The Velentzas crime family was a Greek-American criminal organization operating in the New York City area.Jerry Capeci. ''Jerry Capeci's Gang Land.'' (pg.170-172) ''The Man Gotti Never Got''. October 12, 1994

/ref> The gang was mostly active in the 1980s and 1990s and specialized in illegal gambling operations. After the conviction of its leader in 1992, the criminal organization gradually become defunct.

Spiros Velentzas

The group originated from the ''Kourakos clan,'' a Maniot-Greek family led by Peter Kourakos. The gang rose to prominence in the late 1980s under the leadership of Spyredon "Spiros" Velentzas. The Velentzas family mainly operated in the Greek-American neighborhood of Astoria, Queens. With over 30 members at its peak, the group gained power in other Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods in the 1980s and the 1990s by setting up and taking over illegal gambling rackets that included dice games and horse-racing parlors. Veletzas had a close working relationship with members of the Lucchese crime family.Man Tied to Mafia Guilty on 10 Counts
''The New York Times'', June 20, 1992. Accessed July 2, 2008.
For providing protection to the Greeks, the Luchesses received a portion of their gambling profits.Anemona Hartocollis. ''Albanian Gang Portrayed as Aspiring Mafiosi''. December 20, 2005. The New York Times

/ref>Carl Campanile. ''Albania 'Mafia' Broken''. October 27, 2004. New York Post

/ref>Kareem Fahim and Alan Feuer. ''Beating Them at Their Own Game; Albanian Groups Are Muscling Into Mob Land, Officials Say''. January 3, 2006. The New York Times

/ref> However, there were attempts by some members to expand their business further, but were met with resistance by the Gambino crime family.


In early 1992, Velentzas and two other members were arrested for racketeering. On June 20, 1992, Velentzas was found guilty of murder, loan sharking, gambling, and tax fraud charges, while finding him not guilty on one murder charge.Lubasch, Arnold H
Mob Murder Is Recounted By Organizer
''The New York Times'', May 22, 1992. Accessed July 2, 2008.
Velentzas was later sentenced to over 20 years in prison from his charges. Velentzas was later found guilty of murdering Sarecho "Sammy the Arab" Nalo and was sentenced to life in prison. As of 2020, Velentzas is serving his life sentence at Allenwood Prison.Spyredon Velentzas. Federal Bureau of Prisons


{{Organized crime groups in New York City Category:Greek-American organized crime groups Category:Gangs in New York City