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

Thursday, February 1, 2018

FBI paid for Cosa Nostra Christmas party

They’d gladly pick up that tab again.
The FBI spent $25,000 to lure 20 wiseguys to a gangland “Last Supper” — complete with a mob turncoat in the role of Judas — and later arrested them all.
FBI Special Agent William Inzerillo revealed the spaghetti setup Wednesday under cross-examination at the racketeering trial of reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, who was among the hoods that stuffed their faces at the “Cosa Nostra Christmas party” in The Bronx.
“We supplied the money. We paid for the party. Over 20 people attended the party, and we paid for all of them,” Inzerillo testified in Manhattan federal court.
Nearly all of the mafiosi who gorged themselves on such house specialties as gnocchi Bolognese and fettuccine matriciana at Pasquale’s Rigoletto on Arthur Avenue later got busted during a massive roundup of 46 mobsters in 2016, a source familiar with the case told The Post.
They included the eatery’s namesake owner, reputed Genovese crime-family capo Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello, Merlino and reputed acting Genovese capo Eugene “Rooster” O’Nofrio.
The Dec. 8, 2014, bash marked the only time the trio — who the feds say were key figures in a massive, multi-crime-family racketeering scheme — were together during the feds’ five-year investigation, according to the Gangland News website.
At one point, they even posed for a snapshot and actually “joked that the photo was going to get them arrested,” the site said.
The gangster gathering was arranged so Manhattan prosecutors would have jurisdiction to charge Merlino, the source familiar with the case said.
In fact, the feds even paid for him to fly up for it from Boca Raton, Fla. Inzerillo testified that the money for the party was given “directly” to mob rat John Rubeo “to give to Parrello,” and Rubeo also handed over FBI cash for Merlino’s airfare.
“We gave [Rubeo] $5,000 for the flight and transportation for [Merlino] and his wife,” he said.
At one point during the questioning, defense lawyer Edwin Jacobs Jr. asked why the feds agreed to underwrite the exorbitant cost of the “Cosa Nostra Christmas party.”
“We didn’t want to pay for it, but that was what [Rubeo] needed,” Inzerillo answered.
Jacobs — who in 2001 helped Merlino beat three murder raps — also asked why taxpayers footed the hefty bill for Merlino to attend.
“He always said he was broke,” Inzerillo said.
Following Inzerillo’s testimony, Rubeo, 42, spent more than six hours spilling his guts on the witness stand.
The jailed former Genovese associate and professional bowler — who wore royal blue prisoner garb and orange, slip-on sneakers — said he turned rat in a bid to avoid life in the slammer for dealing drugs and other crimes.
Prosecutors played nearly 20 secret recordings Rubeo made, including one in which he insisted to a fellow mobster, “Hey, listen. I’m not a scumbag.”
The assertion prompted a derisive snort from Merlino’s wife, Deborah, while a cohort in the gallery repeated Rubeo’s words, and added: “Yeah, right.”
Parrello, 73, pleaded guilty last year to extortion charges and was sentenced to seven years in the slammer — prompting gasps of shock from supporters who packed the courtroom.
Before lowering the boom, Judge Richard Sullivan — who’s presiding over Merlino’s trial — coldly told Parrello he could have opted to go straight following a previous prison stretch.
“There’s a long history of capos who have died in prison,” Sullivan told the aging, half-deaf mobster.
“You must have understood this, you had 88 months to think about it before.”
Charges against O’Nofrio remain pending.


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