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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bonanno soldier shows up to court to watch turncoat father testify in Lufthansa heist trial

Gaspare Valenti, a Bonanno associate and father of Anthony (Fat Sammy) Valenti, testifies at Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday in connection with the Lufthansa "Goodfellas" heist.
If looks could kill, his dad would be dead.

As mob turncoat Gaspare Valenti testified Tuesday at the racketeering trial of 80-year-old Vincent Asaro, his hulking son Anthony "Fat Sammy" Valenti glared at his pop.

Dressed in a navy-blue suit and looking more like Larry David than a Bonanno family hood, Gaspare avoided his son’s eyes as he betrayed his cousin Asaro in a Brooklyn courtroom.

“Lufthansa,” Valenti answered, when asked by prosecutor Nicole Argentieri what was the most serious crime he ever committed. “We robbed the Lufthansa air freight company.”

Valenti, 68, was referring to the spectacular 1978 robbery at Kennedy Airport that netted nearly $6 million in cash and jewels — and was dramatized in the mob movie “Goodfellas.”

The government witness also revealed that deceased Gambino family chief John Gotti got a cut of the loot, even though he had nothing to do with the heist.

“To keep peace among the families, we didn’t want retribution or anyone to rob us,” Valenti answered when asked why the Dapper Don got some of the dough.

As an angry-looking Asaro sat at the defense table, Valenti identified him as the man in an FBI surveillance photo shaking hands and laughing with Gotti outside the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Queens.

Gasper Valenti (l.) turned snitch against alleged mobster Vincent Asaro (r.).

Valenti said Asaro was one of the masterminds of the JFK heist.

“I was very close with him,” he said. “We had, like, a bond.”
That bond was severed when Valenti, starting in 2008, broke the Mafia code of silence and began secretly recording hundreds of hours of incriminating conversations with Asaro, prosecutors say.

Handcuffed James Burke "Jimmy the Gent" taken to Federal Court.

Those tapes will be played Wednesday when Valenti returns to the stand.

Through all of Valenti’s testimony on Tuesday, Fat Sammy stared daggers at his dad — a sinister scene that could have been lifted from “The Godfather: Part II.”

But Valenti was not rattled into recanting by his boy, who like the accused is a member of the Bonanno crime family.
Anthony (Fat Sammy) Valenti, son of the government's star witness in the case against accused mobster Vincent Asaro in the Lufthansa "Goodfellas" heist.
“I have nothing to say,” Fat Sammy told the Daily News politely during a break. “I would appreciate it if you don’t bother me anymore.”

Valenti — in his first public account of the heist — described in detail how the Lufthansa robbery went down. And he rattled off the names of the other members of the robbery crew that Asaro and legendary Lucchese mobster James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke assembled.

Reputed mob boss John Gotti, seen in 1990, apparently got a cut of the Lufthansa loot "to keep peace among the families."

Valenti also named Henry Hill, a mobster turned FBI informant whose biography was the basis of “Goodfellas.”

“We thought there was going to be $2 million in cash and there was $6 million,” he said. “I was separating gold chains and watches and the diamonds and emeralds and rubies.”

But Asaro quickly brought everybody back down to earth.

“We’ve got to be real careful now,” he said, according to Valenti. “They’ll look to rob us. They’ll look to kill us. It could be anyone who hears of the score.”



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