Title: Gambino Crime Family
Description: News & discussion
GangstersInc - April 22, 2006 09:42 AM (GMT)
Reputed mob boss protects family name
Admits racketeering but denies he's a Gambino gangster
Thursday, April 20, 2006; Posted: 5:12 p.m. EDT (21:12 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- The reputed head of the Gambino crime family pleaded guilty Thursday to racketeering charges after getting an assurance from a judge that he was not admitting he was a Gambino gangster.
Arnold Squitieri, 70, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in a deal that calls for a sentence ranging up to nine years. Sentencing was scheduled for July 28.
Squitieri told U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael H. Dolinger that he was ready to plead guilty to four counts in an indictment that resulted in dozens of arrests, but only if he was assured it was "with the Gambino name out of it."
Dolinger told him he was admitting a role in an "enterprise" that engaged in racketeering.
With that, Squitieri said he was guilty. Later, he admitted "engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity" between 1999 and 2005 that included extortions of a Mineola, New York, construction company, a New Jersey trucking company and a Westchester County construction company.
He said he knew that the companies were paying money to the enterprise because there were "implied threats of violence."
"I knew it was wrong," he told Dolinger.
When he was asked to say how many years he had engaged in the racketeering crimes, he paused and apologized for the delay.
"I can't remember your honor. I'm getting up in age," he said.
As he described the crimes, his wife, Maria, and one of his daughters shook their heads.
As he left court, he turned toward his wife and said: "I did it for you. I did it for you. I pleaded guilty because of you."
Outside court, his lawyer, Gerald Shargel, declined to comment about the exchange.
The indictment was brought last year when prosecutors announced that they had built a case with the help of an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the Gambino organization and became so well trusted that he was offered membership.
GangstersInc - May 1, 2006 07:53 AM (GMT)
Charges against him dropped, but will the mob seek justice?
Thursday, April 27, 2006
By FRANK DONNELLY
STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE
Ex-cop Patrick Balsamo looked like a worried man yesterday, despite beating an assault rap. While charges of shooting a reputed Mafia capo were dropped, the threat of street justice looms large.
The burly Bulls Head resident appeared jittery outside Stapleton Criminal Court, evincing neither the relief nor exhilaration typical of defendants whose cases have been dismissed.
Balsamo mumbled, "I guess so," when asked if he was relieved that he no longer faces charges of assault, weapon possession and criminal mischief arising from the shooting of reputed Gambino crime family captain Carmine Sciandra outside a Travis mini-mall last year. Balsamo, garbed in a black sweater and dark pants, said he had a cold in his eyes.
Prosecutors said Sciandra could not identify his assailant, and a source said other evidence was inconclusive. The source also said the victim was "reluctant" to cooperate on other aspects of the case.
Balsamo, reportedly a bouncer at a Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, nightclub, potentially faced up to 25 years behind bars, if convicted at trial.
"I think it's an appropriate disposition because of the lack of evidence," Balsamo's lawyer, Felix Gilroy said outside court.
Balsamo, 49, allegedly pumped one bullet into Sciandra's gut outside Top Tomato at 3579 Victory Blvd. on Dec. 7. The victim survived the shooting.
Balsamo allegedly was seeking vengeance for his teen-age daughter, who accused Sciandra's brother, Sal -- her boss at Top Tomato -- of groping her.
According to a law-enforcement source, Balsamo, a woman believed to be his 18-year-old daughter and a man believed to be his son, Philip -- who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in state Supreme Court, St. George, yesterday to drug and gun charges in an unrelated case -- went to the store sometime before 7:30 p.m. to confront Sal Sciandra.
The law-enforcement source said the Balsamos were angered over the alleged groping incident on Dec. 5.
Page 2 of 2
The defendant's daughter allegedly was fired after complaining about it; however, another source told the Advance the teen had been sacked because her cash drawer was short.
Balsamo began bashing in store windows, possibly with a baseball bat, a law-enforcement source said.
An employee telephoned Carmine Sciandra, who, with family members, owns three Top Tomato stores on the Island, including the one in Travis.
He arrived a short time later, and Balsamo allegedly shot him once when Sciandra, then 53, confronted him.
Two alleged Bonanno crime family associates -- Michael Virga, then 53, of Oakwood, and Ronald Carlucci, then 62, of Brooklyn -- allegedly were with Balsamo. They were arrested but later released.
Joseph R. Benfante, Carmine Sciandra's lawyer, has said the incident "had nothing to do with organized crime."
"Carmine got shot the minute he got out of the car," Benfante said yesterday. "He doesn't remember anything. It was not a close-distance thing."
While Balsamo voluntarily turned over a .25 caliber gun that allegedly matches a shell casing found at the scene, the defendant did not admit to the shooting. A law-enforcement source said the bullet "disintegrated" inside Sciandra's body and therefore could not be matched to the shell casings or gun.
The source also said that videotape from the store's surveillance cameras was inconclusive as to who smashed the windows. Sciandra was "not cooperative" on that issue, said the source.
While rumors fly about possible retaliation against Balsamo, sources said that one mob family has its eyes on Sciandra and the Gambinos to prevent just such an occurrence.
Balsamo, an eight-year NYPD veteran, retired from the force in 1993 on a disability. He has no arrest history.
Sciandra is related to deceased mob bosses Carlo Gambino and Paul (Big Paul) Castellano, who was a Todt Hill resident.
In 2004, Sciandra was fingered by the FBI as a mob liaison who reportedly funneled $10,000 a month from Scara Mix, an Elm Park concrete company once owned by Castellano, to the Gambinos via former Eltingville resident Michael (Mikey Scars) DiLeonardo.
TAG: Advance staff writer Jeff Harrell contributed to this report.
Frank Donnelly is a news reporter for the Advance. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GangstersInc - June 7, 2006 07:07 PM (GMT)
Fat lip gets mobster life
By THOMAS ZAMBITO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
With Frank Sinatra in 1976.
He talked too much.
Motor-mouth mobster Greg DePalma blabbed his way into a life prison sentence yesterday after a jury convicted him of racketeering charges based on hours of incriminating government tapes.
The verdict ended a three-week trial highlighted by the testimony of an undercover FBI agent who got so cozy with the ailing 74-year-old Gambino capo that he earned an invitation to join the Mafia.
DePalma's foul mouth filled more than 5,000 hours of tapes and his trial featured "Sopranos"-like scenes, including grub-gorging goodfellas, bloody beatings and whining wiseguy wives.
As the verdict was read, DePalma, hooked throughout the trial to an oxygen tank, groused about the FBI agents who took him down. He was found guilty on 27 of 36 counts, many involving violent extortion.
"Maybe instead of them buying TVs from P.C. Richards, they should go out and get some terrorists," he told lawyer John Meringolo.
It was a reference to the six "stolen" wide-screen sets given to him by FBI agent Joaquin Garcia, the undercover veteran DePalma was introduced to in the fall of 2002 as Miami jewelry fence "Jack Falcone."
DePalma kept one and passed the others to mob bosses.
Considering his criminal history and failing health, "any sentence of five years or more is probably a life sentence," said Martin Geduldig, another defense lawyer.
DePalma's ghostly pale figure in court was in stark contrast to that of the carefully coiffed man who had Frank Sinatra's arm draped over his shoulder in an infamous 1976 photo.
Garcia was DePalma's constant companion for two years and played such a convincing role that the veteran gangster wanted to put him up for membership in the mob family once headed by the Dapper Don, John Gotti.
Using Gambino family muscle as leverage, DePalma forced the owner of Valbella's, a Greenwich, Conn., restaurant which has attracted the likes of Joe Torre and Regis Philbin, to pick up the tab so two dozen of his mob pals could belly up to a multicourse meal.
Prosecutors say DePalma forced Gary Labriola, Liza Minnelli's former manager, to pay for a $12,000 spending spree at Las Vegas' Venetian Hotel for the wives of his mob bosses in 2003.
And DePalma put the arm on contractors big and small for weekly protection payments of $500 or more as well as a Christmas "tribute." He forced one to buy poorly made suits from a tailor friend and to purchase signed Leroy Neiman prints that cost thousands.
Federal prosecutors Christopher Conniff and Scott Marrah pointed jurors to DePalma's own words, and his attorneys conceded that the tapes were too much to overcome.
"He was a walking bug," Geduldig said.
Originally published on June 7, 2006
GangstersInc - June 7, 2006 07:07 PM (GMT)
Porkfella act a heavy role
BY THOMAS ZAMBITO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
It was an undercover job that called for someone with a big appetite.
And FBI agent Joaquin Garcia put on "a good 80 pounds" during two years of chewing up the hierarchy of the Gambino crime family.
The Cuban-born Garcia's infiltration of the clan led to yesterday's conviction of capo Greg DePalma, and earlier guilty pleas from Gambino boss Arnold (Zeke) Squitieri and underboss Anthony (The Genius) Megale.
It was a probe played out over dinners at steakhouses, diners and Italian restaurants across Westchester County.
On most nights, they got a plate to go as well.
Garcia pulled off the fatfella act by pretending to be just like the rest of them - a fourth or fifth generation Sicilian who said he worked with jewel thieves out of Miami.
More than a dinner companion, Garcia supplied DePalma with the sort of quick money-making opportunities the veteran capo needed after hitting the streets following a prison stretch for a racketeering.
Garcia plied DePalma with diamond rings and Rolex watches seized by the FBI, which DePalma promptly resold at a profit. But DePalma's demands, like his appetite for good food and Camel cigarettes, proved insatiable.
"The man just like hounded me every waking moment," Garcia told jurors.
Eventually, Garcia turned over thousands of dollars in cash DePalma used for loansharking.
All the while, DePalma was dropping names into Garcia's body wire, laying out the power structure of the mob family.
Garcia was such a good earner that DePalma wanted him to take the oath of omerta.
"I'm honored for that," Garcia told DePalma. "I will never let you down, either."
From the witness stand, Garcia returned the compliment to DePalma - sort of.
"He's a consummate gangster," Garcia said.
Originally published on June 7, 2006
GangstersInc - June 23, 2006 02:31 PM (GMT)
Gambino ally says he is too poor to pay fine
MICHAEL P. MAYKO email@example.com
NEW HAVEN — Times are tough for Gerald Gerardi.
The 73-year-old Gambino crime family associate says his take from Social Security is only $753 a month.
Of that, $500 goes for the rent of his one-room apartment in Greenwich, $51 pays for the cable hooked up to a TV he bought at a tag sale; $120 goes to food and $107 goes to car insurance.
Gerardi took the stand Wednesday in an attempt to convince Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns courtroom that he can't pay off the remaining $99,775 on a 15-year-old $100,000 racketeering fine, not to mention the accrued $512,350 interest.
The hearing will continue next week.
Quickly adding up Gerardi's income and subtracting his expenses, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Sciarrino asked him how he makes up the $35 shortfall.
"I'm able to get money from people," he said gruffly. "It could be my brother, my friends, my son."
He said one friend loaned him $7,500 recently. "When I got it I'll give it back to him," Gerardi said.
But Gerardi said he doesn't know when he'll give it back or pay the fine.
"If I had the money to pay, I'd pay the fine off tomorrow morning," Gerardi told Sciarrino.
He told Sciarrino that when he sold his home on Shippan
Avenue to his ex-wife in 1986, he used his $125,000 take to repay his gambling debts.
"My financial situation was up in the air," he said. "My financial situation is always up in the air. I've been in jail most of my life."
Gerardi has numerous federal convictions dating back to 1963, when he was sentenced to five years in prison for transporting two Bridgeport women across state lines for immoral purposes.
The owed fine, along with an eight-year prison term, stems from his conviction in a racketeering conspiracy involving Gambino activities in Fairfield County.
But currently, Gerardi says, his days are filled with exercise at a health center, walks to the park and visits to his son.
"I'm trying to show my son I'm not the monster everyone makes me out to be," he said.
Michael P. Mayko, who covers legal issues, can be reached at 330-6286.
GangstersInc - June 24, 2006 04:19 PM (GMT)
GangstersInc - June 27, 2006 07:20 PM (GMT)
Reputed mob boss admits making loan at 104 pct.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
BY GUY STERLING
A Roseland man whom authorities believe once headed the Gambino crime family's New Jersey operation pleaded guilty yesterday to loaning $5,000 at an annual interest rate of 104 percent to a man who turned out to be a government informant.
In entering his plea to a single count of loansharking, Nicholas Mitarotonda, 68, told U.S. District Judge Joseph Greenaway in Newark there was an inherent threat of physical harm if the loan was not paid back or on time.
The informant was identified only by the initials "J.B.," and neither Mitarotonda's lawyer nor the federal prosecutor handling the case said anything about him during or after the court hearing.
But defense attorney Anthony Pope said afterward that secretly recorded government tapes in the case had convinced him his client would not have been wise to go to trial.
"My best judgment on that point was to recommend exactly what we did," Pope added.
Mitarotonda faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison and fines, but Pope and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Wigler said the actual sentence under federal guidelines will be closer to between three and four years.
Greenaway set sentencing for October. He also approved a defense motion -- not opposed by prosecutors -- that removes Mitarotonda from 24-hour house arrest with electronic monitoring as a condition of his bail.
Earlier this month, the FBI arrested Mitarotonda as he left his home on a complaint charging him with an extortionate extension of credit. He pleaded not guilty at his initial court appearance and was freed after posting $10,000 of a $100,000 signature bond.
A complaint federal prosecutors filed at the time said the loan was made in April of last year and that "J.B." paid $600 back on two occasions, May 2 and May 9, 2005.
In a series of questions posed by Greenaway yesterday, Mitarotonda admitted making the loan at a yearly interest rate of 104 percent and acknowledged a portion of it had been repaid.
When the judge inquired whether there was an implied threat of violence if the money was not paid back, he responded: "Yes, your honor."
Mitarotonda's guilty plea represents his 12th conviction on 14 arrests dating to 1971, a criminal history that prompted another judge years ago to refer to him as a "habitual felon."
The other offenses included bookmaking, loansharking, fraud and tax evasion. In 1996, Mitarotonda pleaded guilty to federal loansharking charges and a probation violation, offenses that brought him an 82-month prison sentence.
In the probation case, he admitted to associating with known felons, as well as sharing in the illicit proceeds of a sports betting ring that accepted wagers in Essex, Middlesex and Morris counties. His previous federal conviction was for gambling in 1991.
While he was being prosecuted on that charge, Mitarotonda called subordinates from a phone in the federal courthouse in Newark to change the location of a new gambling operation he was overseeing, authorities said.
Law enforcement officials say Mitarotonda was once an associate of former Gambino crime family boss John Gotti. He allegedly took control of the family's operation in New Jersey after the imprisonment of Robert "Cabert" Bisaccia of Belleville on racketeering and murder convictions almost 15 years ago.
GangstersInc - July 11, 2006 03:15 PM (GMT)
Posted on Sun, Jul. 09, 2006
Officials might bar company from A.C.
The construction firm has ties with ex-police leader Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty in another case.
By George Anastasia
Inquirer Staff Writer
A guilty plea by a former New York City police commissioner in a conflict-of-interest case could bolster a move by New Jersey gaming regulators to bar a construction company from doing business with Atlantic City casinos.
The guilty plea by Bernard Kerik last month appears to substantiate at least one of the charges that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has filed against a reputed mob-connected company that in 2004 was granted a casino-service-industry license.
Kerik admitted in court that Interstate Industrial Corp., had paid for $165,000 in renovations on a New York City apartment he owned in 1999. The division claims the owners of the North Jersey company, brothers Frank and Peter DiTommaso, have denied the allegation.
Authorities allege the DiTommasos paid for the renovations in exchange for Kerik's using his influence to help their firm secure city contracts.
Providing "untrue and misleading" information to gaming regulators is grounds for a license revocation, the division argued in a complaint filed in November against Interstate.
So, too, is associating with known organized-crime figures, a point the division made when it first opposed Interstate's attempt to win Casino Control Commission licensure approval two years ago.
The allegations of mob ties are repeated and expanded in the current complaint, which will be the focus of a hearing in September.
Thomas Auriemma, the director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, said Wednesday that he could not comment on the Interstate case because of the pending hearing.
Thomas Durkin Jr., the lawyer for Interstate and the DiTommasos, did not return several phone calls seeking comment. In the past, Durkin and the DiTommasos have denied the allegations of mob ties.
Interstate has yet to do any work in the casino industry.
The company was granted a service-industry license in July 2004 by the Casino Control Commission, which found that the Division of Gaming Enforcement had failed to substantiate the alleged organized-crime ties.
In its three-count complaint filed in November, the division added additional allegations of mob connections. It also alleged that the DiTommasos had misled state regulators when the brothers claimed to have no knowledge of the $165,000 paid for Kerik's apartment renovations.
Most of the new mob allegations cited in the complaint come from mob informant testimony at the trials of Peter Gotti in late 2004 and John Gotti Jr. in 2005.
Both trials occurred after the Casino Control Commission had granted a license to Interstate and the DiTommasos.
At those trials, the company and its two owners were described as closely tied to the DeCavalcante and Gambino crime families. The Gottis were leaders of the Gambino organization.
Mob informants testified about routine payoffs made by the DiTommasos in exchange for "protection" and to ensure that they could use nonunion labor on construction projects in New York City.
One former mobster said he had collected "bags of cash" from the construction company, according to the complaint.
As when it originally opposed licensing the company and the owners, the division contends that Interstate and the DiTommaso brothers knowingly associated with organized-crime figures.
At a hearing in Bronx criminal court on June 30, Kerik was ordered to pay $221,000 in fines and fees after admitting that he had allowed Interstate to pay for $165,000 in renovation work. He also pleaded guilty to a separate misdemeanor offense for accepting a $28,000 loan from a developer without reporting it to city ethics regulators.
Kerik was commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction in 1998 when he first started dealing with Interstate. Two years later, he was appointed police commissioner.
The guilty plea ended a long and well-publicized career slide for the once high-profile law-enforcement official who was nominated by President Bush in 2004 to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Within a week, Kerik withdrew his name from consideration after reports surfaced that he had once employed an illegal nanny. That revelation led to a broader probe of his financial dealings by a Bronx grand jury, which ended with last month's guilty plea.
Contact staff writer George Anastasia at 856-779-3846 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GangstersInc - July 13, 2006 11:38 AM (GMT)
Gotti kin's appeal called trash
Uncle Pete lost another round with the feds.
The sanitationman uncle of John A. (Junior) Gotti yesterday lost his appeal of his 2004 conviction stemming from the Gambino family's ironfisted control of docks in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
The panel of 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judges said Peter Gotti still owes the government $3.7 million in forfeited mob money.
But the judges said the 67-year-old Gotti may qualify for a reduction in his nearly 10-year sentence.
Gotti is also serving a 25-year sentence for a failed plot to kill mob turncoat Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano.
Originally published on July 13, 2006
GangstersInc - July 30, 2006 07:38 PM (GMT)
Reputed Gambino boss with ties to Scarsdale capo gets 8 years
By TIMOTHY O'CONNOR
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: July 29, 2006)
The reputed boss of the Gambino crime family will serve nearly eight years in prison for his part in the massive racketeering case that centered around an admitted Scarsdale capo.
Arnold Squitieri, 70, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., pleaded guilty April 20 to four racketeering-related counts of an indictment that was filed in March 2005 against 32 suspected leaders, members and associates of the crime family that was once led by John Gotti.
Judge Alvin Hellerstein yesterday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan sentenced Squitieri to 92 months for his guilty pleas to extorting the owners of construction companies on Long Island and in Westchester, and a New Jersey trucking company.
FBI agents from the White Plains office built the case by infiltrating the Westchester-based crew of Gambino capo Gregory DePalma of Scarsdale. DePalma was convicted last month of racketeering by a federal jury in Manhattan and is awaiting sentencing.
In secretly taped conversations, the talkative DePalma named Squitieri as the boss of the family and Anthony Megale of Stamford, Conn., as the family's underboss.
That information proved helpful to federal authorities who were trying to get a fix on the family's hierarchy following the arrest of Gambino boss Peter Gotti in 2002.
An undercover FBI agent posed as a jewel thief and gained the trust and confidence of DePalma. A turncoat member of DePalma's crew passed on a cell phone that was rigged with an FBI listening device to the aging capo.
Federal investigators secretly recorded 5,000 hours of DePalma's conversations in restaurants and businesses throughout Westchester and New York City over a nearly three-year investigation. DePalma was even recorded holding meetings with fellow mobsters at the bedside of his comatose son Craig in a New Rochelle nursing home.
The alleged Gambino members were indicted on charges of racketeering, extortion, loan-sharking, illegal gambling, mail fraud and trafficking in stolen goods.
On one tape, DePalma recounts how Squitieri, whom he nicknamed "Bozey" and "Zeke," beat up another wiseguy in the bathroom of a New Jersey restaurant.
DePalma was impressed with Squitieri, saying admiringly on one tape that Squitieri was a "hoodlum tough guy."
Squitieri has drug-dealing and manslaughter convictions on his record. He was on supervised release for heroin dealing at the time of the DePalma investigation.
Federal authorities said Louis Filippelli of Armonk acted as a street boss for Squitieri. Filippelli was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to 46 months in prison for his part in the case.
Hollander - August 3, 2006 10:32 AM (GMT)
Wiseguy plays it tough
Alphonse Sisca didn't cry and he didn't beg.
The life-long mobster held back the tears and took his six-year, three-month sentence like a man - even though his mob pal had broken down in court last week as he begged a judge to go easy on Sisca.
"It's just overwhelming what was said already," Sisca told Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein, when asked to say something on his own behalf. "What could I possibly say."
When it was over, Sisca blew a kiss to his ailing wife as she cried uncontrollably in the front row, hiding her face behind the family members who gathered around.
Last week, acting Gambino crime family boss Arnold (Zeke) Squitieri used his own sentencing to beg Hellerstein to go easy on Sisca, 63. "He's a broken man now," Squitieri said. "I'm begging you, be kind to him."
Over the past year, Sisca's son died from tongue cancer, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and his daughter-in-law was hit with thyroid cancer.
Hellerstein said the sentence, on the low end of what Sisca faced, was tempered by the "unbroken grief" that his family has been forced to endure.
Sisca has already spent nearly a third of his life in a prison cell, most of it for trafficking in heroin. Prosecutors said that after he got out of prison, he helped Squitieri oversee a team of mob capos as they carried out gambling, loansharking and extortion schemes."Mr. Sisca has a nobility about bearing his punishment that you have to admire," Hellerstein said.
Originally published on August 3, 2006
Hollander - August 4, 2006 11:38 AM (GMT)
Bernie faces FBI probe of charity's missing 1M
By GREG B. SMITH and RUSS BUETTNER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
The FBI is investigating former top cop Bernard Kerik's involvement in a charity that was secretly run out of the city Correction Department when Kerik served as its commissioner, the Daily News has learned.
Agents are looking into what happened to some $1million in rebates - from cigarettes bought for sale to inmates - that was diverted to the accounts of the Correction Foundation, said a federal law enforcement source familiar with the matter.
As The News first revealed in 2003, the rebates went into city coffers until Kerik became president of the foundation in 1995.
When The News asked Kerik in early 2003 about irregularities in the foundation's financial records, he claimed to know nothing about its finances and directed questions to his treasurer, Frederick Patrick, a deputy police commissioner.
Patrick eventually pleaded guilty to pilfering $137,733 from the foundation and was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. He has since been released.
News of the federal probe, first reported on WNBC last night, comes a month after Kerik pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. Kerik admitted that in 1999 he had accepted $165,000 in free renovations to his Bronx apartment from a city contractor under investigation for alleged mob ties.
Kerik and his attorney, Joseph Tacopina, said then that the plea brought to a close investigations that had begun based on a series of News articles in late 2004, after President Bush had nominated Kerik to become the nation's director of Homeland Security.
"The last year and a half has been a tremendous burden on me and my family," said Kerik. "But today it's over."
The brothers who own the company that paid for the renovations, Frank and Peter DiTommaso, have since been indicted on perjury charges for telling a Bronx grand jury that they had nothing to do with the renovations.
Tacopina could not be reached for comment on the federal probe last night.
Originally published on August 4, 2006
GangstersInc - August 5, 2006 09:27 AM (GMT)
August 04, 2006 11:40 PM ET
BetonSports tied to mob-linked website
All Financial Times News
BetonSports, the publicly listed UK internet gambling business, has been linked by US prosecutors to a website that employed associates of New York's Gambino crime family to collect debts.
The website, Bestlinesports.com, used a father and son team in Broward County, Florida, connected to the crime syndicate once run by notorious mob boss John Gotti to gather wagers on sports events and deliver them to Costa Rica, where the website was based at the time, prosecutors in Florida said.
Joseph "Boca Joe" Fafone and Joseph Jr Fafone were convicted on illegal gambling charges over their work for Bestlinesports.com. Prosecutors described the Fafones as associates of Frank "The Bear" Basto, a Gambino crime family member.
Bestlinesports.com was one of a number of websites "belonging to or controlled by" BetonSports and affiliated people and companies, according to the indictment against BetonSports filed by the US attorney's office in Missouri.
The indictment charged BetonSports, Gary Kaplan, its founder, and David Carruthers, its British former chief executive, with racketeering, fraud and other charges.
Bestlinesports.com is also one of the websites placed under a Federal Court restraining order that has barred BetonSports from operating in the US since last month. A spokesman for BetonSports said the company had "a relationship a few years ago [with Bestline Sports], which was a basic landlord-tenant relationship". He was unsure whether the relationship continued.
The Department of Justice has characterised the BetonSports case as part of a continuing effort to clamp down on illegal internet gambling. "This has been a priority for some time," a spokesman said. "This indictment is just one in a series."
The Gambino family link to Bestline Sports was revealed in an investigation by the Broward County sheriff's office, codenamed "Operation Goodfellas", between 2000 and 2002.
The Fafones were prosecuted after helping an undercover detective place bets through Bestline Sports by phone and on the internet, and then collecting debts owed to the website and delivering winnings. The father and son were described as agents for the website in the affidavit for the case. The conviction of the Fafones took place while Mr Carruthers was working for BetonSports.
The prospectus for BetonSports' initial public offering in 2004 states that "David Carruthers joined BetonSports in June 2000 as chief executive officer and managing director of its UK subsidiaries".
This is the second alleged connection to emerge between BetonSports and US mob figures. Last weekend it emerged that another online betting company linked to a separate New York Mafia family, Safe Deposit Sports, had rented office space from BetonSports at its headquarters in San José, Costa Rica. BetonSports denies it has any link to the company apart from once renting offices to it.
In an interview in 2003 with La Nacion, a Costa Rican news-paper, Mr Carruthers denied BetonSports had any involvement with Bestline Sports beyond a subleasing relationship.
GangstersInc - September 1, 2006 11:26 AM (GMT)
Editor's note: On Feb. 22, 2006, informant Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo returned to a federal courtroom (he was a witness in an earlier mistrial) to testify on the history and illegal activities of New York's Gambino Crime Family. DiLeonardo, who served in the family's hierarchy and was involved with many of its regional rackets, recalled details of his years in the underworld and named many significant names. Because it is beyond the scope of this history-focused website to defame living people (we choose not to protect informants from themselves), some names have been edited from his testimony. We believe that the edited statements are of significant value to organized crime researchers.http://www.onewal.com/nw-dileo.html
Thanks go out to louieb who posted this link on the Real Deal forum.
GangstersInc - September 7, 2006 07:42 AM (GMT)
Manhattan: Crime Boss Is Sentenced
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: September 7, 2006
Anthony Megale, described by prosecutors as the former acting underboss of the Gambino crime family, was sentenced yesterday in Federal District Court to more than 11 years in prison, prosecutors said. Mr. Megale pleaded guilty to racketeering and extortion on March 30, said Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney in Manhattan. As part of his plea, Mr. Megale admitted extorting the owners of a restaurant in Connecticut, a New Jersey trucking company and a Westchester County construction company. Mr. Megale was one of 32 defendants charged as part of a federal racketeering investigation last year, prosecutors said. All but one have pleaded guilty or have been convicted, prosecutors said.
GangstersInc - September 27, 2006 07:39 AM (GMT)
No leniency: Ailing Gambino captain sent to prison for 12 years
By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press Writer
September 26, 2006, 3:54 PM EDT
NEW YORK -- An ailing 74-year-old Gambino crime family captain who once recommended an undercover FBI agent for mob membership asked a judge for leniency Tuesday but received more than 12 years in prison instead.
"Give me one more shot," Gregory DePalma, who uses a wheelchair, asked U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, who presided over a trial in which DePalma was convicted of racketeering.
"If you were in my shoes," the judge replied, "I don't think you would."
"You gotta do what you gotta do, so let's do it," DePalma then grumbled shortly before he was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison for crimes he committed after he was freed from prison in early 2003.
When the judge rejected the Department of Probation's suggestion that DePalma receive less than the minimum of 12 years called for by sentencing guidelines and imposed the sentence, DePalma said, "I'll be dead maybe in about five."
The judge, calling DePalma "a man thoroughly immersed in criminal activity," said he could not be lenient because leniency toward DePalma in the past had not led him to avoid crime when he was out of prison.
DePalma was convicted June 6 by a jury in a case that featured the exploits of Joaquin Garcia, a rotund FBI agent who capped a career of disguises by posing as "Big Jack" Falcone.
DePalma believed Garcia's act enough that he recommended he be made a member of the crime family. Before that could happen, DePalma and 31 others were arrested.
DePalma's lawyers had protested the government's use of sophisticated bugging devices placed in their client's cellular telephone that enabled investigators to listen to conversations even when the telephone was off.
Lawyer John L. Pollok had accused the government of turning DePalma into a "human microphone" with the eavesdropping devices.
The judge said the government received proper approval from courts as it steadily increased the scope of its audio surveillance, trying to destroy the new leadership of the crime family during a three-year probe.
The ruling cleared the way for the government's use of parts of 5,000 hours of taped conversations showing DePalma working energetically from 2003 to 2005 extorting restaurants, construction companies and a Bronx topless nightclub, where he was introduced to the undercover agent.
DePalma once was photographed with Frank Sinatra and enjoyed exaggerating or boasting of his connections.
On tapes, DePalma described getting a former manager for Liza Minnelli to finance a $12,000 eight-day trip for mob wives to Las Vegas. Prosecutors called the man one of DePalma's victims.
At a trial in which DePalma used an oxygen tube in his nose, prosecutors made his health an issue, telling jurors he had boasted after a 1999 racketeering guilty plea that he had duped the judge with an illness act worthy of an Academy Award.
They played tapes of him bragging that he wore an oxygen mask and did not shave for a week before sentencing, leading the judge to say he had never sentenced a man so sick.
On Tuesday, DePalma told the judge he wanted to show prosecutors his swollen legs to prove how ill he remained from heart and lung problems.
The judge disallowed it, but he did engage DePalma in conversation in which both of them alluded to their military careers and talked about the perils of aging.
DePalma said the 72-year-old judge seemed in better health than he was, a fact the judge did not deny.
"Then again," the judge told DePalma, "I haven't lived your life."
Hollander - September 27, 2006 11:22 PM (GMT)
NewsChannel 4 Exclusive: Jeanine Pirro Under Criminal Investigation
ALBANY, N.Y. - NewsChannel 4's Jonathan Dienst has learned Jeanine Pirro, the Republican candidate for New York Attorney General, has been under state and federal criminal investigation. Special Report Video: Pirro Probed
Dienst reports these allegations center on whether Pirro illegally spied on her own husband, Albert Pirro, while she was in the office of the Westchester District Attorney.
The sources said that court authorities wiretapped conversations that appear to show that while preparing for a statewide run for office, Pirro was desperate to prove her husband was cheating on her.
She came under the scrutiny of six different law enforcement agencies, including the New York Police Department, the city's Department of Investigation and prosecutors in the Bronx and Westchester.
According to documents now in the hands of several defense attorneys, Pirro and Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik were apparently talking about planting a hidden device aboard her husband's boat. Her possible motive may have been to see if he was having an affair.
Sources told NewsChannel 4 that in one conversation, Pirro allegedly complained that one of Kerik's employees is reluctant to board Albert Pirro's boat.
Jeanine Pirro suggests, "We can just simply say, if there is an issue, that I am redecorating it for our anniversary.? She complains that Kerik?s man is, ?uncomfortable with that.?
Kerik responds by saying, ?But Janine, I?m having the same f------g problem with everybody? everybody is panic stricken because it?s you? I?ve gone out on a limb? I had two other people looking at this? it?s a problem.?
Pirro says, ?What am I supposed to do, Bernie? Watch him f--k her every night? What am I supposed to do?? I can go on the boat, I?ll put the f-----g thing on myself.?
Minutes later, Kerik apparently calls a contact at Giuliani Partners, former mayor Rudy Giuliani?s consulting firm, asking him to find a recording device.
Sources tell the FBI and Justice Department have been asked to look into whether Pirro and Kerik also might have violated federal laws.
In the wire-tapped conversations, Jeanine Pirro appears to discuss how her husband?s alleged indiscretions hurt her politically.
Without her husband, sources say she tells Kerik, ?I move into the governor?s mansion.? That?s an apparent reference to her aspirations for higher office.
Lobbying Albert Pirro was convicted of tax fraud in 2000 and has fathered a child out of wedlock. He was investigated for allegedly leaking information from his wife?s Westchester D.A. office to the mob, which he has denied. To date, no charges have been brought.
Twice this summer, he has been ticketed for speeding in his Mercedes.
Jeanine Pirro decided not to seek re-election in Westchester, and first put her name in the race for the Senate. However, she dropped out in her bid to go against Hillary Clinton, and switched to the Attorney General?s race.
However, when speaking to Kerik in the summer of 2005, Pirro apparently belittled a run the A.G. job, saying it?s a ?been there, done that kind of thing.?
Some of the conversations with Kerik were recorded because Kerik?s phone was tapped in 2005, as part of an unrelated corruption probe. Kerik ended up pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges in June to receiving gifts from a construction firm investigation for having mafia ties.
Pirro currently trails Democrat Andrew Cuomo in the race for Attorney General.
As for Kerik, his legal troubles appear to be mounting. NewsChannel 4 has revealed that Kerik remains under investigation for more than $1 million missing from a jail charity when he was city corrections commissioner.
GangstersInc - November 14, 2006 08:33 PM (GMT)
Mob goon is sent away for 20 yrs.
Sliwa tearful at sentencing
BY THOMAS ZAMBITO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Curtis Sliwa leaves court after Yannotti sentencing yesterday.
Curtis Sliwa brushed away tears yesterday as a judge sentenced a Gambino thug he long wanted to see behind bars to 20 years in prison.
Jurors may have cleared Michael Yannotti in the 1992 point-blank shooting of the radio host - but Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin refused to show the Mafia muscle any mercy as she sent him up the river on an unrelated racketeering count.
Sliwa was shot twice as he tried to dive out the window of a stolen yellow cab whose doors had been rigged shut.
Scheindlin made clear she still believes Yannotti was the triggerman.
"How Mr. Sliwa survived the attack at all is simply a miracle," Scheindlin said.
She said Sliwa, the founder of the city's famed Guardian Angels, "demonstrated superhuman strength and ingenuity to get out of that death car."
After watching crime boss John Gotti Jr. score three mistrials for his alleged role in the shooting, Sliwa said it was the first time he'd felt a measure of justice for the attack he says wrecked his second marriage and left him with intestinal injuries that cause him suffering every day.
"This is not Sicily, this is not Baghdad, this is not Gaza," Sliwa said. "When he shot those bullets into me he attempted to stifle my free speech. ... It's a nightmare ... mentally and physically."
Yannotti, 43, shook his head in disbelief each time Scheindlin linked him to the shooting. Prosecutors say Gotti sent Yannotti and another wiseguy to abduct Sliwa on June 19, 1992, following Sliwa's relentless on-air attacks on the Gotti clan.
Yannotti, the feds insist, jumped up from the passenger seat of the cab and, shouting, "Take this, you son of a b----," fired two shots from a .38-caliber gun that hit Sliwa in his leg and abdomen.
The 20-year sentence stunned Yannotti's supporters.
"Jesus," one whispered as Yannotti's sobbing sister ran from court.
Jurors at Yannotti's 2005 trial acquitted him of the Sliwa shooting on a vote of seven to five favoring conviction. But prosecutor Victor Hou argued that the judge could factor the shooting into Yannotti's sentence on racketeering charges that included extortion and loansharking counts because of the "ample evidence" of his involvement.
Scheindlin agreed and ignore Yannotti's handwritten plea for mercy.
"My parents are older and I don't have much time," Yannotti, 43, wrote. "I would like them to know their only son turned out all right." He asked that she allow him to restart his life with a wife he married in 1999 and two young daughters he called "the little treasures."
Sliwa vows to press ahead with a lawsuit accusing Junior Gotti of his role in his shooting.
"The guy I still hold responsible for this is John Gotti Jr.," Sliwa said.
Originally published on November 14, 2006
Laurentian - December 13, 2006 05:12 PM (GMT)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 12, 2006
United States Attorney’s Office
GAMBINO ORGANIZED CRIME FAMILY SOLDIERS JOHN GAMMARANO AND WILLIAM SCOTTO INDICTED FOR RACKETEERING AND SECURITIES FRAUD
Gammarano, A Long-Time Gambino Family Member, Has Also Been An
Acting Captain Of The Family
An indictment was unsealed this morning in Brooklyn federal court charging Gambino organized crime family soldiers JOHN GAMMARANO and WILLIAM SCOTTO with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and securities fraud conspiracy.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants arepresumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Close The defendants were arrested earlier today and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Charles P. Sifton.
The charges were announced by Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.
As set forth in the indictment, GAMMARANO, also known as “Johnny G.,” has been affiliated with the Gambino family at least since 1982, and at various times has held the position of acting captain. SCOTTO, known as “Billy,” is also a made member of the Gambino family and currently holds the rank of soldier. The racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges include predicate acts of securities fraud conspiracy, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion, and extortionate collection of credit.
Securities Fraud Conspiracy
The defendants are charged with engaging in a wide-ranging securities fraud conspiracy between 1995 and 2003. Specifically, the indictment alleges that in February and March 2000, a co-conspirator, while an undisclosed owner of several hundred thousand shares of GlobalNet, Inc. common stock, secretly paid brokers cash commissions to promote the sale of GlobalNet stock in order to artificially inflate the price of that stock. The indictment further charges that in March 2003, a second co-conspirator paid GAMMARANO approximately $5,000, which represented a portion of the proceeds from a fraudulent securities transaction involving an entity known as Jaguar.
The indictment alleges that in 1995 GAMMARANO conspired to extort money from the principals of First Hanover Securities, Inc., through threats of force and violence; in 1995 GAMMARANO and SCOTTO conspired to extort property from John Fiero and Fiero Brothers, Inc.; and between 1988 and 1991, GAMMARANO conspired to extort money from DeLuxe Homes of Pennsylvania, Inc.
SCOTTO is charged with attempting to extort money from an individual identified in the indictment as “John Doe,” by threats of force and violence in February 1993.
Extortionate Collection of Credit
The indictment charges that in 1982 GAMMARANO used extortionate means to collect extensions of credit made to an individual named George Foronjy.
“The public can be assured that we will be relentless in our efforts to end organized crime’s corrupting influence in the market place and in our communities,” stated United States Attorney Mauskopf. Ms. Mauskopf thanked the FBI for its assistance in the case.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Mershon stated, “Even in a law enforcement world of shifting priorities, organized crime remains a priority program of the FBI in New York. That is because, as this case amply reflects, mobsters still commit crimes of violence to enforce the legally unenforceable agreements that are the backbone of their underground economy. As long as there are mobsters in New York, the FBI will commit resources to policing them.”
If convicted of all charges, GAMMARANO and SCOTTO each faces a maximum sentence of 45 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey A. Goldberg.
GangstersInc - December 24, 2006 10:03 PM (GMT)
Brazil hands over mob case fugitive
John Alite allegedly partnered with Ronald Trucchio to muscle in on Tampa's valet business.
By Times Staff Writer
Published December 23, 2006http://www.sptimes.com
TAMPA - A suspected top leader of the Gambino crime family who fought extradition from Brazil to avoid prosecution on federal charges in Tampa has been handed over to the FBI and returned to the United States.
John Edward Alite, 44, lived in Brazil for nearly three years. U.S. authorities accused Alite, also known as John Alletto, of controlling illegal businesses, illegal gambling, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping and murder as a top lieutenant in New York's Gambino family.
One such business was Prestige Valet, a Tampa company federal authorities say Alite and four other men used to infiltrate the valet business.
Alite's alleged business partner, Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio, and three co-defendants were found guilty of conspiracy and racketeering in Tampa federal court last month.
Prosecutors said the defendants formed a crew that reported to the Gambino crime family. Federal authorities said the crew began in Queens, N.Y., in the 1980s, when Trucchio and his business partner, Alite, used their relationship with John Gotti Jr. as leverage to corner the drug trafficking market there.
Alite, a former University of Tampa student, was described as the link between the New York mobsters and crimes in Tampa. He is accused of acting as the crew's street boss and running its everyday activities from Tampa.
Federal police spokesman Carlos Mello said Alite flew in January 2004 to Rio de Janeiro, where he settled in the famous Copacabana beach neighborhood and taught boxing at a local school.
He was arrested 10 months later at an Internet cafe "where he would go to contact his family and accomplices in the United States," Mello said. Police say the FBI tracked Alite through the e-mails he sent from the cafe.
Brazilian police recently released Alite to the custody of five FBI agents, who escorted him back to the United States, Mello said.
Information from Associated Press and Times files was used in this report.
[Last modified December 23, 2006, 06:32:37]
Hollander - December 25, 2006 05:52 PM (GMT)
Brazil extradites suspected mobster to U.S.
POSTED: 2:14 p.m. EST, December 22, 2006
John Edward Alite, in a 2004 photo, will face kidnapping and murder charges in the U.S. after living in Brazil almost three years
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- A suspected top leader of the Gambino crime family who lived in Brazil for nearly three years was extradited Friday to the United States to face charges, including kidnapping and murder.
Brazilian police handed John Edward Alite, 44, over to five U.S. FBI agents who escorted him back to the United States, federal police spokesman Carlos Mello said by telephone.
U.S. authorities accuse Alite, also known as John Alletto, of controlling illegal businesses, illegal gambling, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping and murder as a top lieutenant in the New York-based Gambino family.
Mello said Alite flew in January 2004 to Rio de Janeiro, where he settled in the famous Copacabana beach neighborhood and taught boxing at a local school.
He was arrested 10 months later at an Internet cafe "where he would go to contact his family and accomplices in the United States," Mello said.
Police said the FBI tracked Alite through the e-mails he sent from the cafe.
puparo - January 3, 2007 10:52 PM (GMT)
can some add??
i can, but am looking for others that know:
I've put the following together from my sources, from the AP, and from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Gold Club owner Steven Elliot Kaplan stands only 5'7" but according to a federal indictment, he's a big man in the Mafia run sex business.
Born in Philadelphia, Kaplan moved with his parents and brother to New York. His father, George Kaplan, was a magazine peddler. Steve Kaplan worked for his dad at the family magazine stand in Grand Central Station. What Kaplan learned from his father may have led to his troubles.
On May 28, 1987, undercover cops watched as George Kaplan picked up three suspected mobsters at La Guardia Airport in New York. The alleged mobsters, Natale Richichi, Anthony Mascuzzio and Nunzio Russo, flew in from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to Fort Lauderdale Metropolitan Organized Crime Intelligence Unit documents. Investigators suspect the gangsters carried a bag filled with cash.
George Kaplan drove the three men to a Gambino social club in Brooklyn. Police saw one of George Kaplan's sons in the car, probably Steve.
Here, based on the indictment, New York police accounts and Medical Examiner's Office reports, is what officials have learned about Steve Kaplan's life from 1987 to 1999:
On June 17, 1988, Steve Kaplan was at the Bedrock nightclub in New York City when Mascuzzio was shot and killed there. Mascuzzio was a soldier in the Gambino crime family. The owner of the club, David Fisher, had gotten into a shootout with Mascuzzio because he was tired of paying the Gambino family.
Kaplan took a witness from the club to meet with Gambino bosses, Wednesday's indictment says. The bosses told Kaplan to hide the witness, and Kaplan took him to his home in Boca Raton, Fla., the indictment alleges. The Gambino family had planned to kill Fisher, but Kaplan also convinced them not to do it inside the nightclub, the indictment says. Fisher later committed suicide, and Kaplan at some point took control of Bedrocks, later known as Bedrox.
Kaplan managed L'Amore East and Heatwave nightclubs in New York, allegedly making payments to the Gambinos from the proceeds of the clubs, according to the indictment.
In 1991, the indictment says, Kaplan took control of a nightclub in Florida called Club Boca, a place where John Gotti, the leader of the Gambino crime family, sometimes visited. At Club Boca, Kaplan moved into loan sharking and ordering thefts and the beating of a man who did not pay Kaplan after the sale of a stolen boat.
In November 1993, Kaplan began wooing the owner of the Gold Club for a partnership. Kaplan told owner John Kirkendoll he could provide expertise and much-needed cash to save the strip club and launch a franchising campaign. Kirkendoll bought into Kaplan's dream. Their partnership lasted only a few months. Kirkendoll did not like the way Kaplan had taken over. He tried to oust Kaplan, but eventually ended up agreeing to sell out.
Kaplan became famous for revving up the Gold Club. The Gambino family sought his counsel when it wanted to take over Scores, a New York strip club, the indictment says.
Ten years after Kaplan's father made the trip to La Guardia, Steve Kaplan, successful businessman, would make a similar trip. In 1997, Steve Kaplan rode to the same Queens airport with a Gambino capo. This time, it was Kaplan delivering a bag choked with bills, each stack containing $2,000, the indictment says. Steven Kaplan, owner of the Gold Club, has amassed an empire valued at more than $50 million since 1987.
In New York, Kaplan owns two newsstands, a pizza parlor and a $1.1 million house, according to public records. Kaplan's house was near John Gotti Jr.'s, in Oyster Bay, an exclusive suburb. In Boca Raton, Fla., Kaplan once owned Club Boca, a nightclub sandwiched between two businesses with mob ties.
Gold Club Bust - What's The Porn Connection?
Director James DiGiorgio hinted Wednesday night that he knows Steven Elliot Kaplan of Atlanta's Gold Club and that John Gotti Jr knows Kaplan well.
Word on the street is that the feds came hard at Kaplan in order to get him to roll over on his contacts in the Gambino org. Kaplan is under 24 hr survellience by the feds. Everyone thinks Kaplan will roll over and go into the Witness Protection Program. Most people are betting that Kaplan will never see his 41st birthday unless he leaves this country and forfiets bail. All those violations...and the feds have decided to let the Gold Club continue to operate. They have not even moved to take it over. They are squeezing Kaplan big time.
The basketball team alluded to in the Gold Club story is none other than the New York Knicks. They were playing an exhibition game
GangstersInc - January 4, 2007 10:01 AM (GMT)
Kaplan became owner of the Gold Club in 1994. Illegal activities are prostitution, bribing police officers, money laundering, credit card fraud, wire fraud. In the 1980s Kaplan owned a roller rink in Queens NY, which he converted into a nightclub called L'Amore East. At this time he began making pay offs to the Gambino Family. Later owned a nightclub in Brooklyn called Heatwave. In 1988 owned and operated another nightclub in Manhattan called Bedrock, later Bedrox. In 1990/91 he obtained ownership interest in another nightclub in Boca Raton, Florida called Club Boca.
John "Jack" Redlinger, an officer with the Atlanta Police Department was bribed. Reginald Burney, an officer within the Permits Unit of the Atlanta PD was also bribed.
GangstersInc - January 15, 2007 03:44 PM (GMT)
MOB APPEAL IS WHACKED
By KATI CORNELL
January 10, 2007 -- Convicted Gambino consigliere Frank LoCascio has lost his final bid for a new trial, as a federal appeals court shot down claims that his defense lawyer dropped the ball in 1992 after receiving death threats from the late John "Dapper Don" Gotti.
In a written ruling issued yesterday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals found that Brooklyn federal Judge Leo Glasser "properly determined that the alleged death threat . . . was not the cause of any lapse in representation."
It was only after Gotti's death in 2002 that LoCascio's former defense lawyer, Anthony Cadinale, came forward to reveal he'd been threatened.
GangstersInc - January 15, 2007 03:46 PM (GMT)
'MOBSTER' IS ON THE MENU
CITY GAVE EATERY DEAL TO KNOWN KIN OF GAMBINO BIGS
By MURRAY WEISS
Police at the scene of a 2002 shooting outside Caffe on the Green. The eatery is in a historic Queens mansion and run by Joe Franco (above, in 1998).
January 15, 2007 -- A reputed mobster, whose uncle once ran the Gambino crime family for imprisoned godfather John Gotti, has a city contract to operate a posh restaurant in a Queens mansion that was once home to movie legend Rudolph Valentino and Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, The Post has learned.
Joseph Franco, a nattily dressed, politically connected restaurateur, has held the city Parks Department license to operate popular Caffe on the Green in Bayside since 1992.
He holds the concession, although he and his brother, Salvatore, a disgraced union president and one-time regular at Gotti's Ravenite Club, are listed by law-enforcement officials as Gambino crime-family members along with their uncle, Giuseppe "Joe" Arcuri, a powerful mob captain since the 1960s.
Franco opened his city-licensed eatery at roughly the same time his uncle was anointed by Gotti to help run the Gambinos with Gotti's brother, Peter, after the Dapper Don was imprisoned for life in 1992 for murder and racketeering.
And the Franco family was close enough with the legendary mob boss that their names appear on an infamous April 1990 wedding-gift list found in the home of Gotti's son, John "Junior" Gotti.
According to court records, that nuptial directory, a veritable Who's Who of American Mafiosi, had a notation:
" 'Arcuri 4,000' followed by 'Sal Franco 500' and 'Joe Franco 500,' (gift amounts) which would correspond to Arcuri's rank as capo and the Francos' positions as soldiers."
Last week, city Comptroller William Thompson disclosed that a businessman who has been linked to the Colombo crime family and the Russian mob has a $10 million, 20-year contract to operate the Marine Park Golf Course in Brooklyn.
The revelation about Dominick Logozzo's contract - which is unrelated to the Caffe on the Green deal - is being examined by the city Department of Investigation and the Law Department. That contract was awarded in 2005 before Logozzo's associates were indicted by the feds.
As for Franco, his lawyer, Sidney Davidoff, denied that his client was a mob member or involved with organized crime in any way. He pointed out that Franco's background had been "vetted" by the city when he received the license and that his client "is a pillar of the community."
Laurentian - January 31, 2007 01:58 PM (GMT)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 30, 2007
United States Attorney’s Office
ELEVEN MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES OF THE GAMBINO AND LUCHESE FAMILIES, AND TWO ASSOCIATES OF THE SICILIAN MAFIA, CHARGED WITH RACKETEERING, BRIBERY, EXTORTION, MONEY LAUNDERING, LOANSHARKING, AND BANK FRAUD
Undercover Operation Reveals Plot to Pay Bribes to Secure the Release from Federal Detention of an Associate of the Sicilian Mafia
Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, announced that an indictment and complaint were unsealed this morning in federal court in Brooklyn, New York charging eleven members and associates of the Gambino and Luchese organized crime family and two associates of the Sicilian mafia with multiple charges, including racketeering, loansharking, extortion, bribery of a federal official, money laundering, attempted bank fraud, check forgery, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and smuggling conspiracy. The two cases represent the culmination of an eleven-month investigation that generated hundreds of hours of recorded conversations with Gambino family captain GEORGE DECICCO, soldiers and associates of DECICCO’s Gambino family crew, and other organized crime members and associates as they planned and engaged in criminal activity, including a plot to bribe a federal immigration officer to release a member of the Sicilian mafia from federal detention.
The charges contained in the indictment and complaint are merely allegations, and thedefendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The defendants arrested this morning are: GEORGE DECICCO, JOSEPH ORLANDO, STEVEN FAMIGLIETTA, ROBERT DECICCO, RICHARD JULIANO, RICHARD J. JULIANO, JOSEPH ZUCCARELLO, KURT RICCI, MICHAEL FICHERA, VITO RAPPA, FRANCESCO NANIA, JAMES AVALONE and JERRY DEGEROLAMO. The defendants are scheduled to appear this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. The indicted case has been assigned to United States District Judge Raymond J. Dearie.
As alleged in the indictment and a detention letter filed by the government, in 2006, Gambino family soldier Joseph ORLANDO believed that a Gambino family associate had connections to corrupt immigration and other government officials. ORLANDO approached the individual and sought his assistance in obtaining legal residence status for his girlfriend through those corrupt contacts. Although the individual did not in fact have any such contacts, he accepted $9,000 from ORLANDO as potential bribe money. When the individual was unable to procure the resident status sought by ORLANDO for his girlfriend, ORLANDO threatened to kill him. Fearing for his life, the individual contacted the FBI and agreed to cooperate in an undercover investigation. Subsequently, the FBI arranged for ORLANDO to meet an undercover agent, posing as a corrupt immigration official. These and later meetings would be recorded by the FBI.
ORLANDO told other members and associates of the Gambino family of the cooperating witness’s purported contact with corrupt government officials; this in turn led other defendants to contact the cooperating witness in attempts to further other criminal schemes.
For example, the indictment alleges that ORLANDO, Gambino family associates JOSEPH ZUCCARELLO and STEVEN FAMIGLIETTA, and Sicilian mafia associates FRANCESCO NANIA and his brother-in-law VITO RAPPA offered bribes to the cooperating witness’s purported corrupt contact at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) to arrange for the release of NANIA from federal detention, where he was being detained in connection with his immigration status.
NANIA has since been charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of NewJersey with making false statements in immigration applications.
Close NANIA and RAPPA paid approximately $70,000 to ORLANDO and the cooperating witness in order to secure NANIA’s release. According to the government’s detention letter, NANIA was previously convicted in Italy for mafia-related aggravated attempted extortion, and Italian law enforcement authorities are seeking his extradition to Italy.
In another scheme alleged in the indictment, ORLANDO, FAMIGLIETTA, and Luchese family associate JERRY DEGEROLAMO are charged with illegally conspiring to smuggle gold bars worth millions of dollars from the Philippines into the United States. The defendants planned to use the cooperating witness to bribe his purported corrupt ICE contact to ensure the success of the scheme.
The criminal complaint filed today also charges that ORLANDO and Gambino family associate JAMES AVALONE plotted to bribe the purported corrupt ICE contact to protect from investigation by immigration officials a New Jersey spa owned by AVALONE, and paid ORLANDO more than $100,000 in an effort to gain access to the supposed ICE contact in order to obtain legal immigration status for the women who worked in the spa.
As set forth in the documents filed in connection with today’s arrests, during the course of the investigation, several defendants discussed their willingness to commit violent acts in furtherance of their criminal activity. In one recorded conversation concerning the cooperating witness’s outstanding loansharking debt to Gambino family captain GEORGE DECICCO, DECICCO stated, “I’ll burn your eyes, did you ever screw me? Do you want me to burn your eyes out?” In another conversation, Gambino family soldier ORLANDO admits committing eight murders: “I got eight under my belt already, so I don’t give a f--- who nine’s gonna be. . . . ” In a conversation recorded during a trip to Las Vegas to collect a $250,000 debt, ORLANDO stated that he was “going to shoot him [the debtor] in his f------ knee for starters.”
“We are committed to eradicating the violence and corrupting influence of organized crime in our communities,” stated United States Attorney Mauskopf. “The investigation and prosecution of organized crime continues to be a priority of this office.” Ms. Mauskopf thanked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey for their outstanding cooperation and assistance in the investigation.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Mershon stated, “George DeCicco has operated continuously for so long that his arrest today is like the end of Cal Ripken’s consecutive-game streak. The difference is that Ripken’s streak ended when he voluntarily took himself out of the lineup. Today’s arrests also show that New York-based mobsters and the Sicilian mafia are willing to work together, which is why the FBI and Italian law enforcement authorities have solidified an already-strong partnership. We will continue to maintain vigilance against the threat posed by organized crime.”
If convicted of racketeering or racketeering conspiracy, defendants GEORGE DECICCO, JOSEPH ORLANDO, JOSEPH ZUCCARELLO, STEVEN FAMIGLIETTA, ROBERT DECICCO, RICHARD JULIANO, and RICHARD J. JULIANO face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. If convicted of attempted bank fraud, defendants KURT RICCI and MICHAEL FICHERA face a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment. If convicted of bribery, VITO RAPPA and FRANCESCO NANIA face a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, and if convicted of conspiracy, defendants JAMES AVALONE and JERRY DEGEROLAMO face a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Taryn A. Merkl and Paige Petersen.
Name: JAMES AVALONE
Name: GEORGE DECICCO
Name: ROBERT DECICCO
Name: JERRY DEGEROLAMO
Name: STEVEN FAMIGLIETTA, also known as “Steve Rigatoni”
Name: MICHAEL FICHERA
Name: RICHARD JULIANO
Name: RICHARD J. JULIANO
Name: FRANCESCO NANIA
Name: JOSEPH ORLANDO, also known as “Joey Boy”
Name: VITO RAPPA
Name: KURT RICCI
Name: JOSEPH ZUCCARELLO, also known as “Joey Zack”
GangstersInc - January 31, 2007 03:41 PM (GMT)
LAST OF THE GOTTI GANG
FEDS BUST GAMBINO 'CAPO,' 77
By STEFANIE COHEN
WHAT, ME WORRY? A smiling George DeCicco is escorted in Manhattan yesterday.
January 31, 2007 -- The feds yesterday finally stuck it to the only member of John "Teflon Don" Gotti's murderous inner circle who had never been busted.
Infamous reputed Gambino capo George "Butter" DeCicco was among 13 alleged crime-family thugs nailed for a slew of extortion, racketeering, loan-sharking and money-laundering raps after a two-year probe fueled by a Mafia mole, authorities said.
The federal case will involve hundreds of hours of damning tapes made with the help of the turncoat witness, a member of DeCicco's crew, FBI officials said.
On one tape, the bloodthirsty DeCicco, 77, is heard warning the snitch, "I'll burn your eyes out," officials said. In another taped chat between the witness and DeCicco's nephew, alleged Gambino soldier Joseph "Joey Boy" Orlando, investigators say Orlando all but admits to committing eight murders when he says: "I've got eight under my belt, and I don't give a [expletive] who becomes the ninth."
One Mafioso is caught on tape gushing about one of three brutal murders he's committed, authorities said. "I shot him in the leg first, and he went down screaming," Steven "Steve Rigatoni" Famiglietta is heard boasting to the mole, officials said. "And then I started taking his arm off with a chain saw . . . He felt every f- - -ing thing I did to him."
The feds said the mobsters' downfall evolved from a simple scheme gone awry. It involved Orlando asking DeCicco's crew for help landing an immigration green card for his girlfriend.
One thug in the group said he could help - then panicked when he realized he couldn't pull off the request. Fearing for his life, he went to the feds offering his services. The authorities set up an undercover agent as an immigration official and, with the help of their now-cooperating witness, offered the services of the undercover to the mob. But by then, the Mafiosi had a more pressing problem.
DeCicco had been asked by top Sicilian mobsters to keep their countryman, Francesco Nania, who was in U.S. custody, from being deported to face mob-related charges back home.
The Gambinos eventually offered $70,000 to the undercover to broker the immigration deal, officials said.
Also busted was DeCicco's son, Robert, who is in his 50s.
George DeCicco's lawyer said he will seek house arrest for his client because DeCicco has heart problems and wears a nitroglycerin patch.
DeCicco is the brother of the notorious late Frank DeCicco, who lured then-Gambino chief Paul Castellano to his rubout outside Sparks steakhouse on East 46th Street in 1985.
Frank DeCicco wound up dead a little over a year later - killed by a car bomb meant for his boss, Gotti.
GangstersInc - January 31, 2007 03:46 PM (GMT)
GangstersInc - February 1, 2007 01:45 PM (GMT)
GangstersInc - February 2, 2007 03:30 PM (GMT)
Dead men, rats and convicts fill her life
BY JOHN MARZULLI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Meet the city's unluckiest mob moll.
Toni Marie Ricci was blessed with good looks, but she can't catch a break with men.
Her husband was arrested this week, along with her cousin, in a federal roundup of alleged Gambino crime family members and associates.
And the rest of the guys in this doll's life aren't exactly prizes.
Her ex-husband is a former Gambino gangster who turned out be more canary than lovebird, her brother is a Mafia rat, and one of her cousins died in a rubout.
"The men in her life have brought her some unhappiness," said Jean Marie Graziano, the lawyer for her current husband, Kurt Ricci.
"But they have also brought her good things," Graziano said, referring to Toni Marie's 19-year-son from her first marriage.
"Even with all that's gone on with her life, she's stronger and better for it."
Toni Marie's ex is former Gambino crime family capo Michael (Mikey Scars) DiLeonardo, an infamous turncoat.
Her brother Frank (Frankie Fap) Fappiano was a Gambino soldier before he started singing for the feds.
And one of her cousins was Frank DeCicco, underboss to the late John Gotti. DeCicco was blown up in his car in 1986.
Toni Marie has only been married to her current husband for 11 months, but she's already had to bail him out.
Kurt Ricci, a reputed associate of the Gambino crime family, was charged with bank fraud. The indictment also charges Ricci's second cousin, reputed capo George DeCicco, 77, with racketeering.
The brunette looker lit up arraignment court as she signed a $300,000 bond secured by the couple's house in Staten Island to spring her hubby. Graziano denied that Kurt Ricci is mobbed up, and she staunchly defended the reputation of his 41-year-old bride.
For her part, Toni Marie has been candid about some of the tumult in her personal life.
In an interview last year with New York magazine, she recalled what happened when she learned Mikey Scars was having a love child with his mistress. "He handed me the phone, and I said to her, 'Where do you come off having this child? I'm married to this guy for 17 years.'
"She didn't answer. I said, 'What's the matter? You're not woman enough to answer?' He took the phone and hung it up. So I took the phone and hit him over the head with it."
But when Toni Marie testified last year at former Gambino boss John A. (Junior) Gotti's retrial, she played a little more coy.
Peppered with questions about all her family ties to organized crime, she demurred. "I'm just a housewife and a mother," she said.
Originally published on February 2, 2007
GangstersInc - March 28, 2007 03:33 PM (GMT)
'MOB' ATT'Y: MY HANDLE IS TOO HOT
By STEFANIE COHEN
March 28, 2007 -- Skinny Dom's attorney apparently wants to be known as Joey No-Name.
Joseph Corozzo, the lawyer for Dominic "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia, has asked a federal judge presiding over his client's upcoming case to keep his family's background secret from jurors.
Corozzo's father, Joseph "Jo-Jo" Corozzo, is the reputed consigliere of the Gambino crime family, and his uncle, Nicholas "Nicky" Corozzo, is allegedly a capo.
But Corozzo the lawyer doesn't want jurors to know that - and asked Judge Jack Weinstein to order witnesses to refer to them using only their first names and last initials.
The names of the lawyer's family members are likely to come up in the murder racketeering trial of Pizzonia, set to begin next week, prosecutors said. The connections were not spelled out, but because of them, prosecutors unsuccessfully had tried to get Corozzo thrown off the case.
presley1000 - April 2, 2007 05:04 AM (GMT)
Posted: Saturday, 31 March 2007 6:52AM
'Fat Sal' Convicted in Manhattan Strip Club Shakedown
NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A jury on Friday found a suspected Mafia captain and mob soldier guilty of extorting $2.5 million from a strip club.
Salvatore Scala and Thomas Sassano were both convicted of extortion and conspiracy to extort.
Federal prosecutors said in Manhattan court that the pair used ``actual and threatened force'' to siphon the money from Manhattan's VIP Club. Scala was also convicted of four related counts of tax evasion.
Federal prosecutors said 64-year-old Scala, of Brooklyn, was a Gambino crime family captain. Sassano, 61, of the Long Island town of Westbury, was part of Scala's crew, authorities said.
A federal indictment against the pair said Scala did not file a single income tax return from 1998 to 2001, taking the money in cash and hiding it in bank accounts he controlled under corporate names.
Both men were sent back to prison as they awaited a sentencing date.
Scala, who's known as ``Uncle Sal'' and ``Fat Sal,'' has cancer and a heart condition.
GangstersInc - April 4, 2007 07:25 PM (GMT)
MOB LAWYER LOSES OUT IN NAME GAME
By STEFANIE COHEN
April 4, 2007 -- A Brooklyn federal judge has ruled that cooperating witnesses in reputed Gambino mobster Dominick "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia's upcoming trial can use both first and last names when testifying about the upper echelon of the crime family - even if they share their last name with Pizzonia's lawyer, Joseph Corozzo.
Corozzo had argued that witnesses should use just the initial "C" when talking about his relatives, including his dad, Joseph "Jo-Jo" Corozzo, the reputed consigliere of the Gambino crime family, and three uncles: alleged capo Nicholas "Nicky" Corozzo, and two reputed soldiers, Blaise and Anthony Corozzo.
Pizzonia is charged with the murders of hoodlum Frank Boccia and Bonnie-and-Clyde team Rosemary and Thomas Uva, who robbed four mob social clubs before being shot dead while Christmas shopping. His trial is expected to begin next Tuesday.
GangstersInc - April 7, 2007 08:14 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (presley1000 @ Apr 2 2007, 06:04 AM)|
| Posted: Saturday, 31 March 2007 6:52AM|
'Fat Sal' Convicted in Manhattan Strip Club Shakedown
Mobster sentenced to six years in prison in extortion scheme
Friday, April 6th 2007, 7:15 PM
NY Daily News
A Mafia captain was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison after he was convicted of tax fraud and shaking down a Manhattan strip club.
Salvatore Scala, 64, of Brooklyn, a longtime made member of the Gambino organized crime family, was also ordered to forfeit $667,100, federal authorities said.
Scala, better known as "Uncle Sal" and "Fat Sal," and Gambino soldier Thomas Sassano, were convicted last week of extortion and conspiracy to extort.
Scala oversaw a crew of fellow mobsters that included Sassano, authorities said. The pair siphoned money from Manhattan's VIP Club after offering it "protection."
Sassano was Scala's chief enforcer at the club, ensuring the payments kept coming.
Sassano, 61, of the Long Island town of Westbury, faces up to 40 years in prison. He's scheduled to be sentenced July 23.
Hollander - April 12, 2007 07:42 PM (GMT)
April 10, 2007
Couple’s Killing in 1992 Is Focus of New Mob Trial
By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
The piece of paper is, by any measure, an insignificant artifact that sheds little light on organized crime’s 100-year reign in New York: It bears a list of names and telephone numbers that prosecutors contend was scrawled by one Joseph Delmonico, an aging mob figure who investigators say retains little of the influence he once held over the Gambino crime family.
The list will nonetheless be entered into evidence in United States District Court in Brooklyn in the coming days to help prove that a young married couple from Queens embarked on one of the most ill-advised crime sprees in city history: robbing a series of mob social clubs armed with an Uzi submachine gun and what can only be described as a poor grasp of their own mortality.
Not surprisingly, the robberies ended with the 1992 slayings of the couple, Thomas and Rosemarie Uva. The killings seemed to close out an episode that caused the mob more than a little embarrassment, since such establishments had long been deemed sanctuaries where crime figures sipped coffee, played cards and schemed.
Perhaps that is why the killings, during the morning rush on Christmas Eve, had the air of a public execution. Mr. and Mrs. Uva were both shot in the head as they sat in his red 1990 four-door Mercury Topaz at a traffic light at 103rd Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard in Ozone Park, Queens, a neighborhood where the Gambinos had long held sway.
Now the killings are the focus of a federal murder and racketeering trial set to begin today before Judge Jack B. Weinstein.
No one had been charged in the killings, long one of organized crime’s mysteries, until nearly two years ago when the F.B.I. arrested Dominick Pizzonia, 65. Prosecutors say he is a Gambino captain whose social club on Liberty Avenue was among those the couple robbed.
Mr. Pizzonia is also charged in the case with the 1988 killing of Frank Boccia, and with gambling and loansharking. A co-defendant, Alfred DiCongilio, 77, is also charged in Mr. Boccia’s slaying.
John A. Gotti, once the Gambino crime family acting boss and long the subject of federal authorities’ quiet accusations of having a role in ordering the double killing, was officially named as a co-conspirator in the case for the first time yesterday. The prosecutors, Joey Lipton and Paige Peterson, assistant United States attorneys, made the allegation in a letter to Judge Weinstein, but they did not elaborate.
No charges have been brought against Mr. Gotti in the killings, and in fact federal prosecutors in Manhattan acknowledged at his unrelated trial last year that he was unaware of the killings until they were committed. Mr. Gotti, through his lawyers, has long denied any role in the killings.
Mr. Pizzonia’s lawyer, Joseph Corozzo, has maintained his client’s innocence and has said he will defend him aggressively.
Mr. Delmonico’s list, a veritable who’s who of the Gambino family, was recovered days after the Uvas’ killings, when the police searched the couple’s Queens apartment, law enforcement officials have said. The police were told after the killings that it had been folded up inside Mr. Delmonico’s wallet, which had been taken from him in a robbery.
Court records indicate that it will be entered into evidence at the trial, along with samples of the 86-year-old Mr. Delmonico’s handwriting, and testimony by an F.B.I. handwriting expert who is expected to tell the jury that it was written by Mr. Delmonico.
To establish a motive for killing the couple, prosecutors want to show the jury that they committed the robberies. The number of robberies has varied in different accounts, as some law enforcement officials have it at about 6 and a lawyer involved in the case at as many as 10. The final tally remains uncertain, largely because none of the victims were inclined to report the robberies to the police.
Several law enforcement officials have said that in addition to at least two Gambino clubs, the couple robbed clubs belonging to the Bonanno family, with Mrs. Uva, 31, driving the getaway car and her husband, 28, wielding the Uzi.
Several Mafia turncoats are set to testify at the trial, including at least two who are expected to tell the jury about what they have described as a dispute between the Bonanno and Gambino family bosses over which family killed the Uvas and put an end to the embarrassing robberies. According to F.B.I. documents, both families eventually agreed that the Gambinos did it, specifically Mr. Pizzonia and another mob figure, Ronald Trucchio.
Much of the testimony about the killings at the trial, which is expected to last several weeks, will be second-hand accounts from Mafia turncoats who will recount what they were told.
One veteran investigator who has tracked the crime for more than a decade noted that for years, little was known about the robberies because they were discussed so little.
“It was pretty hush-hush,” the investigator said. “They didn’t want to talk about it because they were embarrassed. It was a pretty quiet thing.”
Another investigator with knowledge of the case said a story had made the rounds inside some organized crime circles that Mr. Uva, during one of the robberies, messed up the hair of an elder Gambino soldier, humiliating him in front of his confederates.
“You don’t mess with a wiseguy’s hair,” the investigator said. “That adds insult to injury.”
GangstersInc - April 13, 2007 02:59 PM (GMT)
Murder victim 'obsessed' by Dapper Don
Friday, April 13th 2007, 4:00 AM
Undated photo of 'Bonnie and Clyde' duo Thomas Uva and his wife, Rosemarie, who were slain on Christmas Eve 1992.
Murder victim Thomas Uva may have robbed Mafia social clubs by night, but he took time off from his day job to support Dapper Don John Gotti at trial.
"He was obsessed with the mob," Michael Schlussel, Uva's boss at a Manhattan collection agency, testified yesterday at the trial of Dominick (Skinny Dom) Pizzonia.
The reputed Gambino soldier is charged with killing Uva and his partner in crime, his wife, Rosemarie, on Christmas Eve 1992.
"Most people would take days off for personal reasons, but he would ask me for a day off to cheer Gotti at his trial," Schlussel recalled.
The day after a newspaper article appeared that described the Bonnie and Clyde duo responsible for the social club heists, Rosemarie showed up at the collection agency, where she also worked, looking white as a ghost.
"She fainted on the floor," Schlussel said. "Tommy came in a few minutes later as I was trying to revive her, and he's screaming, 'I hope you didn't tell him!'"
Thomas Uva was fired a month before he was killed after getting into a knockdown fight with Rosemarie in the office.
GangstersInc - April 27, 2007 08:35 AM (GMT)
Ex-mobster spills the beans on reputed Gambino captain
BY ANTHONY M. DESTEFANO, Newsday Staff Writer
April 25, 2007
A former mob associate who admitted to committing his share of murders and mayhem for two crime families indicated in testimony Wednesday that reputed Gambino soldier Dominick Pizzonia may have been involved in three gangland homicides.
Tersely answering "yes" in a heavy Brooklyn accent to questions about his life of crime, Peter Zuccaro, 51, told a Brooklyn federal court jury about conversations he had with Pizzonia soon after gangster Frank Boccia disappeared in mid-1988.
Pizzonia, 65, is on trial in the killing of Boccia and other acts of racketeering. He is also accused of orchestrating the December 1992 killings of Rosemarie and Thomas Uva, the "Bonnie and Clyde" couple who robbed mob social clubs.
Zuccaro is the second key cooperating witness to testify.
Under questioning by prosecutor Joey Lipton, Zuccaro said that Boccia, a friend with whom he committed numerous crimes, was marked for death because he had struck the wife of Gambino crime family member Anthony Ruggiano.
Despite pleading with Boccia not to visit any mob social clubs, Zuccaro said his friend felt immune from harm because he recently had a child with Ruggiano's daughter and insisted on visiting Pizzonia in Ozone Park to get a business loan.
Boccia's relatives became distressed when he didn't return home, said Zuccaro.
Two days later, Zuccaro said he confronted Pizzonia at a bakery on Liberty Avenue and got into a heated conversation over what had happened to Boccia. Pizzonia's response was threatening, Zuccaro testified.
"He said if I didn't mind my own business, he would go and get permission to do what he did to Frank to me," Zuccaro recalled.
Asked by Lipton what he thought Pizzonia meant, Zuccaro said it would be to kill him as well. Minutes earlier, Zuccaro said on the stand that he believed "Frankie was gone."
Prosecutors have charged that Pizzonia and his co-defendant, Alfred DiCongilio, 77, had Boccia killed in June 1988 and dumped his body in the Atlantic Ocean off the South Shore of Long Island.
Later, Zuccaro testified that Pizzonia told him he had taken care of robberies plaguing the mob social clubs linked to the Uvas. Zuccaro didn't elaborate.
GangstersInc - April 27, 2007 08:36 AM (GMT)
Ex-mobster says he almost whacked Gotti's son-in-law
BY ANTHONY M. DESTEFANO, Newsday Staff Writer
April 26, 2007
It almost turned out to be a case of not growing up Gotti.
Carmine Agnello, the ex-husband of reality TV star Victoria Gotti, the daughter of the late crime boss, came within an instant of being shot dead -- long before he fathered three sons with her -- on a Queens street, according to a witness Thursday in a mob trial.
Former gangster Peter Zuccaro told a Brooklyn federal court jury how sometime in the late 1970s, Agnello was chased on Liberty Avenue near the Van Wyck Expressway and pummeled by a group of gun-toting toughs.
Zuccaro said Agnello, who is now in prison, was targeted because he had beaten romantic rival Andrew Curro, and was generally seen as being out of control. He said Agnello also once beat Victoria. He caused so much trouble that Gambino mobster John Carneglia, a friend of John Gotti, said Agnello had to be dealt with, said Zuccaro.
"I crashed head-on into him," said Zuccaro about the car chase leading up to the beating, "chased him down, shot him and beat him with baseball bats."
Asked by defense attorney Joseph Corozzo if he planned to slay Agnello on the spot, Zuccaro answered "in cold blood."
But when he pulled out a gun to finish off Agnello, Zuccaro said that someone stopped him by putting a gun to his head.
Zuccaro's indication that Agnello hit Victoria Gotti or that she inspired the fight drew an angry and incredulous response from her Thursday.
"I would almost marry a man who beat me?" she said in a phone interview.
The Agnello fight with Curro "had nothing to do with Victoria Gotti and everything to do with Agnello's ex-girlfriend and Andrew Curro," she said of an old love triangle.
"Agnello and I weren't even dating" then, she added.
Gotti said it was her late father who directed that Agnello not be killed.
Zuccaro, 51, an associate of two crime families, is testifying as a cooperating witness in the federal racketeering trial of reputed Gambino captain Dominick Pizzonia,65, and reputed soldier Alfred DiCongilio, 77.
Considered by law enforcement to be a soldier in the Gambino crime family led by his father-in-law, John Gotti, Agnello, a scrap metal dealer, married Victoria in 1984. In addition to three sons -- Carmine, Frank and John -- the couple had a daughter, Justine, who was stillborn in 1985.
In 2001 Agnello, 47, plead guilty to federal racketeering charges and is in prison. Victoria Gotti said the couple divorced in 2002.
Victoria Gotti, in her 40s, went on to star in the A&E Network show "Growing Up Gotti," which from 2004-2005 chronicled her life raising three teenaged sons whose rugged looks earned them the moniker "the Hotti Gottis."
GangstersInc - May 1, 2007 04:16 PM (GMT)
Court hears details of grisly 1988 mob rubout
BY JOHN MARZULLI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, May 1st 2007, 4:00 AM
* Suggest a Story
Like a scene from "The Godfather," Frank (Geeky) Boccia's killers all turned out for his baby daughter's baptism party at a Howard Beach restaurant.
Fast forward to a week later - and there was Boccia, his bullet-riddled corpse gutted like a fish and dumped into the Atlantic Ocean.
It was an inside job, Anthony Ruggiano Jr. testified yesterday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
And Ruggiano should know: He was Boccia's brother-in-law, and he said he participated in the grisly 1988 murder.
Boccia, a Gambino crime associate, had committed the unpardonable sin of beating his mother-in-law - the wife of Gambino gangster Anthony (Fat Andy) Ruggiano Sr. - after she complained about getting stuck with the $800 bar tab for the baby shower.
"After the shower they went home and there was a big commotion and Frankie was beating my mother," Ruggiano Jr. said.
Prosecutor Joey Lipton played a grainy video of the baptism party at Butterfingers restaurant in Howard Beach, freeze-framing the cast of killers in attendance - Ruggiano Jr., Dominic (Skinny Dom) Pizzonia, Alfred (Freddy Hot) DiCongilio and the late Anthony (Tony Lee) Guerrieri.
Ruggiano's father and then-Gambino crime boss John Gotti approved the hit, which was carried out in Pizzonia's social club.
After Guerrieri gave the victim a tour of his vegetable garden in the back, Boccia was repeatedly shot and his corpse stuffed into a sleeping bag. His lungs and stomach were slit before he was tossed off a mob associate's boat.
Pizzonia and DiCongilio are on trial for Boccia's murder. Pizzonia is also charged with whacking a Bonnie-and-Clyde duo who robbed mob social clubs in 1992.
Hollander - May 4, 2007 08:34 AM (GMT)
Couple who stole from mob got whacked
By TOM HAYS
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK -- Thomas and Rosemarie Uva were not exactly criminal geniuses.
The couple liked to rob Mafia-run social clubs in Little Italy and elsewhere around the city, which, as just about everyone knows, is a really good way to get killed.
They even had the audacity to force mobsters to drop their pants as they swiped their cash and jewelry and cleaned out their card games.
The holdups proved predictably hazardous: The Uvas got whacked on Christmas Eve 1992.
Fifteen years later, the story of the bandits who made the stupid mistake of stealing from the mob is playing out at the trial of the man accused of murdering them, a reputed Gambino crime family captain named Dominick "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia.
"There's virtually no greater insult than robbing the Gambino family where they socialized and hung out," federal prosecutor Joey Lipton said last month in opening statements in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors claim that John A. "Junior" Gotti, while acting boss of the Gambino family once led by his father, sanctioned the killings - a charge he has denied. Pizzonia's attorney, Joseph R. Corozzo Jr., told the jurors they would hear testimony that members of the Bonanno crime family were the real culprits.
Corozzo noted that the government was relying on an unsavory cast of Mafia turncoats to make their case, including former Gambino capo Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo, who got his nickname as a child after a dog bit him in the face.
The case reflects a new willingness among several old-school gangsters - some admitted killers like DiLeonardo - to break the mob's vow of omerta, or silence, and help prosecute graying reputed gangsters like Pizzonia, 65, for crimes dating back decades. In 2005, Bonanno boss Joseph "Big Joey" Massino stunned the underworld by becoming the first boss of one of New York's five Mafia families to flip.
Exactly why the Uvas gambled with their lives by robbing mobsters remains a mystery. But their former boss at a New York collection agency, Michael Schussel, offered some possible clues for resorting to making collections of a criminal kind.
Schussel testified that Thomas was a Mafia aficionado who asked for days off to attend the trial of the elder John Gotti, the Gambino don who died behind bars in 2002. The couple lived in Gotti's neighborhood in Ozone Park, Queens.
"He was obsessed with the mob," the witness said.
Authorities say the Uvas began their robbery spree in 1991, apparently believing that social clubs - home to high-stakes card games - would provide an easy mark.
Rosemarie, 31, took the wheel of the getaway car and Thomas, 28, armed with an Uzi submachine gun, stripped patrons of their money and jewelry and made the men drop their pants. The couple became known on the street as Bonnie and Clyde.
The moonlighting was stressful: The day after one of the holdups made headlines, Rosemarie showed up for work looking pale and fainted to the floor, her ex-employer said.
By the time the Uvas had hit his Cafe Liberty in Queens a second time, Pizzonia had tired of their act, DiLeonardo testified.
Pizzonia "was very angry, as everybody else was, that these guys had the nerve to go around robbing clubs, like committing suicide," DiLeonardo said. A plan was hatched to track down the couple by getting their license plate number, he said.
On the morning of Dec. 24, they were sitting in their Mercury Topaz at an intersection in Queens when they were each shot three times in the back of the head. The car rolled through the intersection and collided with another vehicle before it stopped; police officers found a stash of jewelry with the bloody corpses.
The killers vanished as mob bosses argued behind the scenes over who should get credit, DiLeonardo said. During a sitdown with his Bonanno counterpart Massino, the younger Gotti set the record straight.
The Bonnie-and-Clyde hit, Gotti said, was "our trophy."