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

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Murdered Bonanno Boss Montagna extorted construction companies in NY and Montreal

Salvatore Montagna, the reputed mafioso killed on Thursday, was very active in construction fraud in the U.S. and continued the practice when he was deported to Canada, an expert on money laundering says.
Jeffrey Robinson, the New York-based bestselling author of books like The Merger: How Organized Crime is Taking Over Canada and the World and The Laundrymen was not surprised to learn that Montagna, who was briefly the head of the Bonanno crime family in the U.S., was fatally shot in an apparently well planned hit as he was leaving a house on Île Vaudry, a small island just east of Montreal.
Robinson said Montagna, 40, was "a great earner" for the Bonanno family in New York when it came to construction fraud, which perhaps explained his quick ascent to the top of the organization despite being in his mid-30s at the time.
Montagna was deported to Canada in 2009 after authorities realized he wasn't an American citizen and had a criminal record for contempt of court. Montagna, a dual citizen, was born in Montreal and raised in Italy. For his deportation he chose to return to Montreal and, after apparently laying low for months, suddenly emerged in 2011 as someone police sources believe was eagerly seeking to take control of the Mafia in Montreal.
Robinson said he had learned that Montagna tried to apply what he was doing in New York to the construction industry in Montreal.
"I know he simply exported the construction fraud to Montreal. It was what he knew. He took what he knew and brought it to Montreal," said Robinson, who is often invited to speak to police investigators at conferences on money laundering in the U.S. and Canada. Last month, he was an invited speaker at the International Money Laundering Conference which was held in downtown Montreal and attended by more than 600 delegates from 48 countries.
Montagna, known as Sal the Ironworker when he was in the Bonanno organization, owned a steel company in New York.
The author said it is estimated that the five major Mafia families in New York take a five-per-cent share of all construction projects in the city.
"The Bonanno family was a big part of it," Robinson said while alleging the organizations were experts in overestimating the amount of workers or materials needed for large-scale construction projects. "From early on, the Bonannos saw a niche in construction. They were experts in inflating invoices."
During deportation proceedings in 2009, the U.S. government alleged that Montagna was the acting boss of the Bonanno family, a position he likely attained following three disastrous years for the organization. Most of its leadership was rounded up in 2004 as part of an FBI investigation, and its leader at the time, Joseph Massino, became an informant. This in turn led to the arrest of the next Bonanno leader, Vincent Basciano. Montagna assumed leadership over what was left.
U.S. court records indicate American authorities continued gathering information about Montagna long after he was deported.
On Dec. 2, Salvatore (Sal the Plumber) Volpe, 48, a man described in court documents as "an associate within the Bonanno crime family," is scheduled to be sentenced in a U.S. District court in Brooklyn in a racketeering case involving two acts of extortion, including one he carried out for Montagna.
On April 8, Volpe entered his plea under sealed proceedings that were only recently made public. According to his allocution, Volpe and Paul Spina, a soldier in the Bonanno family, were dispatched in 2006 to threaten a man who owed money to a legitimate company owned by Montagna.
"Paul Spina told the individual that if he didn't pay, I would be back to see him," Volpe said in court.
The other criminal act in the racketeering case involved orders Volpe said he took from Anthony (Fat Tony) Rabito, Montagna's consigliere, or adviser. Volpe said Rabito was concerned that an associate was withholding money the organization had collected for the many wives of Bonanno family members who were incarcerated in 2006.
"I told him that if he didn't get in touch with Anthony Rabito, I would be back to smack him," Volpe said in U.S. court back in April.
Volpe, who is a government witness, made headlines in New York tabloids this year when he testified in a murder trial involving Basciano. He revealed that a New York restaurateur paid mobsters $50,000 to avoid being killed for impregnating Volpe's wife.
On Friday, Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Benoit Richard said there were no new developments to report in the investigation into Montagna's death. He said autopsy results would likely be available on Monday. No one has been arrested in connection with the homicide.
Montagna is believed to have been shot as he exited a house on Île Vaudry and then, in an attempt to elude the shooter, jumped into a narrow section of the Assomption River which he swam across to nearby Charlemagne, a municipality near Repentigny. When police arrived they found him lying on the shore of the river and tried to resuscitate Montagna. He was declared dead after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Montagna did not reside in Île Vaudry and the house he was visiting was reportedly owned by a known criminal.



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