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

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Murder victim's family sues US government claiming mobsters were working as FBI informants

The family of Michael Romano Jr. claims that he was murdered in 1994 by Massachusetts mobsters working as informants for the FBI who fatally shot the wrong target.

Now, the family is seeking $60 million from the U.S. government in a lawsuit that claims wrongful death and gross negligence by FBI agents led to the death, according to the suit, filed in federal court on Friday.

Romano was shot on Sept. 1, 1994, says the suit, filed by Romano's former wife and his two children. He was mistaken for Enrico Ponzo, the intended target of the shooting, the family from Winthrop asserts.

Before the killing, the FBI was using Mark Rossetti, a reputed Mafia leader, and Stephen Flemmi, a former Winter Hill Gang member and ex-partner of James "Whitey" Bulger, as informants, the family claims.

Both Rossetti and Flemmi were close criminal associates of "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, the former mob boss for New England La Cosa Nostra, according to the suit.

Romano was 20 years old when he was shot, which was at close range while changing a flat tire in Everett, according to The Boston Globe.

The FBI knew that Salemme, Rossetti and Flemmi were responsible for several murders in the Boston area, according to the suit.

"The FBI also knew, or should have known, that Frank Salemme and Informant Rossetti, among others, were planning, prior to Michael Romano Jr's murder, to seize control of organized crime in the Boston area and to kill Enrico Ponzo, among others, as part of that plan," reads the suit, submitted by the family's attorney, Christopher J. Trombetta.

Ponzo was convicted in 2013 of several federal crimes, including the 1989 attempted killing of Salemme.

Because of the alleged activities by the mobsters, the FBI should not have considered Rossetti a qualified informant, the family wrote.

The family claims that FBI agents did not follow guidelines and that "Rossetti was allowed and/or encouraged to engage" in illegal activities and murder.

"Agents of the FBI knew or should have known of the intended shooting of Enrico Ponzo that led to the death of Michael Romano, Jr. through their regular contacts with Rossetti and other informants for the FBI," the lawsuit reads. "Despite such knowledge, the Agents failed to take any steps to prevent the shooting and failed to properly control the activities of their cooperating Informant Rossetti."



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