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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Witness Describes Failed Mob Murder

The failed murder-for-hire of a Connecticut businessman was the latest in a string of botched jobs orchestrated by a Genovese gangster who's long been in league with the feds, a criminal crony testified today.
Michael Cooks said his first caper with mobster Joseph Barone -- who divulged his informer status as part of a desperate defense strategy -- involved a home invasion to rob $80,000 Barone said was stashed in the victims' freezer.
But after Cooks and an armed accomplice burst into the house and tied up a female resident with duct tape, there was no cold cash to be found.
Another plot involved a series of failed attempts to slash, run over or shoot Barone's ex-girlfriend, with Cooks saying he got cold feet over attacking her in full view of her infant child.
The woman, who Cooks said was named "Nancy," eventually fled the state unharmed, he testified in Manhattan federal court.
Despite the setbacks, Cooks said that in the summer of 2008 Barone offered him the chance to make "some real money" by killing millionaire Douglas Agnessanto so a former business partner, Anthony Piliero, and Barone could collect on a secret $1 million life-insurance policy.
Cooks staked out Agnessanto's house -- making videotapes that were played for the jury -- and cooked up a plot to hide in the bushes inside a sleeping bag before he chickened out and went to the cops, leading to the arrests of Piliero and Barone.


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