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

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bonanno mobster set up $2 million bank account to kill snitches

When mobsters draw on this account – people get whacked.
A Bonanno associate and a Canadian drug kingpin used a $2 million “hit” fund – so they could quickly hire henchmen to murder snitches, Brooklyn feds said today.
John "Big Man" Venizelos sent encrypted BlackBerry messages to a colleague explaining that French Canadian drug kingpin Jimmy “Cosmo” Cournoyer had bankrolled the special murder fund to underwrite hits against informants in the high-profile international narcotics case against the pair, Brooklyn federal prosecutors revealed.
Venizelos, a Bonanno connected guy charged with teaming up with the Canadian drug lord was arrested again today after ominously warning a witness about the hit fund, officials said.
Bonanno crime family member John Venizelos at Brooklyn Federal Court.
"Venizelos sent an encrypted message" to a co-conspirator, warning that person "that he/she had better hope that Cournoyer or members of his organization never found out that [the co-conspirator] had spoken with law enforcement agents because Cournoyer has $2 million set aside to pay for the murder of cooperating witnesses," Brooklyn Assistant US Attorney Steven Tiscione wrote to a judge.
The feds included encrypted messages that Venizelos sent out the murder fund that government experts just recently deciphered.
"Seriously bro. I know he has like 2 mil...just to pay guys to handle that once he sentenced," Venizelos wrote in the message, referring to Cournoyer, according to a court transcript.
Cournoyer, 33, who is awaiting trial in Brooklyn federal court, allegedly lies at the center of $1 billion narcotics ring and operated through alliances he created between the Canadian Mafia, the Hells Angels, a Mexican drug cartel, and the Bonanno crime family, The Post first reported last month.
Prosecutors says that Cournoyer was one of the biggest suppliers of marijuana to New York City until his arrest last year.
The feds also seized letters that they believe were written by an unnamed organized crime colleague of Venizelos, which they say clearly establish the nightclub manager's Mafia activities and involvement in bloody crimes.
"In addition to discussing Venizelos’ ties to organized crime - including references to 'sit-downs' with 'captains' in various New York organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra - the letters also specifically mention a myriad of violent crimes committed by the author with, or on behalf of Venizelos...including the 'torture' of an individual Venizelos suspected of stealing his drugs," prosecutors wrote.
In one of the seized letters, the unnamed colleague recounts that chilling assault.
"Who cared enough to pull a broad daylight kidnapping, then torture the name out of that guy?" the colleague wrote to Venizelos, the feds say.
Venizelos - who sports horn-rimmed glasses and wears Ralph Lauren Polo ensembles - holds a "straight job" managing "Jaguars 3", a Brooklyn nightspot run by Vincent "Vinny Green" Faraci, a Bonanno crime family soldier who formerly managed the "Crazy Horse Too" strip club in Las Vegas.
After the DEA arrested Venizelos two months ago and charged him with being one of Cournoyer's biggest customers, his attorney insisted that the $100,000-plus seized by feds at Venizelos' residence wan't drug money - it was just cash for tipping strippers at the "Jaguars 3" club.
Defense attorney John Meringolo argued that the money belongs to the nightclub and insists that Venizelos - the club's manager - was going to bring the cash to the bank to exchange it for tens of thousands of single dollar bills.
"Every other week he procures up to $50,000 in singles for the business of exotic dancers," Meringolo told The Post.
Greenback singles are an essential element of strip club operations and are coveted by customers who want to give get a rush from up-close and very personal cash tips to gyrating strippers.
"By no means does this money have anything to do with drug proceeds," Meringolo said.



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