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

Friday, April 30, 2010

After The Mob He's Just Scraping By


GOLDEN YEARS Joe DeFede, a retired New York gangster, and his wife, Nancy, are now living in Florida.


A SATURDAY, 11 a.m. Seniors’ hour at the diner.
An old man with a hearing aid butters his toast. Two Jamaican nurses help a woman with a walker through the door. An elderly mother and her daughter share a stack of pancakes, the mother guiding her fork past the oxygen tube in her nose.
Sitting in one booth with his wife, the former acting boss of the Lucchese crime family tucks into his $4 plate of scrambled eggs. He wears a pink Hawaiian shirt, a gold medallion, a brand-new pair of therapeutic sneakers. He is talking about the old days: everything he had, everything he lost.
“How much money?” he asks, responding to the question with a question.
“Awww, tons of money,” he answers. “It’s hard to say how much.”
This is Joe DeFede, a retired New York gangster who oversaw the rackets in the city’s garment district in the 1990s, a perch that provided him with a Cadillac, a driver, three horses stabled at Aqueduct and a home entertainment system columned in the style of ancient Greece. Like many mobsters, he walked through life with dignity and pride and, usually, with several thousand dollars in his pocket.
These days, though, he walks with a faltering step of age and with the weight of financial worry. After a five-year prison stint, legal fees and the crushing costs of creating a new identity — he entered but then left the witness protection program — the boss is almost broke. He and his second wife, Nancy, live on an annual income they said was not much more than $30,000: Social Security, a modest annuity and her pension from 20 years of working in a bank.
“That’s the fear we got,” said Mr. DeFede, 76, a slight man with a bookmaker’s grin who is known as Little Joe. “We try to keep our payments up” — for the car, the house, a recent hip replacement — “but sometimes we can’t hack it.”
Or as Mrs. DeFede, 74, explained, “We’re just scraping by.”

 HIDING “There’s not a lot of ads out there saying, ‘Wanted: Ex-crime boss of a Mafia family. Ten years experience required,’ ” Mrs. DeFede said.

It might be hard to muster sympathy — especially in the midst of a recession — for a guy who once earned his living shaking down businesses and taking illegal bets, even if he served his sentence and testified at several federal trials that helped put his former Mafia colleagues behind bars. But there is no such thing as a Gangster I.R.A., so the DeFedes are living check to check (and under assumed names) on the hard edge of a sharp financial knife.
They are hardly the first to struggle in their golden years when the years that went before were lived outside the law. Before the film “American Gangster” revived his finances, Frank Lucas, who earned — then lost — millions as a heroin dealer, was living in a public housing project in New Jersey. (He is now trying to start his own fashion line.) Henry Hill, a Lucchese family associate whose story formed the basis for the movie “Goodfellas,” sells signed posters as well as his memoirs and cookbooks at the Web site goodfellahenry.com.
“These people wind up as desperadoes in a sense,” said Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote, among other things, the screenplay for “Goodfellas.” “They come up with different schemes to survive without a 401(k). Don’t forget, they were hustlers to begin with.”
The DeFedes fit that mold: friendless, jobless and, faced with an uncertain future, living on their wits. Mrs. DeFede has sold jewelry — a ruby necklace, an emerald bracelet — to help support the household and has even written a book about her trials, “Life With Little Joe.”
It is a love story, sort of, opening with a startling scene of a young Mr. DeFede slapping her face. The manuscript encompasses their lives together: from obscurity to opulence, from the bulletproof vest she once found in her husband’s closet to their nervous flight into the federal government’s arms. While one might think a mob moll’s tell-all would make for an easy sale, that has not been the case. Mrs. DeFede’s agent spent an unsuccessful year shopping the book around. The couple still hopes the manuscript will provide them a nest egg. Publish or perish, Mafia style.
Last year, Mrs. DeFede took a job as a cashier at a clothing store. It paid $7.50 an hour and required cleaning toilets. She lasted three days.
As for her husband, she is apt to say, “There’s not a lot of ads out there saying, ‘Wanted: Ex-crime boss of a Mafia family. Ten years’ experience required.’ ”
Not unlike their law-abiding counterparts, they are filled with rage and bitterness — and violent apprehension — at their economic prospects. Mr. DeFede is so suffused with anxiety he sleepwalks and, in that state, literally punches the walls.
“Joe has fights in his sleep, cursing at some shadowy figure from the past,” Mrs. DeFede wrote one evening, jotting down thoughts for a reporter. “He has hit me several times during these episodes. Of course, he didn’t mean to harm me, but after one really bad incident, I was trying to calm him down and I got punched in the face.”
Mr. DeFede was nearing 70 when he got out of prison and discovered that a contract had been taken on his life. He was accused — wrongly, he insists — of stealing nearly a million dollars of Lucchese family money. “If I did what they said I did,” he reasoned one night at the dismal bar of a chain restaurant, “you think that I’d be here?”
The DeFedes met in 1958 and married 12 years later, each with a divorce in the rear view. A couple of years ago, they settled here in a 55-and-older community— they insisted its name be withheld for security reasons — and have built a pleasant, albeit precarious, life.
Family is far away: Mrs. DeFede’s son is in New York, in the throes of a recent divorce. Mr. DeFede’s daughter is on Long Island, but visiting is difficult — she lives with his former wife.
They have grandchildren in San Diego but cannot afford the plane ticket. “It’s lonely living alone,” said Mrs. DeFede, a classic tough cookie with an Irish-American wit. “Holidays are the worst. You see other people with their families and it totally breaks your heart.”
A few years ago, her oldest friend from Brooklyn moved into the neighborhood to be with her. But there was drinking, petty fights and eventually unkind words; part of the problem was the friend started dating a retired cop. The two have parted ways, potentially forever. How does one explain oneself to the neighbors, after all?
“We don’t have a life,” Mrs. DeFede said.
What they do have is each other. Mrs. DeFede carries her husband’s glasses and double-checks his payments on the bar bill. Mr. DeFede cleans the gutters — he did, at least, until his hip went bad. She makes suggestions of what he ought to order from the menu. He drives her to the beauty parlor and waits until she is done. She back-seat drives from the front seat of the car.
When evening comes, they watch television together — the History Channel, “Divorce Court,” “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Mr. DeFede plays solitaire. He visits the barbershop, not to have his hair cut, but for company. “They’re Cubans, so they don’t speak too much English — it’s difficult,” he said.
One recent Saturday, they visited a flea market. Mr. DeFede pulled into a spot and hung his disabled parking permit from the mirror. He stepped outside and observed his front bumper, scratched like a scabbed shin.
“Five years old,” he said. “I never drove a car five years old before.” He put his hands together, palms up, and shook them back and forth in disbelief. “Remember that song?” he asked. “ ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now’?”
Inside the bazaar, Mrs. DeFede looked at several items she could not afford. A patterned blouse. A yellow purse. Shoes.
“You see what I’ve done to her?” asked Mr. DeFede, looking on. “You see this? She could’ve had anybody. Anybody. She ended up with me.”


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Junior Gotti's Pal Found Dead In PA. Prison

A PAL who testified on behalf of John A. (Junior) Gotti was found dead in his prison cell Monday, and his family has gotten no answers about how he died.
The only information the federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania gave Joseph O'Kane's family is that his death wasn't natural.
"It was under investigation, and the prison was on lockdown," said his lawyer, Joseph Corozzo.
An autopsy was performed yesterday, but prison officials would not release the results.
When O'Kane, 44, testified for Junior Gotti in October, he had a broken jaw he said he got during a prison football game.
"He was well-respected in the facility, and I was unaware of any problems with any other inmates or with prison officials," Corozzo said. "That's why this is so shocking."
O'Kane, doing life on a 1999 murder and racketeering conviction, was called to counter the prosecution's star witness, Gotti turncoat John Alite.
He testified that an FBI agent had popped up at his prison and offered him a get-out-of-jail free card if he testified against Gotti.

Trial Update: Vincent Basciano

Vinny Gorgeous, US Attorney's OfficeVinny Gorgeous by Thomas Roche via Flickr
Vincent Basciano lost out on an attempt to keep court filings about his visits with family and telephone calls secret. Judge Nicholas Garaufis said that documents filed by Basciano to get additional visiting time with his family, as well as his minor son Anthony, should be kept on the public docket. Garaufis said that Basciano's submissions were not only judicial documents of the type traditionally made public but that the privacy interest of Anthony (the court didn't name him) weren't "sufficiently compelling reason to justify withholding judicial documents from public disclosure." Garaufis is allowing Basciano and prosecutors three weeks to go over earlier submissions to see if their is anything they want to redact from the pages. From now on everything will be filed in the open, said the court.  

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Barney Frank's Links To The Genovese Crime Family

BARNEY FRANK: official portrait of a smiling F...Image by roberthuffstutter via Flickr
Barney Frank, originally from Bayonne, NJ, was profiled last year in a piece by Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker, and according to the Congressman "his father was involved with the Mafia":
"Because Bayonne was such a sleazy place, nobody knew whether Barney was going to wind up in Congress or in jail" [said lawyer Alan Dershowitz]. According to Frank, his father was involved with the Mafia. "[Alfonse Frank] Funzi Tieri, a big-time gangster with the Genovese family, came to my brother David's bar mitzvah, when I was twenty-three," he said. Sam Frank died at the age of fifty-three, while Barney was an undergraduate at Harvard, and Barney took a year off to help resolve the family's tangled financial affairs. "The Mafia guys were very helpful to me at the time," he said.
Sam Frank "operated Tooley's Truck Terminal, near the mouth of the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City":
"My father ran a truck stop," Frank told me. "He sort of lived on the fringes. We're talking about Hudson County—Frank Hague was the boss—a totally corrupt place. In 1946, my father's brother Harry got the contract to sell cars to the city, and of course he had to give a kickback to the guys who ran the city. My father was a middleman or something." Sam was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury about the matter. He refused and was found in criminal contempt. "For a while, he was hiding out from the cops in New York," Frank recalled. "I was six years old, and once I went to see him in the city, and we saw 'Robin Hood,' with Errol Flynn. The next day, the cops came to my first-grade class to interview me, to see if I had been with my dad. My father's sister, Aunt Minnie, taught at the school. She heard about the cops coming and went straight to my classroom to break it up, so I didn't have to talk." Eventually, Sam returned to New Jersey, and was jailed for refusing to testify. "They treated him nice," Frank said. "They let my mother bring him food. He served for about a year."
Given Frank's sexual orientation it's ironic that Tieri had an apparent relationship with his family.  After all, according to former Daily News reporter and editor Thomas Collins Jr. in his 2002 memoir NewsWalker, Matthew Ianniello -- convicted in 1985 for a skimming operation involving several of his establishments -- allegedly "was sponsored into the Genovese crime family by Frank 'Funzi' Tieri."  As this blog previously has reported:
Ianniello perhaps is best known for the dozens of gay bars and discos in New York City with which he allegedly was involved during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s including the hustler bar Haymarket, the tranny bar Gilded Grape, and the circus-like disco GG Barnum's Room.  Indeed, no man had more of an instrumental role in gay nightlife in New York City than Ianniello, and although straight he probably should receive an honorary plaque recognizing his achievements from the city's Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Out To Prove Accused Mobster Dad Is Innocent

Anthony DiPietro found his life's calling in an unexpected place: a Manhattan courtroom where his father was sentenced to serve the rest of life in prison.
Watching as the accused mobster was led away in cuffs, DiPietro made a decision - he would become a lawyer and clear his father's name.
That was 2006. A few years later, DiPietro - a C student in high school more interested in soccer than books - finished at the top of his class at Berkeley College in Westchester County. In a few months, he'll find out if he has been accepted to law school, the next step on his road to family redemption.
DiPietro's dad - a 53-year-old former strip club owner nicknamed Fat Angelo - is serving 59 years for extortion and kidnapping. He was convicted of plotting to blow off a rival's gentials with an M-80 firecracker while consorting with a ruthless gang of Albanian mobsters.
His son thinks the case was based on lies.
"In my heart, I knew my dad was innocent, because I was there," DiPietro, 26, said. "When you know that your father is going to die in jail, you can't just sit there."
He's not the first child of a reputed mobster to be drawn to the law.
In 1995, Mafia scion John A. (Junior) Gotti, then the boss of the Gambino crime family, took paralegal courses at a local college. Although he never did any legal work, he gave his lawyers plenty of unsolicited advice at his four conspiracy trials.
Lawyer Sabrina Bellomo - daughter of Genovese crime family boss Liborio (Barney) Bellomo - got high marks from a Manhattan federal judge when she spoke at her father's sentencing in 2007.
"You certainly have someone to be proud of in the person sitting next to you," Judge Lewis Kaplan told the boss.
DiPietro isn't waiting for a law degree to get started on his father's defense. In September, he organized a fund-raiser that raked in $30,000 for a federal appeal.
He drove 17 hours to persuade Bill Clutter, director of investigations for the Innocence Project at the University of Illinois, to look at the feds' case against his dad. In court papers, Clutter says, he found a witness who casts doubt on the feds' claim that Angelo DiPietro threatened John Perazzo with a firearm or M-80 to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The son hopes the new witness and phone records will convince a federal judge that his father was wrongly convicted. Prosecutors had no comment. Anthony DiPietro says his father's only sin was gambling - a habit that he passed on to his son.
The younger man pleaded guilty to a gambling charge that grew out of his father's case and spent six months in jail - which could affect his ability to be admitted to the bar.
"My dad's mistake was gambling," DiPietro said. "Am I disappointed in my dad? Absolutely not. The story the government told is all lies, and that's what I'm going to prove."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Big Al's Son Plans To Open Restaurant

In Springfield, MA the son of Genovese capo Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno who was whacked in 2003 may open an Italian restaurant in the name of the father as reported by Stephanie Barry for The Republican:  "Assuming it clears the city's planning and licensing hurdles, Victor C. Bruno plans to open Adolfo's Restaurant at 254 Worthington St. sometime this spring."  Last February the feds indicted Anthony Arillotta, the reputed capo who allegedly succeeded Bruno, and Arthur Nigro, the reputed former acting boss in New York, for their alleged roles in the rubout.  Frankie Roche, the admitted triggerman in the Bruno slaying, alleges that he was paid $10,000 by Fotios "Freddy" Geas, a supposed sometime enforcer for Arillotta, for the job.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bust On The New Jersey Waterfront

Waterfront Commission Police patchImage via Wikipedia
On the NJ docks police have arrested Nunzio LaGrasso, a top official with the International Longshoremen's Association, his nephew Alan Marfia, a Newark police officer, and three other current or former ILA union members "on charges that they extorted money from dock workers by demanding 'tribute' for better jobs and pay, or engaged in loansharking" as reported by Tom Hester Sr. for NewJerseyNewsRoom.com:
State Attorney General Paula T. Dow said the arrests stem from Operation Terminal, an ongoing investigation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor into the activities of a criminal enterprise that allegedly has exercised control and corrupt influence over ILA locals operating shipping terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey. * * * The investigation into the activities of the alleged criminal extortion on the New Jersey waterfront revealed that ILA members working at the shipping terminals are required to make a cash "tribute" payment at Christmas time each year to the enterprise out of the year-end bonuses each member receives called "container royalty checks." It is alleged that those payments are funneled to the criminal enterprise through LaGrasso.
The other three arrested are Rocco Ferrandino, Joseph Queli and Nicholas Bergamotto.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Gambino Soldier Wont Say Why He Turned Down FBI

Peter "One Eyed Pete" GottiOfficial Jailed For Life Gambino Boss Peter "One Eyed" Gotti via Wikipedia
He's sticking to the vow of silence.
A reputed Gambino family mobster who turned down a deal with the feds refused to say why after getting sprung from jail this afternoon.
"No, sorry," Onofrio "Noel" Modica said after leaving the Manhattan federal courthouse.
Modica -- who's charged with two murders and plotting to tamper with the jury that convicted "Dapper Don" John Gotti in 1992 -- spent a week in the slammer after rejecting a offer to cooperate by telling two FBI agents: "Take me to court."
The 46-year-old, married father of three was released to house arrest at his Manalapan, N.J., home after signing a $2 million bond granted earlier this week.
Modica and 13 others -- including Daniel Marino, a reputed member of the Gambinos' panel of bosses -- are charged in a wide-ranging indictment that covers a slew of crimes dating stretching back from last year to the late 1980s.
Also today, a judge approved co-defendant Michael Scotto's release to house arrest if he posts a $3 million bond secured by $750,000 worth of property.
Prosecutors sought to keep the 24-year-old reputed mob associate locked up as a "danger to the community," citing secretly taped conversations in which he allegedly bragged of beating a loansharking victim and being able to obtain high-powered assault rifles.
Prosecutor Steve Kwok also said there's "overwhelming" evidence that Scotto, who lives with his parents on Staten Island, served as the driver for a 15-year-old girl who was pimped out as part of a prostitution ring allegedly run by the Gambinos.
Defense lawyer Robert Soloway said Scotto would likely make bail next week.
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Gambino Mobster Given Weekend Out Of Jail

New York CountyNew York City via Wikipedia
A reputed Gambino mobster busted in a major sweep is getting away for the weekend - with a judge's permission.
Michael Scarpaci was given a two-day pass out of federal lockup so he can attend his 3-month-old daughter's Christening.
His respite began Friday afternoon. He doesn't have to return to Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center until 8 p.m. Sunday.
He can leave his house for the baptism and after-party but can only socialize with family and guests, according to an order signed by Judge Lewis Kaplan.
He had to post his Staten Island home as insurance that he wouldn't bolt, according to court documents.
Scarpaci, 34, allegedly ran Gambino gambling operations, recruiting bettors, running card games and collecting the cash.
He also generated revenue by extorting a businessman and strong-arming debtors to pay up, all while on probation for state crimes since 2002, prosecutors alleged.
Scarpaci was not linked to the underage hooker ring some associates allegedly ran.
That cabal includes Michael Scotto, 24, who was caught on tape as he physically drove some of the young women to an appointment, prosecutors said.
"He was caught on tape doing it, not talking about it, but taking the women to a club to sell them for sex," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Kwok.
Scotto - who can get out of jail if he posts a $3 million bond - had also bragged on tape about his ability to obtain AK-47 rifles and the time he stuffed a man in his car trunk to teach him a lesson, Kwok said.
Reputed Gambino soldier Onofrio (Noel) Modica, 46, got to go home after he posted a $2 million bond secured by $1.8 million in property.
Modica is accused of trying to tamper with the jury hearing a 1992 case against John Gotti Sr., and of being the getaway driver in a drive-by murder of a drug dealer in 1987.
Modica said nothing as he limped out of Manhattan Federal Court.
"He's happy to be going home so he can be with his three children, and wife," said his lawyer, Mathew Mari.
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Last Gambino Crew Member Wanted Surrenders

Federal Bureau of Investigation sealImage via Wikipedia
The last Gambino crew member wanted for pimping out a 15-year-old girl surrendered to FBI agents at a fast-food restaurant on Staten Island Thursday night, authorities said.
Steven (Stevie) Maiurro, 31, ducked and ran Tuesday when FBI agents picked up the other Gambino members accused of running a prostitution ring selling young teen girls on Craigslist.
"Associates, family members, everyone told Maiurro that he was wanted. His photo was everywhere, so he did the right thing and turned himself in, to get the heat off his family," a law enforcement source said.
Maiurro was driving the girls to their various "appointments," and a witness plans to testify that it was Maiurro who rented a Staten Island apartment for the 15-year-old girl his crew was selling, according to court documents.
Gambino soldier Thomas Orefice is credited with coming up with the idea of recruiting girls from strip clubs to work as hookers and personally approved the 15-year-old runaway to work, prosecutors charged.
Much of the ammo against the crew comes from taped conversations made by an informant over at last six months, sources said.
The sex business was just one of a string of charges lodged against the gangsters, which included more traditional offenses like racketeering, extortion and murder.
Mob boss Daniel Marino was slapped with orchestrating the murders of two informants, but kept clear of the sex trade, according to court records.
"Marino is old school. If he thought anyone was selling off little girls, he would have racked up another homicide," a source said.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wanted By The FBI: Gambino Family Member Goes On Lam After Indictment

The FBI still is searching for 31-year-old Steve Maiurro on charges in connection with the sex trafficking of a 15-year-old girl, and has released his photo, description and vitals pursuant to a crime alert:
Steven Maiurro is wanted for his alleged involvement in a sex trafficking operation run by the Gambino Crime Family in Staten Island, and Brooklyn, New York. From 2008 to 2009, Maiurro was allegedly involved in the operation of a prostitution business where young women and underage girls were exploited and sold for sex. On April 19, 2010, a federal indictment was issued in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and a warrant was issued for Maiurro's arrest. He was charged with four counts related to sex trafficking.

Gambino Snitch Hooked 14 In Mob Run Internet Teen Prostitution Ring

Last photo of John Gotti, taken by the Bureau ...Last Photo Of A Dying John Gotti
A new crop of Gambino soldiers and wanna-bes were sunk by loose lips - and a snitch involved in their teenage hooker ring who wore a wire for six months.

The informant made more than 40 recordings, capturing up to 200 hours of conversations - some of the ammo behind this week's indictment of 14 wiseguys.

He went to the feds and betrayed his associates because he didn't want to get in any deeper with trafficking underage girls through craigslist, a source said.

The tapes include one of the Gambino crew members telling a 15-year-old prostitute how to handle a customer who disgusted her, court records revealed.

What's not on the recordings is the voice of reputed Gambino boss Daniel Marino, charged with racketeering and the murder of two suspected mob canaries.

Marino's name does come up repeatedly as one of the men in charge of the crime gang once run by John (Dapper Don) Gotti, sources said.

Gambino soldier Onofrio (Noel) Modica wasn't as discreet.

The 46-year-old father of three was caught on at least 17 recordings, chatting about extortion and loansharking, prosecutors said.

Modica's lawyer Matthew Mari said the feds tried to flip his client last week, approaching him on his way to physical therapy.

They told him if he cooperated, he could walk away from the charges. He refused - "and that's why he's arrested now," Mari said in Manhattan Federal Court.

Prosecutors said they have "powerful evidence" of Modica's involvement in murders, but Mari said it's a case of guilt by association. "Modica is not in the mob. He knows a lot of people in the mob," Mari insisted.


Bail Set At $2M For Gambino Family Member

Bail was set at $2 million on Wednesday for alleged Gambino crime family member Onofrio Modica, who is charged with, among other things, racketeering in connection with the deaths of two people.
Modica was among 14 alleged Gambino crime family members charged in New York on Tuesday with counts including murder, racketeering, prostitution of minors and trying to locate and intimidate a sequestered jury.
At Wednesday’s bail hearing for Modica on Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elie Honig said Modica is a danger to the community and a flight risk, accusing him of being a “serious participant” in a 1987 double killing.
Modica drove a motorcycle that carried a gunman into a crowded parking lot, Honig said, where the gunman shot and killed the intended target, along with a bystander.
Honig said Modica’s motorcycle was found near the scene shortly after the murders and that he continues to brag about the killings. “He earned his way in [to the Gambino family] with those murders,” Honig said.
Modica’s lawyer, Mathew J. Mari, denied Wednesday that his client ever owned the motorcycle or that he’d ever been involved in organized crime.
Mari said the government indicted Modica as punishment after he refused to cooperate with its investigation into the Gambino crime family.
“He wasn’t dangerous at all when they were trying to get him to cooperate,” Mari told CNN. “After he failed to go along with them and told them to ‘go to hell,’ well, this is where you wind up. You wind up in court with the government saying you’re too dangerous to be on the street. It’s ludicrous.”
Modica also is charged with jury tampering, which stems from 1992, when then-boss John J. Gotti was on trial on federal racketeering and murder charges. According to the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan, Modica and other members of the Gambino family tried to locate the anonymous, sequestered jurors sitting on the trial.
Modica went to the hotel where the Gotti jury was sequestered, determined the floor the jury was staying on, and planned to phone in a bomb threat, Honig said Wednesday.
The plan was called off after Gotti believed that the jury would not convict him, authorities say.
Mari told CNN that his client plans to put three houses up as collateral for bail in coming days.
Thirteen of the 14 charged, including Daniel Marino, named by the U.S. attorney as the current boss of the Gambino crime family, were arrested bewteen last week and Tuesday. Those 13 entered not guilty pleas on Tuesday, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
The 14th, Steve Maiurro, remains at large.
Source – CNN

Mafia Exploitation Of Kids: Really A New Low?

Joe Coffey, a former commanding officer of the New York Police Department's organized crime unit, and Michael Franzese, a former capo with the Colombo crime family, have been all over CNN expressing their shock that the indictment earlier this week against suspected Gambino crime family members and associates included not only prostitution charges but allegedly involved the exploitation of teen girls as young as 15.  The guys need a refresher course in mob history.
The involvement of the Mafia in the vice rackets has been widely known ever since Thomas Dewey nailed Lucky Luciano in 1936 for controlling the largest prostitution ring uncovered in American history, and reached its culmination during the 1970s and 1980s when New York City's crime families controlled the sex industry in Times Square which included gay bars catering to chicken hawks, prostitution rings exploiting teenage runaway girls and smut shops where child pornography was ubiquitous.  Robert DiBernardo, the Gambino capo who was whacked in 1986, was the biggest pornographer in the United States, and at the time of his death was under federal investigation for kiddie porn.
The mob's sexual exploitation of underage boys as young as 14 was a racket which existed since 1900 in NYC.  For example, in Gay New York:  Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940 (1994), Yale Professor George Chauncey writes:
The Italian neighborhood of the Lower East Side had numerous saloons where fairies gathered interspersed among the saloons where female prostitutes worked.  In 1908, Vito Lorenzo's saloon, located at 207 Canal Street (near Baxter), was charged by the police with being a "fairy place."  In 1901, agents conducting a systematic survey of "vice conditions" on the Lower East Side found male prostitutes working at two Italian saloons on the block of Elizabeth Street between Hester and Grand, the same block where the Hotel Zaza's manager hired rooms to female prostitutes who stood at the windows in "loose dresses and call[ed] the men upstairs."  One investigator noted that the Union Hall saloon was crowded with old Italian men and several young fairies on the night of March 5; a few doors up the street, at 97 Elizabeth, stood a saloon where the fairies, aged fourteen to sixteen, could "do their business right in [the] backroom."  A month later the same saloon was said to have "5 boys known as [finocchio, or fairies] about 17 to 25 years of age."
During the 1960s and 1970s Genovese associate Ed "the Skull" Murphy and Gambino associate Mike Umbers -- longtime figures in the gay bar industry who now are dead -- were involved in running boy prostitution rings.  For example, a July 22, 1971 article ("Christopher's emperor:  Mike Umbers") by Arthur Bell for The Village Voice states:
A week ago last Monday, Mike Umbers sat on the deck of his Gay Dogs on Chistopher Street, a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon in one hand, a Lark in the other, and talked about prostitution and pornography and real estate – and himself. Late Thursday, Christopher's End, his heavily patronized all-male after-hours bar, was raided, and cleared for the night for ABC Liquor violations. Sunday morning, 4 a.m., the place was raided again, this time by the feds as well as city cops. Two of Mike's employees were arrested and charged with failure to have the $56 federal tax stamps required for retail liquor dealers. Mike, who was not on the premises, escaped arrest. Mike's three big operations are Christopher's End, when it's open, the Studio Book Store, and Gay Dogs. All right-out exploitative. Mike calls himself a gay catalyst and flesh peddler. He deals in boy-boy sex. He describes Mark Lithko, his publishing house, as a means to produce paper flesh that his Studio Book Store peddles. Gay Dogs is cruising flesh. And Christopher's End, with its backroom and nude boy shows, is climax flesh. Mike is also rumored to have his finger in the controversial Stonewall Inn. It was boarded up June 27, 1969, and won’t be re-opened until a liquor license is issued. Negotiations have been going on for several months. Right now, the second floor of the two-story Stonewall is occupied by a bevy of young men. * * * The July 18 raid on Christopher's End was one of nine that took place on after-hours bars that night. The Daily News labels the raids "a move to cut off one of organized crime's sources of income, estimated at $2 million annually from nine after-hours clubs alone." * * * And the fed at Christopher's End figures this is just small pickings in the overall big syndicate scheme. * * * "I have gay businesses and I employ gay people. I started this whole empire myself, and I'm doing more for the gay community than any organization." I wonder what Mike means by "any organization." Is he talking about gay liberation?
A Dec. 23, 1971 article ("The After-Hours 28:  Greetings from the feds") by Arthur Bell for The Village Voice states that "a couple of years ago, Umbers was arrested along with two other men and indicted on charges related to violation of the state obscenity law":  "According to an official assigned to the case, the men conspired to conduct a pornography operation soliciting young boys of 16 and under. They'd have them participate in 'deviate sexual acts' which they’d film and distribute. Umbers procured the kids."
With respect to Ed "the Skull" Murphy who managed gay bars -- including the "juice bar" Tenth of Always at 82 West 3rd Street for the teen set which was owned by Nicholas DeMartino who was the stepson of reputed Gambino soldier Paul Di Bella -- on behalf of both the Genovese and Gambino crime families during the 1960s, historian David Carter writes in his 2004 book Stonewall:
Beyond Murphy's involvement in the Stonewall Inn and in blackmailing gay men, he was deeply involved in male prostitution. Chuck Shaheen, who had a very high regard for Murphy, told Martin Duberman, "I knew Eddie Murphy for a long time. . . .He was into young boys. Most definitely. And he was very, very involved with the procurement of young boys." Danny Garvin recalls how he would "always see these hustlers hanging out with [Murphy]. He had connections,and these hustler kids would hang out with him." Tommy explains why the Mafia would operate the Tenth of Always as an ice-cream parlor in terms of Murphy's predilections: "The Tenth of Always had a kind of particular feeling, that you knew you were there because Murphy liked chicken. In there I felt like I was in some surreal Catholic Youth Organization dance, because everybody was like my age or younger, and the drag queens just looked like regular high-school girls, and the hustlers looked like regular high-school boys. And then it really looked crazy because everyone was sitting, sipping these sodas, and it was like – there’s no word to describe – it wasn't a brothel, a bawdyhouse, or whatever. It was like the pickings of johns: that's what it was set up for." Bob Kohler, who hated Murphy passionately, cited as evidence of Murphy's loathsomeness that he paid the youths he pimped with counterfeit money.
Some of Murphy's young charges allegedly did not fare well, and Carter further writes:  "The suspicion that Murphy was involved in the murders of youths goes back at least to the early sixties.  Stephen van Cline recalls, for example, that Murphy had been involved with the early 1960s waterfront gay bar called Dirty Dick's, where, he says, a number of young men were seen for the last time."
In 1975 the NYDA and NYPD initiated an investigation dubbed Operation Together which, among other things, was looking into mob-controlled underage boy sex rings but just as law enforcement was prepared to seek indictments the investigation inexplicably was shut down in 1977 over the objections of the investigating ADA and two detectives assigned to the case.  R. Thomas Collins Jr., a former Daily News reporter,  writes about the shut down of Operation Together in his 2002 memoir Newswalker:
For 18 months a team of as many as 56 investigators from homicide, vice, narcotics, and intelligence worked under the command of the department's Organized Crime Control Bureau. In all, Operation Together made dozens of arrests for dope peddling, prostitution and other morals charges, and attempted bribery of police. The strategy of the investigation was to target people involved in gay bars, nab them on narcotics charges and get them to turn on their mob controllers, partners or extortionists. Among the depravity unearthed by this team was a network of chicken hawks—patrons of child prostitution and kiddie porn—as well as mob control of the gay bar scene. Then suddenly, just as members of Operation Together felt they were getting close to making investigative breakthroughs, the plug was pulled. The task force was broken up; detectives, undercover officers and the assistant Manhattan district attorneys were reassigned. When a couple of plainclothes guys protested, they were given uniformed foot patrol. One Midtown pimps and pros expert was sent to Harlem. There was bad blood among the police. Cops I spoke to believed the worst, that the mob had pulled strings inside the NYPD and gotten the investigation killed. That's what they suspected; fearing that whoever committed these murders would get away with it.
A July 27, 1982 article by the Associated Press reported that investigator Dale Smith, who worked for the New York State Senate's Select Committee on Crime, said "organized crime in New York" was running a six-city boy prostitution network – Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, New York, Washington and Houston – with the "male prostitutes between the ages of 13 and 16 . . .  shuttled between the cities."
The Mafia continued to dominate Times Square well into the 1980s, and among the mobsters who had a heavy hand in the neighborhood was reputed Genovese capo Matty Ianniello -- convicted in 1985 for a skimming operation involving several of his gay bars -- who allegedly was behind the hustler bar Hay Market at 772 Eighth Avenue according to court documents.  With respect to this particular establishment R. Thomas Collins Jr. writes:
The crowds were at the gay bars, which cops told me the mobsters opened in a cynical attempt to attract a clientele from an underserved market. I got to the Hay Market, at 772 8th Ave. just before midnight. The bar was five deep with men and boys hustling, talking, laughing—and drinking. Lots of drinking. The air was thick with cigaret smoke. The jukebox played loud pounding rock music. Patrons moved unselfconsciously to the beat. The bar was long and thin, with a shelf of liquor lined against the back wall. Against the opposite wall hustlers were seated against a railing, some of the boys looking as young as 15. One was staring into space, his thin frame covered with a faded denim jacket, scruffy jeans and black boots. Several of the men from the bar across the way were watching. Several of the boys wore varsity jackets with leather sleeves. Others had shiny plastic jackets. They were all working. One of the men at the bar in his early twenties wore an elegant camel's-hair jacket, black pants and silk ascot. A portly, balding man in a business suit sat next to him. He wore rimless glasses and could have passed for an accountant at any midtown office. Another boy came up to the balding man and whispered in his ear. Two stools down, a handsome man smiled at the mirror. Behind him stood a goon wearing a T-shirt with barbells stenciled on front, with the sleeves rolled up. His arms were folded across his chest and he flexed his biceps. In the  doorway, a young boy with a woolen stocking cap blocked the way, forcing everyone who came in or walked out to ask him to move.
And Bruce Benderson, author of User, writes the following about the Hay Market for 3am Literature:
Don't believe the hype about the infamous Stonewall bar being an oppressive place where sad homosexuals had to hide from police oppression and where Mafia bosses exploited their desperation. Any illegal bar run by the Mafia always has the hottest, most inspiring atmosphere. And excitement, risk and underground activity are what makes the best writing. The Mafia may have created a lot of heartache in our cities, but we owe them a debt for having created such good illicit bars, which were at the basis of a lot of good American literature. As for me, I probably wouldn't have written a decent sentence if I hadn't discovered Times Square and the hot Puerto Rican hustlers who came down from the South Bronx to frequent its mostly Mafia-owned bars. * * * The first and most famous Times Square bar I ever went to was called the Haymarket. It was a big, sprawling place on Eighth Avenue with cheap drinks, a long bar counter, booths you could sit in and a big pool table. In those days, a lot of the hustlers were poor white kids. Since the minimum drinking age in those days was 18 (rather than today's 21), there was some very young trade in there. The place was pulsing with young testosterone and horny old men willing to spend the $20 on some fresh meat.
Remember when the mob used to contend that it was not involved in the narcotics trade?  That myth was exposed when Vito Genovese was put away in 1959 for trafficking heroin through his Greenwich Village and East Village gay bars.  And now the myth that the Mafia is not involved in the prostitution racket or the exploitation of children is exposed.
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Genovese Associate Gets 11 Years For Securities Fraud

Frank Schwamborn, a reputed longtime associate of the Genovese crime family, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty in March 2009 to securities fraud for selling $2.1 million of worthless stock as reported by Keiko Morris for Newsday.  Schwamborn recently completed serving a 55 month sentence for a previous racketeering and money laundering conviction connected to the Genovese crime family.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gambino Soldier Connected To Gotti Decides Not To Flip: Lawyer

They made him an offer -- and he apparently refused.
One of the alleged Gambino members arrested in Tuesday's massive bust spurned advances from the feds to flip on the notorious crime family -- saying he wasn't interested in making any deals with prosecutors.
Longtime soldier Onofrio "Noel" Modica, 46, who the feds claim tried to tamper with the jury during John "Dapper Don" Gotti's 1992 Brooklyn trial, was approached by two federal agents last week as he was walking to his physical therapist, his lawyer said today.
"This is preposterous," said Modica's lawyer Matthew Mari outside Manhattan federal court. "Modica is not in the mob. He knows a lot people in the mob."
Mari said the agents asked for his cooperation if he didn't want to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
During a bail hearing, a judge granted Modica $2 million bail -- the only one arrested who put in an application to get out of jail.
The feds said Modica was involved in a double-murder in 1987 and owned a motorcycle used in another mob slaying on Staten Island.
Prosecutors said Modica's biggest coup was that he was able to successfully find out where jurors were staying during Gotti's trial in 1992. They claim he infiltrated the hotel in Battery Park City and found out what rooms the jurors were staying in at the time.
The plan, according to the feds, was for Modica to call in a bomb scare and approach the jurors -- but Gotti called it off, convinced he was going to get a hung jury.
Instead, Gotti was convicted and spent the rest of his life in prison.
At today's hearing, the feds also said Modica was found with $12,000 cash in his home -- something Mari said was to pay for his son's upcoming confirmation party.
Mari said his client has the unmailed invitations to prove it.
As for 69-year-old Gambino boss Daniel Marino, his lawyer did not seek bail at the hearing.
Marino is one of 13 suspected members of the crime family busted on a litany of charges ranging from murder to prostitution.
The feds said they have three cooperating witnesses -- who were not identify by name -- and nearly 200 hours of taped conversations that were obtained when members wore wires.
At one point, Marino's son, who was sitting in the gallery, leaned over and said: "Dad, how are you feeling? You have a good night?
Marino responded by nodding.
Marino's lawyer, Charles Carnesi, said he was waiting to get medical records to submit his client's bail application.
He said Marino has had health problems in the past and was hospitalized twice in recent weeks.
In addition to racketeering, Marino faces two murder charges in connection with the 1989 death of former Gambino family member Thomas Spinelli and the 1998 murder of Frank Hydell, Marino's nephew.
The judge set a trial date set for April 12, 2011.


Genovese Associate Guilty In Staten Island Murder

A federal jury in Brooklyn, NY has convicted reputed Genovese associate Anthony Pica for his role as lookout in the 2008 slaying of Staten Island jeweler Louis Antonelli during a botched robbery outside a restaurant two years as reported by Doug Auer for the Staten Island Advance.

Gambino Crew Pimped Out Underage Hookers: Feds

They call themselves stand-up guys, but these mobsters sank to new lows.
The feds yesterday charged 14 alleged Gambino members and associates, including its reputed boss, with a slew of old-standby Mafia crimes -- such as murder and extortion -- dating back to the reign of the late "Dapper Don" John Gotti.
But the most damning charges relate to a current prostitution ring -- one that trafficked in underage teenage girls through Craigslist ads.
Veteran mobster Daniel Marino, 69, commanded a rejuvenated Gambino family of 200 made members and 300 more associates -- many of them in their 20s and 30s -- as they collected more than $20 million in illicit profits over the past decade, the feds charged.
APROUNDUP: Among the wiseguys hauled into federal court 
yesterday are Tommy Orefice (above), 33, Daniel Marino, 69, and Dominick
 DiFiore, 30.
ROUNDUP: Among the wiseguys hauled into federal court yesterday are Tommy Orefice (above), 33, Daniel Marino, 69, and Dominick DiFiore, 30.
Some of the profits came from a prostitution ring allegedly run by Marino's most trusted soldier, Thomas Orefice, 33, who pimped out teenage girls, including a 15-year-old, through online ads from 2008 to 2009.
"This perhaps reflects a new low for the Gambino family," said US Attorney Preet Bharara.
"She looks like she's 12 and sounds like she's 10," one source described the 15-year-old to the FBI.
All the other girls were under 20, according to the feds.
Orefice, and associates Dominick DiFiore, 30, and Michael Scotto, 24, allegedly split the fees with the girls 50-50, drove them to their assignations and even brought them along to high-stakes card games they ran.
They were helped in the scheme by accused madam Suzanne Porcelli, 43, who acted as the hooker booker, the feds said.
Orefice was also allegedly behind a scheme to rip off some of New York's swankiest restaurants. He allegedly paid kickbacks to top chefs to order his grossly overpriced meat -- sometimes 40 percent higher than the going rate. Prosecutors would not say which eateries were involved.
While Marino serves as the most recent street boss of the Gambinos, sources said, the Dapper Don's brother, Peter Gotti, is still running the family from his federal jail cell.
Marino, the sources said, served as part of a triumvirate with two other bosses, who the feds did not name.
Despite the perversity of the underage prostitution that would put the mob's self-professed family values to shame, it was Marino's past -- not present crimes -- that did him in.
He allegedly approved a hit on his own nephew, Bonanno associate Frank Hydell, who was executed at a Staten Island strip club called Scarlett's in 1998 for cooperating with the feds.
"When Daniel Marino was faced with that choice, between his own family and the Gambino crime family, he chose the Gambinos," Bharara said.
Marino, who between 1994 and 2000 was in state prison for murder, is further accused of conspiring in 1989 with John Gotti and Salvatore "Bull" Gravano to murder another rat, Thomas Spinelli.
Marino pleaded not guilty yesterday.
The feds took pains to separate the Hollywood image of the mob from the real-life lowlifes being charged.
"In truth, despite the popular fascination, it was never really about the thousand-dollar suits. It was -- and is -- about murder, mayhem and money," said George Venizelos, head of the FBI's New York office.
Another longtime soldier, Onofrio Modica, 46, was charged with trying to tamper with the jury of John Gotti's 1992 trial in Brooklyn federal court.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Gambino Family Indictment Hits 14 Mobsters

In New York City the feds have indicted 14 reputed Gambino crime family members and associates on a host of "charges including racketeering, murder, sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a minor, jury tampering, extortion, assault, narcotics trafficking, wire fraud, loansharking, and illegal gambling" according to a press release by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The defendants include reputed boss Daniel Marino who allegedly has "over 200 fully-inducted or 'made' mafia members under his command, as well as hundreds of associates who commit crimes with and for the mafia."  The others charged are reputed Gambino soldiers Thomas Orefice  and Onofrio Modica who each allegedly supervised crews that include defendants Dominick DiFiore, Anthony Manzella, Michael Scotto, Michael Scarpaci, Thomas Scarpaci, David Eisler and Salvatore Borgia.  The indictment also charges Steve Maiurro, Keith Dellitalia, Suzanne Porcelli and Anthony Vecchione with committing "crimes with and for the Gambino Family."
Marino is charged with the 1998 murder of his Bonanno associate nephew Frank Hydell and the 1989 murder of Gambino soldier Thomas Spinelli which were allegedly motivated by fears that the victims were spilling family secrets.  Modica is charged for the 1987 double murder of James DiGuglielmo and Richard Sbarra which resulted from an alleged drug related dispute between Modica and DiGuglielmo, and according to the feds "Modica drove his motorcycle with a shooter riding on the back to a crowded parking lot where the shooter opened fire" killing both DiGiglielmo and Sbarra who was an innocent bystander.
The indictment also charges various defendants with operating a teenage prostitution ring through Craigslist which sold girls between 15- and 19-years old; extorting businesses and individuals within the construction, home heating oil and financial services industries; running a drug ring which sold cocaine, oxycontin and marijuana; plotting to tamper with the jury in the 1992 racketeering trial against Gambino boss John Gotti; and defrauding NYC restaurants through inflated invoices from Manzella's meat company with kickbacks to the kitchen chefs.
The teenage prostitution ring "was hatched by Gambino soldier Thomas Orefice, the feds said" as reported by Alison Gendar and Rich Schapiro for the Daily News:
He personally looked over the 15-year-old, a 10th-grade runaway, and consented for his goons to sell her for sex, prosecutors charge. "[She] looked much younger," a law enforcement source said. "Like she wasn't old enough to be even a Girl Scout, like she still played with dolls." Prosecutors say Orefice advertised the girls, ranging in age from 15 to 19, on craigslist with ads that included the phone number of Gambino madam Suzanne Porcelli.  Porcelli set up the appointments, and Orefice's crew members drove the women to appointments in New York and New Jersey, waited for them and took half their $200-per-session payment, prosecutors say. Wiseguy Anthony Manzella was allegedly caught on tape giving one frightened girl advice on how to deal with a john who insisted on a sex act she didn't want to perform. As a sideline, Orefice made these same women available to gamblers who played poker at his illegal, high-stakes games, prosecutors charge. When they serviced the poker players, the fee went into the pot, prosecutors said.

Download Press Release On Gambino Indictment

Gambino Mobsters Charged With Running Craigslist Teen Prostution Ring

The Mafia is alive and kicking - and pimping out teenage girls for sex on Craigslist.
Authorities on Tuesday charged seven reputed members of the Gambino crime family with running an interstate sex-trafficking ring - calling it a "new low" for the mob.
Another seven wiseguys - including the family's current boss, Daniel Marino - were also busted for a litany of crimes, some dating back to the era when John Gotti was in charge.
Authorities said the prostitution service was a first for an organized crime crew.
"No crime seems too depraved to be exploited if it was a money-maker, including the sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old," said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge George Venizelos.
Allged Gambino soldier Thomas Orefice is accused of hatching the scheme to recruit young women from various strip clubs to work as prostitutes.
Prosecutors say Orefice advertised the girls, ranging in age from 15 to 19, on Craigslist with ads that included the phone number of Gambino madam Suzanne Porcelli.
Porcelli set up the appointments, and Orefice's crew members drove the women to their bookings, waited for them and took half the cash, prosecutors say.
As a sideline, Orefice made these same women available to gamblers who played poker at his illegal high-stakes games, prosecutors charge.
The indictment also includes charges of murder, narcotics trafficking, loansharking, extortion and an aborted jury tampering scheme for Gotti's 1992 trial.
"Rumors of the Mafia's demise are greatly exaggerated," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

Feds Bust 14 Gambinos In Including Boss and Soldiers

The feds struck a blow against a resurgent Gambino crime family today charging its alleged boss with murder and his crew with a slew of old-standby mob crimes ranging from extortion to prostitution.
"The Mafia is not dead," said Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District in Manhattan. "It is alive and kicking. Modern mobsters may be less colorful, less flamboyant, and less glamorous than some of their predecessors, but they are still terrorizing businesses, using baseball bats and putting people in the hospital."
Alleged boss Daniel Marino, 69, is accused of leading the 200 made-member strong Gambino family.
G.N. MIller/NY PostPreet Bharara, US Attorney for the 
Southrern District of New York holds a presser regarding the arrest of 
Daniel Marino and 13 others.

Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southrern District of New York holds a presser regarding the arrest of Daniel Marino and 13 others.
Among other crimes, Marino is accused of ordering the hit of his own nephew, Frank Hydell, who was cooperating with authorities, in 1998.
"When Daniel Marino was faced with that choice, between his own family and the Gambino crime family, he chose the Gambinos," Bharara said.
His trusted soldier, Onofrio Modica, was charged with jury tampering in John Gotti’s 1992 murder and racketeering trial.
Modica, 46, allegedly located the hotel where the jury had been secretly sequestered.
But the late "Teflon Don" canceled the plan to influence the jury because he was confident he’d again be acquitted. That was a mistake, it turned out.
The feds finally got a conviction against him, sending Gotti to prison for what turned out to be a life sentence when he died of cancer behind bars in 1992.
The feds also charged Marino’s soldier Thomas Orefice, 33, with running a prostitution ring that pimped out girls as young as 15.
"This perhaps reflects a new low for the Gambino family," Bharara said.
The 14 accused are expected to be arraigned this afternoon.

Alleged Getaway Driver Arrested In Genovese Hit

Vincent "Chin" "Gigs" Giga...Vincent Gigante via Wikipedia
The feds have arrested Paul "Doc" Gaccione for allegedly serving as the getaway driver following the 1992 rubout of Genovese capo Angelo Sangiuolo as reported by Rocco Parascandola and John Lauinger for the Daily News:
Gaccione is charged with being the getaway driver for triggerman John (Johnny Balls) Leto, who was convicted of the killing last year. Sangiuolo's cousin, Genovese capo Angelo Prisco, arranged the hit after learning Sangiuolo had knocked off at least four Bronx gambling operations run by the crime family, law enforcement sources said.
Last August Prisco was sentenced to life in prison following his conviction for his role in the Prisco murder and a host of other charges, and the press release from the United States Attorney's Office stated:
Prisco was "made," or inducted, as a member of the Genovese Organized Crime Family in the late 1970s, and was later promoted to the supervisory position of captain. In his capacity as a captain, Prisco supervised, oversaw, and profited from the criminal activities of his own crew of Genovese Family Soldiers and associates, which operated in the New York City area and in New Jersey. On June 2, 1992, Prisco arranged the murder of his first cousin, Angelo Sangiuolo. Prisco received the order to kill Sangiuolo from Vincent Gigante, a/k/a "The Chin," who was then the boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family. Gigante ordered the murder because Sangiuolo had been stealing from another Genovese Organized Crime Family soldier, Anthony Palumbo. Prisco assigned two of his own crew members, John Leto, a/k/a "Johnny Balls," and Paul Gaccione a/k/a "Doc," to carry out the murder. Priso then devised a plan to lure Sangiuolo to Prisco's Bronx, New York, social club. After Sangiuolo arrived, Prisco told him to get into a van with Leto and Gaccione, on the pretense that Leto and Gaccione would help Sangiuolo with a problem Sangiuolo was having with another person. Inside the van, Leto shot Sangiuolo numerous times, killing him, then left his body in the back of the van in the parking lot of a Bronx McDonald's. Prisco then picked up Leto at the McDonald's, and went with him to dispose of the murder weapon.
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Undercover Informant

The Seal of the United States Federal Bureau o...Image via Wikipedia
Scott Rothstein, the politically connected Fort Lauderdale, FL attorney who pleaded guilty last January to running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme which involved using his firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler as a front to sell phony legal settlements to investors, was instrumental through his cooperation with the FBI in the bust last month of Roberto Settineri who allegedly was an intermediary between the Gambino crime family and the Santa Maria de Gesu clan from the Sicilian Mafia, and Peter Franceschina from the Sun Sentinel reports on the details: "In his final month of freedom, newly released court documents show, Rothstein covertly recorded at least 18 conversations during his meetings and phone calls with Settineri and two other targets of the federal investigation." Meanwhile, Jeffrey Weiner, the attorney representing Settineri, apparently doesn't like Rothstein as reported by Brian Hamacher for NBC Miami: "Rothstein has no credibility. He is a despicable human being in every sense. He is a terrible, terrible person."
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Genovese Associate Shot Twice In The Head

Earlier this month authorities dug up the remains of Gary Westerman on a residential parcel at 160 Springfield Street in Agawam, MA, and "sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said it appears Westerman was shot twice in the head at the site, and then buried a short distance away in a hand-dug grave approximately 8 feet deep" as reported by Stephanie Barry for The Republican.  Westerman had "disappeared" in 2003 and was an associate and brother-in-law of Anthony Arillotta who is a reputed Genovese capo charged last February for his alleged role in the 2003 hit of his predecessor Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno in Springfield. After Arillotta became a cooperating witness investigators began their dig for Westerman.  Barry further reports:
Prosecutors have refused to say when charges might come in connection with the Westerman case. However, federal court filings have stated investigators believe that at a minimum, Arillotta . . . and [his] enforcers Fotios and Ty Geas, brothers, had a hand in Westerman's death.
In addition to Arillotta, others charged for their alleged roles in the Bruno hit are Arthur Nigro, a reputed former acting Genovese boss, and Fotios Geas.  Frankie Roche, the admitted triggerman in the Bruno slaying, alleges that he was paid $10,000 by Geas for the job.
Agawam-Remains found