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Friday, July 3, 2015

Lawyers for Bonanno mobster want rap sheet off limits

Attorneys for accused Lufthansa-heist wiseguy Vincent Asaro don’t want jurors to hear about his decades-long rap sheet, according to a new Brooklyn federal court filing.
The Bonanno crime-family veteran — who faces life in prison if convicted on a slew of mob-related allegations — is charged with playing a key role in the legendary 1978 robbery of a JFK cargo terminal.
The heist was immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 mob classic, “Goodfellas.”
The feds want jurors to hear about large chunks of Asaro’s voluminous criminal catalog — even including a serious heroin addiction in his 20s and a propensity for car theft in the 1960s.
But defense attorney Elizabeth Macedonio ripped the effort, arguing that the ancient activity would prejudice the jury against Asaro.
“The illegal propensity evidence consists of decades-old acts designed to arouse the jury’s emotions and invite it to convict on an improper basis,” she wrote.
The feds maintain that the increasingly wobbly mafioso, now 79, blew much of his alleged haul from the Lufthansa job at horse-race tracks.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Turncoat Philadelphia mob boss to tell all in new book

Ralph Natale, the boss of the Philadelphia Mob in the mid-90s, is set to tell his story with the help of producer Dan Pearson (I Married a Mobster) and New York Daily News investigative reporter Larry McShane.

Lost Lives and Forgotten Vows will be published by Thomas Dunne Books in Fall 2016.

Natale becomes only the second Mafia Godfather to tell his own life story, following New York’s Joe Bonanno. The book pitches “a behind-the-scenes master’s class on organized crime.”

Natale is reported to have gotten his start in organized crime when he took control of Local 170 of the Bartenders, Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Workers Union in Philadelphia. In 1979 he went to jail for insurance fraud and separately for selling cocaine and he was paroled in 1994. He soon became the head of Philadephia’s organized crime family, but was indicted on charges of financing drug deals in 1999. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail and was released in 2011.

“Ralph Natale, has out killed, out smarted and outlived his adversaries. Now he gets to tell history in his own words not just mafia history but American history,” said Pearson in a statement announcing the deal. “Lost Lives and Forgotten Vows will take the reader on a trip into the epicenter of Americana in the mid-to-late 20th Century where pop culture and politics frequently intersected with the underworld, and where Ralph Natale was the man charged with greasing the wheels so the multiple relationships between those entities could run at full speed.”

Pearson and McShane were represented by Frank Weimann of Folio Literary Management.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Convicted Gambino gangster faces death penalty for 2001 South Florida murder

Reputed mobster Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday in the 2001 killing of a prominent South Florida businessman during an acrimonious power struggle over a lucrative fleet of gambling ships.
Jurors also found Moscatiello, 77, guilty of murder conspiracy in the shooting death of Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, founder of SunCruz Casinos and the Miami Subs restaurant chain. Evidence showed Boulis was killed by a mob hit man, and Moscatiello was accused of ordering the shooting.
A mistrial was declared for Moscatiello in 2013 because his attorney became ill. Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, who handled South Florida matters for Moscatiello, was convicted in that trial and sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Moscatiello was a member of New York's Gambino crime family when he issued the fateful order for a hit. Moscatiello did not testify in his own defense, but his lawyers insisted Ferrari and others were to blame for the Feb. 6, 2001, murder.
At the time, Boulis, 51, was trying to retake control of SunCruz after selling it to businessman Adam Kidan and his partner, former Washington powerhouse lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Kidan paid Moscatiello and Ferrari thousands of dollars a month to handle security and other issues -- including, prosecutors said, the use of Moscatiello's alleged mob ties for protection.
Moscatiello was immediately handcuffed. His wife and daughters cried after the verdict was read.
"Get that camera out of my face," Moscatiello's wife screamed at a Local 10 News photographer outside the courtroom.
She later fainted after shouting, "It's Adam's fault. Adam did it." She was treated by paramedics and taken to a hospital.
Key evidence included phone calls from Ferrari to Moscatiello, who was in New York, shortly after Boulis was fatally shot by a gunman who pulled up next to his car as he left his office. Other organized crime figures and a former Ferrari associate testified that Moscatiello approached them initially about getting rid of Boulis before hiring hit man John "J.J." Gurino.
Gurino was killed in an unrelated 2003 dispute with a Boca Raton delicatessen owner.
Moscatiello's attorney, Kenneth Malnik, told jurors the evidence pointed more toward Kidan, who had several clashes with Boulis, and Ferrari employee James "Pudgy" Fiorillo, who admitted to conducting surveillance of Boulis and disposing of the murder weapon in Miami's Biscayne Bay.
Malnik said he was surprised by the verdict based on the reaction of the jurors.
"We thought that this could have been a hung jury, to be candid with you," Malnik told Local 10.
Kidan has never been charged in the Boulis murder and testified in both trials. Fiorillo pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy and will likely be sentenced to the six-plus years he already served in exchange for his testimony. He has denied being the shooter.
"Justice doesn't always happen, so it's particularly gratifying that we have a family and a community that's received a substantial measure of closure," assistant state attorney Brian Cavanagh said. "You can never bring a murder victim back, but certainly you can see that justice is done, and I think it's happened."
Moscatiello faces the death penalty or life in prison when he is sentenced in September. Jurors will make a punishment recommendation, but Judge Ilona Holmes has the final decision.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Former NFL player ends engagement to grandson of deceased Kansas City mob boss

In 2014, Michael Sam kisses then-boyfriend Vito Cammisano after being drafted by the Rams. 
Michael Sam returned to the Montreal Alouettes on Monday after a mysterious two-week absence, citing personal reasons — and now social media signs point to a possible breakup with his fiance.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, famously kissed Vito Cammisano on camera last year after he was taken by the Rams in the seventh round; but, the couple haven't been spotted together in about two months, according to

The 2013 Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri — where the two met — also recently removed several pictures of Cammisano and himself from his Instagram account, including their January engagement photo. Cammisano can be seen without a ring on his finger in a YouTube video posted on June 27.

Michael Sam tosses a ball around while during his Alouettes introductory press conference.

The defensive end has made no mention of Cammisano on Twitter.

In 2014, Sam was cut by the Rams and signed by the Cowboys to the practice squad, but didn't make the roster. Sam agreed to a two-year deal with the Alouettes in May, before he bolted training camp on June 12, missing the season opener Thursday night.

On Monday, Sam tweeted: "Thank you all so much for your support. Great to be back in Montreal with the club. Let's go #Als!"

“I was always coming back,” Sam said after his return. “I had to deal with personal matters when I was home. That’s all taken care of, so now I’m back.”

“He worked some things out that he needed to settle and he came back to us a much more dedicated athlete than he was before," coach Tom Higgins said. "He wants to prove that he can play on a high level.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

Notorious gangster Whitey Bulger pens letter to high schoolers from federal prison

Whitey Bulger pens letter from prison urging students to go to law school
In a letter from prison to Massachusetts high-schoolers, Boston gangster Whitey Bulger copped to leading a “wasted” life — and told the students that if they really want to make money off crime, they should bone up for their LSATs.

Whitey Bulger

“I know only one thing for sure: if you want to make crime pay — go to law school,” the 85-year-old former crime boss wrote to juniors at Apponequet Regional HS in Lakeville, according to the Boston Globe.

The students — Mollykate Rodenbush, Brittany Tainsh and Michaela Arguin — had written to him as part of a class project.

Bulger bared his regret in the Feb. 14 letter, handwritten from a federal penitentiary in Sumterville, Fla.

“My life was wasted and spent foolishly, brought shame + suffering on my parents and siblings and will end soon,” he wrote.

He spent 16 years on the lam before he was busted in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif.