in a scheme to use threats of violence and actual violence to collect a $26,000 debt owed to Philadelphia businessman Alan Kats, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Castro pleaded guilty in June 2011 to one count of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by extortion and was convicted at trial in April 2011 of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with another extortion scheme. Castro was in charge of the police department’s traffic division when he was charged and arrested in November. U.S. District Court Judge Harvey Bartle III ordered Castro to report to prison on November 15, 2011 and ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine.

In 2006, Castro invested $90,000 in a Delaware real estate development project with a business associate, Wilson Encarnacion. After the project did not materialize, the defendant repeatedly demanded Encarnacion repay his money, but Encarnacion failed to do so. Ultimately, in April 2010, the defendant hired an individual (the “Collector”) to collect the original $90,000 debt—plus $60,000 in interest, for a total of $150,000—that the defendant believed was owed to him by Encarnacion. In fact, however, the Collector was an FBI agent posing as a collector who collected debts through threats of violence and actual violence. The defendant understood when he hired the Collector that the Collector would scare Encarnacion into paying back the money.

On September 10, 2010, the defendant authorized and instructed the Collector to use actual violence, in addition to threats of violence, to collect his debt from Encarnacion. On that same date, the defendant referred the Collector to William Wong, who had asked the defendant for help in collecting a $26,000 business debt owed to Alan Kats by Romeo Calleung. At the time of the referral, both Wong and Kats understood that the Collector would use threats of violence, and if necessary, actual violence, to collect the debt from Calleung. Kats and Wong later agreed to hire the Collector to collect the debt from Calleung. Kats ultimately accepted a total of $8,000 supposedly collected by the Collector from Calleung.

Over the course of the next several months, the defendant spoke with Wong about the status of the Calleung extortion, and later accepted a $500 referral fee from the Collector for referring the Collector to Wong and Kats.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Louis D. Lappen and Leo R. Tsao.

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