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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Convicted Gambino gangster faces death penalty for 2001 South Florida murder

Reputed mobster Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday in the 2001 killing of a prominent South Florida businessman during an acrimonious power struggle over a lucrative fleet of gambling ships.
Jurors also found Moscatiello, 77, guilty of murder conspiracy in the shooting death of Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, founder of SunCruz Casinos and the Miami Subs restaurant chain. Evidence showed Boulis was killed by a mob hit man, and Moscatiello was accused of ordering the shooting.
A mistrial was declared for Moscatiello in 2013 because his attorney became ill. Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, who handled South Florida matters for Moscatiello, was convicted in that trial and sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Moscatiello was a member of New York's Gambino crime family when he issued the fateful order for a hit. Moscatiello did not testify in his own defense, but his lawyers insisted Ferrari and others were to blame for the Feb. 6, 2001, murder.
At the time, Boulis, 51, was trying to retake control of SunCruz after selling it to businessman Adam Kidan and his partner, former Washington powerhouse lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Kidan paid Moscatiello and Ferrari thousands of dollars a month to handle security and other issues -- including, prosecutors said, the use of Moscatiello's alleged mob ties for protection.
Moscatiello was immediately handcuffed. His wife and daughters cried after the verdict was read.
"Get that camera out of my face," Moscatiello's wife screamed at a Local 10 News photographer outside the courtroom.
She later fainted after shouting, "It's Adam's fault. Adam did it." She was treated by paramedics and taken to a hospital.
Key evidence included phone calls from Ferrari to Moscatiello, who was in New York, shortly after Boulis was fatally shot by a gunman who pulled up next to his car as he left his office. Other organized crime figures and a former Ferrari associate testified that Moscatiello approached them initially about getting rid of Boulis before hiring hit man John "J.J." Gurino.
Gurino was killed in an unrelated 2003 dispute with a Boca Raton delicatessen owner.
Moscatiello's attorney, Kenneth Malnik, told jurors the evidence pointed more toward Kidan, who had several clashes with Boulis, and Ferrari employee James "Pudgy" Fiorillo, who admitted to conducting surveillance of Boulis and disposing of the murder weapon in Miami's Biscayne Bay.
Malnik said he was surprised by the verdict based on the reaction of the jurors.
"We thought that this could have been a hung jury, to be candid with you," Malnik told Local 10.
Kidan has never been charged in the Boulis murder and testified in both trials. Fiorillo pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy and will likely be sentenced to the six-plus years he already served in exchange for his testimony. He has denied being the shooter.
"Justice doesn't always happen, so it's particularly gratifying that we have a family and a community that's received a substantial measure of closure," assistant state attorney Brian Cavanagh said. "You can never bring a murder victim back, but certainly you can see that justice is done, and I think it's happened."
Moscatiello faces the death penalty or life in prison when he is sentenced in September. Jurors will make a punishment recommendation, but Judge Ilona Holmes has the final decision.



Post a Comment