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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Feds fire Colombo captain as a government rat for passing secret notes

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A former Colombo captain couldn't cut it as a mob rat.
Reynold Maragni was supposed to be the star witness against two fellow mobsters charged with money laundering.
But after two previous appearances on the witness stand ended in disastrous verdicts for the government, prosecutors apparently decided to cut their losses and call an end to Maragni's singing career.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Shihata repeatedly referred to Maragni only as "the mobster" in her opening statement, while spelling out his key role in a sting operation against reputed Colombo consigliore Thomas Farese and associate Pat Truglia.
The defendants were secretly recorded by Maragni agreeing to launder $40,000 of his illicit cash.
But Maragni's habit of turning his wristwatch recorder on and off without permission landed him in hot water. Maragni admitted that he was secretly passing messages to mob associates when the FBI handlers couldn't listen.
Farese's lawyer Sarita Kedia spent much of her opening statement filling in the jury on Maragni's misconduct.
"I don't think the prosecutor even mentioned the central person's name," Kedia pointed out.
But in a victory for the government, Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederic Block ruled that Maragni's tapes could be played for the jury without him taking the witness stand.
At the end of the day, out of the presence of the jury, Block said, "Obviously he is a key witness and the jury is going to wonder why he isn't being called."
Maragni provided key testimony earlier this year at the trials of former boss Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli and Colombo associate Francis “BF” Guerra, in which both gangsters were acquitted of murder charges.
Maragni's lawyer did not return a message seeking comment.


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