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What's in Store for the Philly Mob if Ligambi Retires

Joe Ligambi, who recently got out of prison following two mistrials for what primarily amounted to gambling-related charges, says that he is done, finito, with Cosa Nostra.

Lufthansa Heist Overshadows Other Alleged Crimes

The recent Bonanno bust was not solely related to the Lufthansa heist. However, the legendary caper that informed a pivotal moment in "Goodfellas" has been the media's primary focus.

Does Anyone Believe Bugsy Siegel Created Las Vegas?

As much as Americans love the story of Bugsy as the inventor of Las Vegas, the truth is that most of the stories are fabricated.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prosecutors Discuss the Pagan "Testify Down" Strategy

Recently WSJ.com ran a story about a "rare and risky legal strategy" used by prosecutors. Turns out they even have a name for it: Testifying down.

Pagan testified at a murder trial in
which he was the actual murderer.

Guess who they were referring to! (Well, at least he's still in the clink, we learned.)

... The government used cooperating witnesses—"big fish"—who admitted to more serious crimes than the charges faced by the people they were testifying against. 
This is, generally speaking, the opposite of how cooperating witnesses work. Usually, legal experts said, the goal is to get those witnesses to admit to wrongdoing, cooperate with the government and to walk the investigation up the ladder, obtaining evidence against leaders or those potentially engaged in more serious crimes. In exchange, on the recommendation of prosecutors, cooperators typically end up serving reduced or no prison time.

This Site Surpasses 2 Million Page Views

Lineup of early organized crime members; Luciano, Lansky in middle....

I will make this brief... I have a certain profile of a certain writer I have been drafting for days, and think I finally have it in the shape I want. Now, the polish must be applied....

Two million (well, 2.03 million, to be more precise) is a lot of page views; it's a lot of anything.

I want to thank all of my readers, who looked at my blog 2 million times in the past couple of years.

I will keep on delivering content, but I will also try to take this operation to the next level by more aggressively selling advertising to hire the designers and writers I need to assist me in this effort. I don't want to explain what I mean by stepping to the next level; why reveal my strategy to my competitors, but it has everything to do with two words: tertiary and destination.

Now, if I can only get advertisers.... For 150 bucks your ad can get around 150,000 views per month. I don't think you can beat that, frankly. I can't believe more people aren't knocking on my door.

I'm going to have to start knocking on theirs....

See ya at the 3 million mark, which I plan to hit this year.

You keep reading; I'll keep writing....

Wandering what is the top-read story on this blog?

Fino's Fight: Cleaning Up Magaddino's Corrupt Union

Ronald Fino, Moscow, 2005.
(Facebook)
Here is Alexandra Forry's interview with Ronald Fino, a native of Buffalo, New York, who worked as an undercover operative for both the FBI and CIA. He's testified before Congress regarding Mafia control and corruption in the Laborers' International Union, as well as the Russian mafia and the illegal shipments of weapons to terrorist organizations, and has also testified in numerous organized crime cases in Cleveland, Buffalo, New York, Newark, Las Vegas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and Canada. He now works as a private investigator based in Williamsburg, Va.

Conversation with Ronald Fino | Alexandra Forry ~ Putting Timeless into Romance:

Reading your book was such a fascinated read, about your life as the heir to the Buffalo mafia’s throne that turned his back to fight for the rights of American Justice. This book reads like a thriller movie as he walks along on a dangers path between good and evil. Could you sum up what you did so my reader can under you story?

I was never the heir to the throne. I was born in Buffalo, New York. My father Joe rose through the ranks of the Buffalo Mafia under long-time mob boss Stefano Magaddino, attaining the rank of captain, overseeing his own crew.I joined the corrupt Laborers’ Local 210, controlled by Magaddino, and after years of experiencing the corruption up close, I decided to run for business manager and clean up the union. After an overly successful election, I found that the power did not lie with the union, but powerful members of the Buffalo Mafia.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Italy Focuses on "Metadata" to Track Organized Crime

According to Fast Company | Business + Innovation, "a team of Italian academics are showing how metadata can reveal the structure of organized crime groups with a software tool called LogAnalysis (link is to a savable PDF of the full report), which combines information from mobile phone records with police databases. And among LogAnalysis's first users is the Carabinieri, the Italian military police."

Emilio Ferrara, a postdoc at Indiana University, created LogAnalysis with three researchers from the University of Messina in Sicily. The platform “infers, with pretty high confidence, the roles of individuals involved in criminal activity from communication data, simply looking at patterns and network features,” he told Fast Company.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Meyer Lansky Wrote a Diary.

Lansky and wife, Teddy; taken in
Havana, Cuba.
Meyer Lansky wrote a diary.

Not exactly breaking news; the story was posted on Rick Porrello's AmericanMafia.com in 2001, but I was not aware of this and am counting on some of you not being aware, either.

Lanksy is the one guy from the dawn of organized crime in America who most likely would've written something. He spoke about the importance of a good education throughout his life. I don't recall any such proclamations from the likes of Lanky associates Lucky Luciano or Bugsy Siegel on that topic.

Nicknamed the "Mob's Accountant" by the press, Lansky was instrumental in the development of the mob's gambling rackets most notably in Las Vegas and Cuba, when the island off the Florida coast seemed to be a potential new frontier for the Mafia, a place where it would be on an equal footing with the government, allowing it the freedom to develop its rackets unimpeded by law enforcement.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Natural Death Spotlights Periods of Violence in Ontario Underworld

Frank Papalia, underboss.
Frank Papaliabrother of John "Pops" Papalia, a violent mob boss later known as "The Enforcer"died last week, on April 15 at age 83. [There were four Papalia brothers, the other two were named Rocco and Dominic.]

Hailed as one of the last remaining figures of an infamous Mafia dynasty based in Ontario, Canada, Frank Papalia had been suffering a long, slow decline from Alzheimer’s disease in a Hamilton-based nursing home when he died.

Fate was less kind to brother Johnny, who'd been a well-known bootlegger, then a drug dealer involved in both the French and Pizza Connections. Johnny may have also been suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease when in May of 1997 he was shot in the back of his head in the downtown Hamilton parking lot of a vending machine company he'd owned.

Johnny, who originally worked with Carmine Galante and the Bonanno family, switched his allegiance to Buffalo boss Stefano Magaddino, with whom Papalia's father had been a longtime associate. Becoming a capo for Magaddino in 1960 gave him and the Ontario-based Papalia family the power to be on top in Ontario, which was overrun with various mob families and other organized crime groups.