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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Former NFL player ends engagement to grandson of deceased Kansas City mob boss

In 2014, Michael Sam kisses then-boyfriend Vito Cammisano after being drafted by the Rams. 
Michael Sam returned to the Montreal Alouettes on Monday after a mysterious two-week absence, citing personal reasons — and now social media signs point to a possible breakup with his fiance.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, famously kissed Vito Cammisano on camera last year after he was taken by the Rams in the seventh round; but, the couple haven't been spotted together in about two months, according to TMZSports.com.

The 2013 Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri — where the two met — also recently removed several pictures of Cammisano and himself from his Instagram account, including their January engagement photo. Cammisano can be seen without a ring on his finger in a YouTube video posted on June 27.

Michael Sam tosses a ball around while during his Alouettes introductory press conference.

The defensive end has made no mention of Cammisano on Twitter.

In 2014, Sam was cut by the Rams and signed by the Cowboys to the practice squad, but didn't make the roster. Sam agreed to a two-year deal with the Alouettes in May, before he bolted training camp on June 12, missing the season opener Thursday night.

On Monday, Sam tweeted: "Thank you all so much for your support. Great to be back in Montreal with the club. Let's go #Als!"

“I was always coming back,” Sam said after his return. “I had to deal with personal matters when I was home. That’s all taken care of, so now I’m back.”

“He worked some things out that he needed to settle and he came back to us a much more dedicated athlete than he was before," coach Tom Higgins said. "He wants to prove that he can play on a high level.”


Monday, June 29, 2015

Notorious gangster Whitey Bulger pens letter to high schoolers from federal prison

Whitey Bulger pens letter from prison urging students to go to law school
In a letter from prison to Massachusetts high-schoolers, Boston gangster Whitey Bulger copped to leading a “wasted” life — and told the students that if they really want to make money off crime, they should bone up for their LSATs.

Whitey Bulger

“I know only one thing for sure: if you want to make crime pay — go to law school,” the 85-year-old former crime boss wrote to juniors at Apponequet Regional HS in Lakeville, according to the Boston Globe.

The students — Mollykate Rodenbush, Brittany Tainsh and Michaela Arguin — had written to him as part of a class project.

Bulger bared his regret in the Feb. 14 letter, handwritten from a federal penitentiary in Sumterville, Fla.

“My life was wasted and spent foolishly, brought shame + suffering on my parents and siblings and will end soon,” he wrote.

He spent 16 years on the lam before he was busted in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Judge sends Bonanno mobster back to jail for violating parole

Bingo just wasn’t going to cut it for this aging Bonanno.

A Brooklyn federal judge​ scolded a geriatric mobster for violating his supervised release by meeting up with old criminal colleagues after getting out of jail for attempted murder.

After sentencing reputed Bonanno Bronx street boss John Palazzolo, 77, to a year and a day behind bars, Judge Nicholas Garaufis ​lectured the teetering hoodlum for falling back into his life of crime.

“The court is extremely concerned about the behavior that brings us to this day,” Garaufis said. “It’s rather astonishing that a person in your medical condition, Mr. Palazzolo, would be engaged in meeting with persons who are maybe involved in organized criminal activities.”

Palazzolo served ​10 years in prison before his 2012 release. He was arrested in March for convening with several of his old cohorts in what the feds assert was a bid to take over a Queens Bonanno crew.

The frail thug, who hobbled into court and used a chair during the proceeding, claims that he suffers from several undisclosed medical ailments.

“Instead of your family taking care of you, you now have the United States Bureau of Prisons taking care of you,” Garuafis said.

The geezer gangster’s probation officer told the court that he repeatedly warned him against sidling up to his old pals.

“I was trying to avoid getting us to this point,” said Lawrence Goldman.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Sentences announced for six top Lucchese family mobsters

Clockwise from top-left: Ralph V. Perna, Joseph Perna, John G. Perna, Matthew Madonna, Martin Tacetta, John Mangrella.
Clockwise from top-left: Ralph V. Perna, Joseph Perna, John G. Perna,
Matthew Madonna, Martin Tacetta, John Mangrella.

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that six members of the New York-based Lucchese crime family – including a ruling boss in New York and a top New Jersey capo – pleaded guilty yesterday to racketeering charges and face lengthy prison sentences.
The men were charged in Operation Heat, an investigation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice that uncovered an international criminal gambling enterprise that transacted billions of dollars in wagers, primarily on sporting events, and relied on extortion and violence to collect debts. The investigation also uncovered a scheme in which a former New Jersey corrections officer and a high-ranking member of the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the Bloods street gang entered into an alliance with the Lucchese crime family to smuggle drugs and pre-paid cell phones into East Jersey State Prison.
“Our investigation revealed that traditional organized crime remains a corrosive presence in the U.S. and continues to reap huge profits through criminal enterprises such as the international gambling operation we uncovered, which handled $2.2 billion in sports wagers in just 15 months,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “These mob bosses bet that they could get away with their old tricks in New Jersey, and I’m pleased to say that they lost their bets.”
“With Operation Heat, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice has upheld its decades-long tradition of fighting organized crime,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Whether they are members of traditional organized crime or street gangs – and this case involved both – we have put criminals on notice that illegal narcotics, extortion, violence and gambling will not be tolerated in New Jersey.”
Assistant Attorney General Christopher Romanyshyn, Deputy Director of the Division of Criminal Justice, took the guilty pleas for the Division’s Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. The following six defendants, all of whom were charged in a May, 14, 2010 state grand jury indictment, pleaded guilty yesterday before Superior Court Judge Salem Vincent Ahto in Morris County:
  1. Ralph V. Perna, 69, of East Hanover, N.J., the top capo of the New Jersey faction of the Lucchese family, pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that he be sentenced to eight years in state prison. Perna oversaw the Lucchese crime family’s operations in New Jersey.
  1. Perna’s oldest son, Joseph M. Perna, 45, of Wyckoff, N.J., pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is one of three sons of Ralph V. Perna charged in the investigation. The sons, led by Joseph, managed day-to-day gambling operations for the criminal enterprise, under their father’s oversight.
  1. Another son, John G. Perna, 38, of West Caldwell, N.J. also pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering and faces a recommended sentence of 10 years in state prison. Charges are pending against the third son, Ralph M. Perna, 43, of West Caldwell.
  1. Matthew Madonna, 80, of Seldon, N.Y., a member of the three-man ruling panel of the Lucchese crime family, pleaded guilty to second-degree racketeering. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to five years in state prison. Charges are pending against a second ruling member, Joseph DiNapoli, 79, of Scarsdale, N.Y. Madonna, allegedly with DiNapoli, controlled the family’s gambling operations and other criminal activities from New York.
  1. Martin Taccetta, 64, formerly of East Hanover, N.J., the former New Jersey underboss for the Lucchese crime family, pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering and faces a recommended sentence of eight years in state prison. Taccetta already is serving a sentence of life in state prison plus 10 years as a result of a Division of Criminal Justice prosecution in the 1990s.
  1. John Mangrella, 72, of Clifton, N.J., a senior member of the crime family, pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering and faces a recommended sentence of eight years in prison.
Judge Ahto scheduled sentencing for Tacetta for Aug. 20; Madonna, Mangrella and Joseph Perna for Sept. 30; and Ralph Perna and John Perna for Jan. 7, 2016.
The defendants were initially charged and arrested in Operation Heat in December 2007. The investigation uncovered an international criminal enterprise that, according to records seized, transacted an estimated $2.2 billion in wagers, primarily on sporting events, during a 15-month period. The gambling operation received and processed the wagers using password-protected websites and a Costa Rican “wire room” where bets were recorded and results tallied.
The gambling operation involved agents or “package holders,” each of whom brought in bets from a group of gamblers. The enterprise and all of its packages involved hundreds or even thousands of gamblers. Records showed that one high-rolling gambler wagered more than $2 million in a two-month period. The illicit proceeds were divided by the package holders and the members they worked under, such as the Pernas and Tacetta, who in turn made “tribute” payments to the New York bosses, including Madonna and DiNapoli. Collection operations at times took the form of threats or acts of violence.
The prison smuggling scheme allegedly involved inmate Edwin B. Spears and a former corrections officer at East Jersey State Prison in Woodbridge, Michael T. Bruinton. Spears was at East Jersey State Prison at the time of the alleged conduct. It is charged that Edwin Spears, an admitted “five-star general” in the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the Bloods, formed an alliance with Joseph Perna and another defendant from the Lucchese crime family, now deceased, to smuggle drugs and cell phones into East Jersey State Prison through Bruinton. The alliance allegedly extended beyond smuggling. In one instance, Joseph Perna sought assistance from Spears to stop an individual associated with the Bloods from extorting money from a man with ties to the Lucchese family. The charges are pending against Spears and Bruinton. Several other defendants were charged in that scheme.
Assistant Attorney General Romanyshyn and former Assistant Attorney General Mark Eliades presented the case to the state grand jury. Deputy Chief of Detectives Christopher Donohue and Detective Patrick Sole of the Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau were lead detectives for the case, under the supervision of Chief of Detectives Paul Morris. Sgt. Noelle Holl was the principal detective for the financial portion of the case. Acting Attorney General Hoffman also credited former Acting Supervising State Investigator James Sweeney and the following Detectives: Sgt. Audrey Young, Ho Chul Shin, Lt. Brian Bruton, Mario Estrada, Richard DaSilva, and John Delesio. He credited the New Jersey State Police Intelligence Section for their assistance. He further thanked Auditor Thaedra Chebra of the Division of Taxation’s Office of Criminal Investigation, Detective Andrew Varga of the New York City Police Department and members of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who provided assistance.


Two New Jersey men linked to the Genovese family sentenced for racketeering conspiracy

After pleading guilty nearly one year ago to involvement with the Genovese crime family in connection to an illegal online betting site, a Bayonne resident was sentenced today on one count of racketeering conspiracy, according to a statement released by the United States Department of Justice.
Eric Patten, 38, of Bayonne, and Dominick J. Barone, 45, of Springfield, were sentenced to 18 and 22 months in prison, respectively. The duo assisted in the running of the illegal online sports betting site based in Costa Rica, beteagle.com, where Patten acted as a bookie for the website, and Barone helped carry out the day to day activities of the operation, according to the statement.
In addition to the prison terms, District Judge Claire C. Cecchi ordered both men to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $5,000 fine, while Barone must also forfeit $100,000 as part of his plea agreement, the release stated.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Joseph Graziano, 78, of Springfield, was the principal owner of beteagle.com. Along with Baronne, Graziano conspired with the Genovese Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra in the operation of Beteagle.
Adding to its unlawfulness, Beteagle did not accept payments or credit online, and therefore relied on its employees to use threats of violence to pressure users to pay their debts.
Graziano has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and is scheduled for sentencing on June 25, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, members of the Bayonne Police Department Special Investigations Unit and other members of local authority agencies for aiding in the arrest and today's sentencing.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Chicago gangster linked to Outfit leaders convicted of extortion

Jury deciding reputed mob associate's fate in colorful extortion trial
Michael "Mickey" Davis, left, stands nearby as reputed Outfit boss Peter DiFronzo holds a fishing rod in an undated photo taken off Costa Rica. Davis' attorneys showed the photo to the jury as evidence that Davis and DiFronzo are fishing buddies, not involved in mob-related activities together.

A longtime associate of reputed Outfit bosses Peter and John DiFronzo was convicted Monday of extortion for threatening a deadbeat suburban businessman and then hiring a team of goons to break the victim's legs months later when he still wouldn't pay up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

"How are your wife and kids doing? Are you still living in Park Ridge?" prosecutors said Michael "Mickey" Davis asked the victim during a January 2013 confrontation at a Melrose Park used car dealership, according to trial testimony. "Does your wife still own that salon in Schaumburg?"
After two weeks of testimony, a federal jury deliberated about nine hours before convicting Davis, 58, on two extortion-related counts. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.
As the verdict was read, Davis, dressed in a light gray suit with his hair slicked back, raised his eyebrows, turned to whisper something to one of his lawyers, sat back in his chair and shook his head.

Prosecutors sought to immediately jail Davis pending sentencing, but U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan allowed Davis to remain free for now so he can go to a doctor's appointment. Davis could be taken into custody when he is scheduled to return to court next week.
In the lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, Davis' attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, vowed to appeal, telling reporters he was "disappointed that the jury could conclude from nothing but circumstantial evidence that it was proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

Davis' trial featured some of the biggest names in the depleted ranks of the Chicago Outfit, including the DiFronzo brothers and Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis, all reputed leaders of the notorious Elmwood Park crew. While none of the aging bosses was charged with any wrongdoing, their names and photos were shown to jurors as evidence of Davis' purported connections to the highest levels of the mob.
The alleged victim of the extortion plot, R.J. Serpico, testified that he was well aware of Davis' friendship with the DiFronzo brothers and that he often saw Davis and Peter DiFronzo cruising past his Ideal Motors dealership in DiFronzo's black Cadillac Escalade. Serpico, who is a nephew of longtime Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico, said he also had heard that Davis was partnered with DeLaurentis, a feared capo convicted in the 1990s of racketeering conspiracy in connection with a violent gambling crew run by Ernest Rocco Infelice.
Durkin said Davis has known the DiFronzo brothers since childhood and that for years he has maintained a business relationship with them through his landfill in Plainfield, where two DiFronzo-owned construction companies have paid millions to dump asphalt and other construction debris. Davis and Peter DiFronzo were also golfing and fishing buddies, Durkin said.
"As many witnesses testified, growing up in Melrose Park, or growing up in Elmwood Park as Mickey did, you come to know those people," Durkin said Monday. "I don't think at this point Peter DiFronzo is anything but a businessman. I think it's unfortunate that he gets tarred with the same brush, but the government seems hellbent on continuing to put the Outfit out of business, and I don't begrudge them that, but I do begrudge them the means that they go about doing it."
Prosecutors allege that within months of the ominous January 2013 confrontation at Ideal Motors, Davis, infuriated that Serpico had still failed to pay back a $300,000 loan, ordered his brutal beating, enlisting the help of a well-known Italian restaurant owner in Burr Ridge to find the right guys for the job. The restaurateur went to reputed mob associate Paulie Carparelli, who in turn hired a team of bone-cracking goons to carry out the beating for $10,000, according to prosecutors.
Unbeknownst to everyone involved, however, the beefy union bodyguard tasked with coordinating the assault, George Brown, had been nabbed months earlier in an unrelated extortion plot and was secretly cooperating with the FBI. In July 2013, agents swooped in to stop the beating before it was carried out, court records show.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Victoria Gotti blasts Sammy the Bull's bid for freedom

Gravano’s new lawyer, as the Daily News reported exclusively last week, has filed an application to reduce the mob rat’s sentence by 34 months.

Real made men don’t beg judges for favors.

Mob matriarch Victoria Gotti is blasting Gambino turncoat Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano’s bid for a reduction in his 20-year-sentence for peddling Ecstasy.

Gravano’s new lawyer, as the Daily News reported exclusively last week, has filed an application to reduce the mob rat’s sentence by 34 months. Gravano was caught selling drugs after he was rewarded with only five years in jail for testifying against the late John Gotti despite participating in 19 gangland killings.

“I sat and watched my husband cuffed to a prison bed alone, dying from cancer, never asking for a favor from anyone,” Victoria Gotti told The News on Thursday.

Gravano received a sentence of just 5 years for testifying against the late John Gotti despite participating in 19 gangland killings.

“Gravano, on the other hand, killed 19 people and was given the deal of the century which all cooperators got who cooperated against my husband and son."

“He should have received life after violating such a great deal,” she continued.

Gravano, 70, is trying to take advantage of a recent lowering of penalties for drug offenses. His lawyer did not return a call.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lawsuit dropped against bakery with mob ties

Donald Weiss had filed papers in Brooklyn Federal Court dropping her discrimination suit against Fortunato Brothers Café and Bakery in Williamsburg. Weiss told his client, Valerie Williams, he was dropping the suit for his safety.
Drop the lawsuit, take the cannoli.

The lawyer for a disabled woman suing a Brooklyn pastry shop for not being wheelchair-accessible withdrew the lawsuit just days after learning the bakery’s co-owner has reputed ties to the Mafia and was tried for a gangland murder, the Daily News has learned.

Valerie Williams, 50, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was shocked to learn Wednesday that lawyer Donald Weiss had filed papers in Brooklyn Federal Court dropping her discrimination suit against Fortunato Brothers Café and Bakery in Williamsburg.

Williams immediately contacted the law firm and said an associate told her the suit had been withdrawn “for my safety.”

“He (Weiss) must be scared of them,” Williams said. “I don’t have anything against the establishment. I just wanted a wheelchair ramp.”

Williams said she has been customer of the bakery for years, but finally got fed up with having to wait outside while friends purchased her favorite chocolate mousse pastry because she couldn’t navigate the two steps at the entrance.

“I used to make a joke about the men standing outside, I called them ‘The Godfathers,’” she said. “I live in the Spanish section (of Williamsburg) and when you go into the Italian section it’s a whole other world.”

Weiss filed the suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act on June 3.

The following day Weiss told The News that he was unaware that prosecutors had alleged bakery co-owner Mario Fortunato was an associate of the Genovese crime family and had been convicted both in state and federal courts of participating in the 1994 murder of loanshark Tino Lombardi in the San Giuseppe Social Club on Graham Ave., and the wounding of Lombardi’s cousin, Michael D’Urso.

Both convictions were overturned on appeal and Fortunato pocketed a $300,000 settlement from the state earlier this year.

Weiss filed a “notice of voluntary dismissal” of the suit Wednesday.

Neither Weiss nor the bakery returned calls for comment.

Williams said she is so upset that about the suit being dropped without consulting her, she is reconsidering the law firm representing her in a similar discrimination suit that is pending against a Spanish restaurant. In the complaint against Fortunato Brothers, Williams claimed she was entitled to recover $2,000 in damages plus $500 for each of the 34 alleged violations found in the entrance, dining area and bathroom.

“I have nothing against them. I don’t know the owner. I just love their pastries,” Williams said.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Death of Frank Angiulo at 94 signals end of 1980s Boston mob era

FBI agent John Connolly Jr. (left) took Francesco Angiulo (center) to court in 1983.
The Angiulos were among Boston’s most infamous sons, a band of brothers who ran the Mafia from a tiny office in the North End from the 1960s to the 1980s and were as much a part of the neighborhood’s fabric as the cafes and pastry shops.

They included Gennaro “Jerry,” the undisputed leader who barked orders; Donato “Danny,” a capo; Michele “Mike,” an affable underling; and Francesco “Frank,” a quiet but capable bookkeeper who kept track of the family’s business.

Now they are all gone. On Saturday, Frank, the last surviving Angiulo brother, died at Massachusetts General Hospital of heart failure. He was 94.

“He was the last of the Mohicans,” said Gennaro Jay Angiulo, adding that his bachelor uncle lived all of his life in the North End, except for time spent in prison. He considered it a personal victory that he survived cancer and heart surgery in prison and lived to return home in 2000 after serving 14 years for racketeering.

He continued to drive his old Cadillacs, one white and the other black, until a week ago, and he spent most days sitting on the steps at 95 Prince St., across the street from his residence, where he could catch maximum sunlight and watch people pass by, according to his relatives.

“He beat all the odds, just like my dad did,” said Jay Angiulo, who is Gennaro Angiulo’s son. “Who thought my dad would get out? They all came home.”

The Angiulo brothers, children of Italian immigrants who ran a grocery store in the North End, personified for many the old guard who adhered to a strict code and ran a highly profitable criminal organization before a series of prosecutions left the family in disarray.

‘These guys really made sure the neighborhood was safe. No one would ever think of breaking into an apartment or robbing a store or doing anything when they were there. They had that kind of impact.’ Anthony Cardinale, attorney who represented Francesco Angiulo’s brother Gennaro

Gennaro Angiulo had a reputation as a shrewd businessman and his ability to make money on the rackets endeared him to Providence-based New England godfather Raymond L.S. Patriarca, who annointed him underboss — a position that put him in control of the family’s business from Boston to Worcester.

When the Angiulos ran the mob, business was booming and bookmakers used to drop off $45,000 a day, according to evidence presented in court.

Francesco, who served in the Merchant Marines in World War II, was the accountant. He kept the books for the Patriarca family’s sprawling gambling and loansharking business. Unlike some of his brothers, he was never charged with personally participating in violence. “He was a quiet and private man,” said attorney Elliot Weinstein, who represented Francesco during his racketeering trial. “He never hurt anybody.”

He called Francesco Angiulo’s death “the closing of a chapter in Boston’s history.”

Attorney Anthony Cardinale, who represented Gennaro Angiulo, said that unlike rival South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, who raked in millions by flooding his own neighborhood with drugs, the Angiulos tried to keep drugs out of the North End.

“These guys really made sure the neighborhood was safe,” Cardinale said. “No one would ever think of breaking into an apartment or robbing a store or doing anything when they were there. They had that kind of impact.”

Francesco Angiulo (hand behind back), with brothers Michele (without jacket) and Donato at their Prince Street office.

The Angiulos made their money mostly from bookmaking and loansharking. Still, they were convicted in a sweeping federal racketeering case that included brutal murders.

In 1981, the FBI planted a bug in Gennaro Angiulo’s headquarters at 98 Prince St. and captured conversations in which the underboss and his underlings boasted about murders and other crimes.

The first-ever trial in federal court in Boston targeting the hierarchy of the New England mob ended in 1986 with the convictions of Gennaro, Donato, Michele, Francesco, and another associate. A fifth brother, Vittore Nicolo, was also charged in the case but never went to trial because of illness. He died in 1987.

Waves of prosecutions would follow, decimating the local mob.

Michele, who served three years in prison for gambling, died in 2006 at age 79. Donato, who was freed in 1997 after serving 11 years for racketeering, died in May 2009 at age 86. And Gennaro Angiulo, who was released in 2007 after serving 24 years in prison for racketeering, died in 2009 at age 90. Two other siblings, Antonio “Anco” Angiulo and Stella Orlandella, have also passed away.

When the aging Mafiosi returned from prison, they found a vastly different North End and a weakened local Mafia. When the Angiulos were in power, the neighborhood was approximately 70 percent Italian-born or of Italian descent, compared with less than 30 percent today, according to the most recent census data.

The neighborhood is now home to an influx of young professionals and college students. While the streets still have the feel of Little Italy, with famous Italian pastry shops, food shops, and upscale restaurants, they are now intermingled with sushi restaurants and Internet cafes.

Mike Tirella, 78, a lifelong resident of the North End, said he believed the North End was safer when the Angiulos were around. “The Angiulos weren’t a bad name when I was growing up,” Tirella said. “I don’t think they bothered people in the North End. I think they helped a lot of people.”

Donato Angiulo (right) and his brother Francesco watched a jury visiting their Prince Street offices in 1985.

Tirella said he and Francesco used to go to Suffolk Downs every Saturday to bet on the horse races.

“Frankie was a nice guy,” Tirella said. “If he knew you and you needed a favor he’d do it for you. If he didn’t like you, he would let you know. . . . They were always respectful.”

While the Angiulos were in prison during the 1990s, it was revealed during court proceedings that the FBI had used Bulger and his sidekick Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi as informants against the Mafia.

Gennaro, Francesco, and Donato unsuccessfully petitioned to have their cases overturned following revelations that Bulger and Flemmi had a corrupt relationship with FBI agents, who took bribes from the pair and leaked them information.

Still, according to their relatives, the brothers never spoke about Bulger after their release from prison.

“He had not a word to say about [Whitey],” said Jay Angiulo, adding that his father never watched “The Departed” or Mafia TV shows like the “Sopranos,” much preferring movies about cowboys.

When Francesco was released from prison, he visited his brother Gennaro in prison every week, according to Jay Angiulo. And when Gennaro won his freedom six years ago and returned home to Nahant, Francesco often visited and called him twice a day, he said.

His girlfriend of 45 years, Laurie Naimo, died while he was in prison.

Francesco lived in an apartment at 98 Prince St. and often spent his days in a downstairs office — the same one bugged by the FBI in 1981.

“He did the same thing he did for 30 years, but nothing illegal,” said a relative who declined to be identified. “He just sat in that office and watched TV.”


Sentencing delayed for Nicky Scarfo Jr

The sentencing of mobster Nicodemo S. Scarfo and three co-defendants convicted of looting a Texas mortgage company has been put off for the third time while a judge decides whether information in a modern day slave labor case should have been turned over to the defense prior to the trial.

Scarfo, 49, was scheduled to be sentenced this morning for his role in the secret takeover of FirstPlus Financial back in 2007. Co-defendant and alleged mastermind of the scam, Salvatore Pelullo, 47, was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday. Both sentencings, along with those of co-defendant brothers John and William Maxwell, have been pushed back to July in order to give Judge Robert Kugler a chance to rule on 11th hour motions from the defense camp seeking to overturn the convictions.

Lawyers for Scarfo and Pelullo have argued that the prosecution withheld information about a separate investigation that could have provided ammunition to discredit government witnesses in the FirstPlus case.

"The government withheld evidence that was demonstrably relevant in the (FirstPlus) trial," Scarfo's lawyer, Michael Riley wrote in a motion filed last month. The result, Riley contends, "cut deeply into the guarantee of due process and gravely impaired the basic function of the court."

Prosecutors, in a response brief filed yesterday, argued that the motions were "nothing more than last ditch efforts" by the defense to "forestall their well deserved sentences."

The motions focus on a racketeering case in Philadelphia in which five Ukrainian brothers were charged with bringing workers from the Ukraine into the United States illegally and then forcing the them to work for little or no pay for cleaning service companies the brothers controlled.

The Philadelphia-based operation was the target of a federal investigation that resulted in the convictions of the organizers, including brothers Omelyan and Stepan Botsvynyuk. Omelyan, 52, was sentenced to life plus 20 years on racketeering and extortion charges.

Testimony at his four-week trial indicated he beat, threatened and sexually assault workers while forcing then to live in housing he provided and working six- and seven-day weeks with little or no pay. The government contended the workers were told they had to work off debts of from $10,000 to $50,000, the cost of bringing them to the United States.

Two of the cleaning companies controlled by the Botsvynyuk brothers -- A-Plus Cleaning and U.S. Cleaning -- at one time shared offices with cleaning companies owned by Pelullo. The Botsvynyuk companies did contract work for major department stores, including Wal-Mart, Target and Safeway.

There was no evidence indicating that those stores were aware of the "enslaved labor" situation that the investigation uncovered. But there were indications that during the investigation, Pelullo was picked up on surveillance and that possible links to his cleaning companies were explored.

Riley, Scarfo's lawyer, said in a telephone interview yesterday that the defense should have been provided with details about that probe and any overlap with the FirstPlus investigation. Riley said he was particularly interested in any links in the two investigations to Corey Leshner, a key Pelullo associate who emerged as a star prosecution witness during the trial.

Leshner had worked at Pelullo's industrial cleaning company before taking part in the FirstPlus operation. Riley said he would have liked to have had the opportunity to ask Leshner what he knew about the slave labor operation when he was on the witness stand.

"The information would have served the defense as potent impeachment ammunition in discrediting various government witnesses," Riley wrote in his motion.

In a response motion filed yesterday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Gross, said that none of the charges in the slave labor case "are remotely related" to the charges in the FirstPlus case and that there was no relevant overlap in the investigations.

"Nothing in the Botsvynyuk documents suggests that Leshner had any involvement" in any of the slave labor crimes, Gross wrote, adding that Scarfo's arguments are "built on a foundation of sand" and that "Scarfo's contention that he could have tarred Leshner with the Botsvynyuk brush is merely wishful thinking."

Gross called the defense arguments the legal equivalent of a Hail Mary pass, a desperate effort with time running out to alter the inevitable. Scarfo and Pelullo, both with prior federal convictions, are looking at potential 30-year sentences. The Maxwell brothers -- John served as CEO of FirstPlus and William was private counsel to the firm -- are looking at less time because neither has a criminal record.

The government alleged that Scarfo and Pelullo took behind-the-scenes control of FirstPlus in 2007 and that the Maxwell brothers help facilitate the siphoning of more than $12 million out of the company's coffers through bogus business deals, inflated consulting contracts and exorbitant  purchases and expenses.

Judge Kugler has been given the FBI documents from the slave labor case cited by Pelullo's lawyers to review privately prior to a hearing next month. Scarfo's request to be permitted to subpoena documents from the that case "is the epitome of a fishing expedition," Gross argued, and should be denied.

Neither Pelullo nor Scarfo were implicated in any way in the slave labor case, Gross wrote, adding that Scarfo's attempt to make that point somehow relevant to the FirstPlus conviction is disingenuous.

"One might also say that the Government has failed to uncover evidence that Scarfo is responsible for the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa," Gross wrote. "But that does not undermine one whit the evidence of Scarfo's guilt in this case."


Feds disclose details of 1978 Lufthansa robbery

The Bonanno gangster charged with the infamous 1978 Lufthansa robbery allegedly blew his nearly $1 million share of the loot gambling at the racetrack, the Daily News has learned.

Federal prosecutors, in their most detailed disclosure to date about evidence against reputed capo Vincent Asaro, have revealed stunning secrets in the long-unsolved airport heist.

The feds have lined up an impressive roster of rats with knowledge of Asaro’s participation in the Lufthansa heist — immortalized in the classic film “Goodfellas.”

Robert De Niro as James Conway and Chuck Low as Morris "Morrie" Kessler in "Goodfellas."

Former Bonanno boss Joseph Massino will testify that he was Asaro’s captain at the time and was given by Asaro an attaché case filled with gold and jewelry as tribute. Asaro’s cousin, Gaspare Valenti, also participated in the robbery and recently wore a wire to nail Asaro for the government.

Ex-Bonanno underboss Salvatore Vitale will testify that he saw Massino, his brother-in-law, sorting through the jewelry and was given a gold chain from the airport booty.

Gambling losses are the reason Vincent Asaro, 80, allegedly blew nearly $1 million from his share of the heist.

Former Gambino associate Anthony Ruggiano Jr., will testify that his father, the late John Gotti crew member Anthony "Fat Andy" Ruggiano, helped Asaro and Burke fence the stolen jewelry.

The $6 million robbery left a trail of bodies in its wake.

Two months after the holdup, Richard Eaton was strangled by Lufthansa mastermind James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke over a drug deal financed by a portion of the proceeds from the heist, according to court papers.

Asaro delivered Easton’s body to a cousin’s house and told him to borrow a neighbor’s backhoe to dig a grave.

The body, with a rope still tied around the neck, was stashed in a refrigeration truck and found by children before the hole was dug, in a scene depicted in the Martin Scorsese movie.

It took two days to defrost his remains for an autopsy.

Burke, being led into court, died in prison in 1996.

That was one of many screw-ups by Asaro in his up-and-down Mafia career. He wasted his take from of the Lufthansa loot gambling at the racetrack, stated Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alicyn Cooley and Nicole Argentieri.

His gambling addiction also led to his demotion to the mob rank of soldier in the 1990s.

Prosecutors identified a roster of deceased Lufthansa alumni including Valenti, Burke, Burke’s son Frank, Angelo Sepe, Joseph "Joe Buddah" Manri, Tommy Desimone, Danny Rizzo, Anthony "Snake" Rodriguez and Louis "Fat Louie" Carfora.

“Each participant of the robbery was supposed to receive approximately $750,000 but most did not live to receive their share (either because they were killed or it was never given to them),” prosecutors wrote in papers.

The Lufthansa heist is seen on the front page of the Daily News on Dec. 12, 1978.

Valenti’s share was glommed by Asaro, but Valenti got the last laugh by secretly taping his cousin ranting: “We never got our right money, what we were supposed to get, we got f---ed all around, that f---ing Jimmy (Burke) kept everything.”

Asaro’s lawyer did not return a call for comment. The trial is scheduled to begin in October in Brooklyn Federal Court.

“Evidence of (Asaro’s) gambling losses and addiction are essential to complete the story of the lucrative criminal schemes charged, including what befell the millions in profits from the Lufthansa Heist,” the court papers state.

Asaro, 80, acknowledged in another secretly taped conversation that he’s a brokefella because he can't help himself when it comes to the ponies.

“If I got a winning ticket and I got to the window, I bet the next race whatever I won in that race, I bet the whole ticket!” he said.


Man who stabbed mobster to death loses appeal for FBI documents

A convicted killer who stabbed a mobster to death in a 1995 revenge killing can't access a trove of FBI arrest and investigation records, a federal judge ruled.
     The May 26 ruling by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton upheld previous denials by the FBI to grant John Petrucelli access to hundreds of pages of documents, as well as photos, videos, and audio tapes.
     The ruling also stated that the Executive Office for United States Attorneys had not properly demonstrated its reliance on legal disclosure exemptions, but that Petrucelli had not demonstrated he was entitled to judgment, either.
     Petrucelli was convicted for the 1995 killing of a member of the Genovese crime family, and sentenced to life in prison. He was at the time of the murder a gang member of the Tanglewood Boys, an Italian-American crew that engaged in murder, armed robbery and bookmaking, among other offenses.
     The FBI had determined that most of the records sought were exempt from disclosure under exemptions 7(C), 7(D), and 7(E) of the Freedom of Information Act, even though the investigation into Petrucelli had been concluded.
     In 2012, the FBI released some of the electronic records to Petrucelli, but stipulated the remaining documents needed to be kept sealed because they could reveal the identity of three confidential sources.
     Petrucelli has stated in court documents that he believes two witnesses and a suspect - Joseph Defede, Sean McKiernan and Eric Tofty, respectively - were kept confidential during the case against him. But all three are now dead, so revealing their identities shouldn't matter, Petrucelli argued.
     In the ruling, Walton wrote that Petrucelli's argument didn't hold water.
     "The plaintiff offers nothing more than speculation as to both the identities of the FBI's sources and content of the information withheld," Walton wrote. "His unsupported assertions neither demonstrate his entitlement to summary judgment nor defeat the defendant's representations."
     Walton also agreed the FBI should keep secret arrest records that included a chart of investigation techniques, which Petrucelli had sought. Such charts are used for statistical reviews of FBI investigations, to see which techniques work the most often and in which circumstances.
     The FBI had sought to keep that chart - specifically the column with ratings assigned to each technique - confidential to prevent mobsters and other criminals from changing their modus operandi to avoid detection and surveillance in the future.
     Releasing documents containing information on its confidential sources could "place them and/or their families in danger" and "likely subject them to harassment or reprisal," the FBI argued, adding that such disclosures would lead to a chilling effect in future investigations involving confidential sources.
     Walton had previously denied the government's attempts to completely withhold the information. In a July 2014 decision, the judge postponed a decision to summarily deny all of Petrucelli's requests, ruling that the Executive Office for United States Attorneys had not made it clear enough whether their cited exemptions under FOIA applied to the case or if some information could be segregated and disclosed.
     In the May 26 ruling, Walton again ruled the EOUSA has not been clear in its invocation of the FOIA exemption for invasion of personal privacy.
     The office "failed to demonstrate that or explain why FOIA Exemption (C) protects not only confidential sources themselves" but also the information they furnish, Walton wrote.
     Ultimately, though, Petrucelli has no right to the documents because he has "not demonstrated that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law," Walton wrote.
     Petrucelli's arrest capped off a multi-year investigation into the Tanglewood Boys gang. The gang was for many years considered a mob "farm team," as many of its members, including the sons of several notable made men, aspired to become members of the Luchese mob family, rivals to the Genovese family.
     In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the gang lost power after its leader Darin Mazzarella became a government snitch and testified against best friend Petrucelli and several other members. During its heyday, the gang was considered a scourge in the Bronx and southern Westchester.
     In that heyday, Petrucelli allegedly became a killer.
     According to court documents, Petrucelli witnessed the murder of a fellow Tanglewood gang member by a Genovese associate, and within a few hours stabbed a cousin of the mob hit man. He was arrested for the crime in 2002 and began filing FOIA requests while in jail awaiting trial.


Retrial begins for Gambino mobster in murder of South Florida businessman

Jury selection is beginning for the retrial of a reputed mobster charged in the 2001 slaying of a prominent South Florida businessman who ran a gambling fleet and founded Miami Subs restaurants.
Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello is being tried again in the shooting death of Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, former chief of SunCruz Casinos. Jury selection begins Monday.
Moscatiello got a mistrial in 2013 when his attorney became ill. Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors say the 77-year-old Moscatiello is a member of New York's Gambino crime family who wanted Boulis killed in a power struggle over SunCruz. Moscatiello denies mob ties and pleaded not guilty. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
Boulis was fatally shot by a purported mob hit man.


Paralyzed Gambino soldier denied compassionate prison release

A source said the Gambinos have not retired Edward "Cousin Eddie" Garafola, who could theoretically give orders to mob associates if he came home. Garafola, 77, is partially paralyzed and is unable to speak.

A convicted Gambino soldier, serving a 30-year sentence for conspiring to murder both his cousin and ex-underboss Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano, has been denied a compassionate release from prison — even though he is partially paralyzed due to a stroke, cannot speak, and is an amputee who must use a wheelchair.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons determined that Edward "Cousin Eddie" Garafola, 77, remains a threat to the community and is too dangerous to send home to Staten Island, the mobster’s wife of 56 years, Frances Garafola, told the Daily News.

“I wanted us to end our lives together,” Frances, 75, said. “I’m devastated. It’s heartbreaking.”

Garafola, a made member of the Gambino crime family since the 1970s, pleaded guilty in 2007 to participating in the 1990 gangland killing of his cousin Edward "The Chink" Garofalo because he was suspected of cooperating with the feds.

He also pleaded guilty to conspiring with former Gambino boss Peter Gotti in a failed 1999 plot to whack Gravano for ratting out the late Gambino boss John Gotti.

Frances Garafola — whose side of the family spells their surname differently from the murdered cousin — also happens to be Gravano’s sister.

Edward "Cousin Eddie" Garafola was denied early release in the 1990 Gambino slay of Edward "Eddie the Chink" Garofalo.

The Prison Bureau will consider a sentence reduction for elderly inmates who suffer from chronic or serious medical conditions that “diminish their ability to function” in jail.

He is due to be released in 2028, but since he’s been locked up, Garafola has suffered a heart attack, stroke, and had his leg partially amputated because of diabetes complications.

“He can’t speak, he can’t communicate, he has to be fed, and washed and dressed,” Frances said. “It must be costing the government a fortune to care for him.”

The Garafolas were so sure he would qualify for early release that they renovated their Staten Island home to make it accessible for him. But last month she received the bad news from his counselor at the federal prison hospital in Rochester, Minn. “He’s very sad and depressed,” Frances said.

Laura Garofalo, the daughter of the murder victim, said Cousin Eddie is where he belongs.

Edward "Eddie the Chink" Garofalo was killed in 1990.

“I can’t get a compassionate visit with my father,” she said Monday.

“I believe people who murder their cousins and get life in prison are a blight to society and taxpayers as a whole. I think when he decided to be a murderer he knew the consequences.”

A law enforcement source said Edward Garafola has not been “put on the shelf,” or retired by the Gambinos, and he could theoretically give orders to mob associates if he came home. “He was a real bastard back in the day,” the source said.

Edmund Ross, a Prison Bureau spokesman, declined to comment on the rejection because the compassionate release process is not considered public information.


Turncoat Gambino underboss Sammy the Bull hires new lawyer and seeks early prison release

Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano is locked up for 20 years for running an Ecstasy ring, but he hopes to get out of prison early.
Infamous mafia rat Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano — who got a free pass on 19 murders for ratting out John Gotti — is looking for one more get-out-of jail free card.

Gravano, 70, is in the home stretch of serving his 20-year term for running an Ecstasy ring in Arizona and has hired a new lawyer to represent him in the drug case, according to papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Gravano’s daughter has blabbed on the “Mob Wives” reality show that her father is eligible for a reduced sentence under an amendment to federal sentencing guidelines approved last year by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, sources said.

The lawyer, Thomas Farinella, is expected to apply for a break on Gravano’s sentence to Federal Judge Allyne Ross, who threw the book at the ex-Gambino underboss in 2002, sources said.

“I cannot confirm or deny the reason why I have been retained by Mr. Gravano,” Farinella told the Daily News.

Gravano is eligible to be released from prison a year from now with credit for good behavior, according to court records.

If the judge approves the reduction, he could be entitled to at least 40 months lopped off his sentence, which would send him walking out the door, two legal sources said.
Gravano (L) is sworn in at a hearing in April 1993. He got a free pass on 19 murders for snitching on John Gotti (R).

“He may have a problem with his history of violence,” said a lawyer who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not involved in Gravano’s case.

The Sentencing Commission’s revision of guidelines for drug offenses is designed to rectify overly harsh penalties and reduce the populations in federal prisons.

A judge has the discretion to approve or disapprove the application after reviewing papers from the convicted felon and the recommendation of prosecutors.

The judge also evaluates the felon’s disciplinary record behind bars and whether he will pose a danger upon return to the community.

When Gravano was sentenced, the judge made it clear she was disgusted by his return to crime after he was given the deal of the century.

“He demonstrated complete absence of rehabilitation, and he also showed an utter lack of remorse for his prior crimes,” Ross said.

In arguably the most controversial sentence in the history of U.S. organized crime, Gravano received a measly five years in prison in 1994 from Federal Judge Leo Glasser in return for his “invaluable” assistance as a cooperating witness in seven trials including the racketeering case that put Gotti away for life.

Farinella also represents Karen Gravano in a $40 million lawsuit suit against the makers of the video game Grand Theft Auto V, claiming a fictional character called “Antonia Bottino” is a rip-off of the mob princess.

The character also has a mob father, Gambetti family underboss Sammy "Sonny" Bottino, who also happens to be a snitch.

“For a guy to cooperate against John Gotti and then commit crimes after he got the deal of the century, I don’t think anyone should be surprised if he tries for an early release,” said lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman, who represented mob scion John A. "Junior" Gotti.

“He sounds desperate and he’s got nothing to lose,” Lichtman said.

“He already made a fool out of the people, the judge and prosecutors, that believed he had turned his life around.”


Former Gambino enforcer under John Gotti leaves life of crime to rescue unwanted dogs

Thanks to a Shih Tzu, this tough-guy mobster found redemption
When Charlie, a 160-pound American bulldog, bit his owners’ newborn in the face, it seemed he was destined for death. After all, who would want a proven menace?
James Guiliani, 48, once a menace himself, was deemed fit for the job. “[The owners] heard about me, and didn’t want to give a loaded pistol to anybody else; they feared he could bite again,” says the former mobster, who spent his 20s as an enforcer for the Gambino crime family under John Gotti. He was busted for conspiracy to commit burglary, kidnapping and murder in the early ’90s, and served two years jail time.
Two decades later, Guiliani’s given up a life of crime and drugs to rescue New York City’s most unwanted animals. As co-owner (with girlfriend Lena Perrelli) of Keno’s Rescue Center and the Diamond Collar grooming salon, both in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, he currently houses 80 animals — including a now-tame Charlie, who “licks every kid we pass on the face.”
He documents his journey in his new memoir, “Dogfella: How an Abandoned Dog Named Bruno Turned This Mobster’s Life Around.”
Having never cared for animals growing up, it wasn’t until 2006 — a decade after his release from prison — that Guiliani had a change of heart.
Guiliani and Perrelli were just preparing to open the Diamond Collar when they spotted an abused Shih Tzu tied to a parking meter. They rushed him to a veterinarian, and Perrelli convinced her beau to check on the dog the next day. Seeing the pup bathed and happy struck a weak spot Guiliani didn’t know he had.
“I’m a junkie, I’m a thief — hard-core, ya know? And here I go to pick up this little dog, and all of a sudden I’m bringing him home.”
The dog, Bruno, only lived five weeks before dying of cancer. But Guiliani dedicated himself to rehabilitating NYC’s abused and abandoned pets, with the same zest he once reserved for indulging in cocaine. “I love the challenge every day; no sex, no drug will give you a better feeling than this,” he says.
His success with rescues led him to open Keno’s Rescue Center in 2013. Guiliani’s success stories include Primo, a Cane Corso, Little John, a surprisingly vicious Chihuahua, and Charlie, who all
continue to live at Keno’s.
“[Their families] feared them,” he explains. “When you fear a dog, that dog will take advantage of you. I don’t fear them, I understand them.”
Keno’s, a cage-free facility, also houses feral cats and other critters.
“I used to stick guns in people’s faces, and now I’m picking up baby birds and rushing through red lights to get them to a vet,” he says.
Guiliani and Perrelli also keep 30 animals in their Brooklyn home, including Shih Tzus, pugs and many cats — seven of which are blind. It’s a lot of responsibility, but Guiliani embraces it.
“It fills a void,” he says. “People let me down my whole life, but I found something that could never hurt me back. [Animals] will accept my love and cherish it.”


Former Patriarca crime family boss released from federal prison into home confinement

Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio is back on Federal Hill after more than a four year stint in federal prison for extorting payments from strip clubs.
Ed Ross, a spokesperson with the Bureau of Prisons, told the NBC 10 I-Team that Manocchio checked in with a halfway house on Tuesday after leaving a low security prison in North Carolina. Ross said he is now on home confinement.
Rhode Island State Police Colonel Steven O'Donnell told the I-Team Manocchio is living in his old apartment on Atwells Avenue. The restaurant, Euro Bistro, is located on the ground floor.
An I-Team camera observed a steady flow of visitors Wednesday, walking in and out of the Federal Hill restaurant.
O'Donnell expects the former mobster to go back to his old ways.
“That's all he knows,” said O'Donnell. “He has no other choices.”
For years, Manocchio was boss of the Patriarca crime family, often laying low and not seeking the spotlight. Although now 87 years old, Manocchio's criminal past, including allegations of murder, is well known amongst law enforcement.
The former mob boss will have to wear an ankle bracelet until his official release in November.


DeCavalcante associate admits selling cocaine to undercover FBI agent

A Union man arrested two months ago along with nine others linked to the DeCavalcante crime family pleaded guilty Tuesday to selling $78,000 worth of cocaine to an undercover FBI agent.
Nicholas DeGidio, 37, pleaded guilty to a single count of distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine during an appearance Tuesday before Judge William Walls in U.S. District Court, federal prosecutors say.
DeGidio is alleged to be an associate of the DeCavlancate crime family, which is said to have been the inspiration for the hit HBO series, "The Sopranos."
He is the first of 10 alleged crime family members or associates to plead guilty, following their arrests in March on charges that included drug distribution, running a prostitution ring and plotting to kill a rival.
DeGidio faces up to 40 years in prison and a $40 million fine when he's sentenced on Sept. 29, 2015.
Federal prosecutors say that between December 2014 and March 2015 DeGidio sold more than one-half kilo of cocaine valued at $78,000 to an undercover FBI agent.
Among those arrested in March was Charles Stango, a 71-year-old from Nevada who federal prosecutors say is a longtime captain in the DeCavalcantes.
Stango, who prosecutors say goes by the nickname "Beeps," is accused of conspiring with others to kill a rival with the help of members of an outlaw biker gang.
"Though its ranks have been thinned by countless convictions and its own internal bloodletting, traditional organized crime remains a real problem," New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in March.