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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

N.J. Attorney General releases CDs of wiretapped conversations to Lucchese Family defendants

The state Attorney General’s Office today distributed CDs containing thousands of hours of wiretapped conversations to the 34 defendants accused in a racketeering case linked to the Lucchese crime family.
In a conference in Superior Court in Morristown, Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades said the discs include 28,790 oral communications and 2,941 text messages intercepted by State Police from phones in homes and motor vehicles during a 15-month investigation that ended in December 2007.
Attorneys for the 34 defendants were each handed a pile of 36 CDs as part of the “discovery” phase of the case. The defendants are accused of operating an international gambling ring and money laundering. Four are charged with smuggling drugs into inmates at East Jersey State Prison in Avenel.
Paul Chiaramonte, attorney for reputed mob leader Joseph DiNapoli, 74, of Scarsdale, N.Y., said he intends to file a motion seeking the make, model and serial number of a recording device planted in his client’s vehicle. “We want to see if the device can do what it’s supposed to do,” he said. Many of the other defense attorneys said they intend to join in his motion.
Eliades said he will submit proof that the device works, but he does not intend to give out “proprietary information” about the device. “Law enforcement has valid privileges against disclosing information on a device, or its location,” he said.
Judge Thomas Manahan set the next court date in the case for Feb. 28, when he expects to determine a schedule for hearing pre-trial motions.
Other alleged leaders of the crime ring include Matthew Madonna, 74, of Selden, N.Y., Ralph Perna, 64, of East Hanover and Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., 44, of Egg Harbor. Also charged is Martin Tacetta, 59, of East Hanover, who is serving life in state prison on a racketeering conviction.


Fire Bombs In Montreal Tied To Mafia War

Over the last few months there have been 19 fire bomb attacks against Italian cafes and bars in Montreal, QC Canada, and yesterday Police Commander Mario Lamothe announced that the violence "is rooted in an ongoing battle between rival Mafia clans for control of the drug trade" as reported by Jan Ravensbergen for The Gazette: "He refused to specify which factions of the Montreal Mob his investigators believe are fighting for drug-trade turf. Nor would he speculate on any links these clans might have with the owners of the businesses being targeted." However, Cmdr. Lamothe did state that all of the nineteen targeted businesses "have something in common" as reported by CBC News: "'The illegal activity that is going there, drugs basically. It can be illegal gambling, it can be prostitution, and the known organized crime figures, that's a common aspect,' said Lamothe." Video
Over the last year several Rizzuto clan members and associates – including patriarch Nicolo Rizzuto and his grandson Nick Rizzuto Jr. – have been slain in Montreal. Some mob experts speculate that interloping 'ndrangheta or Calabrian mobsters from Ontario – perhaps with the blessing of some boys from New York – may be responsible for the ongoing massacre against the Sicilian Rizzuto clan.
And to the victors go the spoils which largely is about control over the drug trade as reported by Chris Doucette for The Toronto Sun: "Montreal has historically been Canada's top prize when it comes to the Mafia because of its shipping port. Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano realized in 1954 that controlling Montreal was critical to running the lucrative drug market in New York. The city is ideally situated as a 'gateway' for importing drugs from around the world and then shipping them off to nearby New York." The 'ndrangheta in Canada "is capable of replacing the now weakened Rizzuto clan," and "is considered by Italian authorities to be more powerful, richer and better able to distribute drugs globally than any Mafia group" as reported by Rob Lamberti for The Toronto Sun.

Construction Firm Coughs Up $20 Million; Ratted Out By Turncoat Gambino Mobster

A construction giant that lied about hiring minority subcontractors was ratted out by a Gambino mobster, sources said.
Schiavone Construction agreed Monday to pay the feds $20 million in a deal to avoid prosecution. Sources said mob rat Joseph Vollaro secretly taped conversations with executives who had promised the MTA and the Department of Environmental Protection to hire firms owned by women and minorities for projects like the Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx.
Contractors often get lucrative government contracts by agreeing to hire minority companies in an effort to increase their participation in publicly funded projects.
For the Croton project, the subcontractor was merely a front: Vollaro used his own trucking outfit to haul the debris while Schiavone paid a subcontractor - who was Vollaro's neighbor on Staten Island - and listed the company in his wife's name to qualify in the minority program.
"[The subcontractor] wasn't even a trucking company," a source said. "It was a transfer station." The subcontractor, which cut checks to pay Vollaro for doing the work, could still face prosecution.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said Schiavone has agreed to hire an ethics and compliance officer and cooperate in the ongoing fraud investigations involving renovations of the Times Square and South Ferry subway stations.
Vollaro, who became an informant after he was caught in a major drug deal, also helped the feds prosecute scores of Gambino gangsters for extortion.
Another contractor, SkansakaUSA, is also negotiating with the feds to resolve a similar criminal probe. Schiavone, one of the biggest contractors in the Northeast, also will pay $2.4 million to cover investigative costs of the MTA and the city.


Mob Rat Salvatore "Sally FIsh" Maniscalco Gets 9 Years In Robbery Slaying Of Jeweler

Mob rat Salvatore (Sally Fish) Maniscalco swam clear of a life sentence Monday for his role in the robbery and slaying of a Staten Island jeweler.
But federal Judge Carol Amon didn't let him completely off the hook, giving him nine years for the botched crime that left jeweler Louis Antonelli dead.
"I will live with this every day of my life, as I should," said Maniscalco, who worked in his family's wholesale fish business.
"My parents gave me all the opportunities of the world, and I dishonored them."
Maniscalco, 36, looked disappointed after learning that he wasn't getting a free pass in return for testifying at the trials of co-defendants Anthony Pica and Genovese capo Anthony Antico, who were both convicted.
Although prosecutors said Antico ordered the robbery, he was convicted only of racketeering. Maniscalco's lawyer declined to comment.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Study: Mafia Murders Difficult To Solve

Jimmy HoffaImage via Wikipedia
Over the last year several Rizzuto clan members and associates – including patriarch Nicolo Rizzuto and his grandson Nick Rizzuto Jr. – have been slain in Montreal, QC Canada, and the odds are that police investigators won't solve the crimes. It's not because the police are corrupt or inept but simply because organized crime murders are notoriously difficult to solve – it's called "organized crime" for a reason – according to a study by Professor Tanya Trussler which will be published next month in the International Criminal Justice Review as reported by Douglas Quan for The National Post: "If the killer has little or no connection to the victim – sometimes killers are hired from outside the province – that can make it a tough case to solve. * * * Members of crime groups also make concerted efforts to know police tactics and have become adept at not leaving behind clues, such as getting rid of a BlackBerry after using it. The reluctance of witnesses to come forward is also a problem."
Typically, a mob hit is solved only after a member within the responsible organization flips as reported by Jessica Murphy for The Toronto Sun: "Steve Roberts, a retired Montreal police investigators, recalled how hard it was to close a case during the city's biker wars of the 1990s. 'When you're dealing with the Mafia or a group like the Hells Angels it takes longer to solve these murders,' he said. 'Normally, you have to wait until somebody gets arrested for something and then he wants to make a deal.'"
U.S. law enforcement long has encountered the same difficulties as their Canadian counterparts in solving Mafia murders, and literally thousands of mob hits over the decades throughout America have not been cleared. For example, "when Chicago's deadliest hit man, Harry Aleman, was brought to trial in the late 1970s, not a single one of the city's more than 1,000 mob-related murders had been solved" according to authors Maurice Possley and Rick Kogan in Everybody Pays. Indeed, even some of the most notorious high profile hits in the country – say, the 1975 "disappearance" of Jimmy Hoffa following his 1971 pardon by President Nixon – still cry out for justice. Notwithstanding the best good faith efforts of dedicated law enforcement, the Mafia pretty much gets away with murder.

Chef talk: Tommaso Verdillo

Growing up in suburban Connecticut, the offspring of two ardent restaurant-goers, I passed much of my childhood in the backseat of a car heading to Manhattan in pursuit of food.
The excursions I most enjoyed were to Little Italy. Angelo’s, Grotta Azzurra, Luna – these were our spots, and I spent many lunches and dinners happily gorging myself at all three restaurants. Along with the garlic, there was always a whiff of menace in the air; the mafia was still a heavy presence in Little Italy, and for all we knew, the dapper gents at the adjoining table might have been made men.
In time, we moved on from Manhattan (“too yuppified,” as my father put it) and began travelling to other boroughs to get our Italian fix. For a couple of years, we were regulars at Gargiulo’s, a cavernous restaurant in Coney Island. When I was in my late teens, my father was introduced to a homey restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx called Dominick’s. It remains a favourite. So, too, does Tommaso in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn, between Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst.
Tommaso is my contribution to our family’s long-running love affair with Italian cuisine; my wife and I were first taken there by a friend in 2001, and it has been a family gathering place ever since. The food is generally terrific, but that’s only part of the attraction. The other draw is Tommaso himself – Tom Verdillo, the restaurant’s Brooklyn-born, opera-singing chef and owner. With a thick accent that betrays his local roots, the 67-year-old Verdillo has an interest in food that extends far beyond Italian cuisine and the confines of his Brooklyn neighbourhood. At the same time, he and his restaurant are a delicious throwback to a slice of New York life that has all but disappeared.Paul CastellanoPaul Castellano via Wikipedia
Verdillo, the youngest of 10 children, originally hoped to be an opera singer, and even auditioned for the Manhattan School of Music. But his family could not afford the tuition costs, and he became a cook instead. He worked as a caterer, and even did a stint as an airline chef at John F. Kennedy Airport, before opening Tommaso in 1974. It was a time when Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst were still heavily Italian, and, as food goes, it was a self-contained community. Meat, fish, bread, cheese – for restaurateurs, all of these things were just around the corner. “Everything was here,” says Verdillo.
Like many successful restaurateurs, Verdillo caught an early break. Not long after he opened Tommaso, the Gambino crime family opened a “social club” right next door. Legendary mafia don Paul Castellano, the head of the Gambinos, soon became a Tommaso regular, along with his lieutenants. The mobsters not only patronised Tommaso; they were among its suppliers, furnishing Verdillo with the finest steaks, veal chops, and other provisions. He, in turn, provided them with classic southern Italian fare, and also a first-rate wine list. Castellano and company had a yen for great wines – top Barolos and the like – and Verdillo assembled one of New York’s most renowned cellars, filled with acclaimed offerings not just from Italy, but also from France and the US, many of them attractively priced (wine critic Robert Parker became a Tommaso regular, too).
Verdillo says Castellano was “like a big brother to me”. The mafia boss would bring his family – his real family – to the restaurant for holiday meals, and Verdillo catered many events at his house on Staten Island. Castellano met a bloody end, but not while eating at Tommaso; in 1985, he was gunned down outside Sparks steak house in Manhattan on the orders of his rival John Gotti.
Even as he was immersed in this very insular world, Verdillo frequently travelled abroad, returning to Brooklyn toting new ingredients and ideas. However, it is the staples on the menu that keep drawing us back to Tommaso – the simple but fetching spaghetti with a light tomato sauce, basil and fresh mozzarella, the sauce made of tomatoes harvested from Verdillo’s sister’s New Jersey garden; the sublime spaghetti carbonara; the rich, soulful pasta e fagioli; the gargantuan grilled veal chop with sautéed mushrooms and the most ethereal roasted potatoes I know.
In the evening, a few locals congregate in the small bar at the front of the restaurant, while at the back, standing alongside the piano, Verdillo will periodically belt out an aria to entertain his guests. He knows that sentimentality is part of what keeps customers coming through the door, and that is fine by him. “People want to remember,” he says. “They want food that reminds them of grandma’s Sunday dinner, and as long as they want it, I’m going to keep giving it to them.”


Rizzuto Crime Family Still Wealthy

The Rizzuto crime family might be in decline, its leaders mostly dead or missing, but it's far from destitute.
The family's black-market income and registered businesses remain intact despite the murder of patriarch Nicolo (Nick) Rizzuto.
It will prove difficult for police to unravel the complex financial empire that the Rizzutos took 30 years to build.
Mafia Inc., a new book about the mob by La Presse journalists Andre Noel and Andre Cedilot, says Rizzuto revenues include cash from a protection scheme that strong-arms as many as 600 Montreal-area businesses.
News reports last year also suggested the Rizzutos have their hands deep in the construction industry, taking a 5% cut on contracts held by several firms. Cedilot, a retired crime reporter, says the family's power and influence remains entrenched.
"Being rich and investing in legitimate businesses gives them a network of contacts," Cedilot told QMI Agency. "The Rizzutos have been in power for 30 years in Montreal. They brought in tonnes of hashish, cocaine and heroin from the start. They are immensely rich."
Cedilot says the Rizzutos also launder money through car dealerships, food services, real estate and even stock markets. All of the business activity is run by intermediaries.
A QMI Agency examination of public records paints a partial picture of Rizzuto above-board holdings.
The names of Nick and his son, Vito, do not appear in Quebec business records for the family construction firm, Renda Construction. But their wives, Libertina Rizzuto and Giovanna Cammalleri, are listed as shareholders. Vito's wife is also listed as a shareholder in the funeral home, Loreto Funeral Complex. Nick Rizzuto's body will be displayed there this weekend.
The wives are listed as sole owners of the two family mansions built in the 1980s on a quiet street in north-end Montreal. Nick Rizzuto's home was evaluated last month at $714,500 while his son's was valued at $1,000,100.
Transferring the homes to their wives' names would make it difficult for law enforcement to seize the properties under proceeds of crime laws.
Cedilot says another sign of the family's reach were their plans to bankroll a $7-billion project to build a suspension bridge between their native Sicily and the Italian mainland. The bridge was never built, but had the project gone ahead, it would have likely been the largest money-laundering operation ever undertaken by the Mafia.
Other Rizzuto financial activity
2010: Nick Rizzuto fined $209,200 for dodging taxes on $5.2 million funnelled to Swiss bank accounts
2010: Family fights a $900,000 tax bill for the sale of a recycling company that reportedly netted them $7.5 million.
1986-1988: Civil court documents show that Nick's son Vito used cash-wielding middlemen to buy a $1.4-million share in Penway Explorers, a mining firm later embroiled in a stock-manipulation scandal.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Steve Schirripa to Host Mafia Hitmen Documentary Drama

The SopranosImage via Wikipedia

Cineflix making true crime series for Investigation Discovery

Canadian factual producer Cineflix Productions has lined up Steve Schirripa (The Sopranos) to host Nothing Personal, a docu-drama about mafia hitmen for Investigation Discovery.
Toronto-based Cineflix is shooting six one-hours of the true crime series for the U.S. cable channel about men and women who stand behind the trigger and carry out contract killings for the mob
George D'Amato is to direct Nothing Personal, with Gregor Hagey as DOP.
The docu-drama will include talking-head accounts from mafia informants, archival footage and interviews with police that infiltrated the mafia underworld.
Cineflix earlier produced True Crime Scenefor Discovery Channel Canada and Discovery Networks in Europe.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Church Funerals For Mobsters Just Not Right

John GottiImage via WikipediaEarlier this month slain Montreal Mafia patriarch Nicolo Rizzuto was afforded a proper Catholic burial which has raised some eyebrows as reported by John Longhurst for the Winnipeg Free Press: "I know the church is supposed to be a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for the saints. And, like a family home, it's a place that has to take you in when you've got no place left to go. But still, it seemed wrong for Rizzuto's funeral to be held in a chuch. How could someone who was involved in murder, drug trafficking and other crimes be given a proper religious send-off?" Longhurst points out that not all mobsters have received their sendoff to the great hereafter with a sacred blessing, and among those previously denied a church funeral were John Gotti, Paul Castellano, Carmine Galante and Frank DeCicco. Of course, everyone knows that things are done differently in Quebec where the Montreal Mafia and dirty politicians have reigned for decades as reported by Andrew Chung for The Star: "Quebec has been beset by revelation after revelation of corruption and ethical malpractice, involving biker gangs, the mafia and – most ubiquitously – the construction industry. The miasma has found its ways into city halls, union boardrooms, and even the premier's office." And now even the Catholic Church can be added to the fallen institutions in Montreal which cannot be trusted by the public in light of its inexplicable decision to provide an incorrigible degenerate mob boss like Nicolo Rizzuto a sacred resting place. The Church has done nothing more than continue the secular legitimization of the Devil's chosen. The Mafia long has bastardized Catholicism but to quote Bob Dylan from his song Masters of War: "even Jesus would never forgive what you do."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Feds Probe Broke Bonanno Soldier's Legal Representation In Genovese Family Slaying Ordered By Gigante

How did a reputed mobster go from collecting unemployment in a bare Las Vegas flophouse with just $36 in his pocket to hiring a Maserati-driving lawyer?
Brooklyn prosecutors think they know - and they're worried it could derail their probe of a big cheese in the Bonanno family.
The feds believe Armando Rea, the supposedly penniless reputed soldier, and retired mozzarella importer Ronald Carlucci share a high-powered lawyer - John Meringolo.
"It appears a third party is funding Mr. Meringolo's legal representation of Rea," U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes wrote to Judge Jack Weinstein, requesting a hearing.
That worries them, because Meringolo might decline to cut a deal for Rea - busted in a 1980 murder - if it would expose Carlucci to criminal charges.
The potential conflict of interest came to light because of a blue Maserati.
An FBI agent who paid a visit to the Brooklyn home of Carlucci, known as Ronnie Mozzarella, spotted the sports car parked in the driveway.
Meringolo confirmed the Maserati belonged to him, but says he's just an old friend of Carlucci and is not his lawyer. He declined to comment on how Rea could afford his services.
Rea, 57, is accused of blowing away Genovese mobster Gerard Pappa as he ate breakfast in the Villa 66 Restaurant in Borough Park on July 10, 1980.
Pappa was whacked for participating in a murder that was not sanctioned by mob superiors. The late Genovese boss Vincent (Chin) Gigante was acquitted of ordering Pappa's murder.
Carlucci, 67, a reputed made member of the Bonanno family, could not be reached for comment.
He is retired from Lioni Latticini Inc., the largest importer of Buffalo-milk mozzarella made in the Campania region of Italy.
He was in the news in 2005 when he unsuccessfully tried to mediate a beef between a retired cop and the owner of a Top Tomato grocer on Staten Island.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Montreal Mafia & Dirty Politicians Have A Grip On Quebec’s Construction Industry

View of downtown Montreal.Image via Wikipedia
On Tuesday Paul Sauve, the president of L.M. Sauve Construction Ltd., testified before a parliamentary committee in Ottawa on Tuesday during which he alleged that the Montreal Mafia and dirty politicians are involved in Quebec's construction industry as reported by The Montreal Gazette: "there is a direct link between organized crime, large unions, contractors and politicians and I state for the record today having heard from members of this clan that three councilmen that are currently serving for the city of Montreal, as well as the mayor himself, I believe to part and parcel of this controversy." Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay responded via a press release to Sauve's allegations as "so grotesque and unfounded that Mayor Tremblay will not make any other comments." Well, that settles that!
Meanwhile, the governing Liberal party in Quebec – headed by Premier Jean Charest – stubbornly refuses to support a full-fledged public inquiry into the allegations which is leading some to now call for Canada's federal government to step into the fray as reported by Eric Duhaime for The Toronto Sun: "Nobody knows how many more scandals or how much more evidence it will take before Charest finally holds an independent and public inquiry into the construction industry. * * * If Jean Charest refuses to put an end to this nonsense, many Quebecers will want to ask the federal government to intervene."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Exterminating The Rizzuto Crime Family

It's been a tough year for reputed Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto who sits in a prison cell at the federal penitentiary in Florence, CO following his 2007 racketeering conviction involving the 1981 murders of three Bonanno crime family capos in NYC. Earlier this month his 86-year-old father Nicolo Rizzuto was slain, and last December his 42-year-old son Nick Rizzuto Jr. was murdered. Mob watcher Antonio Nicaso says it's obvious the Rizzutos are being "exterminated," and the killings are an emphatic message to the imprisoned Vito "that his days as a crime boss are over" as reported by Chris Doucette for The Toronto Sun. Now Vito Rizzuto "is dead Don walking" as reported by Antonio Nicaso for The Toronto Sun. And to the victors go the spoils which largely is about control over the drug trade: "Montreal has historically been Canada's top prize when it comes to the Mafia because of its shipping port. Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano realized in 1954 that controlling Montreal was critical to running the lucrative drug market in New York, Nicaso said. The city is ideally situated as a 'gateway' for importing drugs from around the world and then shipping them off to nearby New York." What will Vito Rizzuto miss more: the money and power or his father and son?
Of course, it's hard to feel any sympathy for the Rizzuto clan. After all, live by the sword, die by the sword. The Rizzuto clan spared no blood during its ascension to power as reported by Chris Doucette for The Toronto Sun: "When the Rizzuto crime family (Sicilians) went to war with the Cotroni family (Calabrians) in Montreal in the mid-1970s, people had to die before Nicolo Rizzuto could take over the city's criminal underworld." Investigators believe that interloping 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian mobsters from Ontario – perhaps with the blessing of some boys from New York – may be responsible for the ongoing massacre against the Sicilian Rizzuto clan as reported by Rob Lamberti for The Toronto Sun: "the 'ndrangheta in Canada . . . is capable of replacing the now weakened Rizzuto clan," and "is considered by Italian authorities to be more powerful, richer and better able to distribute drugs globally than any Mafia group."
And the beat goes on.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Leonardo DiCaprio To Star In Legacy Of Secrecy: The Mafia Assassinated JFK

John F. Kennedy
Leonardo DiCaprio will star in the film adaptation of the 2008 book Legacy of Secrecy in which authors Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann rather conclusively establish that three mob bosses – Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante and Johnny Rosselli – were responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as reported by Terri Schwartz for MTV: "DiCaprio will play FBI informant Jack Van Laningham, who befriends the southern mafia leader, Carlos Marcello, a man the book fingers as the potential mastermind of the 1963 murder (he reportedly even confessed involvement)."
Kennedy brothers; left to right John, Robert, Ted.With regard to Marcello's confession to Laningham regarding the Kennedy assassination, in reviewing Legacy of Secrecy last year for the Herald Sun James Campbell wrote the following: "The strongest evidence the authors produce is Marcello's confession to an FBI informant in the 1980s. 'The FBI had managed to get an informant inside Marcello's cell and Marcello trusted this guy,' Waldron said. According to a 1985 memo quoted in the book, the informant told the FBI: 'On December 15, 1985, he (the informant) was in the company of Carlos Marcello and another inmate at the Federal Correctional Institute, Texarkana, Texas, engaged in conversation. Carlos Marcello discussed his intense dislike of former President John Kennedy as he often did. Unlike other such tirades against Kennedy, however, on this occasion Carlos Marcello said, referring to President Kennedy, 'Yeah, I had the son of bitch killed. I'm glad I did it. I'm sorry I couldn't have done it myself.'"
Carlos MarcelloFrom the web site for Legacy of Secrecy: "Legacy of Secrecy details the secret attempts of Robert F. Kennedy and his aides to expose his brother's killers . . . . It shows how RFK continued his war against the Mafia by focusing increased attention on the Mafia bosses behind JFK's assassination, until his own murder. RFK's associates continued his quest, almost exposing the truth several times. But like a deadly, high-stakes chess game – at the height of the cold war – they were blocked each time by three Mafia chiefs and a handful of CIA operatives. Legacy details each step taken by mob bosses Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante, and Johnny Rosselli to hide their involvement in JFK's murder, and the tragic results that followed. The long shadow of secrecy surrounding both JFK's murder and the coup plan set the stage for the murder of Martin Luther King, ultimately driving two Presidents from office, and bringing about the murders of five Congressional witnesses in the mid-1970s."
Robert Blakey, a mob buster for Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and the principal architect of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is the author of The Plot To Kill The President in which he too concludes that the Mafia assassinated JFK as reported by David Talbot for Salon: "Blakey would emerge as the Warren Report's most authoritative critic and a firm believer that Kennedy had died as the result of a conspiracy, masterminded by Marcello and his Mafia ally, Santo Trafficante, the Florida godfather who had been driven t of the lucrative Havana casino business by Castro and who had been recruited in the CIA plot to kill the Cuban leader."

Stock Promoter Myron Gushlak Gets 6 Year Prison Term

A Canadian-born stock promoter was sentenced by a U.S. judge to six years in prison for manipulating the share price of a communications company where he was a director.
Myron Gushlak was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn, New York. Gushlak manipulated the stock price of Lombard, Illinois-based GlobalNet Inc. from May 2000 to April 2001, said prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. Gushlak was a board member at Global Net during that period.
“Gushlak paid secret kickbacks to brokers in the form of cash and free stock in exchange for the brokers causing their clients to purchase blocks of GlobalNet common stock from Gushlak and others at artificially inflated prices,” prosecutors said in court papers.
Gushlak, who has been living in the Cayman Islands, was taken into custody after his sentencing. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in 2003. Titan Corp., based in San Diego, bought GlobalNet in 2002. New York-based military contractor L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. bought Titan in 2005.
Alan S. Futerfas of Manhattan, a lawyer for Gushlak, declined to comment after today’s hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Spector was the lead prosecutor on the case.
Under Seal
The case has been under seal while Gushlak cooperated with the government in pursuing other people involved in the scheme. Garaufis said Gushlak’s cooperation has been “inconsistent” and that he viewed the secrecy of the case “as a license to continue to deceive those with whom he conducted business.”
Prosecutors accused Gushlak of breaching his cooperation agreement.
Futerfas, Gushlak’s lawyer, said in court today that Gushlak is scheduled to be sentenced in another case in New York state court on Dec. 3 and that German authorities are investigating him as part of the securities-fraud prosecution of Markus Frick, the former host of a German stock-trading TV show “Make Money.”
In 1998, Gushlak started his own merchant banking group called Imperium Capital Inc., according to his website.
The case is U.S. v. Gushlak, 03-cr-833, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

Bonanno Rat Who Hacked Victims Bodies With Saws Gets Time Served For Cooperating With Feds

A mob rat gave his family the thumbs-up sign Friday when he was granted freedom after admitting he dismembered a gangland corpse with saws and burned it in a furnace.
Stefan Cicale, 36, has already spent 54 months in prison and was sentenced to time served as a reward for cooperating with the feds.
The former Bonanno crime family associate will be let go as soon as the U.S. Marshals Service arranges a spot for him in the witness protection program.
Cicale pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, including the grisly disposal of murder victim Robert McKelvey inside the supposedly haunted Kreischer Mansion on Staten Island in 2005.
"I want to apologize to the McKelvey family. There is no excuse for what I did, and I will have to live with this the rest of my life," Cicale told Brooklyn Federal Judge Allyne Ross.
"I'd also like to thank the agents and prosecutors for the opportunity to repent my actions," he said.
Defense lawyer Evan Lipton claimed Cicale has changed his ways - and if the wanna-be wiseguy's ghastly testimony in two mob trials is accurate, hopefully that's true.
He testified he was in a strip joint when he was summoned to the creepy mansion by a Bonanno soldier to deal with the body of McKelvey, a mob associate.
Cicale and a couple of other crew members went to a Home Depot and bought power saws, dust masks and latex gloves for the bloody job.
They wrapped the body in garbage bags to protect themselves from spatter and went to work butchering McKelvey.
"Two of us would hold the body, and one person would cut the body," Cicale testified, describing how they took turns with the saw.
The body parts were fed into the mansion furnace, and Cicale later purchased goodies for the crew at Dunkin' Donuts before they cleaned up the blood and gore.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Dennehy said the defendant had provided substantial help in the convictions of those responsible for McKelvey's killing and recently had testified against Genovese capo Anthony Antico convicted of racketeering.


Ex-carpenters union boss Michael Forde sentenced to 11 years after pleading guilty to corruption

The "downright wicked" labor boss Michael Forde was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday for selling out the rank-and-file of the city's biggest construction union.
Forde apologized as Manhattan Federal Judge Victor Marrero handed him a sentence just three months short of the maximum that prosecutors wanted.
"I take full responsibility for my actions. I betrayed trust. I am deeply ashamed for my behavior. I have no excuse," said Forde, once head of the 20,000-member District Council of Carpenters and Joiners.
Dozens of union members who packed the room listened raptly as Marrero called Forde a "downright wicked" man who "operated on the frontiers of depravity."
In July, Forde pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, admitting that for 15 years he'd pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from contractors who broke union rules.
Prosecutors this week revealed that Forde had put his "personal cocaine supplier" on the union payroll and bought him lavish dinners and trips with District Council funds.
After he was sentenced, Forde - who tested positive for coke and marijuana when he was arrested - requested a drug rehab program in prison. He must surrender by Jan. 7.
The District Council is one of the most politically powerful but also historically corrupt unions in the city.
The union has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, and Forde has endorsed top pols including Mayor Bloomberg.
His malfeasance took place while a court-appointed monitor oversaw the union. Forde's two predecessors were both imprisoned on corruption charges, and he came into office promising reforms.
Almost immediately he began taking bribes from corrupt contractors who wanted to pump up profits by using non-union labor at construction sites.
"Eleven years is fitting but I'd have liked to see more," said Christopher Silva of Local 608. "The devastation he caused will be felt for many years."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/11/19/2010-11-19_excarpenters_union_boss_michael_forde_sentenced_to_11_years_after_pleading_guilt.html#ixzz15nWcXfwo

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gambino Family Street Boss Sentenced To Three Years In Jail

The reputed boss of the Gambino crime family was sentenced today to three years in prison after plea-bargaining to an assault charge in a 1989 murder plot against a suspected informant.
John "Jackie the Nose" D'Amico, 74, received the maximum sentence allowable.
He had admitted to conspiring to commit an assault against Frederick Weiss, a sanitation exec who had run afoul of then-mob boss John Gotti.
According to papers filed in Manhattan federal court, D'Amico allowed co-defendant Joseph Watts, a reputed high-ranking Gambino associate, to recruit members of his crew for a hit on Weiss.
John 'Jackie the Nose' D'Amico, right.
John "Jackie the Nose" D'Amico

Authorities believe Weiss was instead murdered by New Jersey's DeCavalcante mob as a favor to the Dapper Don.


Bonanno Soldier Singing To The Feds?

Vincent Gigante

Armando Rea's extended-stay Las Vegas vacation had the makings of real fun in the sun. You know how we take pride in catering to visitors, and with the real estate slump, home prices are a bargain.
Instead, Rea's journey to Southern Nevada ended with a visit from the FBI, which quietly gave him a return trip to Brooklyn, where the Bonanno crime family soldier finds himself named in a three-decade-old murder case.
Like elephants, these feds never forget. Arrested last month, Rea is charged in a federal racketeering indictment with the July 10, 1980, killing of Genovese family member Gerard Pappa, who was shotgunned as he attempted to catch a late breakfast at a Borough Park café.
Authorities allege Pappa received eggs and lead from Rea and an accomplice.
Rea, who is also charged with gambling crimes and extorting members of Teamsters Local 807 of Long Island, left Brooklyn years ago and, not surprisingly, turned up in Las Vegas. This is the flame to many mob moths.
It's not speculating much to presume his vanishing act might have been linked to the fact the feds have been working to clear up cold case murders, Pappa's death among them.
Pappa was a mentor for a number of hoodlums who grew up to make big headlines in New York, Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano among them. The Pappa hit was likely ordered by Genovese crime boss Vincent Gigante, who was said to be angered after his underling pulled an unapproved homicide. Known for wearing bathrobes in public and faking crazy, the late Gigante eventually was acquitted of murder conspiracy charges in the case.
The most intriguing question is this: Why would the feds keep so quiet about the arrest and what might Rea know about some semi-retired characters in Las Vegas?
Nabbing a mob guy in glitzy Las Vegas would have made a good story and a great photo opportunity.
Could it be that Mr. Rea is in the process of being debriefed about what he might know about other murders?


Union Calls For Probe Of Montreal Mafia Involvement In Construction Industry

The Quebec Federation of Labour is calling on the Liberal party headed by Premier Jean Charest to launch a full-fledged public inquiry into increasing allegations that the province's construction industry may be corrupted by the Montreal Mafia and dirty politicians as reported by Marianne White for The Gazette: "The opposition parties in Quebec – which have been pressing the government for more than a year to hold an inquiry – had a field day with the QFL announcement. 'The premier is totally isolated,' said Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois. 'That begs the question: What is the premier afraid of for refusing to accept that demand that is virtually unanimous?' she added." Construction contractors and police associations are among those who previously have called for an inquiry among allegations of bid rigging by mob enforcers in the award of public contracts as reported by Rheal Seguin for The Globe and Mail: "News reports say that Mafia members have threatened business owners to keep them away from certain projects."

Ex-Union Head Had Drug Dealer On Payroll

Michael Forde, the coke-snorting convicted former leader of New York City's 20,000-member carpenters' union, "put his personal drug dealer on the union payroll and treated him to lavish dinners and junkets" as reported by Brian Kates for the Daily News: "During his reign as head of the union, Forde was notorious for drug-fueled parties at the Hudson St. headquarters." In August 2009 the feds variously indicted Forde and nine others for their alleged roles in a scheme involving bribes by contractors to hire illegals and other non-union workers and avoid obligations under labor agreements. Last month a federal jury convicted the final defendant, reputed Genovese associate Joseph Olivieri, the former head of the Wall-Ceiling Association which is NYC's largest trade group for carpentry contractors, on a perjury charge "in a case that showed the mob's grip on construction" as reported by Brian Kates for the Daily News: "testimony painted Olivieri as the mob's go-to guy in city construction unions." Forde faces up to eleven years in prison when he is sentenced later today.
Further reporting:
New blast at labor boss by Bruce Golding for the New York Post

"Mob Wives" Latest Reality Show Spin Off

VH1 plans in March 2011 to begin airing a 10-episode reality show dubbed Mob Wives created by Jennifer Graziano which "follows the lives of four 'allegedly' associated women who have to rebuild their lives after their husbands or fathers do time for Mob-related activities" as reported by the Los Angeles Times. No word yet on who's planning to make their lives public for our laughter "but the series is believed to be taping in New York" as reported by the New York Post.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Investment banker Myron Gushlak backs out of pledge to give feds info on Gambino family

Brooklyn prosecutors want a federal judge to throw the book at a wealthy investment banker who broke his vow to cooperate with the feds against Gambino crime associates in a massive pump-and-dump scheme.
Myron Gushlak was denied a get-out-of-jail free card by the government because he breached his deal; he is facing 10 years in prison when he's sentenced Thursday by  Judge Nicholas Garaufis.
Gushlak, who lives in a mansion in the Cayman Islands and pays no taxes, pleaded guilty to a $10 million money laundering scheme of his own. Prosecutors say he came forward with information of little value.
"The government has made clear the defendant has not been particularly forthcoming about his own finances," Garaufis said Wednesday.
Gulshak is also the subject of a fraud investigation in Germany.
His lawyers declined to comment.


Mafia Patriarch Buried In Casket Of Pale Gold

To the strains of soaring organ music, the pale gold casket of Nicolo Rizzuto, described as Montreal's last Godfather, was slowly wheeled up the main aisle to the altar of Little Italy's Madonna della Difesa Church.
Behind it: Libertina, the sombre widow of the 86-year-old patriarch of the legendary Montreal family, as well as his daughter, Maria, and other relatives.
Outside, curious passersby, reporters and photographers lined Dante St. several deep to catch glimpses of the Rizzuto family and their entourage, six of whom have been killed or kidnapped over the last 15 months in a bloodbath that continues to baffle Montreal police.
Inside the church, once at the heart of Montreal's Italian community and still considered its soul, several men wearing earpieces stood at the doors and patrolled the church's perimeter.
Minutes before the casket arrived, an altercation erupted near the back of the church. Six burly men told writer James Dubro, author of books about the Mafia, to leave.
"Nobody's going to hurt you," one of the men told Dubro.
He resisted, saying he was there to pay his respects.
After an increasingly loud exchange that turned many heads, Dubro left before the funeral started.
Also known as Notre Dame de la Defense, the church, which can seat about 800, was packed, with dozens of people, mainly men, standing along the sides and back. Family members sat together at the front of the church, where Rizzuto's casket rested, draped with an arrangement of white flowers.
There was no eulogy or scripture readings by family members during the traditional Catholic funeral.
In a 75-minute service, delivered entirely in Italian, Rev. Igino Incantalupo expressed his condolences to the family. But little else was said about Rizzuto, who was shot dead through his kitchen window last week.
A choir and a trumpet soloist performed Ave Maria, as donations to the church were collected from mourners. The collection baskets were brimming with $10 and $20 bills, including some U.S. bills.
Inaugurated in 1919, Madonna della Difesa began as a sanctuary for Italian immigrants. Montreal's Italians have since dispersed but the church, with its elaborate frescoes, elegant marble altar and stained-glass windows, keeps them coming back to the old neighbourhood.
Yesterday's funeral was eerily similar to one held there in January.
Nicolo Rizzuto, at the time on probation for offences related to participating in a criminal organization, escorted his grandson Nick Jr.'s pale gold casket into the church days after his namesake was shot and killed in Notre Dame de Grace. Some Italian newspapers reported Nick Jr.'s coffin was made of solid gold.
Yesterday, in an announcement at the end of Nicolo Rizzuto's funeral, a man thanked those who had come to pay their last respects, but asked that only family accompany the casket to the cemetery. The family, he said, wanted an intimate setting for the burial.
As the casket was wheeled out, sunlight streamed through a row of windows, illuminating the way down the aisle. Several women leaned from their pews to touch the casket; others waved goodbye or did the sign of the cross.
As the crowd followed, moving toward the church's main Dante St. exit, some mourners asked security guards if there was another way out.
They were pointed toward the Henri Julien Ave. door, which they could use to avoid the waiting army of reporters and photographers.


Tony Danza interrupts priest at Philip Carlo's funeral

It could have been a funeral-home scene out of a "Sopranos" episode. At the wake for crime author Philip Carlo, Tony Danza angrily interrupted the priest, claiming he was talking too much about God and not enough about the best-selling biographer of mass murderers, including Richard Kuklinski and Richard Ramirez, during his eulogy.
A source at Thursday's wake at Peter C. La Bella Funeral Home in Bensonhurst said the priest -- "who said he was a substitute priest from a federal prison, which made some people smirk -- started to ramble on and on about religion, quoting the Bible and making mourners uncomfortable.
Tony Danza
Tony Danza
"Tony, who was one of Carlo's closest friends, walked right up to the priest and said angrily, 'Excuse me, but this is not about you. It's supposed to be about my friend, and if you can't do that, maybe you should let someone else speak!'
"People were stunned, while the priest was visibly shaken. He tried talking about Carlo before quickly wrapping things up. Danza took over and eulogized Carlo with memories from their younger days.
"When someone then heckled Tony, he said, 'Will you give me a break? Will you stop and let me talk?' "
Guests included Chuck Zito, John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia, Danny Aiello, Carlo's family, Kuklinksi's widow, Barbara, and movie producer Matty Beckerman. Close pal Mickey Rourke -- who is starring in the movie adaptation of Carlo's "The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer," about Kuklinski -- sent a 6-foot flower arrangement.
Danza spoke again Friday morning during the service at the chapel at Greenwood Cemetery, but this time, "he brought people to tears," the source added.
Carlo died Nov. 8 at age 61.
His wife, Laura, told us, "The funeral went very well, and we know Phil would have been very happy. We all agreed that the priest had to go and leave it to Phil's friends to come to the rescue." Danza's rep said he was unreachable and declined to comment.


Crime History: Mob whacks one of own in death of DEA agent

DEA badge CImage via WikipediaOn this day, Nov. 17, in 1989, Bonanno crime family members killed one of their own, Costabile "Gus" Farace Jr., instead of handing him over to the FBI for the murder of a Drug Enforcement Administration officer. Farace had been paroled for the rape and murder of a male prostitute in Greenwich Village. He soon got into trouble again after he set up a drug deal with Everett Hatcher, a DEA agent, and shot him through the head.
The FBI placed Farace on its Most Wanted list and squeezed his mob bosses.
The mob lured Farace to Brooklyn with the promise of cash to escape the country. Instead, he was shot 11 times.
In the TV thriller "Dead or Alive: The Race for Gus Farace," Tony Danza played the title character.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Colombo Captain Gets 6 1/2 Years For Trying To Shake Down Pizzeria, Blames Uncle Sonny Franzese

The "My Uncle Sonny made him join the Mafia" argument didn't help a Colombo capo's bid for a lighter sentence in Brooklyn Federal Court yesterday.
Michael Catapano, who pleaded guilty to extorting a pizzeria and a gambling club, had grown up under the powerful influence of his uncle -- the legendary Colombo gangster John (Sonny) Franzese, according to a social worker hired by the defense.
But Judge Brian Cogan wasn't buying that argument. "Lots of people have black sheep in the family … and the result is not that you become a captain in an organized crime family," Cogan said Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Cogan also found that the defendant had participated in a plot to influence a witness suspected of cooperating against mobbed-up lawyer Paul Begrin in a prostitution and money laundering case, before slapping the defendant with a 6 1/2-year sentence.
Catapano, 44, an electrician who lives in Suffolk County, expressed remorse.
"I'm sorry for all the havoc I've caused," he said in court.
Next month the 93-year-old Franzese will be sentenced for racketeering and extortion.
He was convicted earlier this year largely on the testimony of his own son, John, who became a government informant.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Rizzuto gets Catholic funeral, but church has in past denied mobsters' funerals

John Gotti
It's been a dicey dilemma for Catholic leaders in the past: to agree, or not to agree, to provide a church funeral for a well-known gangster?
Paul Castellano
Nicolo Rizzuto, a reputed Mafia don, was given a Roman Catholic funeral Monday in Montreal.
But the church has occasionally refused such rites to Rizzuto's counterparts in the past under a set of guidelines that provide it with considerable interpretive leeway.
One Catholicism expert says that under the church's Code of Canon Law, Mafia dons could be denied a funeral ceremony.
The church's code of conduct states that "manifest sinners" cannot be given a funeral mass if it would result in public scandal of the faithful.
"One would think that that may raise a question mark," McGill University's Daniel Cere said Monday, pointing to the world of organized crime.
In the past, church officials have decided against holding Catholic funerals for other mob leaders, including John Gotti and Paul Castellano.
Both Gotti, who died in 2002, and Castellano, killed in 1985, were former heads of the notorious Gambino crime family. Gotti ordered Castellano killed and was linked to other murders.
Rizzuto, on the other hand, was convicted of several crimes, including gangsterism, and his clan is suspected of killing many rivals over the years.
But he was never convicted of murder.
Cere said the church tends to have a loose interpretation of the funeral guidelines unless the deceased has formally repudiated the Catholic faith.
"My impression is that the church . . . has been reluctant to get into debates," the religious studies professor said.
"It would probably be a bit messy if they started to try to provide tighter criteria in terms of denial of funerals, so I think they tend to take a fairly relaxed attitude towards the issue."
When the decision whether to permit or disallow a funeral ceremony is up for debate, Cere says the local bishop has the final call.
Under canon law, there are three categories for refusing to provide a Catholic funeral. Someone could be denied a funeral unless they gave, before dying, some sign of repentance for the following:
-Being notorious apostates, heretics and schismatics.
-Choosing the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith.
- Being manifest sinners who could not be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.
"It looks like there's a lot of leeway in all of these," said Cere. He added that canon law is a collection of guiding principles, not absolute rules.
The issue over who should or shouldn't be granted a Catholic funeral generated much discussion in Iowa in 2008 after six members of the same family died in an apparent murder-suicide.
Steven Sueppel, believed to have beaten his wife and four children to death before killing himself, was given a joint funeral with his family.
The Sueppels' relatives decided to forgive him and honour the deceased together.
But many people thought that Sueppel should not have been granted a Catholic funeral.


Don's death marks end of Canada's most powerful Mafia family

The slaying of Nicolo Rizzuto, considered the Godfather of the most powerful criminal group Canada has ever known, marks the end of an era and possibly the return of Calabrian rivals, experts say.
The 86-year-old don was shot dead at his Montreal mansion late Wednesday. According to police, the killer shot him from outside the home and then disappeared into the night without a trace.
The apparent professional hit caps a series of slayings of Sicilian mobsters and attacks against a crime family that has controlled the city's underworld for three decades.
The aim probably of a rival clan, according to crime writer Andre Noel, was the systematic elimination of the Rizzutos. "My first reaction is that this marks the return of the Calabrians," he speculated.
It was by supplanting the Calabrians and murdering mob boss Paolo Violi in 1978 that the Rizzutos took control of the Montreal underworld.
According to Noel, Calabrian clans had recently launched an "offensive" against Sicilian clans in Europe and won. "I suspect the same thing is happening here," he told AFP.
There may also be an element of revenge: the two sons of Paolo Violi who were just children at the time of his death have grown up and could have met up with young Sicilians unhappy with the Rizzuto's rule.
Another Canadian expert on the Mafia, Antonio Nacaso, believes the Rizzuto gang has been targeted by a "coalition" of North American criminal groups that split with the Sicilians.
In addition to traditional Mafia activities, these groups likely want to put their hands on "large government infrastructure investments to come in Quebec, worth 42 billion dollars over five years," Nacaso said.
He noted that according to police the Rizzuto clan siphoned up five percent of construction business in the Canadian province.
Nacaso believes that the recent unrest may also be due to upheaval in the drug world: cocaine is no longer shipped by Colombians to the United States through Montreal (an estimated 80 percent of shipments once passed through Montreal). Rather, it is now shipped from South America across the US-Mexico border.
Old Mafia rules are being disregarded in the pursuit of money.
The Rizzuto clan's demise started last year with the killing by gunfire in broad daylight on a Montreal street of Rizzuto's 42-year-old grandson Nick in late December.
The victim was the heir apparent to the clan leadership.
Five months later, an elderly financier associated with the Rizzuto mafia was reported missing. Paolo Renda, 70, had been recently released from prison after a serving a sentence for criminal association among other charges, but did not arrive home one night, police sources said.
His wife -- sister of Vito Rizzuto -- found his car near their home and alerted police, who found the car doors open and keys on the dashboard. The likelihood that he is still alive is remote.
Then in June, the reputed acting boss of the family, Agostino Cuntrera, 66, and his 48-year-old bodyguard were shot dead.
Nicolo Rizzuto arrived in Canada in 1954 and quickly rose to prominence in the organized crime area.
In November 2006, Canadian police launched a massive crackdown dubbed "Operation Coliseum," which led to Nicolo Rizzuto's arrest and conviction.
He was sentenced to four years in prison and sent to jail along with a number of his associates, but was later released under strict monitoring.
Now the family is decapitated.
Only Vito Rizzuto, the son of Nicolo and father of Nick remains. In 2006, Vito was extradited to the United States and prosecuted in connection with the 1981 murder of three Bonanno crime family members, earning a 10-year sentence.
He may be released in 2012 and seek revenge, according to rules of the Cosa Nostra, but it is unclear what means would be left to him.


Montreal Mafia Boss Nicolo Rizzuto Buried

For a moment, as the sound of Ave Maria accompanied by a single trumpet filled the air and sunlight illuminated the church’s spectacular fresco, beauty emerged during Monday’s funeral for mob boss Nicolo Rizzuto.
But reminders of the ugliness that characterized Mr. Rizzuto’s life and death were inescapable, in the presence of hulking bodyguards prepared to evict interlopers and in the sight of the stooped widow who last week found her husband dying from a gunshot wound inside their home.
More than 500 mourners filled the pews of the historic Madonna Della Difesa church in Montreal’s Little Italy neighbourhood, paying their final respects to the 86-year-old Italian immigrant who built what was once Canada’s most powerful criminal organization.
In a Roman Catholic funeral mass celebrated entirely in Italian, the violence that has become inseparable from the Rizzuto name in Montreal was not mentioned. Nor was Mr. Rizzuto praised, as there was no eulogy from friends or family. Instead, Msgr. Igino Incantalupo’s words about the deceased differed little from what would have been said following the death of any other elderly community member.
Family members, including his widow Libertina and his grandchildren, accompanied Mr. Rizzuto’s gold-coloured casket into the church. Noticeably absent was his son, Vito Rizzuto, who is serving a 10-year racketeering sentence in the United States for his participation in the murders of three Mafia members in Brooklyn in 1981.
There was a conspicuous private security presence inside the church, and just before the service began, security guards were joined by Rizzuto associates to evict crime writer James Dubro.
Mr. Dubro said he was inside the church for about 30 minutes until a bodyguard asked him who he was.
“I’m just here because I’m curious — a lot of my life has been documenting organized crime and Nick Rizzuto is a very unique figure in all this. It’s a part of history,” Mr. Dubro said.
“It’s fascinating. It makes the least sense to kill an 86-year-old man who is frail and has no real power and is under house arrest [because he was on probation at the time], unless it was to send a very powerful message to Vito [Rizzuto] to say ‘you’re fini’.”
This was the second funeral for a murdered Rizzuto in less than a year at the 90-year-old Madonna Della Difesa church, which has been designated a national historic site because of its design. A funeral for Nick Rizzuto Jr., Vito’s son and Nicolo’s grandson, was celebrated there in January after he was shot dead on a west-end street.
The service featured music that ranged from mournful to soaring, with a choir accompanied by organ, strings and brass. Sunlight filled the church, illuminating the fresco that blends religious imagery with more modern portraits, including Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on horseback.
Most mourners leaving the church declined comment, and those who stopped to talk to reporters had nothing negative to say about Mr. Rizzuto. An accountant named Alberto Pizzi said he knew the Rizzutos because Montreal’s Italian community is tight-knit. “For me, he wasn’t a criminal,” he said. “He was normal. We knew each other, we respected each other.”
Mr. Rizzuto pleaded guilty in 2008 to gangsterism and was on probation at the time of his killing. He served five years prison in Venezuela on cocaine possession charges in the 1980s, but despite the many gangland slayings believed to be the work of his organization over the years, he was never charged with murder.
Francesco Bennici, 71, said he befriended Mr. Rizzuto about 40 years ago when they realized they were from the same province in Sicily, Agrigento. He said he last saw Nicolo Rizzuto at the grandson’s funeral in January, and he never thought his friend would meet the same fate. “I don’t expect anybody to end like this,” he said.
It was just before 6 p.m. last Wednesday when a gunman hiding in a wooded area behind Mr. Rizzuto’s house shot him through his window as he sat at his kitchen table. It was the fourth murder or kidnapping to rock the Rizzuto organization in the space of a year. It followed the murder of Nick Rizzuto Jr., considered a Rizzuto family street boss, the February kidnapping and presumed murder of Paolo Renda, Nicolo’s son-in-law, and the killing in June of Agostino Cuntrera, believed to be the organization’s interim boss.
Before the service, Montreal police had to deal with a suspicious package left on the church doorstep. Police said the small black box with a white cross contained a note. Const. Daniel Lacoursière said the note will be analyzed, but he would not disclose the note’s contents.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hundreds Mourn Slain Montreal Mob Boss Nicolo Rizzuto

Last night hundreds paid their respects to slain Montreal Mafia patriarch Nicolo Rizzuto at an East End funeral home, and "none seemed eager to talk" as reported by Monique Muise for The Montreal Gazette: "Rizzuto's stature in the world of organized crime made for a heavy police presence outside the funeral home. * * * [O]n all sides of the building, unmarked vans sat silent and dark. In some, plainclothes officers carefully observed the scene. In others, small flashing lights betrayed the evidence of a video camera, recording the face of every person who entered or exited the building." Video Visitation hours continue through today, and tomorrow the vice purveyor and drug trafficker will be buried.
The imprisonment and murder of the top leaders of the Montreal Mafia over the last few years have left behind a lot of lonely wives as reported by Linda Gyulai for The Montreal Gazette. However, their hubbies presumably have left them enough money to console their grief as reported by Brian Daly for The Toronto Sun: "The Rizzuto crime family might be in decline, its leaders mostly dead or missing, but it's far from destitute.
Meanwhile, the press continues to excoriate the governing Liberal party in Quebec which is headed by Premier Jean Charest for stubbornly refusing to support a full-fledged public inquiry into allegations that the province's construction industry may be corrupted by the Montreal Mafia and dirty politicians, and Angelo Persichilli writes for The Star: "Canadian authorities have solid information about this activity but nobody seems interested in acting on it." Indeed, the opposition leader to the Liberal party has compared Charest to a Mafia boss as reported by The Montreal Gazette: "Action democratique du Quebec leader Gerard Deltell told 400 delegates that his rival is the 'godfather of the Liberal party' at a policy convention in Granby on Saturday." Liberal party members of course are outraged by the charge as reported by Philip Authier and Kevin Dougherty for The Montreal Gazette; however, organized crime cannot exist without public corruption, and one wonders whether the Liberal party is protesting too much.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Long Time Gambino Family Associate Sentenced To 20 Years For Racketeering Conspiracy

Don Carlo Gambino
Image via Wikipedia
A Gambino crime family associate -- already serving 12-plus years for racketeering -- was slapped yesterday with another 20 by a judge who said he needed to be locked up until he's old and gray.
Edmund Boyle, 46, sat stone-faced as Manhattan federal Judge Colleen McMahon blasted him as a "heinous and unrepentant career criminal."
"I believe if he is released anytime soon, he is committed to returning to his life of crime," she said.
McMahon noted that Boyle would have become a member of the Mafia but for its "blatant ethnic discrimination," noting pointedly that "no Irish need apply."
Boyle was convicted in January for a racketeering conspiracy that included the 1998 murder of mob rat Frank Hydell, although a jury acquitted him of actually committing the killing outside a Staten Island strip club.
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn federal court, a Genovese crime-family captain was sentenced to nine years on gambling and extortion charges.
Anthony "Tico" Antico, 75, was convicted of racketeering for running an illegal gambling parlor in Staten Island and conspiring to rob the $1 million winner of a horse-racing bet in 2008.
But he begged for a chance at a new life, with a sentence of under three years.
"I just want a chance, your honor," Antico told Judge Carol B. Amon before he was sentenced. "You'll never see me again."