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

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Feds arrest newly installed Colombo consigliere for money laundering

In another blow to New York's embattled Colombo crime family, FBI agents today arrested its reputed consigliere and charged him with money laundering offenses.
Thomas Farese - who sources said was recently installed as the mob family's consigliere and is its third highest-ranking made-member - was arrested around 6 a.m. this morning by FBI agents in south Florida where he lives, officials said.
Farese, who is also known as "Tom Mix" and "Mr. T," was ensnared by agents from the FBI's New York office in a probe that relied heavily on information secretly collected by one of the mobster's former Colombo crime family colleagues, sources said.
Reynold Maragni, who served as a Colombo captain until he switched sides to become a federal informant late last year, delivered substantial evidence that suggests Farese was involved in illicit money laundering activities, the sources said.
Maragni, who owns a vacation home in south Florida, wore a hidden "wire" - a recording device to tape conversations with Farese and collect information about the wiseguy's activities, sources said.
Farese was previously convicted of money laundering in a Florida federal court, official records show.
In a related action, FBI agents in Florida also arrested Pat Truglia this morning.
Truglia, a reputed Colombo crime family associate also based in south Florida, was charged with money laundering offenses, officials said.
Today's developments mark the second time known publicly that Brooklyn federal prosecutors have deployed Maragni to help the FBI assemble a case against his former Colombo colleagues since the former mob captain "flipped."
In December, Maragni delivered information that helped strengthen a murder case against former acting Colombo boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, according to sources and court papers filed by Brooklyn federal prosecutors.
In this earlier episode, Maragni surreptitiously recorded conversations with Colombo mobsters in New York City about the murder of William "Wild Bill" Cutolo, who was the family's underboss when he was killed in a Brooklyn basement during the crime family's internecine war in 1999.
To help ply his former Colombo colleague, Maragni played the role of a ranking mobster concerned about one of his subordinates, who had been contacted recently by FBI agents.
He then recorded conversations with Colombo soldier Vincent Manzo that elicited details about how Cutolo's body was "popped" into the trunk of a car and driven to Long Island, according to transcripts of the recordings.
Manzo, who has not been charged, described how Gioeli had directed him to take the body to a wooded section of Farmingdale, LI, which the Colombo family used as one of its "killing fields," official records show.
Assistant US Attorney Liz Geddes argued in court papers that the taped conversations with Manzo strengthened the feds' case against Gioeli, who is already charged in the Cutolo murder and is due to be tried in the spring.
Farese's arrest wreaks more havoc amid the leadership of the Colombos, which has seen its top ranks depleted over the past five years by a series of federal prosecutions.
In January 2011, FBI agents in New York conducted the largest single-day raid in the history of the American Mafia, arresting dozens of mobsters - the majority of them Colombos.
Most of those Colombo wiseguys have pleaded guilty over the past year, with only a few now left awaiting trial.


Post a Comment