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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bonanno boss turned rat Joseph Massino gave the feds $7 million he hid in his attic

Former Bonanno boss Joseph Massino paid a fortune to become the highest-ranking turncoat ever in the New York underworld.

He revealed Thursday in Brooklyn Federal Court that as part of his deal to turn rat, he gave the feds $7 million hidden in the attic of his Howard Beach mansion and 400 to 500 gold bars squirreled away in his basement.

Testifying for a third day at the murder trial of Bonanno mobster Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, Massino said he broke the mob's vow of secrecy out of financial concern for his wife, Josephine, and his elderly mother.

Under the deal, his wife handed over the loot, but she and his mother got to keep the homes they lived in, as well as five homes in Howard Beach and one in Brighton Beach that produced rental income.

"That's how my wife lives," Massino told defense lawyer Richard Jasper during cross-examination.

He dismissed the idea that he took the deal to save himself from the death penalty for ordering a gangland rubout.

"I wasn't concerned about facing the death penalty," he said.

Massino, wearing a black velour track suit, frequently picked his ear and scratched his forehead, appearing bored with the questioning about his murderous ascent to power.

"You were known as the 'Last Godfather?'" Jasper asked.

"Basically," Massino said.

The ex-mob head acknowledged that one of his first acts as a cooperator was to lead the FBI to the bodies of capos Dominick Trinchera and Philip Giaccone, who had been buried in 1981 in a Gambino family mob graveyard on the Brooklyn-Queens border.

"They were buried with a backhoe 10 to 15 feet deep," Massino said. "John Gotti had told us they'll never find them."

The capos were killed by Massino's faction over a power struggle at the time which seemed like ancient history to the weary-looking Mafioso.

"We was worried about surviving," he recalled. "They thought they were tougher than us. Nobody's bullet-proof."


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