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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Defense lawyers begin cross examining Genovese turncoat

A defense lawyer for mob murder defendant Emilio Fusco on Thursday began battering prosecution witness Anthony J. Arillotta in an ongoing trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Arillotta, 44, of Springfield, was once a mob soldier in Western Massachusetts before his arrest for the 2003 contract hit on his onetime boss, Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno. He entered the Witness Protection Program shortly after and has been a central witness in prosecutions of gangsters from the Pioneer Valley to New York City.
Over just about three days of direct testimony, Arillotta told jurors that he and Fusco plotted and carried out the murders of Bruno and police informant Gary D. Westerman the same year, plus myriad shakedowns of local business owners, street lotteries and illegal gaming schemes.
cryarillotta.jpgAnthony Arillotta
Fusco, 43, of Longmeadow, a previously convicted loan shark and a "made man" in the New York-based Genovese organized crime family, which historians say is the most powerful and feared of the city's five crime Italian Mafia crime families.
Under a plea deal with prosecutors, Arillotta has readily admitted a startling history of violence – including the hit on Bruno, the attempted fatal shooting of a union official on a Bronx street in 2003 and the grisly shooting and bludgeoning of Westerman the same year.
Fusco has denied any involvement in the Bruno and Westerman murders. He is not charged in connection with the attempt on the union boss' life.
Fusco's lawyer, Richard B. Lind, late this morning began peppering Arillotta with questions about his plea deal with the government and his breaking of his oath to the Mafia. Generally Lind attempted to portray him as a gun-slinging, double-crossing opportunist. Specifically, Lind asked Arillotta about $80,000 to $100,000 in cash that remained hidden in his basement from his now-ex-wife after his arrest in 2010.
"This is the mother of your three children? You never told her where that money was ... and she had to go on food stamps?" Lind asked, prompting Arillotta to give a hedged answer indicating that it wasn't necessary for his wife to seek government assistance after the illegal profits stopped rolling in.
"So why did she go on food stamps then, as a new experience?" Lind asked, forcing Arillotta to admit he passed along money to his mistress in 2010 while his ex-wife struggled to support their children.
Cross-examination of Arillotta is expected to continue through Thursday afternoon. Testimony will suspend Friday and resume in federal court on Monday.



Post a Comment