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

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brooklyn mob wife Alicia DiMichele accused of embezzlement and conspiracy

She's no Carmela Soprano.
Alicia DiMichele may have an alleged mobster husband -- but she's anything but a traditional big-haired mob wife who spends her day cooking pasta dinners for her made man.
Alicia is an equal partner with her hubby, Edward "Tall Guy" Garofalo Jr., according to the feds -- a "wise gal" helping to blaze a trail for other women hoping to enter the profession.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors say the "mobette" -- a 38-year-old mother of three -- helped the Colombos embezzle union pension and benefit-plan money while working at mob-controlled construction companies.
A WIFE OF 'CRIME': Alicia DiMichele outside Brooklyn federal court.
A WIFE OF 'CRIME': Alicia DiMichele outside Brooklyn federal court.
It's an arrangement seldom seen in the Mafia -- gangsters' spouses almost always steer clear of their husbands' illicit activities.
"It's extremely rare. Historically, wives have not been involved with day-to-day criminal activity in the mob," said John Meringola, a professor at New York Law School and a lawyer who represented John Gotti Jr.
DiMichele's crime career apparently began when she was forced to get a job because of her family's financial woes.
Garofalo, it seems, loves gambling, but isn't all that good at it.
And like other mobsters, Garofalo had put almost everything in his wife's name.
In the hole for hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, DiMichele filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
She took a sales job at Bizarre Video, a porno-film-production company in New York with reported mob links that describes itself as "the largest fetish company in the world."
Apparently, she did well, because a year later she and her husband were the proprietors of a trucking company.
DiMichele and Garofalo used that business and other Colombo-controlled shell companies to submit false documents to hide the theft of benefits from members of Teamsters Local 282, the feds say.
Both DiMichele and Garofalo -- a huge man who authorities say specializes in extortion and construction-industry shakedowns -- face conspiracy and embezzlement charges in Brooklyn federal court.
The evidence against DiMichele includes recordings from two wiretaps and testimony of two witnesses.
The upward-striving DiMichele also has an apparently legal business -- a clothing boutique called "Addiction.
It produces shirts and blouses -- in a leopard-print motif emblazoned with a heart pierced by an arrow -- that bring "L.A. Style . . . to South Jersey."
Its Web site features a photo of DiMichele straddling a motorcycle and notes her "rocking sense of style and strong addiction to shopping."
With her trial approaching and facing up to five years in prison, DiMichele is increasingly struck by anxiety attacks, says her lawyer, Michael Macklowitz.
The couple also faces a big dilemma.
Garofalo wants to testify that his wife didn't know anything about the pension-fund scheme, but to do so he would have to take the stand and open himself to questions regarding additional extortion charges he alone faces, Macklowitz told Judge Sandra Townes.
And that scenario is precisely why most Mafia wives steer clear of involvement in day-to-day mob crime.


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