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

Saturday, April 3, 2010

No Violence, No Priors; Still No Bail For Biz-Man Mob Prince

                                                    Colombo "Associate" Michael Persico

He’s a 53-year old widower raising two teenaged daughters. He’s never been arrested before. He’s not charged with a violent crime and the U.S. Probation Department determined that he would not be a danger if he were released on bail. And his 75 year-old mother was in court to support him.

But none of the above, nor any of the warm laudatory things that relatives and neighbors had to say about Michael Persico – or the $5 million they agreed to put up as collateral – meant anything to the only person that mattered this week, so the businessman son of mob boss Junior Persico remains behind bars as he awaits trial.

“The defendant has violent men at his disposal who act in accordance with his orders and direction,” said Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Sandra Townes, who had the final say on the issue this week.

The judge did not refer to letters from many friends, neighbors and business associates that lauded Persico for rising above his notorious surname to become a great father, honorable businessman and wonderful neighbor. Nor did she refer to arguments advanced by defense lawyers Sarita Kedia and Henry Mazurek that prosecutors had unfairly labeled their client a danger merely because of his last name.

Instead, she credited allegations prosecutors submitted in court papers that Persico was the brains behind several racketeering schemes, including the extortion of kickbacks from a demolition contractor that removed debris from Ground Zero and the takeover of a Brooklyn furniture store whose owner owed Persico and his cronies $200,000.

“It takes fear and intimidation to pull this off,” said Townes, referring to the furniture store caper that began in September and ended in February, according to the indictment. “It is clear to this court that resort to violence …. only occurs when Michael Persico says it’s okay to do it. I find that he directs the activities of violent men.”

The most violent of his men, said Townes, is Persico’s cousin, Theodore (Skinny) Persico Jr., a reputed member of the crime family’s hierarchy whose tape-recorded rants about his willingness to use guns, knives and his fists whenever necessary are sprinkled throughout the court filings in the case.

In one excerpt cited by the judge, Skinny Teddy (left) stated flat out that he’s “for hitting people” – as though it was some kind of religious belief. Then it got worse: He told codefendant James Bombino in January that he didn’t think he would have “a problem” satisfying himself with this craving. “I’m gonna talk to my cousin Michael about it,” Skinny was recorded saying. “If he says do it, I’m gonna do it. I wanna hurt somebody badly. I really wanna hurt somebody.”

If the Persico cousins ever make it out of this jam, you have to wonder if cousin Teddy is getting an invite to Thanksgiving dinner this fall.



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