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

Friday, April 15, 2011

Massino saved Vinny Gorgeous from being whacked by the Genovese Family


He turned blood into gold.
Former Bonanno boss-turned-rat Joseph "Big Joey" Massino's family home in Howard Beach was Queens' answer to Fort Knox.
The man known as "The Last Don" had hundreds of gold bars stashed in the basement and millions in cash hidden in boxes in his attic -- funds he had set aside as his "pension" for his "golden years," Massino testified in a Brooklyn federal courtroom yesterday.
But Massino gave up the bullion and the rest of his millions following his conviction for seven murders as part of the deal that made him the first mob boss to squeal on the stand, he said at the murder trial of his successor, Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano -- who Massino yesterday revealed assumed control without his blessing.
EX-PALS: Evidence photos show defendant Vincent Basciano and ex-boss Joseph Massino, who is testifying against the alleged mob big.
EX-PALS: Evidence photos show defendant Vincent Basciano and ex-boss Joseph Massino, who is testifying against the alleged mob big.
 
Giving the money back was to ensure that Massino's mother and wife lived comfortably.
Asked by Basciano's lawyer Richard Jasper whether he had owned some 300 gold bars that he forfeited to the feds, Massino said that number was low.
"It was more than that -- maybe four or five hundred [gold bars]," Massino, dressed in a black tracksuit jacket and gray dress pants, said of his holdings. "I had them in my basement."
As for the bundles of cash, "It was in my attic," Massino said. "I had it all up there."
His cooperation agreement allowed him to keep five of his homes, including one each for his wife and his mother -- to live in and provide rental income -- while he forfeited five other properties, he said. It also let him avoid a death-penalty trial.
Massino, 68, is the first official New York mob boss in history to become a government informant and testify against fellow mobsters.
He said that when he was arrested and lost control of the Bonanno clan, Basciano made himself the new boss.
"I was thinking of who to put there, and Vinny Basciano put himself there," Massino said.
When Basciano's lawyer George Goltzer asked Massino if that meant he didn't want Basciano to take over, he said: "Correct . . . I could have killed him [Basciano]. They [the Genovese family] wanted to kill him. I said, 'Take a pass.' "
Massino also disclosed further details about the notorious 1981 "Three Captains" murder of out-of-line deputies.
Massino said five hit men were hiding inside a closet and waited for a pre-arranged signal to jump out and begin firing at Dominick "Big Trin" Trinichera, Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato, and Philip "Philly Lucky" Giaccone.
Massino said the three men were buried about 15 feet deep with the help of the Gambino family.
"John Gotti [who helped with the disposal] said, 'You'll never find them.' "
Wearing a wire in prison, Massino recorded Basciano allegedly admitting to ordering a hit on Bonanno associate Randy Pizzolo, for which Basciano's on trial and facing the death penalty.
Massino also claimed yesterday that a crooked FBI agent had tipped another family member that he was going to be arrested in 1982.
Armed with that intelligence, Massino would "go on the lam" in the Poconos and avoid prosecution for two years.


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