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

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tattooed grandson of Gambino associate wanted for Queens shooting

Robert Sasso, 33, allegedly shot his victim four times during a spat on a Whitestone shoreline.
This mafioso's gone from fedoras to facial tattoos.
The inked-up grandson of a former Gambino family associate is wanted following a near-fatal shooting in Queens.
Robert Sasso, 33, allegedly shot his 39-year-old victim four times during a spat on a Whitestone shoreline near Boulevard St. at 2 a.m. Friday, police said. Paramedics took the victim to New York Hospital Queens, where he was listed in critical condition.
Sasso, who has tattoos on his face and neck, was accused of ordering a hit, ultimately botched, on a construction supervisor who fired him last year — but he was never charged.
He comes from a long line of mob convicts. His father did three years on gun trafficking.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Son of Vinny Gorgeous tells judge he has no plans to go into the mob

Mobster’s son says he won’t follow dad into ‘family’ business
A jailed son of Bonanno crime boss Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano says he has no plans to follow his dad into the “family” business.
“I love my father with all my heart, and my heart bleeds for him [for] what he is going though, but I do not have plans to chose the life he lived or walk down the same path he did,” Stephen Basciano, 30, recently insisted in a two-page handwritten letter from his cell at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center to Manhattan federal Judge Richard Sullivan.
Stephen Basciano is scheduled to be sentenced by Sullivan on Friday for running a mini-marijuana enterprise with his two brothers.
He is facing 46 to 57 months in prison under a plea deal with the feds, but his lawyer, Joshua Dratel, has asked Sullivan for a sentence “well below” that amount.
“The choice I made by selling marijuana made my mother so upset that she hasn’t spoken to me since my arrest [in September 2013],” Stephen bemoaned to the judge in his missive.
He added that his bust did little to boost his girlfriend’s mother’s opinion of him, either, adding that his gal pal cries “herself to sleep at night.”
He makes it a point of referring to Sullivan as a “very popular judge” who “must have heard it all.”
But Basciano also notes his father’s arrest eight years ago “turned my world upside down,” adding “he was my best friend.”
Stephen says he had to shut down a body shop he co-owned shortly after his dad headed to the Big House because it was not doing well.
Vincent Basciano, 54 — who owned the “Hello Gorgeous’’ hair salon in The Bronx — is serving two life sentences for mob murders.
Over the next few years, Stephen said, he worked various blue-collar jobs before making “one of the worst decisions” of his life by agreeing to sell pot.
He says he once thought marijuana “wasn’t a serious drug” but has “learned the hard way … it’s still illegal.”
Stephen, along with brothers Vincent Jr., 32, and Joseph, 28, pleaded guilty earlier this year to running the ring, which the feds say involved hundreds of pounds of pot being brought from California to New York for distribution between August 2009 and April 2013.
After the brothers’ arrest, only Stephen remained in custody.
Prosecutors argued he should be denied bail because he has a long history of violence that includes being taped by a government witness bragging about having a gun with a silencer for years and having no problem “shooting people in the leg.”
Last month, Joseph Basciano became the first of the three brothers to be sentenced. Facing two years in jail, Sullivan cut him a break by giving him only six months in prison.
He also gave him fatherly advice, saying, “Go out there and get a real job. Pay taxes and do all the things ordinary people do.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Businessman with mob ties indicted in fraud scheme

A federal grand jury indicted a Glen Rock man with reputed mob ties and a disbarred attorney from Westchester on charges of conning 15 victims out of $3 million by pretending to broker deals on a pizzeria in the Bahamas, a casino in Atlantic City and the “flipping” of a chunk of real estate in Matawan, among other bogus ventures that authorities said drained victims’ life savings.

Paul Mancuso, 46, and 52-year-old Pasquale “Pat” Stiso of West Harrison, N.Y., were up to their necks in hock with bookies — including a $500,000 debt that Macuso still hasn’t paid, the indictment alleges.

Instead of funding the purported projects, Mancuso and Stiso used the money for personal expenses and financing their involvement in illegal gambling pursuits,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said, adding that the victims “lost all of their investments or life savings in Mancuso’s schemes.”

Mancuso reputedly has ties to Genovese captain Joseph “The Eagle” Gatto (above, right) of Paterson, who died in April 2010.

Authorities said Mancuso participated in a gambling ring headed by Gatto that took $300,000 a week in illegal wagers from tens of thousands of customers nationwide.

Gatto’s father and brother, legendary North Jersey Genovese gangster Louis “Streaky” Gatto and Louis Gatto Jr., both died while serving federal prison sentences.

Mancuso also was associated with Frank Lagano of Tenafly, 71, who was shot dead in April 2007 outside a Middlesex diner he co-owned, in a gangland-style hit that has yet to be solved.

A source connected to the case said authorities seized $269,000 from Lagano’s home and deposit box after he was arrested as part of what was billed as one of the largest gambling busts in state history, dubbed “Operation Jersey Boys.”

Beginning in 2009, Mancuso held himself out as a real estate investor, broker, and/or developer, as well as a “hard money” lender and broker of other various purported investments, according to a complaint on file in federal court.

Federal agents say he conned “substantial investments for various projects that, in fact, either did not exist at all, or in which [he] had no actual involvement.”

Stiso, meanwhile, “held himself out as an individual who was working with Mancuso on various purported projects,” the complaint says.

Authorities have indicated that others were involved in the alleged schemes — though they haven’t said how many and to what degree they may be cooperating with the investigation that led to this morning’s arrests.

“Most, if not all, of Mancuso’s victims lost all or substantially all of the money they invested with him and his co-conspirators,” the complaint says. “Many of Mancuso’s victims have lost all or substantially all of their life savings in his various schemes to defraud.”

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, the IRS, and investigators in his office with making the case, presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa M. Colone of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bonanno associate dodges life sentence for massive pot smuggling ring

City pot kingpin dodges life behind bars
A Bonanno crime family associate who helped run one of the city’s biggest pot rings dodged a life sentence, instead landing 11 years behind bars during sentencing Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

John “Big Man” Venizelos, 35, who plead guilty last year to marijuana trafficking charges, was one of the biggest New York customers of French Canadian alleged drug kingpin Jimmy “Cosmo” Cournoyer.

During his bust in 2013, federal agents seized more than $150,000 in drug proceeds, narcotics, encrypted blackberry devices and multiple guns, including a handgun that was stolen from a law-enforcement officer.

Venizelos also got into trouble for witness tampering last year after prosecutors say he sent encrypted Blackberry messages to a colleague explaining that Cournoyer bankrolled a “murder fund” for hits against informants.

“No question, I sold pot. … Now that I’m clean and sober for the first time, I see the mistakes I made,” Venizelos said in court, wearing his signature horn-rimmed glasses, as about 20 friends and family looked on.

Before sentencing, Judge Raymond Dearie offered a stern warning, telling Venizelos that if he was ever arrested again, “God only knows what’s going to fall on you.

“You have some shady friends, got to make some new friends,” Dearie told him.

United States Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement, “Venizelos used violence and intimidation to protect his position as a major narcotics distributor.

“[His] conviction underscores our commitment to prosecuting drug offenders who flood our communities with narcotics, especially when those individuals have chosen a life of organized crime.

Cournoyer is awaiting sentencing. His alleged operation ran on alliances with the Bonanno family, Hell’s Angels, Montreal mafia and the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.


Gambino tied CEO threatened wholesaler over unpaid debt

He doesn’t want to end up sleeping with the fishes!

A Florida seafood wholesaler told cops the CEO of Western Beef — who has family ties to the New York mob — threatened him over an unpaid debt and secretly attached a GPS tracker to his car, The Post has learned.

Michael Grieco, 52, who formerly owned Delray Beach-based Sutton Foods Inc., says in a police report that Peter Castellana refused to pay a $121,000 debt and started singing, “Be careful,” during a meeting at Western Beef’s Queens office.

Castellana’s father is a reputed Gambino soldier and cousin of late Mafia boss Paul Castellano — who was infamously gunned down execution-style on the orders of John Gotti outside Sparks Steakhouse in December 1985.

“You start to get a little freaky about going out to your driveway and getting in your car,” Grieco told The Post. “Someone could run up to your window and say goodbye. I don’t want to be found dead in my driveway.”

Grieco said his first meeting with Castellana occurred at the Ridgewood, Queens office of Western Beef last May 12 — a month after he said he was forced to sell Sutton Foods because he couldn’t collect the debt.

Castellana, Grieco says, told him to “get the f–k out” and refused to pay the $121,000 bill for a seafood mix.

After Grieco returned Delray Beach, two mysterious men slapped a GPS tracker to the undercarriage of his car, the police report states.

“They threatened my life and all of a sudden I got a tracker under my car. I was in fear for my life,” Grieco said.

Grieco returned to New York to confront Castellana, but he never made it past Western Beef’s head of security, the report states. The security head cryptically said “things were heating up and actions needed to be taken,” according to the report.

On Aug. 4 in Florida, Grieco was slapped on the head by an unidentified assailant, who snarled, “Be careful. You know who is looking for you,” before running off, the report said.

Delray Beach police are investigating Grieco’s allegations.

Benjamin Petrofsky, general counsel for Western Beef, said: “We can’t comment due to an open investigation with local and federal authorities.”


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Alicia from Mob Wives gets four years probation for stealing from union

Former “Mob Wives” star Alicia DMichele was sentenced Thursday in Brooklyn Federal Court for stealing from a union fund.

Former “Mob Wives” star Alicia DiMichele was hit with four years’ probation Thursday for stealing from a union welfare fund.

The no-jail punishment was meted out after the raven-haired embezzler tearfully apologized for her role in a scheme that diverted money from a trucking company owned by her hubby, reputed Colombo soldier Edward "Tall Guy" Garofalo, Jr.

“I knew that my husband and his partners were doing something wrong and I helped them,” she said in Brooklyn Federal Court, reading from a prepared statement.

“This is not who I am and I can’t even describe how embarrassed I am to be standing here today.”

In the spring, DiMichele, 41, resigned from the VH1 reality show where she made $8,000 per episode. The program follows a group of mafiosos’ spouses as they romp around Staten Island.

Her husband started serving a seven-year sentence for murder conspiracy last December, leaving the busty boutique owner to care for their three sons.

“She is a loving mother,” said defense lawyer John Wallenstein. “She’s effectively a single mother because Mr. Garofalo is a guest of the government.”

He also noted that the allegations date back 10 years, to between June 2003 and June 2005.
DiMichele faced up to six months behind bars.

DiMichele was facing up to six months in prison under a plea agreement, but Judge Sandra Townes gave her probation, coupled with a warning.

“I don’t want to see you again,” the judge said.

The defendant also agreed to pay $40,000 in restitution to the fund of Teamsters Local 282 plus thousands more in expected proceeds from a pending lawsuit involving her husband’s company.

She said nothing as she trotted out of court in extra-high heels wearing all black.

Part of a tattoo she inked a few weeks ago with her 19-year-old son, who got a matching tat, was peeking from underneath her suit jacket.

It says, “Family over everything.”


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dormant Gambino associate is top donor to Brooklyn State Senator

One of Sampson’s campaign donors is a mob associate
At least one major contributor doesn’t care that Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson is running for re-election while facing corruption charges — a former legal client with ties to the mob, The Post has learned.

Election records show the pol’s dwindling list of donors includes reputed Gambino crime-family associate George Fortunato, who last month gave $10,500.

According to the Democrat’s latest campaign filing, the Brooklyn businessman provided more than 90 percent of the funds raised between July 15 and Aug. 4.

The next-largest contribution — $500 — was from lobbyist Stacey Rowland, who joined Sampson on a 2011 junket to South Korea.

Sampson described Fortunato, 72, as a “close family friend” and declined to comment further. Campaign treasurer Bernard Alter said Sampson had solicited the contribution.

“He’s a nice guy. He likes the senator. Thank God,” Alter said of Fortunato.

Sampson is also under indictment in Brooklyn federal court, where he’s charged with a litany of crimes, including allegedly embezzling $440,000.

George Fortunato

Fortunato, of Mill Basin, has been a Sampson supporter since at least 1999.

Sampson was his defense lawyer after he was busted on hate-crime charges in a 2003 attack on a Chinese woman in a Queens restaurant. Fortunato’s wife, Jackie, and a daughter, Annamarie, were also arrested.

Charges against Annamarie were dropped. George and Jackie pleaded guilty to assault in a deal that spared them prison in exchange for taking racial-sensitivity and anger-management classes.

Also in 2003, Fortunato was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in an extortion plot that figured in the racketeering trial of ex-Gambino boss Peter Gotti.

Law-enforcement sources said he is considered a “dormant” Gambino associate and not under investigation.

Fortunato didn’t return requests for comment.


Acting Bonnano captain barred from attending his daughter's equestrian show

Alleged mobster barred from daughter’s equestrian show
Births, deaths and graduations are important life events — show jumping, not so much.

A reputed Bonanno acting capo under house arrest since January was barred from attending his daughter’s equestrian performance after prosecutors argued that it wasn’t an “important life event,” according to Brooklyn federal court papers

Jack Bonventre, who was busted in the sweep of top Bonannos that netted accused Lufthansa heist robber Vincent Asaro, had begged the feds to let him attend the Sullivan County show because he was his “daughter’s No. 1 fan,” according to court papers.

Bonventre’s attorney whined on the wiseguy’s behalf that he had been forced to miss all of her performances this summer and was desperate to catch her final appearance.

Prosecutors initially agreed to the day trip to Brook Edge Farms in upstate Ferndale but reversed course after officials argued that the allowance would be extravagant.

“The government respectfully submits that the defendant’s conditions should only be further modified in case of ‘important life events,’ which does not include his daughter’s horse show,” prosecutors wrote in pushing for a denial.

Judge Allyne Ross agreed and rejected Bonventre’s bid, papers say.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Injured worker wishes dead mafioso The Chin was still around

A disabled former Con Ed worker whose mother was a mistress of notorious mob boss Vincent “The Chin’’ Gigante says he wishes the Mafioso was still around — to help him get a better workman’s comp deal.

“I guarantee you if he was around, somebody would be paid a visit and I would get a phone call from someone saying, ‘Mr. Kenny, we’ve corrected this matter for you,’ ” said ex-mechanic Thomas Kenny, 63, who was forced to retire in 1989 because of two severe line-of-duty injuries to his face.

Kenny wants a judicial hearing with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board to reconsider the paltry $541.67 a month he now gets in disability.

In recalling Gigante, who died in 2005, Kenny said that in the early 1970s, the mobster asked to borrow one of his two cars.

“So I said, ‘OK, which one of them do you want?’ He says to me, ‘Which one has the bigger trunk?’

“So, I gave him the Road Runner, and he gave me $500 for two days. I thought, ‘Somebody is gonna get stuffed in that trunk,’ ” Kenny said.

Kenny said the married Gigante took up with his mom, Marie Simeone, in 1962 and put her in a Bleecker Street apartment near the Triangle Social Club from where he operated. Gigante later became known as “the Oddfather” for walking around in his bathrobe.

Kenny lives in the Duchess County hamlet of Poughquag with his wife, Janet, and their adult son, who is disabled with epilepsy.

He started working for Con Edison as a mechanic in September 1970 but was forced to retire in December 1989 due to the injuries before he was eligible for a pension.

The first accident occurred in March 1978, when he was struck by a live cable being pulled by a winch that snapped and struck his face. The impact led to three plastic surgeries to reconstruct his nose, check bones and parts of his jaw, he said.

He was injured again in 1989 when he was hit in the face by a truck door, he said.

Several months after his second accident, representatives from Con Edison snuck into his hospital room while he was reeling from anesthesia and got him to sign papers that led to him resigning his position and giving up certain benefits, he claims.

He gets around on crutches while taking an array of prescription drugs daily, including a blood thinner, morphine for his pain, as well as anti-anxiety and anti-seizure medications, too.

He collects about $1,600 monthly in Social Security benefits in addition to his workers’ comp award, but the combined funds are barely enough for him and his family to get by.

A New York State Workers Compensation Board spokesman said the agency was unable to comment on Kenny’s case due to privacy requirements.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Genovese captain busted on racketeering charges

A Genovese capo who was once buddies with Rev. Al Sharpton was arrested Thursday on racketeering charges involving loan sharking, extortion and illegal gambling.

Daniel Pagano, 61, son of the late Genovese hit-man Joseph Pagano, was busted at his Ramapo, NY, home and arraigned before a Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn in Manhattan federal court on racketeering conspiracy. An associate, Michael Palazzolo, 49, of Rockland, was also charged before Netburn on racketeering conspiracy and extortion conspiracy.

Pagano faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars and Palazzolo 40 years.

The alleged crimes took place between 2009 and February 2012. Palazzolo and several unnamed co-conspirators also used threats of force to collect payments from a person they believed robbed one of the co-conspirators of marijuana, the indictment says.

Pagano has been reportedly linked to an unsuccessful mob attempt in the early 1980s to recruit Sharpton to distribute illegal drugs. The two were also once acquaintances.

Sharpton, according to reports, was also once a mole with the FBI’s Mafia unit when they were investigating Pagano’s father.

Sharpton has denied being a snitch or any wrongdoing.

Papa Pagano was involved in entertainment-industry schemes for decades, allegedly controlled “Rat Pack’’ singer Sammy Davis Jr. and once even “lost a big roll [of money] to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra,’’ FBI sources have said.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Judge gives Genovese soldier more than two years in prison for hiking NYC construction costs

Judge blasts Genovese soldier for hiking city construction costs
A Brooklyn federal judge blasted a Genovese crime family soldier for helping to hike city construction costs by mobbing up work sites, before sending him to prison for more than two years.
“Every little bit of extortion affects the cost of doing business,” Judge Nicholas Garaufis told James Bernardone, 47, of The Bronx, in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday. “This is part of the big rip-off that goes on in this town day after day, year after year.”
The hoodlum, a former business agent for Local 124 of the International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades, pleaded guilty to conspiring to extort a subcontractor on construction projects in Queens and Manhattan so he could line the crime family’s pockets.
With several teary-eyed relatives sitting in the court gallery to support him, Bernardone apologized to the court and to his union before being sentenced.
“I just want to apologize to the court for letting my members down,” he said. “Now I know what I did was wrong — which I didn’t know then.”
Bernardone’s lawyer said that his client’s judgement had been clouded by drug addiction.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gambino family boss owed refund from Verizon Wireless

For years, Jerry Seinfeld and Joan Rivers, and as many as 6,914 other customers, have never claimed refunds due them from Bergdorf's. General Motors has been in hock to Rupert Murdoch for nearly a decade. Russia's mission to the United Nations is still hoarding unredeemed gift certificates from BJ's Wholesale Club.

Madonna has never cashed at least two paychecks from the Walt Disney Company and Warner Music. "So much for her being called the Material Girl!" Madonna's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said.

These are just a few names culled from as many as 31 million owners of accounts held by New York State as unclaimed property - accounts surrendered by banks, insurers, utility companies and others that said they had tried but failed to find the rightful owners of deposits, dividend checks, back wages, rebates and other forgotten funds, which have grown to a record $13.3 billion.

More than $700 million from abandoned and dormant accounts flooded into the state in the last year alone.

The potential windfall from misplaced money stretches well beyond New York. Nationwide, states hold more than $62 billion - more than the individual general fund budget of all but California. The District of Columbia's unclaimed property database even includes a "Barrack Obama at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave."

"Is this your name?" the office's website asks, when the search result is clicked. "Do you live or have you lived at the address listed?" "If you can answer yes," you may be able to claim the more than $100 due you from General Electric.

In New York, where the state comptroller, Thomas P DiNapoli, returned $422 million to owners last year, the unclaimed property fund has been around since the 1940s. Five years ago it stood at $9.9 billion, and its remarkable growth is a reminder of people's laxity (or the vicissitudes of the postal system), the redefinition of what constitutes a trifling amount of money and the fact that businesses are much more dogged in hounding deadbeats than in tracking down creditors.

After all, if they cannot find Madonna and President Obama, imagine how hard they will look for you.

Generally, banks, insurers and other companies and government agencies are supposed to try to notify account holders by mail, then publish their names in local newspapers, before surrendering dormant accounts after two to five years to the comptroller's office, which publicises the fund online and at public events like county fairs.

The money can be claimed without charge at any time, though most ends up transferred to the state's general fund.

"They're required to make an effort," DiNapoli said of the institutions that report them. "I guess it's fair to say it's not the most efficient way to recover the money."

In New York alone, the number of owners of unclaimed accounts is staggering: at last count, 471,181 reported by Metropolitan Life, 457,441 by the state's own Department of Taxation and Finance, 109,721 by Verizon Wireless, 83,666 by Consolidated Edison, 33,745 by PayPal, 22,452 by Tiffany & Company and 19,165 by Amway, the home-care products marketer, including 396 unredeemed gift certificates that appear to belong to a Long Island couple, Corey and Dolores Jones.

"I own an independent distribution through Amway," Jones said, adding that he intended to find out why so many gift certificates in the couple's name were unclaimed.

Unclaimed accounts include wages, safe deposit box contents, estate proceeds, rebates, and utility and rent security deposits.

They are often unclaimed because people die, move without leaving a forwarding address, neglect to claim a final paycheck or forget about a security deposit they paid or even a bank account they opened. DiNapoli himself almost lost one of those, a savings account he opened as a high school student and has kept for sentimental reasons.

While half the accounts hold less than $100, the biggest individual payout, in 2008, was $4 million from a stock brokerage account. The largest single account that remains unclaimed is worth $1.7 million. In that case, the comptroller's office took the unusual step of trying to find the owner, but it failed. Before paying a claim, the state verifies that the claimant's name, address and Social Security number match the original owner's.

Gov Andrew M Cuomo is not on the list, but his father and some siblings are, as are the New York State and City budget directors. So is Speaker Sheldon Silver of the State Assembly, and Dean G Skelos, the State Senate Republican leader, along with more than one indicted state legislator.

Michael B Mukasey, who served as attorney general under President George W Bush, is still owed a paycheck from Columbia Law School, where he taught until 2007. "One of the things I taught," Mukasey recalled a bit sheepishly, "was the importance of keeping track of things in preparing for trial."

Other accounts are listed in the names of Sean J Combs; Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton; the Rev Al Sharpton; Bernard L Madoff's sons; the Dalai Lama; Bruce Springsteen; Anna Wintour of Vogue (an American Express and a Bergdorf's credit); William Thompson, a former city comptroller and mayoral candidate (the balance on a gift certificate for golf clubs); and Domenico Cefalu, who has been identified as head of the Gambino crime family (a Verizon Wireless refund).

The Donald J Trump does not appear, but companies associated with him do, prompting Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's chief financial officer, to remark: "We get checks in the mail; they get processed no matter how big they are. We don't overlook checks. We take every check seriously."

In contrast, when asked about some Rockefeller-named accounts, Fraser P Seitel, a family spokesman, said: "The estates of both Nelson and Laurance did an exhaustive unclaimed property search at the time of their deaths. These reported outstanding claims are probably just small accounts, which most likely would return the estates less money than they'd have to pay out for the legal time involved in reclaiming them."

However, the writer Tom Wolfe was ecstatic when he was informed that he had three unexpected debtors: Best Buy, the State of Georgia and The New York Times Company (apparently a paycheck from the 1980s).

"For years I have scanned those four-point-type lists of uncashed checks and come up empty," Wolfe said. "Now, a decade after I give up the search, in the proud mood of someone's who's finally turned real after a fool's lifetime playing the numbers, my number comes up, and I'm oblivious of it. Makes me feel like a kid again."

Oliver Sacks, the sometimes absent-minded neurology professor and author, is owed an insurance refund. "Actually some years ago, I forbade Oliver opening the mail himself, as I used to find too many checks he overlooked in the discarded envelopes," his assistant, Kate Edgar, said. "He's fundamentally not that interested in money, and I suppose if Empire, whoever they are, owe him money, it's my fault."

Public agencies, from villages to the United Nations, are also owed money. New York City regularly reviews the list and claimed almost $1 million last year, but many agencies and jurisdictions are much less diligent; there are 78 unclaimed accounts held in the name of the Bronx county clerk, and 53 for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Despite New York's reputation as a high-tax state, sometimes the government can't even give money away. Among those with unclaimed accounts is the conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who has described the state, which owes her money, as a "Pottersville" - the evil twin of Bedford Falls from "It's a Wonderful Life."

Alluding to the investigation of missing emails from an Internal Revenue Service official whom Republicans have accused of improper handling of conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status, Ms. Coulter said, "I think the I.R.S. owes me money, too, but apparently some of their records were lost."


Pair of gangsters sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison for murder

Mob thugs sentenced for slaying of Brooklyn father
A pair of murderous mob hoods were sentenced to 38 and 36 years in prison for their roles in the slaying of a Brooklyn father in front of a packed courtroom in Brooklyn federal court Friday.
Luigi Grasso, 46, and Richard Riccardi, 41, took part in the 2010 murder of James Donovan in Gravesend during a botched robbery attempt in front of a check cashing store.
The pair were sunk at trial by testimony from triggerman Hector Pagan, the ex-husband of “Mob Wives” star Renee Graziano.
Prior to the sentencing, Donovan’s daughter presented a photo montage to the court in tears and spoke of the “empty place in her heart” that exists because of her father’s death.
An irate family member in the gallery shouted “rot in jail!” as they left court after the proceeding and were quickly removed from court.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Mob associate's unceasing pain is all a show

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
The tale of the tape shows a fatso Mafia wannabe isn’t as sickly as he claims.

Heavyweight goon Richard Riccardi hobbles around with a cane due to a tumor on his hip which causes him “unceasing” pain, according to court papers — but a funny thing happened on the way to a jailhouse fight recently.

A video recording of the incident, which was captured by surveillance cameras at the Metropolitan Detention Center, shows Riccardi moving without a cane and fighting aggressively with another man, Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorneys Nicole Argentieri and Darren LaVerne stated in a sentencing memorandum.

The prosecutors argued that Riccardi’s alleged health issues are not so severe that they can’t be addressed by prison doctors, therefore he is not entitled to a lesser sentence for that reason.

His “unceasing” pain did not prevent him from violating prison rules by fighting with another inmate, they pointed out.

The prosecutors also sent a copy of the video depicting the fight and his miraculous movements to Judge John Gleeson, who will sentence Riccardi, 41, and co-defendant Luigi Grasso on Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Luigi Grasso (center) will be sentenced along with co-defendant Richard Riccardi. The two got into an altercation in jail while they await sentencing.

Riccardi was put in solitary confinement as punishment for the scrap, but as soon as he returned to general population, he got into another altercation, this time with Grasso.

It’s unclear what their beef was about, but both men are stewing over taking the fall for the 2010 fatal shooting of check casher James Donovan in Brooklyn.

The actual shooter — Bonanno associate Hector Pagan, ex-husband of “Mob Wives” star Renee Graziano — became a government cooperator and testified against them, earning himself a much-reduced sentence.

“There can be no doubt that Mr. Riccardi’s biggest mistake was agreeing to do this crime with a truly unrepentant, cold-blooded killer (Pagan),” defense lawyer Susan Kellman argued in her sentencing memo.

Kellman said her client’s medical maladies are definitely real. “They would never prescribe painkillers for him if they didn’t confirm the seriousness of the condition in his leg, his thigh and his hip,” she said.
Aware that the FBI was watching him, mobster Vincent (Chin) Gigante became known for wandering around Greenwich Village in a bathrobe and slippers, mumbling to himself. The Genovese crime family boss ultimately admitted that this was an elaborate act to avoid prosecution.

The trio had targeted Donovan because they knew he carried a large wad of cash.

Riccardi’s wife Patricia, who is in the process of divorcing him, wrote a letter to the judge that describes him as an animal lover.

“Richard could never just drive by a homeless dog without trying to rescue it and either find their owners or a good home,” she wrote.

The convicted killers will have to face another video in the courtroom on judgement day.

Donovan’s family has prepared a moving tribute to his memory for Gleeson to watch before lowering the boom. They face up to 30 years to life.

Riccardi’s battling could make him a contender for the Vincent Gigante award, in honor of the late Genovese crime boss who nearly perfected his crazy act before admitting it was all fake.