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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reputed Outfit mobster pleads guilty to McCormick Place bid rigging

“The Chin” has migraines.
It’s no wonder why Rudolph “Rudy The Chin” Fratto, 67, a reputed Chicago mobster, takes medicine for the crippling headaches.
Just a few months after he was released from prison for tax evasion, he pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Chicago to another crime — mail fraud for taking part in a scheme to rig bids for forklift contracts for trade shows at McCormick Place.
Fratto won one contract but couldn’t produce any forklifts, so the scheme made no money.
Still, Fratto is likely going to be sentenced to prison, from 18 to 24 months in February.
Despite all this stress, Fratto has been migraine-free recently, he told a federal judge Thursday afternoon.
“But you haven’t had a migraine in the last few days?” U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber asked.
“No, remarkably,” Fratto said.
In January 2005, Fratto met a consultant to a general contractor who set up trade shows at McCormick Place. The consultant was in debt to a Chicago attorney and mobsters in Cleveland after they invested in the consultant’s business, which failed.
Fratto offered to help the consultant with the debt but also wanted inside information on the forklift bids.
Fratto was unaware that the consultant was already cooperating with the FBI and secretly recording conversations with him and others.
As it became clear to Fratto in 2008 that the feds were investigating him over bid rigging, he expressed confidence that he wouldn’t get caught, as long as everyone kept their mouths shut. Fratto worried out loud that the FBI could be bugging his phone but mentioned he was using payphones. He told the consultant to take the 5th Amendment if he was questioned before a federal grand jury.
“The only thing they could say is that we rigged the bid,” Fratto predicted.
“How they gonna prove that?”
Outside court Thursday, the usually chatty Fratto, who once referred to himself as a “reputed good guy,” had no comment.



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