Who Really Ran Scores Shakedown?

Greg DePalma was desperate to regain his standing as a capo when he was released from prison in February 2003 after serving a 70-month sentence for racketeering.

He was supposedly all washed up.


He'd been caught talking on tape, which led to his conviction as well as that of John A. "Junior" Gotti in the Scores strip-club extortion case. (They copped plea deals, actually, at the last minute.)

Testimony in a 1999 case related to the Scores case told a violent tale of murders by Albanian gangsters, as well as the Gambino crime family shaking down the premium strip club.

Reputed Albanian mobsters (and brothers) Simon and Victor Dedaj were arrested for the 1996 shooting murders of a bouncer and waiter inside the Upper East Side strip club.

The New York Post described it as a case "with enough mobsters, loansharks and topless dancers to fill a Martin Scorcese flick."

In opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Dan McGillycuddy told jurors how an early morning argument over a mobster’s girlfriend escalated into deadly violence.

“Michael Greco was shot at point-blank range over his right eye,” McGillycuddy told jurors of the double-slaying’s first victim, a 26-year-old bouncer from The Bronx.



Scores dancers....



Simon then turned his 38-caliber pistol on the second victim, a 22-year-old aspiring actor named Jonathan Segal, a waiter at the club.

As Victor stabbed the waiter, Simon fired three times, striking at his neck and back.

“He shot him, he shot him, he shot him,” McGillycuddy shouted.

But he told jurors his case also highlighted accounts of strippers, mobsters and other crooks.

Willie Marshall, the corrections officer who served as the club’s bouncer (and was "Junior" Gotti's weightlifting buddy), told the feds he ferried $100,000 in “tribute” to the young Gambino family acting boss.

Other witnesses included two strippers.

What the hell happened inside Scores? Since Junior copped to a plea deal, there was never a trial. You never really heard about it.

We have heard bits and pieces of different things. Perhaps owing to our interest in strippers, we held on to this one, asking various sources the odd question here and there. We think we have some of it figured out. Or at least we know on whose door to knock for the comprehensive lowdown. We wish it were a stripper instead of a mob guy.....

Junior and the $100,000 payoff, which we covered in two separate stories, as well as the Albanians killing two people (we don't believe the true motive behind those shootings has ever been revealed and based on what we've heard, it wasn't over any woman as the feds argued) are really the only key points -- in addition to the involvement of the DePalmas.

The guy truly behind the years-long Scores shakedown is someone you probably never heard of. And it wasn't former underboss Frank LoCascio's son, Salvatore, as some may think.

It is interesting the Post mentioned Martin Scorsese... keep reading.

What we think you know about the Mafia's shakedown of Scores would fill a thimble compared to the complete story. Film producers remaking Mafia-based films from the year before should put their ear to the street, as we have down. There is a lot that you don't know.....

We have heard 60 Minutes will highlight the Scores case either this Sunday or the following -- we have a pretty good idea who will be showcased....



One of the men who may appear on the hit news show was set to testify against Junior and others named in that Christmas tree RICO indictment. He and his partner were the white-collar thieves and the true informants who, snagged in a fraud case in Florida, tried to give the feds the Gambino family on a platter to get out of jail.

Only the joke was on them, it'd seem.

They served the longest prison terms ever for cooperators, we've heard. Goes to show, don't commit crimes in biblical Florida where judges follow the model set be Jehova, God of the Old Testament.

Michael D. Blutrich and Lyle K. Pfeffer were riding high in the 1990s. Blutrich had founded a politically connected Park Avenue law firm, and Pfeffer was a venture capitalist. Each earned more than $500,000 a year, probably a lot more.

Greed made them part of two major conspiracies. One involved stealing millions from a Florida-based insurance company. The other involved the Gambino family joining Scores as secret partners.

For six years the two men -- a politically connected blueblood lawyer and a VC --claimed they lived in Mafia fear, though this didn't stop them from playing along.

''I knew what I was doing were crimes,'' Blutrich told one newspaper after the jig was up. ''I thought I was giving up a finger. I didn't realize I was giving up an arm.''

In 1996, the two flipped once Federal and state authorities implicated them in the Florida insurance fraud and the New York Scores case. 

Seeking reduced prison sentences, they worked undercover for a year, taping more than 100 conversations that prosecutors say contributed to indictments of several members of the Gambino family on charges of extorting more than $1 million from Scores.

Blutrich and Pfeffer were to set to act as the key witnesses in the Scores trial against Junior Gotti and five co-defendants in Federal District Court in White Plains.

''This is the first significant organized-crime case in which two people who were not 'made' members -- soldiers -- or associates of a crime family obtained such a volume of graphic evidence working undercover,'' Myles H. Malman, a former Federal prosecutor in Florida who served as Pfeffer's lawyer told a reporter.

You see the contradiction? The shakedown of Scores ran for six years. Junior Gotti only got one payoff of $100,000. And that $1 million figure we believe is awesomely low....

The truth is what really happened in Scores has never been told before.



We know some of it. Sources tell us one guy was in there from the start, who, like an entrepreneur, created a multitude of scams -- involving the coat check, the strippers, anything and everything you can think of.

His name is Steve Sergio.

We called Steve for the inside dope (we procured his phone number from another source).

Steve wasn't pissed that we called him out of the blue, but he clearly didn't want to talk to us.

"We heard the Scores story would make a good Martin Scorsese flick," we said as an ice-breaker, quoting the Post article above.

"Well, if he's interested in talking to me, give him my number."

Stay tuned.... And if there are any strippers out there who know anything about this, give us a call. 



Comments

  1. Good old Sigmund the Sea Monster - was his father Michael Sergio - the one that was willing to pay like 100k or more to become a made man? Imagine that, paying that kind of money to either end up ratted out in jail or dead.

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  2. those two guys michael b, and lyle p, had a partner shalom weiss, he went on the run they caught him ,lost at trial and got 820 years..no violence

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  3. Is it possible Jr. received tributes from others at the club besides Marshall? If not Jr., who would get that cut for those six years? Another good article. And I think all articles after should include a Scores picture. Ta-dow!

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  4. I think you need to go and do some photo investigation work inside the club...

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  5. I haven't heard anything about that, I admit.

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  6. My info is he got one payment and one payment only. The Gambinos never realized what a goldmine Scores was. Only Sergio did.

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  7. hey that guy steve sregio killed it ,ran the wheels off it ... he and another wise guy was getting 1000 on every breast job {5000} and 2000 for up to {10,000}from a high end plastic surgeon they they refered to him......and he did a great job....

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  8. Ed, I just found out Valachi testified that Joe Bonanno is the one who inducted him into Cosa Nostra and performed his ceremony. I hadn't heard this before. I'm surprised that Bonanno had a hand in Genovese business like that.

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  9. Yes, I've heard that. I believe he referred to him as his "Godfather".... one and only time I know of reference to Godfather. I've been trying to find out Puzo's sources. I believe he got a lot of the stylistic stuff from Barzini's The Italians, down to famous lines of dialogue (made an offer he can't refuse ). Also at Valachi ceremony didn't they do some kind of a count? Everyone threw out fingers, etc. When they reached a certain number it was how Bonanno was chosen. Obviously they got rid of that with Maranzano......

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  10. I think Steve knew he was trapped, tried to warn everyone else but they didn't believe him, especially the DePalmas and Junior. They thought Steve was lying to protect his racket ... but if they'd have listened......

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  11. He died in prison.... did a little research. They mentioned him on the show. Surprised they didn't get more out of Steve.

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