Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gambino rat Primo Cassarino sues NYC to get a fatter pension

Primo Cassarino heads to court in 2003.

He's in witness protection and collects Social Security disability benefits - and now a Mafia rat with two left feet is suing to get a tax-free pension from the city.

Primo Cassarino, a former soldier in the Gambino crime family, hurt himself when he fell off a garbage truck while working for the Sanitation Department.

He gets an ordinary pension, but wants a special accident disability pension that could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

And if he gets it, his fraud victims - who are owed $1.6 million in restitution - can't touch a dime.

Cassarino filed for the lucrative benefit in March 2003, a week before he was convicted of racketeering with then-Gambino boss Peter Gotti and a gaggle of gangsters in Brooklyn Federal Court.

While the mob thug was awaiting sentencing, he was examined by a panel of doctors from the New York City Employee Retirement System, who rejected his bid.

Cassarino sued the city in Brooklyn Supreme Court last year, lost again, and is appealing the judge's ruling to the state Appellate Division.

Cassarino was on the stand in federal court Tuesday as the chief witness against reputed Gambino soldier Anthony (Todo) Anastasio.

In testimony, he acknowledged he and his family had been relocated because of his cooperation with prosecutors.

"It ain't no bargain," Cassarino said of the witness protection program.

The mob canary is among 450 ex-city and state employees - including corrupt judges, murderous cops and disgraced public officials - who collect government pensions in jail, as the Daily News reported last year.

Cassarino's injury happened Aug. 7, 1991, when he took a freak fall from a garbage truck.

He was stepping down from the cab when he caught his foot in a canvas strap, according to court papers.

The doctors determined he was disabled, but refused to grant him a tax-free pension because, they said, the mishap was his fault.

"Mr. Cassarino has worked with this equipment before, and there is no evidence that this equipment was broken or faulty in any way," the medical board found.

"This strap was part of the construction of the truck and therefore part of Mr. Cassarino's normal working environment."

Cassarino worked in the same depot as Peter Gotti, who is collecting an accident disability pension while serving a life sentence.


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