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

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Chicago mobster indicted for defrauding Social Security

A Chicago mobster once sent to prison as a result of the FBI’s landmark Family Secrets case has been indicted for stealing $44,000 in Social Security funds, court records show.
Michael Marcello, 68, of Wood Dale, allegedly once helped run the Chicago mob while his older brother, James Marcello, was in prison. He also took the witness stand in 2009 in the trial of Deputy U.S. Marshal John Ambrose, who was charged with leaking details about the Family Secrets investigation to the mob.
Now, he faces a one-page indictment alleging that he stole $44,623 from the Social Security Administration between September 2017 and May 2019. The document offers no further details.
His lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.
Marcello, the half-brother of Chicago mob boss James Marcello, was sentenced in March 2008 to 8 ½ years in prison— the first to be sentenced in the Family Secrets case. He once ran a lucrative video poker machine operation in the western suburbs and carried out his half-brother’s orders while James Marcello was in prison, authorities have said. He admitted his role in the mob in a 2007 plea agreement.
He also worked for the Chicago Sun-Times as a truck driver from 1986 to 1995.
In April 2009, Michael Marcello took the witness stand in the trial of Ambrose, who leaked key details to the mob about Nicholas Calabrese, the hitman who became a crucial government witness in the Family Secrets case.
Marcello testified that John “Pudgy” Matassa had funneled sensitive information to him — information he thought Matassa had obtained from a former Chicago cop and family friend of Ambrose.
Just this year, Matassa admitted to an embezzlement scheme stemming from his job as the secretary-treasurer of the Independent Union of Amalgamated Workers Local 711. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly gave him six months in prison.
But before the judge sentenced him, Matassa complained that, “the only reason I’m standing here today is because my name is John Matassa.”


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