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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Judge rules that former New England Captain wont be getting his money back and seals records from the public until 2025

 (050922 Boston, MA): Vincent ‘The animal’ Ferrara appears at a hearing in Suffolk Superior court on Monday,May 9, 2022 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Former North End mobster Vincent “The Animal” Ferrara’s hopes of a judge’s injunction to get Attorney General Maura Healey to give him his money back are sleeping with the fishes.

Suffolk Superior Judge Elaine Buckley has sided with Healey’s office on multiple fronts in the former wiseguy’s suit, first impounding the AG’s written response in the case and then denying the erstwhile mafioso’s injunction.

In the lawsuit, first reported by the Herald last week, the now-73-year-old Ferrara alleges that Healey’s office had seized $268,000 of what he says is a “legitimate” business venture. Per the complaint that he certified under penalty of perjury, he was acting as a “facilitator” in a real-estate deal that paid him the bulk of that dough — before investigators showed up with a warrant and seized it as part of what the AG’s office has described as a “broad, ongoing criminal investigation.”

Ferrara and his attorney Michael Natola argued that the judge should make Healey give it back because, they posit, it has no connection to any crimes.

Buckley held a hearing on the matter this past Monday, also ruling that day to impound the AG’s office’s response to the complaint for three years — not letting the public see Healey’s reasoning in the case until May 9, 2025. She then ruled in Healey’s favor again on Tuesday on the matter of the injunction.

On the matter of giving Ferrara his money back, the judge wrote that he only had argued “in the most general of terms, that the monies seized by the lawfully executed search warrant were obtained legally in a business transaction,” and therefore, “The failure of this analysis is that it ignores that the defendant is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.”

And regarding impoundment, the judge said that the AG’s office should be allowed to preserve the “confidentiality of an ongoing criminal investigation.”

A spokeswoman for Healey — who’s the front runner in the race to become the next governor — last week said much the same, citing an ongoing investigation and not elaborating further. On Thursday her office declined further comment.

Ferrara, of Revere, showed up to the hearing on Monday in a dapper gray pinstriped suit. It’s far from his first time in a courtroom, as the man once known as “Vinny the Animal” is a former “capo de regime” lieutenant in the Boston North End La Cosa Nostra mob — who in the early 1990s pleaded guilty to an array of racketeering crimes and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. But 17 years later, the same judge who’d sentenced him sprung him from jail when it came to light that the prosecution had withheld key evidence related to a 1980s gangland slaying that was one of several charges he’d pleaded guilty in connection with.

The authorities came back at Ferrara shortly after that on charges of running some Norfolk County rackets, but he beat that rap cleanly.

Natola, the attorney, told the Herald on Thursday that he and Ferrara are “disappointed with the ruling” on the injunction.

“We have other plans to get back into court soon,” Natola said. Asked about the ongoing investigation, he said, “There’s nothing criminal going on with Vincent M. Ferrara — can’t really speak for anyone else.”



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