Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Official: Mob Wives Chicago History

From Chicago Sun-Times:

“Mob Wives Chicago” has been whacked.

The Midwest spin-off of the New York original will not a see second season, a VH1 spokesman confirmed.

“It’s just sad; it had so much potential,” said one of the “wives,” Pia Rizza, daughter of crooked Chicago cop Vince Rizza, a bookie and drug dealer who turned government witness.

“I guess I have to go back to work,” said the single mom, whose gig on the cable series led to an endorsement deal with Cold Steel Vodka. “Where that’s going to go I have no idea because I don’t have the show.”

“Mob Wives Chicago” debuted in June and ended its 11-episode run in August. It followed the finger-pointing, hair-pulling, name-calling exploits of five local women whose ties to organized crime are tenuous compared to the Staten Island cast.

Last season on New York’s “Mob Wives,” the ex-husband of star Renee Graziano, whose sister Jennifer Graziano produces the franchise, wore a wire that helped send Graziano’s father back to prison.

A Good Rat Is Hard to Find -- These Days

Colombo captain Reynold Maragni gets fired as a government rat.  >
Reynold Maragni
The NY Daily News reports that two Mafia informants were recently kicked off their respective trials, indicating perhaps the spark of a trend that law enforcement officials certainly would not be fond of. Many a trial has been won through the use of informants. Or at least that has been the case...

Bonanno associate Joseph Galante Jr., who was supposed to be "the star witness" in the extortion trial of reputed Genovese captain Anthony "Rom" Romanello was thrown off the case.

Another would-be star witness, Reynold Maragni, was to take the stand against two fellow mobsters -- Colombo consigliore Thomas Farese and associate Pat Truglia -- charged with money laundering.

"But after two previous appearances on the witness stand ended in disastrous verdicts for the government [the Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli and Francis (BF) Guerra Colombo trials, both of whom were acquitted of murder], prosecutors apparently decided to cut their losses and call an end to Maragni's singing career," the News reports in another article.

Although the informants were fired, tapes that they recorded were still allowed into court and played for the jury.

It is not known what infraction Galante committed to get kicked off Team America.

Maragni was nailed for selectively recording his confederates by turning the tape recorder on and off when he wanted to. He also passed them secret messages.

My question - were these "rats" really rats -- meaning, were they deliberately sabotaging the trials?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Karen Gravano 'Transcends Her Destiny'

A press release, issued by Karen's PR firm, seems to indicate Karen will no longer be on the show "Mob Wives," which has about 2 million loyal viewers, according to the release.

Since the third season has already been filming, it would mean Karen would leave the show probably at this season's climax, although we can't say for certain as the press release is rather vague, not spelling out specifically what this announcement means for Karen's fans.

"Karen's future is not focused on the life of being a mob daughter," the release says. "She has transcended the life of a mobster’s daughter. Karen has recently had private meetings with production companies who are trying to court her to fund her next television and film productions."

We tweeted Jennifer Graziano as well as Karen and her publicist for comment and will include any responses we get.

Read the below -- what do you think??? 

BROOKLYN, NY -- Star of VH1 television show, New York Mob Wives, Karen Gravano is now a New York Times Best Selling Author. She recently debuted her book, "Mob Daughter" was just the right launching pad for Karen Gravano, Daughter of Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano former underboss of the Gambino Crime Family to transcended her destiny into a small empire. Now Karen is announcing her interest in films and licensing her brand worldwide.

Influence comes after being the star of "Mob Wives" produced by Weinstein Group and JustJenn Productions which has a loyal two million viewers. Episodes on their life associated women who have to pick up the pieces after their husbands and/or fathers do time for Mob-related activities. Gravano has used the show as a launching pad for her growing a mini empire around her face.

Producer/Director Casillo Debuts Erotic Web Series

Domenic Casillo -- who has executive produced such shows as "Naked Stages" and "G String Divas" for HBO,  in addition to directing and producing Carmen Electra's "Naked Women's Wrestling League" PPV special and more than 125 Playboy films for Playboy TV through Nitro Productions -- has directed and produced "Zodiac Nights," an R-rated "lush but tasteful" erotic dramatic web series that highlights the sexual tendencies of each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac.

Also attached to this project is another familiar name to readers of this blog -- former mobster/published author Sonny Girard, who developed the scripts for the series.

"Zodiac Nights" is being launched through web-based funding platform Kickstarter and already has three backers; those interested have a chance to get in on the ground floor, as they say.

Kickstarter helps to fund "everything from films, games and music, to art, design and technology. Since [its] launch on April 28, 2009, over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people funding more than 30,000 creative projects. [More Kickstarter stats here.]
 "Zodiac Nights"  is aimed at answering such questions as: What is the most delicious sex for the Taurus female in your life? Does that Libra girl you're after prefer top or bottom? What setting drives your Cancer wild?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Old Days, LCN Would've Handled 'Son of Sal'

 Salvatore Perrone confessed to two killings he’s accused of.
'Son of Sal' serial killer Sal Perrone    (JOE MARINO/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
The NY Daily News reports: "It’s ironic that the accused serial killer came from a Brooklyn neighborhood known for mob killings."

The serial killer in question is from Bensonhurst and is named Sal Perrone, aka the "Son of Sal" murderer.
“If people [read: made guys] knew this lone-wolf wacko was out there whacking people he would have been stopped,” an old Bensonhurst street guy says in the story. “But this Perrone was an empty-suit nobody, a mouse that you knew just by his neighborhood face. You didn’t think he could kill time, never mind three people in cold blood.”

The story goes out of its way to separate Sal from mobsters; after all Bensonhurst historically has been ground zero for wiseguys. But nobody who knows would've had any confusion about these murders, or whether the mob or a lone nut committed them. 

"He wasn’t a ‘connected’ guy. Just a guy you’d see in the pork store or the bakery on 18th Ave," another neighborhood guy says in the story. "When I seen his face in the Daily News as the Son of Sal I could place him in the local cafés, sippin’ an espresso, always with a big fat long cigar, smoothin’ his thinning hair all the time. Heard he liked to gamble. Last thing you’re thinking is this guy is a serial killer outta some ‘Criminal Minds’ rerun.”

Bensonhurst has been home to a number of mob hits over the years (that number is probably in the thousands?), and as the article notes, these include hits ordered by the likes of Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso who is known to have paid the "Mafia Cops," ex-NYPD detectives Louie Eppolito and Steven Caracappa, to do hits in the area.

The article goes on to explain that after the RICO act decimated the mob in the early 1990s, wiseguys went away to prison in truckloads, either for life or into the warm embrace of Witness Protection, giving rise to a new breed of killers who seem to scare the public a hell of a lot more than the mob ever did.

Gambinos, Hells Angels Indicted for Extortion

From the

Here's some free advice: if you need some quick cash, a loan from a Gambino crime family associate is one of the worst ways to go about getting it. And if being indebted to the mafia isn't enough to scare you off, this might: in at least two cases, a Gambino gangster has teamed up with a Hells Angels crony to get someone to pay up . And when Hells Angels and mobsters ask you to pay up, it's rarely a polite suggestion -- in this case it involved brass-knuckles, a gun, and a baseball bat.

Three men -- each with ties to violent gangs, including the Hells Angels and the Gambino crime family -- have been indicted on extortion charges for allegedly threatening a Queens man on multiple occasions after he didn't pay back a $50,000 loan to the gangsters' satisfaction.

According to court documents obtained by the Voice, James Ferrara, a Gambino associate, Daniel Hanley, a member of the Westies street gang, and Peter Kanakis, a member of the Demon Knights -- a sub-chapter of the Hells Angels -- have been hit with an eight-count indictment charging them with multiple counts of extortion.

In August, 2011, the victim was on his way to work when he received a call from a co-worker at his business alerting him that a man with brass-knuckles was at his store and was looking for him. Rather than face the man -- and the brass-knuckles -- the victim drove past the store, where he saw the man with the knuckles standing out front.

Shortly after, the victim noticed a black truck following him.

Read the rest

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ex-Boss Massino Testifies in Genovese Capo Trial

Genovese capo Anthony Romanelo is next on informant Joe
Massino's hit list as he sings again for the Feds.
From the NY Daily News:

The fat man admitted he's trying to sing away two life sentences.

Looking like the canary who swallowed a beach ball, former Bonanno boss Joseph Massino took the witness stand Monday for only the second time since he became the highest-ranking New York City mafioso ever to become government rat.

Massino, 69, waddled [OK Marzulli, we get it; the guy is fat! Enough already!] into the courtroom outfitted in the same navy blue warm-up suit he wore when he testified last year at the murder trial of his successor Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano.

Hierarchy Chart of Rizzuto's So-Called 'Sixth Family'

Click the highlighted copy to see The Rizzuto Family chart -- though it needs updating -- from GangsterBB. [It's too small to read here, obviously; click on the link to see it.]

Acting Colombo Boss DeLeo Gets 20 Years

Ralp DeLeo, acting Colombo boss, got 20 years in prison.
Ralph DeLeo, a Massachusetts man who prosecutors say was a street boss in New York’s Colombo crime family has been sentenced to almost 20 years in prison on racketeering conspiracy and weapons charges.

He pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced this past Wednesday to 19 years and seven months in prison. He will receive credit for three years he has already served.

Prosecutors said DeLeo was the street boss of the Colombo family and the head of the “DeLeo Crew,” a criminal enterprise based in Somerville that engaged in extortion and loan-sharking, and sold cocaine and marijuana. The crew operated mainly in Massachusetts, Arkansas, Florida and New York.

DeLeo’s attorney, Tim Watkins, said the 69-year-old DeLeo “stood up to take his punishment” for things he has now put behind him," according to the AP.

On December 17, 2009, the FBI charged members of the Colombo family with allegedly engaging in drug trafficking, extortion and loansharking. The crew was operating in Massachusetts, Arkansas, Rhode Island, New York and Florida. The leader of the crew is the current "Street Boss", Ralph F. DeLeo. He grabbed a piece of territory in Boston for the family. As the new street boss, DeLeo is not a New York City based mobster. He met Alphonse Persico in prison in the early 1990s and when he was released he became a made member in the family. DeLeo became street boss after the Gioeli arrest in 2008.

In June 2008, Colombo acting boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, former consigliere Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace, captain Dino Calabro, mob soldier Dino Saracino and several members and associates were indicted on multiple racketeering charges.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cops 'Lost' Rizzuto Before He Even Made it to Montreal

Rizzuto has shown the strength of his hand; he
is a classic mob boss, besting his foes, with no
compunction about murdering those he deems
deserving of such a penalty.

Vito Rizzuto gave law enforcement the slip the moment he entered Canada; and indeed, while the police  were probably taking bets on how long the once-called Teflon Don of Canada would live, they were certainly in for a surprise... They must've caught up with him since the below article was written, though.

According to the DigitalJournal, "Rizzuto, has been summoned to appear before the Charbonneau Commission that is investigating corruption in Quebec.

"Quebec police were able to serve Rizzuto a subpoena on November 19th in Montreal. Rizzuto seems to have been in hiding since he returned to Canada in October after being released from prison in the U.S. Many believe that Rizzuto is head of the Sicilian Mafia in Canada. Sgt. Claude Dennis of the Quebec provincial police only confirmed that Rizzuto was met and the subpoena served. [Emphasis added.]"

Briefly, The Commission of Inquiry on the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Construction Industry, or the Charbonneau Commission, is a Quebec-based public inquiry into potential corruption in the management of public construction contracts. According to Wikipedia, "The commission was enacted on October 19, 2011 by the provincial Liberal government of Jean Charest, and is chaired by Justice France Charbonneau. On November 5, 2012, as a direct result of revelations made in the Commission, Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay resigned."

From the Toronto Sun:

Ten minutes after former Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto left Toronto's Pearson airport on the night of Oct. 5, he was gone.

The RCMP set up a surveillance operation to track the former don's whereabouts after he left the airport. He had been freshly deported from the U.S. after serving six years for a 1981 mob hit.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vito Rizzuto 'Gone to the Mattresses?'

No, this one was Big Al's.
Where’s Vito?

Once a fixture at finer restaurants and golf courses in the GTA and Montreal, embattled Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto, 66, has fallen off the radar since he returned to Canada from a Colorado prison about two months ago.

There are plenty of unconfirmed sightings, alternately placing him in York Region, huddling in a cafe in Montreal’s Saint-Leonard Italian neighbourhood and riding through Montreal in an armour-plated vehicle [the cost of which we already know].

Read full story

Pizzeria Owner, Big Ang Pal Busted on Drug Charges

Anthony Cracchiolo
From When he's not paling around with "Big Ang," Angela Raiola, on her reality-TV show, Anthony Cracchiolo earns his living selling pizza and Italian specialties at his Dongan Hills pizzeria.

But federal prosecutors allege Cracchiolo also makes cash another way: By peddling cocaine.

The 33-year-old Grasmere resident, who owns Anthony's Pizza Pasta Perfect on Hylan Boulevard, dealt cocaine on two separate occasions earlier this year to a government cooperator, said court papers.

Cracchiolo has been indicted in Brooklyn federal court on charges of cocaine distribution and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and is free on $100,000 bond, online court records show. He has denied the allegations.

According to court documents, the cooperator told federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents that Cracchiolo sells cocaine and marijuana."...

In an earlier post announcing the launch of Raiola's show, we noted that "long-time friend and "nephew" Anthony Cracchiolo... with his lady killer instincts and an eye for business, [...] prides himself on his gentlemanly ways and his part in expanding The Drunken Monkey.

Kinda gives new meaning to the last part of that sentence...

And of course Big Ang has had her own troubles with the law having to do with drugs....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Montreal Mob War Reaching Into the US?

Vito Rizzuto, right, seems to be tying up some lose ends.

First, consider the mysterious death of a man in Florida who is believed to have been part of a small group of Montreal Mafiosi -- all of whom were "cursed," it would seem -- that early last year tried to negotiate who would fill a leadership void  caused by the murders of high-level mobsters related to Vito Rizzuto, who was still finishing his sentence in a U.S. prison.

Then just this weekend, there occurred the slaying of a low-level associate who once kidnapped a soldier in Rizzuto's family.

In October, Domenico Arcuri Sr., a man with past ties to the Rizzuto organization, died in an accident on a construction site in south Florida, about which the medical examiner noted “the context is worrisome,” the reported.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Di Maulo Slaying Linked to 2011 Montagna Rubout

Canadian police investigate the slaying of Di Maulo.
REVISED: It is unclear who is behind the early November murder of long-time, respected Montreal Mafioso Joseph Di Maulo, 70, who was considered by many to be a sort of chief consiglieri during these volatile times, according to published reports, including the

But it is clear that this murder is somehow connected to the murder of Sal "The Iron Worker" Montagna, who had been a former acting boss of the Bonanno family before he was deported from the U.S. to Canada in 2009.

As we wrote in an earlier post, the 2011 Thanksgiving Day shooting of Montagna was not an isolated incident. Previously Montagna had formed an alliance with Di Maulo, 70, and Di Maulo's brother-in-law, Raynald Desjardins. This was part of an attempt to reach a consensus over who should act as the next leaders of the Mafia in Montreal.

But then Desjardins and Di Maulo had a falling-out with Montagna, and in September 2011 there was an attempt on Desjardins life. He apparently met the challenge, because about two months later, on Nov. 24, 2011, Montagna was slain near the residence of another mobster, his body found close to the L’Assomption River off the northeastern tip of Montreal.

Joseph Di Maulo
 Desjardins and three associates are currently in prison awaiting trial for killing Montagna.

So Di Maulo, the third and final Mafioso known to have been part of that coalition, has now been executed -- about one month after former boss Vito Rizzuto came home. Not many are buying that this is coincidence.
Salvatore Montagna

“The murder of Joseph Di Maulo is a significant event, as important as the murder of Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. in 2010,” Pierre de Champlain, a retired RCMP intelligence analyst and an expert in Italian organized crime, told the

“Does this have something to do with the return of Vito Rizzuto to Canada? Perhaps. But for the moment, I don’t have enough information to draw a conclusion.”

In the article, de Champlain warned he “wouldn’t be surprised if there are responses to this murder.”

Antonio Nicaso, the author of several books on the Mafia, suggested that Di Maulo’s death might be an act of vengeance, reported the

Reputed Mob Boss Di Maulo Laid to Rest

From the

The short notes of condolence on wreaths affixed to five grey cars parked outside his funeral read like short chapters in the life of Joseph Di Maulo.

A funeral for the 70-year-old man who police believe was part of an ill-fated group that tried to take control of the Mafia in Montreal before he was killed this month, was held Wednesday at Notre Dame du Mont Carmel, a church in St. Léonard.

And as more than 200 relatives and friends mourned inside, floral arrangements sat, some bunched together, on the trunks of cars that were part of the procession as it made it way along Du Mans St. to the church. One ribbon on a wreath noted the flowers were from Raynald Desjardins, 59, who is currently in jail, charged with first-degree murder in last year's killing of 40-year-old Salvatore Montagna.

Desjardins was Di Maulo's brother-in-law. In 2011, both men are believed to have teamed up with Montagna on an aggressive campaign to take control over the Mafia in Montreal while Vito Rizzuto was serving a 10-year sentence in the U.S. for a racketeering conviction involving three murders. Montagna had briefly been the interim leader of the Bonanno crime family in New York.

Rizzuto's father Nicolo, the patriarch of the organization, was killed in 2010 and his brother-in-law, Paolo Renda, was kidnapped just months before police began hearing Di Maulo's name linked to Montagna's.

By September 2011, the coalition fell apart when someone tried to kill Desjardins in Laval.

Read more

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Acting New England Boss Gets 6-1/2 Years

In what the New York Times described as a "colorful indictment" federal prosecutors alleged that Anthony DiNunzio, 53, became the acting boss of New England’s Cosa Nostra crime family in late 2009 and oversaw the organization’s extortion of Rhode Island strip clubs and other such businesses, demanding payments of $2,000 to $6,000 per month.

"According to the indictment, Mr. DiNunzio was recorded bragging that he would remain the boss if he went to jail and telling a member of New York’s Gambino crime family that he would be willing to bury uncooperative insubordinates alive," the Times reported.

It turns out we will have a chance to see if that is true, as DiNunzio has plead guilty.

From The Boston GlobeThe acting leader of the New England Mafia was sentenced in federal court in Rhode Island on Wednesday to 6½ years in prison for his role in a racketeering conspiracy to extort payments from adult entertainment businesses in the state, federal and state authorities said.

Anthony L. Dinunzio, 53, of East Boston, pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, authorities said in a statement.

He was sentenced by Judge William E. Smith in US District Court in Providence.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Connecticut Mobster Expected to Cop Guilty Plea

From the  NorwichBulletinA 76-year-old reputed Connecticut mobster is expected to plead guilty in a weapons and prescription drugs case that has revealed the FBI's belief that he has information about the largest art heist in history.

Robert Gentile, of Manchester, has a change-of-plea hearing scheduled in Hartford federal court on Wednesday. He has pleaded not guilty to allegations he illegally possessed firearms and explosives and sold illegally obtained prescription drugs.

It's not clear whether there is a plea deal. Gentile's lawyer and a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment about the hearing.

Gentile hasn't been charged in the museum theft. His attorney, A. Ryan McGuigan, has said his client knows nothing about the heist and isn't a Mafia member.

At a court hearing in March, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham said the FBI believes Gentile "had some involvement in connection with stolen property" related to a 1990 heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Informant: Philly Boss Threatened DJ Jerry Blavat

From SFGate: A mob insider riveted jurors in a Philadelphia mob case Tuesday and raised eyebrows when he said the accused La Cosa Nostra boss on trial once threatened to kill oldies disc jockey Jerry Blavat.

Loan shark Lou "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello has regaled a federal courtroom for days with tales of the mob's bravado and business endeavors.

The unusual testimony from a mob turncoat comes in the racketeering trial of accused Philadelphia boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, alleged underboss Joseph "Mousie" Massimino and five others. The case mainly involves loansharking and sports betting in the Philadelphia region.

Prosecutors argue that Ligambi has mostly used threats — some recorded by the FBI — to run the mob since former boss Joey Merlino went to prison in 1999.

On the stand Tuesday, Monacello said Ligambi had threatened to kill Blavat over the DJ's suspected help with a 2009 Philadelphia Magazine article. The 72-year-old Blavat owns a bar near Atlantic City, N.J., that the witness called a mob hangout.

"If I were Jerry Blavat, I'd be nervous," Monacello testified.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Victoria Gotti Takes Surreal Potshots at 'Mob Wives'

Interesting clip we came across on YouTube -- it's from March, so it is not new -- in which Victoria Gotti, author, former reality TV star/Celebrity Apprentice contestant and last but not least, daughter of deceased mob boss John Gotti, tells Rosie O'Donnell why she doesn't watch "Mob Wives," including why she believes no real mob wife would ever put herself on television.

Isn't that kind of like what she herself exactly did, back when she and her family had their 15 minutes of fame in the form of “Growing Up Gotti,” which ran on A&E from 2004 to 2005? I will always remember it as the show that had to employ subtitles so viewers could understand what the Gotti boys were saying. At least "Mob Wives" does not require captions!

She also takes a dig at the "Wives" for letting people see where they live; there again -- didn't she do exactly the same thing? She was facing foreclosure on that Long Island mansion after failing to pay her mortgage for two years, last I read, so maybe that's why she felt it was okay to inject this jab.
Interestingly, there were reports around that time that a new reality series about the Gottis was in play -- so she probably viewed MW as the competition; this also makes her comments seem even more inexplicable -- decrying people for doing what she was in the process of doing again -- and after the first Gotti show was partly canceled due to "the bad media she received from her breast cancer claim... Her publicist, Matt Rich, also quit as a result of the incident," reports Wikipedia.

The reported back in February that "a reality series focused on the three grandchildren of John Gotti is being developed by Fiore Films and Ted Field, producers of the upcoming... Gotti feature film starring Al Pacino and John Travolta."

SI Rep. Grimm's Mafia Ties: Truth or Sour Grapes?

Rep. Michael Grimm: the "Gambino Congressman?"

The Mafia controls a lot of unions, especially in the construction industry, which enables them to create revenue streams that flow right into the crime families' pockets.

That's a basic statement regarding a key way that the mob generates cash for its members. This is generic, historical background info -- but it seems to be enough to label any politician who is in some way connected with a union as a puppet of the Mafia.

To wit: Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm. Or "Mikey Suits" as he is called in an article headlined Carpenters Union, Under Fire For Mob Connections, Endorsed And Funded Gambino Crime Family Congressman, Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm, running on

I don't follow local politics, especially congressmen outside my district. So when I read the above article I was not familiar with Mr. Grimm. I did notice something, however, as did a friend of mine, Sonny Girard, who made a note of it in the top comment below.

The story does not offer much support for its very specific charges against Grimm; I would go so far as saying it offers "zero" support.

FBI agent Jack Garcia, who infiltrated the Gambinos.

I went through it closely and the best I could come up with was that Grimm was endorsed and funded by "one of the most corrupt (and right-wing unions)... the Carpenters and Joiners Union." I also read that Grimm is "Staten Island’s Mafia clown," and that "despite Grimm’s mob connections, he defeated hapless Democrat Mark Murphy..." I think the bit about defeating Murphy is more significant than the writer of this story realizes. More on that later.

And the story seems to be basing all these Mafia references on nothing more than generic testimony given by "Donnie Brasco" in Canada recently; it links to this CBC story for backup, wherein we read: "The former FBI agent who infiltrated the New York Mafia and helped convict more than 200 gangsters told Quebec's Charbonneau commission on Monday that the Mob would manipulate the construction industry and rake in large payoffs by infiltrating unions and controlling the supply of raw materials.

Mob Rat Says Montreal Most Powerful Mafia Group

The is running a story in which a "former hit man" of LCN berates the U.S. mob, calling it basically second fiddle to its neighbors preparing for battle up north.

But the source is turncoat Salvatore "Big Sal" Miciotta, a former Colombo soldier who is probably making a decent living in WitPro by lending his views to American television documentaries about the mob.

The article describes him as "a veteran American Mafia soldier and former hit man" and quotes him as saying that "Montreal's mobsters are by far the most significant gangsters in the world -- outpacing the notorious Five Families of New York that became synonymous with sophisticated crime." [What about all the other crime rings based in Italy, Sal? You forget about them? I am referring to the Camorra, which is based in the Campania region around Naples; the 'Ndrangheta, based in Calabria; and the Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot. Together they were estimated in 2009 to have had a turnover of 135 billion euros – almost 9% of Italy's gross domestic product.]

Sal became a bit more enterprising, taking his own initiative to catch others doing what he had done: lying. He became a jailhouse snitch.

"There is no contest," said ["Big Sal"], who is infamous for his role in a shooting that targeted the makers of the classic pornographic film Deep Throat but killed a former nun by mistake.

"You have the most sophisticated group, the most lethal, the most powerful group in the world," Miciotta said of the Montreal-based Mafia in an interview to be aired tomorrow on CBC Television.

"All the guys in Brooklyn are nickel-and-dime guys. In Montreal, you have guys [bringing in] 400 kilos, 500 kilos," Miciotta said, adding New York's mobsters have to work a decade to earn what the Montreal Mafia makes in just one year."

The article does not indicate that Miciotta is not known for being a paragon of honesty; he was an informant, and a bad one at that. A law enforcement source told us that Sal can never testify again because his reputation has been forever impugned because he was caught lying on the witness stand. [My source told me Sal's lying on the witness stand directly set free six mobsters then on trial -- and I found corroboration from Jerry Capeci, who runs, which is subscription only.]

Yanked from the program and facing 15 years in prison, he resorted to the lowest level of informing. Sal became a bit more enterprising, taking his own initiative to catch others doing what he had done: lying. He became a jailhouse snitch.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wild Bill, Colombo War's Last Casualty

Wild Bill and Christina.
[Property of Cutolo family/Cosa Nostra News]

William"Wild Bill" Cutolo (June 6, 1949 – May 26, 1999), a Brooklyn-born mafioso in the Colombo crime family, left prison in 1994, escaping a lifetime sentence primarily linked to crimes committed during the early-1990s Colombo family war.

Bill had been certain he'd never get out from behind bars, but thanks to some irregularities in his trial due to Greg Scarpa's having afforded assistance to the FBI throughout the war years, Bill was breathing fresh air again.

He was a new man, with a new attitude toward life that included a deeper devotion to his faith in God. He became more religious, attending mass regularly, and engaged in charity fundraising, among other things.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

FBI: Case Closed for Entire Colombo Administration

Andy Russo during an earlier arrest. He was among those arrested
in January 2011.

The FBI said it has arrested the "entire" current Colombo crime family administration, as the last of 38 guilty pleas was entered into at Brooklyn federal court by family associate Angelo Spata.

The Colombo hierarchy case launched in January 2011, so-called Mafia Takedown Day, with a series of FBI raids that set a record as the single largest one-day operation against the Italian-American Mafia.

"Those who have pleaded guilty include the members of the entire administration of the Colombo organized crime family..., as well as numerous leaders, members and associates of the Colombo family," the US Attorney's Office said in a statement. All of them face 20 years in prison, the maximum based on sentencing guidelines. They also will surrender $5.6 million of their illicit proceeds.

'Bent Finger Lou' Testifies in Philly Mob Trial

'Bent Finger Lou' said he was
Uncle Joe's tax collector. reports:

Louis "Bent-Finger Lou" Monacello said he never killed anyone.

He stole cars, supervised gambling operations, collected debts and "tax" payments that reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Ligambi allegedly demanded from other criminals. Occasionally, Monacello told jurors Friday, he smashed windows, slashed tires, even cracked heads.

Once, on orders from above, Monacello staked out a South Philadelphia rival's house for three months before finally catching the man as he left to walk his dog one night, he said. Bat in hand, Monacello went to work.

"I swung with all my might," Monacello said, "and split [his] head open."

Monacello, 46, was the latest in a parade of informants and turncoats to testify in the racketeering trial of Ligambi, his nephew George Borgesi, and five other defendants.

A former high-ranking associate, he was the most significant witness to date, an insider enlisted to bolster prosecutors' claims that the defendants used violence - or the threat of it - to run rackets for more than a decade.

Defense lawyers have derided the case as "racketeering lite," a 10-year investigation built on criminals seeking deals and on thousands of secretly recorded conversations with tough talk but little proof of violence.

Monacello's message was that intimidation was often enough.

Five Ways to Heal the Ailing Mob Doctor

The Mob Doctor with the too-clever name:
Grace Devlin (Get it?) reports that "the struggling Fox drama [The Mob Doctor] saw a one-tenth uptick when it returned Monday to an albeit still-low 3.41 million viewers and 1.0 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic. It was the only series of the night to see a gain. Lead-in Bones (7.3 million, 2.0) was flat."

Let the prognosticating begin!


The Mob Doctor, Fox's struggling freshman drama, has shown signs of improvement - both in its overall quality and in ratings -- since returning last week from a month-long hiatus. But it's got a long way to go before getting a clean bill of health. Here are five things we think the show could do to make its prognosis a little more positive:

1. Grace needs to dump Brett. Sorry, but Jordana Spiro, who plays Dr. Grace Devlin, has more chemistry with some of Grace's body-bagged patients than she does with her on-screen boyfriend, Brett, played by Zach Gilford. But even setting their lack of sparks aside, how long are these two supposed to have been dating? Long enough for him to meet her mother apparently, and yet the couple seemingly spends every night apart and Brett accepts at face value Grace's flakiness and constant rushing off to mysterious other obligations with no more than "I have to go" as an explanation. Wake up, Brett! Not to mention, with Grace trying to juggle her family, her career and her Mobligations, we don't think she needs to throw a relationship into the mix - especially not one that's so seemingly lukewarm. After all, this isn't Grey's Anatomy. Which brings up our second point ...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Inside Look at Mafia Activity in Montreal

In November 2010, Nicolo Rizzuto went for his final reward.
From GlobalPost:

In the back room of the Cosenza Social Club, a strip mall café in an Italian neighborhood of Montreal, the city’s top mobster held court over piles of cash.

Hours of surveillance video captured by the RCMP, Canada’s national police, show the since-assassinated godfather of Montreal’s powerful Mafia, Nicolo Rizzuto, in variations of the same scene: counting bills, pausing only to lick his fingers, and stuffing the bundles in his knee-high socks.

No one is surprised that the mob conducts its illegal activities in cash. Shocking many, however, are revelations about the source of the money — a Mafia-controlled scheme that rigged bids and dispensed bribes on Montreal public construction contracts.

The scam, revealed in an ongoing corruption inquiry in Montreal, added an estimated 30 percent to the cost of municipal construction projects in Canada’s second-largest city — a corruption tax paid, in the end, by the city’s taxpayers.

The scheme reached deep inside city hall, and on Monday night it led to the downfall of Montreal’s long-serving mayor, Gerald Tremblay. He announced his resignation while insisting he would eventually be cleared of wrongdoing, and blaming the scandal on political allies and close associates....

Read rest

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rizzuto Ready for Battle, with $100,000 Armored Car, 'Well Guarded' Residence

Vito Rizzuto in the good ol' days.
With a fresh mob hit raising law enforcement's collective eyebrows in Montreal, and probably the U.S., it has been made apparent that Vito Rizzuto has been preparing for battle, according to a recent report in the

An armoured vehicle costing more than $100,000 as well as a "well-guarded downtown apartment" are among his recent acquisitions since returning home to Montreal, where just this week a well-connected, powerful Mafioso who may or may not have been in Rizzuto's camp was shot to death, according to the report.

Rizzuto has been away, having served eight years in a U.S. prison on charges related to a triple-murder in 1981. While a guest of the U.S. government, Rizzuto's father, Nick Rizzuto Sr., and son Nick Jr. were murdered; his brother-in-law was kidnapped two years ago and is presumed dead. In addition, also killed were several other of his associates.

Rizzuto, having lost his father and his son, is not currently in a frame of mind to do much talking, I have heard. In fact, his main agenda is revenge, not reaching any sort of consensus for control of the Montreal mob.

For Rizzuto, this is definitely personal.

"Police investigation expert Richard Dupuis told QMI Agency that the news of the bullet-proof car and the home in the city’s core should be understood in three important ways," the article notes.

“First, (Rizzuto) knows his life is in danger and he wants to protect himself,” Dupuis said. “Secondly, he wants to stay in Montreal. And thirdly, is he not an easy prey.”

Even before the death this week of Joseph De Maulo, there had already been some violence in Canada -- several Montreal businesses were firebombed in more than one attack.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Di Maulo Murder: Revenge for Montagna?

Raynald Desjardins, at his arrest, is awaiting trial for the 2011
killing of Salvatore Montagna, former Bonanno boss.

The below article from the adds some more details regarding the recent murder of Joseph Di Maulo -- basically suggesting that fragmenting alliances aimed at filling a mob power vacuum in Montreal are heading toward a shooting war following the return of Vito Rizzuto.

But whether Rizzuto was behind Di Maulo's murder, or affiliates of Sal "The Ironworker" Montagna seeking revenge -- or even if these two groups are one and the same -- is still an open question. 

Montagna, after all, was once the boss of the Bonanno family, and his killing had to be a slap in the face to members of the American Cosa Nostra, which has close ties with Rizzuto, who just got out of a U.S. prison for helping former Bonanno boss/now turncoat Joe Massino stop an insurrection within the Bonanno family launched by three capos.

But figuring out who is with who is the big question for police.

About the only thing you can bank on right now is that mobsters in Montreal are certainly walking around "heavy."

MontrealGazette.comThe fatal shooting of veteran mobster Joseph Di Maulo outside his Blainville house Sunday suggests that associates of reputed Montreal godfather Vito Rizzuto — released from a U.S. prison just last month — might already be exacting vengeance, say experts in organized crime.

Di Maulo, whose body was found face-down in his driveway, got his start in the Mafia more than 50 years ago, and for many years was a confidant of Rizzuto.

But when Rizzuto was sent to jail in the U.S. five years ago for his role in the 1981 triple murder of three Mafia captains in Brooklyn, Di Maulo was among several mobsters who sought to assert control of organized crime in Montreal, experts say.

During Rizzuto’s absence, his son Nick Jr. was gunned down in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in 2009, and on Nov. 10, 2010, Rizzuto’s father, Nicolo Sr., was shot dead by a sniper while he was inside his Cartierville house.

Di Maulo, who was 70, became the right-hand man of Raynald Desjardins, a major organized-crime figure. Together, they formed a brief alliance in Rizzuto’s absence with mobster Salvatore Montagna.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Managing a Mafia Hotel in the Heart of Sicily

I don't usually stray outside the U.S., but I found this to be an interesting story some of you may wish to read...


If running a large hotel in the middle of a financial crisis and a shrinking market sounds difficult, try pulling it off when the 14-story building has been confiscated from the Mafia.

“Call it fearlessness or perhaps stupidity, I’m not sure which it was, but I took this on as I would any other job,” says Luigi Turchio, the soft-spoken court-appointed administrator of the San Paolo Palace hotel and conference centre in Sicily.

Intimidation from the local crime boss and finding that the crime boss’s mistress was on the staff are just a few of the challenges Mr Turchio has faced in the 19 years since a court appointed him to manage the 283-room hotel on the edge of the Mafia-infested Brancaccio neighbourhood of Palermo, the Sicilian capital.

Read the entire story

Sunday, November 4, 2012

More Details on $50M Mob-Connected Betting Ring

From Queens DA

From the Queens TimesLedger:

More details on last week's arrest of the betting ring involving Vinny Basciano Jr...

Vincent Basciano Jr., the son of Bonnano Mafia leader Vinny “Gorgeous” Basciano, was one of 25 people from areas including New York and California who were arrested in connection with a more than $50 million illegal sports betting ring, the Queens district attorney said last Thursday.

Also in the group was East Elmhurst resident Joseph Kornreich, 60, who was identified as an alleged money collector and charged with enterprise corruption, money laundering, promoting gambling and conspiracy as part of a nationwide illegal sports betting enterprise, according to Queens DA Richard Brown.

“Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime,” Brown told a news conference at his offices. “Those who participate in these criminal enterprises often use threats, intimidation and even physical force to collect debts and oftentimes charge usurious interest rates on outstanding debts.”

Kornreich was arrested along with 24 others, including  Basciano, who was accused of being one of the roughly 15 bookmakers in the betting ring, the district attorney said.

The 25 arrests also included three owners of a sports betting website, where Brown said bookmakers took bets on football, baseball, hockey and other sports, bringing in more than $50 million over an 18-month period.

“The defendants in this case gambled and lost that their illegal activities would fly under the radar,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

While in operation, the group would make threats to customers while attempting to collect money, Inspector Brian O’Neill, of the New York Police Department’s Organized Crime division, said. An FBI investigation found the group used offshore sports gambling websites to operate under the police’s radar, O’Neill said.

UK's Take on 'Mob Wives'

Here's an interview with Jenn Graziano about her show, from the U.K.'s Telegraph:

Her father is a New York mafia bigshot who is now serving time (like just about every other man she knows). So what does Jennifer Graziano do? She makes a reality television show about the wives and girlfriends left at home. Brave woman…

Forty years ago a New York mafia boss called Joe Colombo began attracting a lot of media attention.

He’d come up with the clever idea of spinning police interest in his affairs into an attack on the Italian-American community. He picketed FBI headquarters, gave speeches and appeared on television protesting against this terrible injustice.

But the bosses of the other mafia families were unhappy with his high profile and in June 1971 he was shot.

How times change.

I’ve come to Staten Island,a suburb of New York long popular with Italian Americans, to interview Jennifer Graziano. She is the daughter of a high-ranking mafioso – and the creator of a reality TV show, Mob Wives, starring her own friends and family.

The Mob Wives cast is made up of the partners and daughters (or both) of mafiosi. It offers an irresistible glimpse into a secret world...

Read rest

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bulger's Lawyer Argues for Trial Delay

(AP) - Lawyers for mobster James "Whitey" Bulger were headed to court Thursday to argue that his trial should be delayed until next November.

Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, is accused of playing a role in 19 murders. After spending 16 years on the run as one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, Bulger, now 83, was captured last year in Santa Monica, Calif.

His trial is scheduled to begin in March, but his lawyers say they need more time to prepare. They were scheduled to make arguments Thursday to U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns, who has twice rejected a defense request that he recuse himself from Bulger's trial.

Bulger's lawyers say Stearns should not preside at the trial because he was a federal prosecutor during a time in which Bulger claims he was given immunity for crimes he committed while he was also an FBI informant on the Mafia, his gang's main rival.

Read more:

Ex-Undercover Fed Schools Philly Jury in Mob Ways


"Jack" Garcia went undercover and became Gambino capo Greg
DePalma's right hand man.

Joaquin Garcia was an appropriate witness for a mob trial on Halloween.

Over two years, the Cuban-born FBI agent donned the most convincing disguise: Jack Falcone, a Miami-bred thief and scam artist who became such a trusted associate that a Gambino crime family captain proposed Falcone's induction as a made member.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors at the trial of the alleged leaders of the Philadelphia mob cast Garcia in another role. He was the professor, the expert with real-life experience enlisted to provide jurors an inside look at La Cosa Nostra and to interpret its members' conversations at secretly recorded gatherings.

Garcia described the induction process, the hierarchy, and the way the mob makes its money.

"The source of their power is intimidation," Garcia said under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fritchey. "The source of their power is their ability to conduct violence in furtherance of their objectives."

He also weighed for jurors the significance of reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi's trip to a North Jersey restaurant in 2010. There, Ligambi met with John Gambino, a captain representing the administration of the New York crime families.

"This is a very important meeting," Garcia said after jurors heard secretly recorded excerpts of the gathering. "You're dealing with two families coming together to meet. And the fact that the New York Gambino crime family came to New Jersey to meet with Philadelphia shows that New York is recognizing Philadelphia to be a vital La Cosa Nostra crime family."

Garcia, 60, testified as the racketeering trial against Ligambi and six others entered its third week before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno. Prosecutors say the defendants ran a network that used threats to control illegal gambling, extortion, and loan-sharking rackets across the city.

Defense lawyers say the charges are flimsy, lack any substantive proof of violence, and are built on the word of discredited informants and criminals trying to save themselves. During earlier testimony Wednesday, Ligambi's attorney pressed another FBI agent to explain how gathering for a meal in a public restaurant was a crime.

"That's a big part of their lifestyle, isn't it? A nice lunch, a nice dinner, maybe a snack in between," quipped the lawyer, Edwin Jacobs.

At roughly 300 pounds, Garcia might not disagree. "Bottom line is that we ate more with the mob than you do on a cruise ship," he later testified, detailing the lifestyle.

Now retired, Garcia is no stranger to Philadelphia. He was stationed here in the late 1990s, working undercover to detect and disrupt drug cartel pipelines that supplied dealers in North Philadelphia. But his mob work came a decade later, when he was recruited to infiltrate the Gambino crime family.

His dark hair and imposing frame gave him a presence, but Garcia said he realized he was always in danger. Undercover work, particularly within the Mafia, "is kind of like being an actor, except the difference is you don't get second or third takes," he said.

After passing himself off as a low-level criminal, he befriended and became the driver and confidant for Gregory DePalma, a Gambino captain, and gathered intelligence about the crime families.

Garcia said he once proposed to DePalma that they work with an associate in Philadelphia, a man who he secretly knew was an undercover FBI agent. But DePalma cautioned him against getting entangled with counterparts in the City of Brotherly Love.

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