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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Secret informant in 1978 Lufthansa heist is cousin of busted Bonanno family captain

Vincent Asaro is walked out of Manhattan Federal Court after being charged in infamous $6 million 1978 Lufthansa heist.

He has turned on the Bonanno family — and now his family has turned on him.

The mob informant who brought down the last suspected conspirator in the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist is a 66-year-old former Long Islander, the Daily News learned Wednesday.

Gaspare "Gary" Valenti was a confidant of his cousin, jailed Bonanno family capo Vincent Asaro, busted last week after his relative implicated him in the $6 million Kennedy Airport robbery — and a 1969 murder.

Vincent Asaro at Brooklyn Federal Court in 1966.

The informant’s children were “totally outraged” to learn their father had flipped to work for the feds, a source familiar with Valenti told The News.

But a source indicated his decision was influenced by Asaro’s harsh treatment of Valenti across their decades in organized crime.

Valenti also saved another relative from an Asaro murder plot in the mid-'80s, court papers said.

John "Bazoo" Ragano was one of the five people arrested last week in 1978 heist.

Valenti’s criminal past indicates he’s worked as a con man with involvement in welfare fraud, insurance fraud and trying to peddle phony artwork in Las Vegas to a law enforcement undercover.

During a 1995 Las Vegas court appearance, Valenti said he never advanced beyond the 12th grade. His father was in construction, helping to build homes in Ozone Park — including the one where the body of murder victim Paul Katz was buried.

Valenti implicated Asaro and Jimmy "The Gent" Burke, the mastermind of the Lufthansa heist, in the 1969 strangulation of Katz. Burke thought Katz was an informant.

Jerome Asaro has been implicated as conspirator in Lufthansa heist.

Gerald McMahon, a lawyer for the jailed Asaro, declined comment on Valenti.

The mob informant was cited repeatedly throughout the court documents charging Asaro, and apparently wore a wire to record some conversations with his 78-year-old cousin.

Court documents last week said Valenti had pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.

Valenti hopes to follow fellow Lufthansa informant Henry Hill into the federal witness protection program.



Post a Comment