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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mafia turncoat Michael Finnerty testifies he paid tribute money to John "Junior" Gotti

A Gambino family associate who claimed he paid tribute money to John A. "Junior" Gotti acknowledged Wednesday that he doesn't know if the ex-mob boss ever received a penny from his payoffs.
Prosecution witness Michael Finnerty had testified that he made a $5,000 payoff to Junior on Christmas Eve 2004, five years after Gotti claims that he'd quit the Mafia.
Under cross-examination, the government informant said his payments to Gotti were always delivered through middle men - including one associate known as a degenerate gambler.
"Have you ever given Mr. Gotti any sum of money?" asked defense attorney Charles Carnesi.
"No, I have not," Finnerty replied in his second day of testimony at Gotti's federal racketeering trial. "That's not the way it works."
Carnesi asked if Finnerty even knew that his payments had reached Gotti.
"No, I do not," Finnerty replied.
Finnerty, who once ran with Gotti's crew in Queens, is a pivotal government witness because his testimony undercuts Junior's claim of mob retirement in 1999.
Prosecutors introduced a Dec. 24, 2004, check made out to cash by Finnerty as proof of his payoff to Gotti.
They contend the check shows Gotti was still in a position of power with the Gambinos.
Gotti is facing his fourth trial in five years for racketeering. The previous three cases ended in mistrials.


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