Showing posts from July, 2011

‘Whitey’ Bulger Stands to Make a Killing -- Legally

Gangster James "Whitey" Bulger could earn millions by selling anything he has for which there is a market, and there is an awfully awful, yet quite large, market for his desiderata -- be it his life story, hair, nail clippings, autographs or artwork. The reason: Boston lawmakers, unbelievably , have failed to ban convicted felons from cashing in on their crimes, reports . Someone in Boston should wake up and smell the coffee. New York, for one, does have such a law, called "The Son of Sam Law," after the prolific .44 caliber shooter who claimed a handful of lives in the mid-1970s. And, yes, according to IrishCentral, there is indeed demand for Bulger's hair, nail clippings, autograph and artwork. "... Collectors would pay top dollar for" these items, the article notes. READ REST:  ‘Whitey’ Bulger stands to make a killing from his chilling biography tales

Report: Gambinos Choose Sicilian Boss, End Gotti Era

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle confirms that the era of John Gotti is officially ended with the unveiling of Domenico "Italian Dom" as Gambino boss. For the first time since Gotti seized power in 1985 with the slaying of Boss Paul Castellano and his underboss, Tommy Bilotti, the family has chosen a member of the Sicilian faction -- the Neapolitan Gotti supposedly cared little for the family's "zips," as he called them -- rather than a member of the Gotti family or a mobster with ties to the Gottis. It would seem, if this be the case, imprisoned Jackie "Nose" D'Amico, former boss and Gotti pal, will hold much less power than he previously has had. Then there's this: “I think they picked a Sicilian because they’re tired of the old, fat, lazy American Italians who turn into rats,” a law enforcement source told the Daily News, as the Eagle reported. Jerry Capeci wrote about Cefalu's rise in the latest PPV post on his website,;

The Day Jimmy Hoffa Vanished

On this date in history -- July 30, 1975 -- James Hoffa, who had been trying to regain power over the Teamsters union, disappeared. President of Teamsters Union disappeared in '75, never found - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Mafia Bolsters Reach into Cyberspace

 "Just how pervasive is cybercrime?" queries  in an article titled  The Cyber Mafia has already hacked you . "Large, organized crime syndicates have been launching sophisticated attacks against individuals and major corporations for decades. The result of their efforts is the theft of billions of dollars every year, and a large, ongoing presence in many of our most sensitive computer systems." The Sony attack that stole credit card information from 77 million customers and the Citigroup hack that stole $2.7 million from about 3,400 accounts in May are part of organized crime," the article notes. 'It's not like the Mafia, it is a Mafia running these operations,' said Karim Hijazi, CEO of botnet monitoring company Unveillance.

Pesci Sues 'Gotti' Film Producers for Switching his Role

Pesci is pissed; he gained 30 pounds -- and lost $2 million in the process. Actor Joe Pesci has sued Fiore Films, the production company behind the film about former Gambino boss John Gotti​ and his son, titled    Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father,  accusing the producers of reneging on a contract after he gained 30 pounds to play the notorious crime boss's right-hand man, Angelo Ruggiero, according to  Entertainment & Stars . Pesci was promised $3 million for playing this part. But Fiore Films later told Pesci that he would be playing the lesser role of Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso  instead and would receive only $1 million, according to the lawsuit. (Don't ya just love the only $1 million!) The film has gained widespread attention due to its subject matter and a cast that includes John Travolta​, Al Pacino​ and Lindsay Lohan​. In the lawsuit, Pesci said he came to an oral agreement with production company Fiore Films to play Ruggiero​, which the producer, of

Mobster Fusco Denied Bail in Bruno Slaying

No bail for Emilio Fusco. "A federal judge emphatically denied a motion by mobster Emilio Fusco to be released on bail as he awaits trial on racketeering charges that include the 2003 murders of mob boss Adolfo 'Big Al' Bruno and another organized crime associate in Western Massachusetts," writes . "Emilio Fusco, 42, of Longmeadow, Mass., moved to be released from prison and placed on house arrest while he also is appealing an extradition order by a judge in his native Italy that saw him transferred to the United States in May. Fusco was arrested in Italy in July 2009 after being indicted in a Manhattan court along with other local gangsters and the onetime acting boss of the Genovese crime family." READ STORY: Longmeadow mobster Emilio Fusco denied bail in Al Bruno murder

Assignment Discovery: Mafia Influence Video

Assignment Discovery: Mafia Influence This Discovery Channel video describes the influence of the Mafia in New York and how it spread outside the Italian neighborhoods. WATCH HERE: Assignment Discovery: Mafia Influence : Video : Discovery Channel Reputed Mob Boss Appeals Florida Sentence

"A reputed captain of the Gambino crime family's South Florida operations asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to reverse his nine-year prison sentence on real estate fraud charges," reports the . "Vincent Artuso's attorneys asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to toss the conviction because prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to convict him of fraud and racketeering charges involving a scam that targeted ADT Security Services Inc. They also claim the trial was tainted by a biased juror. "But federal prosecutors countered that there was ample evidence in video recordings, audiotapes and court testimony that proved Artuso was a 'made member' who ran a South Florida crew for the notorious crime family. And they said defense attorneys should have raised objections at trial if they were concerned about the juror." READ REST: Reputed mob boss appeals Florida fraud sentence -

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Foreign Mafia Oufits

"The US has slapped sanctions on criminal gangs engaged in organized crime across several countries as part of a major crackdown, reports said on Monday," according to RTT News . Washington's Treasury Department imposed the sanctions to target Italian, Japanese and Mexican mafiosi, as well as sponsors of organized crime in ex-Soviet states. Italy's feared Camorra mafia tops the list. The Treasury Department says the group is engaged in counterfeiting, drug trafficking and largescale distribution of pirated goods. "The illegal market dealing in pirated CDs, DVDs, clothing and software is a major drain on legally produced American products," the article adds. READ REST:  US Imposes Sanctions On Transnational Mafia Oufits

What Americans Think About When They Think About New Jersey

People outside of the state were asked: “What comes to mind when you think about New Jersey?” writes . The number-one answer... “New York” or “next to New York.” The “shore” or “ocean” or “beach” share billing for number two. “New Jersey forever struggles in the shadow of New York for its identity,” Prof. Peter Woolley, the poll’s director, said. “I think we’d rather be known for the shoreline than for someplace to move to if you can’t afford New York City,”  adds. “Corruption” or “crime” or the “mafia,” which were number two last year, made the list again as number four. So the state is losing the connotation reinforced by all those years of Tony Soprano murdering and conniving on our TV screen every Sunday night. Boy, do I miss him.... READ THE REST:  When Americans think New Jersey, they think New York, Shore, mafia, bad odor, Christie 

Would-Be President Giuliani to Host AMC's 'Mob Week'

AMC is running a series of classic gangster flicks next week, and the former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani will introduce them on air. "While Giuliani would be right to dismiss any criticisms of his setting up a showing of The Godfather, Goodfellas or Donnie Brasco as silly, it is also not exactly what we expect from a presidential candidate," writes  Commentary Magazine . "Candidates have been damaged for allowing themselves to be associated with less controversial things than the violence, sex and drug use shown in these movies. And to do so just as the GOP presidential race is starting to heat up, strikes me as the type of decision a man who was actually planning on running for president wouldn’t make. "So despite the buzz from Giuliani’s camp about his recent appearances in New Hampshire, put down his appearance on AMC’s 'Mob Week' as one more indication the mayor is not going to be a candidate." READ:  President R

France, Russia, China, Etc. -- Don't Call Your Gangsters the 'Mafia'

When designing this site's domain of coverage, I made a deliberate choice to focus on the U.S. Mafia (though I include Canada, because there are strong bonds with our neighbor to the North). But checking through all the newswires I am constantly struck by how widespread use of the word "Mafia" is -- it's at the point of losing all meaning when we refer to things like the Gay Mafia, the Fashion Mafia or all these "corruptions" of the word to refer to legal, defined groups or clubs that have nothing to do with organized crime. But the word is also used to describe organized crime groups, as well -- as we all know -- and I am amazed at how prevalent these organized-crime gangs are. Still, aside from the following, whenever you read the word "Mafia" I am referring to traditional organized crime in America, members of which are all Italian, though associates can be anything and there are probably more Mafia associates that inducted members. I gues

Intellectual Ventures Accused of ‘Mafia-Style Shakedown’

This post makes a good sidebar to the Michele Bachmann post directly below:  Intellectual Ventures accused of ‘mafia-style shakedown’ in This American Life exposé - GeekWire . We are witnessing an evolution -- it seems politics and the business world are starting to take their cue from one of the oldest successful business ventures in capitalist history: the American Cosa Nostra.

Candidate Bachmann Aids Gave Journo 'Mafia-Style Beating'

Michele Bachmann's alleged migraines were an issue during 2011 run. Here's an early story written for this blog. Back then we attempted to cover use of words like "mob" and "Mafia" in the general media... (We also thought Ms. Bachmann was a hottie...) Here's how politicians are beginning to deal with the timeless proverbial problem of the nagging reporter: Reported The Atlantic Wire : "At a campaign event in Aiken, South Carolina, bodyguards of Michele Bachmann reportedly gave ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross one of the roughest manhandlings the 62-year-old reporter's ever gotten..." Ross was trying to query Bachmann about a story published regarding supposed debilitating migraines  she suffered from allegedly following the departure of her then-communications director, Dave Dziok (who had accepted an enviable position in public relations, where journalists generally go when they're ready to make real

Whitey Bulger Causes FBI Policy Revamp

Back in 1976, I was eight years old and dressed like a miniature Uncle Sam, as was the rest of my class. We were marching in the Bicentennial parade in my town, which happened to occur right in the middle of a furious thunderstorm that dumped buckets of rain on us. I remember the endless shower causing the red, white and blue coloring from our paper top hats to run down our faces. As we and the rest of the U.S. of A. were celebrating the 200th birthday of our republic, Congress passed a law limiting the tenure of the FBI director -- to 10 years. Why? Well, think about it. The name J. Edgar Hoover ring a bell? He served as FBI director from its founding in 1935, until his death in 1972, and it only took the Feds a few years to realize the full scope of illegal enterprises Hoover implemented. "Hoover was a power unto himself, and the FBI that was created very much in his image sometimes acted more like the secret police of the totalitarian regimes Hoover regularly denounced: r

Former Bonanno Boss Vinny 'Gorgeous' Gets Life -- Again

"Reputed mob boss Vincent 'Vinny Gorgeous' Basciano, who dodged the death penalty only weeks ago, was sentenced in a New York court to life in prison on Wednesday for ordering the murder of a mafia associate," reports  Reuters  . Basciano is a former acting boss of New York's Bonanno crime family and is already serving a life sentence for a separate 2001 murder. The previous former boss, Joe Massino, flipped after losing his own trial and exposed Vinny as being the creator of a plot to kill a federal prosecutor, which many believe is the reason his earlier trial was a death penalty case. "The court imposes consecutive life sentences in order to convey to Basciano, to other members of organized crime, to his victims and to the public, that while he has only one life with which to pay for his crimes, the debt he owes to society is far greater,' U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis said in last week's proceedings in federal court in Brooklyn. Basc

Cosa Nostra News Poll: About Two-Thirds Will Watch 'Mob Wives' Season 2

OK, as you can plainly see in the chart above, of the 145 of respondents to our poll, Do You Plan to Watch Mob Wives Season Two?, 62%, or 90 readers, answered, "Yes." Some 33%, or 48 readers, are pretty sure they won't be watching the show's next season. And 7 respondents, or 4%, have their head up their ass! OK, calm down, we're just kidding -- we appreciate each and every one of you who participates in our polls; it helps us focus our coverage. (But still, those 7 who "don't know".... It's not a big decision, folks!)

How Joe Ferraro Escaped the Canadian Mafia

Joe Ferraro ran a high-end car rental business. When the mob started hunting him, he held his own -- and got deported. "Joe Ferraro had made enemies with powerful men of the Mafia during his troubled time as a strong-armed entrepreneur in the Toronto area, so much so there has been widespread anticipation of his demise among gangsters, police and, indeed, Mr. Ferraro himself," writes the  National Post . “They put a hit on me. They tried to whack me two, three times and God blessed me. I’m still here. They try to send me a message. People are upset with me,” Mr. Ferraro, 49, told the National Post as he was forced by Canada’s border agents onto a plane to South America. “All because I stand up for myself. Is that wrong?” In the underworld, Mr. Ferraro learned, it is. While he clearly had reason to run, he instead fought to stay. His deportation from Canada Thursday for serious criminality ends a conundrum that plagued the gangland for two years: What do you do when

Now on Mob Candy's 'Brooklyn Gangsters'

UPDATED Mafia entertainment magazine " Mob Candy " publisher Frank DiMatteo brings you the story of 22 notorious gangsters in this rare peek into the history of the Brooklyn Mafia. For mob enthusiasts, this glimpse of the most powerful Cosa Nostra borough in New York City is "a one-of-a-kind reading experience that will make you feel like you're part of the family," said Dimatteo. (And your's truly, Cosa Nostra News' intrepid reporter/operator, has even penned a few profiles.) The book is now available on ALSO: See MOB CANDY on FACEBOOK: Mafialife Chris runs a blog for the magazine at -- podcasts are posted, usually on a weekly basis

What the Mob Can Teach A Start-Up Hedge Fund

"Here are a few classic pieces of advice [picked up from an interview with mobster-turned-corporate consultant, Louis Ferrente]... which can be applied to hedge fund managers, venture capitalists, anyone starting up a business, and probably any top Wall Street executive who is looking to maximize their 'people and business skills,'" writes Melanie Rodier in What the Mob Can Teach a Start-Up Hedge Fund on the website Wall Street & Technology . 1. Build trust with a business partner. "You have to spend time with people outside of work. You can pull a heist with someone or work on Wall Street with them every day, but to really get more insight into a guy, grab dinner with him; go on vacation together. You have to get to know someone on a more intimate level. I think about the guys who became rats, who became cooperating informants, and there was always something I saw in them but didn’t believe or explore at the time — something where I should have said, ‘

Providence-Based Mob Associate Cops to Guilty Plea

Iafrate, 70, copped to a plea agreement. Accused mob associate Thomas Iafrate has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in exchange for a recommendation of a lighter sentence from federal prosecutors, reports . Iafrate, 70, of Johnston, is the first of four local defendants swept up in a nationwide crackdown into organized crime to cave under the pressure of evidence. He's accused of helping reputed former mob boss Luigi 'Baby Shacks' Manocchio shakedown are strip clubs for protection money. Dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, Iafrate appeared relaxed before pleading guilty to one of three counts. The seven-page plea agreement unsealed earlier this month, reveals prosecutors will move to dismiss two other counts - extortion and extortion conspiracy – in exchange for the deal. Read Iafrate plea agreement Read Rest:  Accused mob associate pleads guilty

Chazz Palminteri Returns to 'A Bronx Tale' in Atlantic City

Chazz Palminteri returns to A.C. with 'A Bronx Tale' - Inside Story : "'A Bronx Tale' is a one-man show about a young man's dealings with two father figures - Sonny, a charismatic local mob boss, and Lorenzo, the narrator's own staid father. It takes place in the Bronx in the 1960s.Starring Chazz Palminteri, 'A Bronx Tale' runs through July 29 at Caesars Atlantic City's Circus Maximus Theater. Chazz Palminteri plays 18 roles -- and is the only actor in this show. He also wrote the play, which is directed by Jerry Zaks. "A Bronx Tale" premiered in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. It moved to New York City a few years later and ran off-Broadway for four months. Robert De Niro attended a show and expressed interest in purchasing film rights. Palminteri had conditions. "I had to play Sonny and I had to write the screenplay. Those were my two conditions," Palminteri says. "No one would give me that. The

DeStefano on 'Mob Killer' Charlie Carneg on Blog Talk Radio

He dissolved the bodies of some of his victims in acid and poured them down the sewer. He hung grisly souvenirs on nails in his junkyard. Charles Carneglia was a stone-cold killer who fell in with the bloodthirsty John Gotti crew. As the infamous crime family rose to power with their murderous trail of sex, jealousy, greed, and revenge, Carneglia rose with them. This is the horrifying story of a misfit who fit perfectly into the New York mafia. In a harrowing journey inside a ruthless criminal underworld, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Anthony M. DeStefano chronicles one man’s life in a world of depraved acts of violence and the horrors that went with being a member of the Gambino family. Hear DeStefano discuss Mob Killer on,  True Murder -- Blog Talk Radio

Former Mobster Girard Honors Jimmy Rosseli in the Blogosphere

The latest post on  Sonny Girard 's  Mob Blog , which is part of his larger website Sonnys Mob Social Club , is a tribute to the recently deceased crooner Jimmy Rosseli, who never reached the heights of Sinatra's success -- some say this is because he refused "help" from Cosa Nostra; others say it is because he had a nasty streak and managed to bring out the worst in those around him. And one of our commentators writes, "Jimmy never reached Sinatra's heights because his repertoire was so heavily Neopolitan and therefore failed to impress a crossover audience. But because of his benefactors, he always worked." Sonny usually writes about people and events with which he has some sort of personal connection, filling his writings with a greater degree of intimacy than is typical, which is exactly the case with Rosseli. This tribute is written by a professional writer, who lived the life and was personal friends with Rosseli.... Sonny writes, Jimmy Roselli

Prohibition Due for a Comeback?

Our government is racing towards the August deadline for the debt ceiling, and now is the time to start wondering how a government shutdown will effect each of us, as well as a nation, and the world, as a whole. One result of a shutdown would be the failure for certain businesses to keep their liquor licenses, which as an article in  The Daily Caller  notes, could led to an "underground" market for booze -- again. This was tried once before, and it was called Prohibition and it was one of the primary drivers of the creation of organized crime. Are we going to take another trip down that long, dry road? the article speculates. "Of course, one need not look further than the... state government shutdown [that] recently forced brewing behemoth  MillerCoors  to remove its golden liquid from bar taps after the company’s license to operate in Minnesota expired," the article continues. "Meanwhile, some Minnesota bars were forced to close their doors because they co

Bufalino: Rise & Fall

In his time, Russell A. Bufalino -- though not as widely known as John Gotti and the "usual suspects" of New York Mafiosi -- was "feted by politicians, feared by his fellow mobsters and dogged by federal prosecutors," writes  Citizens Voice  in an extensive profile on the long-dead mobster widely believed to be the man behind the men who made one James R. Hoffa disappear. Why write a profile now on Bufalino? The only "angles" we see are: any excuse to write about the mob will do, as it sells newspapers; and secondly, as the article itself notes, there is a film planned by Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese called The Irishman , which is based on the biography of a Teamsters official who claims to have killed Hoffa on Bufalino’s orders. Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino are all supposed to star, according to the article. Citizens Voice continues: Even 17 years after his death, the soft-spoken, eight-fingered Sicilian with a lazy eye, known t

Las Vegas Marks its Mob Roots with Two New Attractions

Jimmy Caan hologram tells the deal in the not-yet-open Mob Museum. The Tropicana Hotel launched the Las Vegas Mob Experience this spring: part museum, part theme park, with nifty interactive special effects designed by Disney "imagineers," reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette website . The visitor becomes a character in the story, and has choices to make. The wrong one could get you whacked. The right one -- per the underworld code of morality -- you get "made." Not yet up and running: the city's official "mob museum" -- formally the Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. The $42 million project, housed in a 1933 downtown post office/federal courthouse, is set to open on Feb. 14, 2012. The date is deliberate, since one of its marquee attractions will be a section of the Chicago garage wall in front of which seven Prohibition-era hoods met their demise on Feb. 14, 1929, in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Original machine gun-slug

Drop the Gun; Grab the Cannolis

"Bruno’s closed,” informs my New York hostess, writes a reporter for an article in The Telegraph , India, of all newspapers. “It’s being renovated.” It’s almost midnight in Manhattan. She is driving her SUV with a bunch of ladies, a couple of them sari-clad, through the streets of New York. We are on the hunt for that perfect cannoli — which means “little tube” in Italy (singular: cannolu in Sicilian). It’s the perfect Italian dessert to end a perfect Italian meal. Not quite the cream roll, these are softer tube shells made of fried pastry dough, with a sweet, creamy, cheesy filling. Bruno the famous patisserie — or pasticceria, in Italian — is near the Village. It’s famous for Italian desserts but for now we have to find another. And we find one pretty soon. It’s called Rocco and is equally well-known because of its Bleecker Street “Village address”. We are lucky. It’s close to midnight and a fresh bunch of cannoli has arrived! It’s oven-fresh and the cream is oozing out — it’s

VIBE: Mob Wives Wrap Party Photos

"Don't front like you ignore all incoming calls when Mob Wives is on," says  VIBE . The tough girls of VH1's top-rated show hosted their season-one wrap party (without a single cuss or punch) and are ready to play up the camera once again for a second season. Creator of Mob Wives JustJenn Productions and Jennifer Graziano are also collaborating on a second high-drama reality show titled, Status, set to focus on Miami's sexy and spoiled. Get a shot of some of the castmembers who dropped by the MW party here:  VIBE Exclusive: Mob Wives Wrap Party Photos + New 'Status' Show .

Organized Retail Crime Attracting Eyes of Law Enforcement

Organized retail crime centers on common consumables, such as baby and hygiene products, writes the  Federal Way Mirror  in an article,  Organized retail crime: Washington law enforcement puts heat on shoplifters . Car trunks or in backyards, flea markets, swap meets and mom-and-pop shops are among the places where the items are sold to the public, typically at deeply discounted prices, though for the seller, it is all profit. Auction websites such as eBay are havens for stolen merchandise, according to the article. Other criminals return stolen goods to retailers for a fraudulent refund, or perhaps buy the stuff with stolen credit cards. A recent report from the Washington Retail Association involved a King County couple who recruited a few dozen drug addicts to steal from stores, with the items either resold or shipped to Cambodia.

Ex-Mobster Ferrante on Business Startups

"Forty-four-year-old Louis Ferrante hasn’t led a life that might naturally lead to business consulting," writes website  Private Equity Hub in What the Mob Can Teach the Start-up Industry . Ferrante ran his own crew as an associate of the Gambino family. “When you’re hijacking trucks on the street in Queens, the Mafia is going to hear about you,” he says. “It’s not like they come down and say, ‘We’ll kill you if you don’t pay us.’ They take you under their wing.” State law enforcement and federal agents took him down while he was still in his 20s -- and even high-powered defense attorney Barry Slotnick couldn’t save Ferrante from more than eight years in the joint, where he says he "fell in love with books – and out of love with the mob." Luckily for Ferrante, his old cohorts let him go his own way when he was released from prison in 2003. His newest book, “ Mob Rules ,” offers lessons about what the Mafia can teach legitimate businesspeople.

'Pricey Whitey' Bulger's Stash Revealed

Hidden within the walls of the Santa Monica apartment shared by James 'Whitey' Bulger and Catherine Greig, the FBI found more than $800,000 in cash, over 30 firearms, several knives, a grenade, and many types of fake identification documents, reports TMZ. Since Bulger's arrest on June 6, he has plead not-guilty to nineteen murder counts and a thirty-two count racketeering indictment. Bulger spent more than 16 years on the run as one of the FBI's most wanted. He is 81. As previously reported, even though Whitey and Greig had settled down quietly, it was clear that the fugitive pair were always ready to pack up and move on -- and even put up a fight." Read rest

Lucchese-tied NJ Contractor Cheats HUD, Others

EXCLUSIVE:  A former contractor tied to organized-crime underboss Martin Taccetta admitted in federal court today that he swindled HUD out of funds through creating no-show jobs – after stealing from a former employer, for a total take of more than $600,000 that he didn’t report to the IRS, writes the Cliffview Pilot , a newspaper that covers North New Jersey. The timing of Eric Logiudice’s plea is interesting, given that “Marty” Taccetta is the only one of nearly two dozen defendants who hasn’t taken a government deal in connection with a rackets takedown three years ago. That sweep included Logiudice, who is on probation for carrying a firearm with its serial number defaced. Taccetta, a 59-year-old Lucchese family underboss, is already serving a state prison sentence of life plus 10 years. A year ago, the state Supreme Court reinstated Taccetta’s life sentence in connection with a golf-club beating death of a South Jersey businessman. His brother, Michael, who once ran the Lucche

Wiretaps Not Just Used Against the Mob

Wiretaps were primarily used against mafia crime families -- one notable example is John Gotti's takedown in the early 1990s -- and drug dealers. This crime-fighting tool now has become a staple against Wall Street crooks, reports  Advanced Trading  in an article titled  Inside Traders Probably Don't Plan Their Crimes Over the Phone Anymore . "The Financial Times points out that U.S. prosecutors have become aggressive in their use of wiretaps to pinpoint insider trading. As part of an insider trading investigation two years ago, federal authorities intercepted the phone calls of more than 100 investment fund clients with the Primary Global Research expert network."

Italy's Bloodiest Mafia is the Camorra

Italy’s Bloodiest Mafia didn’t really bother with a comparative overview, other than to inform us that the Camorra, the Naples-based Mafia, has killed more people (3000 in 30 years) than either of its main two rivals, the eponymous Sicilian version (which is now looking somewhat tame and old school), or the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, definitely the scariest of the Big Three (and yes, there are smaller offshoots), tending to torture its victims before topping them," writes The Arts Desk , in a review of This World: Italy's Bloodiest Mafia, BBC Two . As noted in another post on this site , accordi ng to Wikipedia, although the group appears to have no formal structure in the United States, Camorra members have a presence in Cleveland , Los Angeles ,  Albany and  Springfield, Massachusetts . Supposedly the least active of all the organized crime groups in the United States, U.S. law enforcement still considers the Camorra to be a rising criminal enterprise, especially danger

Colombos Consider Guilty Plea Following 'Global Plea' Incentive

You know the Feds have a strong case when, of 41 Colombo mobsters arrested in the big January bust, 25 percent, including two capos, have already pled guilty -- primarily to take advantage of a "global plea" deal. So reports the . The percentage of guilty pleas is expected to grow significantly in coming weeks, sources said in the article. The incentive is offered by Brooklyn federal prosecutors and basically amounts to, "admit your guilt and get nearly a year knocked off your prison sentence," the Post writes. "It has a mutual benefit," said Vincent Romano, a defense attorney who represents four Colombos in the case. In return, the courts don't get bogged down with a massive and prohibitively expensive mob trial, Romano said.   We at CNNews have heard of these group plea deals before -- and they typically carry an all-or-none clause. Everyone bites the bullet, or no one gets the break and the voire dire begins.

BBC: Couple Takes Stand Against Camorra

"Their life has been blighted by Italy's bloodiest mafia, the Naples Camorra, but Alessandra Clemente and Antonio Prestieri could hardly come from more different backgrounds," reports  BBC News . "Her mother was killed by the brutal crime syndicate. His father was one of its clan bosses. "And yet the two have become unlikely friends. More striking still, they are now taking a brave stand against the Camorra, inspired by the firm conviction that it can be defeated once and for all. "Clemente, who was only 10 when her mother was killed accidentally in a shoot-out between Camorra clans, wants to become a judge taking on organised crime cases. "She also engages with convicted juvenile delinquents, including the offspring of Camorra bosses, in an attempt to talk them into abandoning their life of crime. And she volunteers at a centre which provides free legal advice to victims of racketeering." Continue reading this story The Camorra is a M

CNBC's 'Mob Money: Murders and Acquisitions' Premieres July 27th

Joseph (Joe the Boss) Masseria was supposedly  murdered by Albert  Anastasia, Vito  Genovese, Joe  Adonis and  Benjamin Siegel. For more than 80 years, the Mafia has represented the dark underbelly of capitalism and a warped vision of the American Dream. What keeps the mob in the red is corruption, violence and murder. In the Mafia, murder isn’t personal. It’s business. So says ad copy hyping CNBC's new show, called 'Mob Money.' Hit this link to get more details, or just keep reading. The upcoming show explores seven different murders and how they helped line mobsters' pockets . From the 1931 murder of Joe Masseria to the 1985 murder of Paul Castellano, millions of dollars hang in the balance in some of the American Mafia's biggest mob hits. Wednesday, July 27th: 9:00pm MOB MONEY: MURDERS AND ACQUISITIONS 10:00pm MOB MONEY: MURDERS AND ACQUISITIONS 12:00am MOB MONEY: MURDERS AND ACQUISITIONS 1:00am MOB MONEY: MURDERS AND ACQUISITIONS Sunday, July

'Mob Wives' Reunion: Drita, Karen Feud Rocks the Show

Well, it started off civilly and -- honestly -- aside from some yelling and crying, the Mob Wives reunion was more talking than brawling. There will be a second season coming up, with the same cast, though it would be nice if they found some actual MOB WIVES for the show: These women are all divorced! Drita was the only one married, but now thanks to Lee's cumare activity, she of the gorgeous bikini photos also is getting a divorce. (And you know he's sitting in his cell looking at those pix saying, "What the f--k did I do...) Here's a recap for those who missed the show courtesy of a writer willing to spend the time and energy to type out the words, namely Lindsey DiMattina on Hollywood Life : Wendy Williams sits down with the Mob Wives for their reunion on July 10. It’s the first time that Drita D’avanzo and Karen Gravano have seen each other since their massive bloody battle during the season finale — and the fight is still on! Carla Facciolo and Renee Graziano

Las Vegas Man Seeks $2M for Tipping Feds About 'Pricey Whitey' Bulger

A Las Vegas man is seeking $2 million from the Feds -- reward money -- for providing the tip that he says led to the capture and apprehension of one James "Whitey" Bulger, whom we here at CNNew s dub "Pricey Whitey" because of the money his trial and imprisonment (and possibly execution) will cost tax payers -- at least the ones in Mass. "Tipster Keith Messina, who has lived in Las Vegas for 20 years, said he deserves at least part of the reward, despite plans the FBI has to give it to a woman from Iceland," writes the Las Vegas Review-Journal . . Messina's claim was officially filed Friday and is now under review, his attorney Michael Gowdey said. Bulger, in hiding since 1995 and continuously on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List since 1999, sparked a 16-year global manhunt and was the inspiration for the part played by Jack in the movie "The Departed."

I Beati Paoli: Secret Sicilian Society that Inspired La Cosa Nostra?

An intriguing photo and interesting post on the blog Bleeding Espresso emailed to us by our good friend Sonny Girard introduced us to i Beati Paoli, the name of both a Sicilian restaurant, as well as a secret society seen as a possible predecessor of the Sicilian Mafia. First, check out this place (again thanks to Sonny and Bleeding Espresso ): Sicilian restaurant, i Beati Paoli, is named after a secretive sect, possibly a precursor to the Mafia. A blogger writes, "The pizza is absolutely fabulous." From  Wikipedia -- and what would we do without you, Wikipedia -- we learned i Beati Paoli is the name of a secretive sect thought to have existed in medieval Sicily . The sect, as described by the author Luigi Natoli in his historic novel, i Beati Paoli (written as a series under the pseudonym William Galt in 1909, then re-published as books in 1921 and 1949), resembles an order of knights fighting for the poor and the commoners. The Beati Paoli wore black hooded

Jailed Outlaws Member Fears for Life After Slaying Hells Angel

A biker in the U.K. who helped ­murder a member of the infamous Hell's Angels has had a price put on his head for "betraying" his comrades, reports Biker News Net . referring to a published article in the U.K.'s newspaper The Mirror. Karl Garside, 48, of the notorious rival Outlaws gang, fears for his life after he told other ­members of his gang he wants nothing more to do with them. Garside was one of ­seven involved in the ­gunning down of Gerry Tobin, 35, in 2007. He has been moved to another jail after he received death threats. Garside has been accused of ­breaking the Outlaw code of honor by turning his back on the ­MC. A jail source revealed: "The Outlaws live and die by a code of honor, and it is almost unknown for any member to break away. "Karl blames the peer pressure of being an Outlaw for putting him in the position of being an ­accessory to murder. "He wants nothing more to do with the gang. There is a huge amount of anger at

Circuit Rejects Madoff Victims’ Attempt to Use RICO Statute

"An attempt by investors to recoup losses from their investments in Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme by suing JPMorgan Chase under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act has been rebuffed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit," reports the  New York Law Journal . "MLSMK Investment Co., which lost $12.8 million in the scandal, claimed that JPMorgan Chase had suspicions about Madoff’s activities but failed to freeze his bank accounts because it wanted to continue receiving substantial fees from his market making and banking activity. "Yesterday, in deciding an issue of first impression, the Second Circuit held that MLSMK’s RICO claim was precluded by §107 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. §1964, as the court adopted a restrictive analysis on the bar against RICO actions in securities cases." The claim was precluded because not enough of the JPMorgan people had a vowel at the end of their name. S

Home Trashed Mafia-Style By Thugs Hired By Mortgage Company

A Brooksville, Fla.-based man who fell behind on his mortgage payments experienced the trashing of his home, which was tossed and ransacked "mafia style" by paid thugs hired by his mortgage company, reports the Intel Hub . The attack is apparently not important enough for the local police, who have claimed this is a civil issue. Where are our elected officials when we need them?

Cosa Nostra News Expands Coverage

Despite the semi-Italian name of our site, we have thought long and hard and have decided to expand our sphere of reportage to include a larger emphasis on our tagline: "What's going on in traditional organized crime in America." So we will keep the focus on America, but in addition to the Mafia, we will start covering outlaw biker gangs. To be clear about this, the Mafia is our primary focus; but now, one-percenter, or outlaw, motorcycle clubs also will be part of the mix

The Anonymous Jury Sings 'Not Guilty,' Then Escapes Through a Backdoor

Routinely mobsters are sentenced to life for the same litany of crimes: extortion, racketeering, bid-rigging, gambling, dealing and sometimes murder, among other colorful things. The prosecutor will put together a nice package that falls under the RICO Act, which means that some defendants could go away for life for doing any of the above. Even having a cup of coffee with the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong place can send some fellas to the can for, like, forever under the right circumstances. And who is putting guys there? The Feds, the prosecutors and the judges. After what happened this week, I say, What good are they if they can prosecute big bad Mafiosos until the cows come home, but when it comes to the murder of a baby – a mere two-year-old child – in Florida by her own psycho mother, they put on a six-week trial that tapped 400 pieces of evidence only to fail to win over the jury -- an anonymous jury that sang “not guilty,” then escaped through a backdoor like

VH1's 'Mob Wives' Talk Turkey (and Fight and Scream and...)

Picked up for a second season, if you don't know their names by now, please don't ask us! Season One of Vh1’s Mob Wives might be over but in a post-season, pre-reunion interview for Complex the cast of Mob Wives chatted about all the fights, drama and friendship destruction -- and reveal what’s next. Respected, burgeoning author Karen Gravano  (it's called sarcasm, folks) and workout Queen  Drita D’avanzo are still not speaking following their season-ending blow-up, but Drita admits she is sorry and says she is still friends with Renee and Carla Facciolo . The ladies also discuss the pending Season Two, which will begin filming soon. Drita has some news poised to break – something major is on the horizon, she hints: “For me, you can expect a huge life change, an event. It’s going to be shocking, probably.” Complex  's writer points us toward "some interesting posts via her Facebook  page. If you recall, Drita discovered on the finale episode that her husban

Cosa Nostra Wine Bar -- in Malta

From F acebook , the Cosa Nostra Winebar , in the country of Malta, has erected a page. We don't see the connection, but hey, we cover all things Cosa Nostra-related, so we're covering this. Only 43 people "like" it so far. COSA NOSTRA WINEBAR  -- highlights: Location         183, Main Street, Mosta, Malta About Cosa Nostra Winebar - a place for cool music and chilled wines  Description    Cosa Nostra Winebar is set in the heart of Mosta, only a 100 metres up main street from Mosta Dome. The area is also known as "Tal-Erbgha Hwienet." Our wine bar has a variety of local and foreign wines. Besides the wine we also serve platters of exquisite cheese and meat platters, also freshly made bigilla with water crackers.

Top 10 Things That Make Sinatra Cool

Frank Sinatra... "Old Blue Eyes" .... won a dozen Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and recorded 297 singles, most so well known we needn't name them here. Frank had a temper, sure, but who among us doesn't? Besides it was total B.S. what they did because of some liar nicknamed "The Animal." On  July 19 1972  Sinatra burst into the House Crime Committee and, while the flashbulbs popped, denounced its members for conducting a character assassination.

Tax Payers Foot Bill for 'Pricey Whitey' Bulger

Bulger pleaded "not guilty," and has the lawyer that may be able to make that happen.  James “Whitey” Bulger’s helicopter transport from a Plymouth jail to the Federal Courthouse in Boston carries a price tag of nearly $14-thousand dollars an hour, paid for by taxpayers, notes . But wait -- that's not all! Bulger’s court-appointed attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., described as "one of the best lawyers in America" -- no Jose Baez has not collected that title yet -- recently asked the court to add his likely-nearly-as-expensive partner, Janice Bassil, to his team – also paid for by taxpayers. The press alone should cover the bill. “The average murder trial takes a month. There’ll be at least 19 murder trials in this case,” says a source in the story. Say it ain't so? Well, I can't. The government has seized Whitey Bulger’s assets and the court declared him "indigent," a rich-man's word for essentially the homeless. &

Mafialife Chris: Mob Writers: Rats or Racketeers?

And now the latest from our goombata from Brooklyn, Mafialife Chris: Is writing a mob book the new racket, or is it a form of ratting? It seems like a lot of the retired mobsters try to get another last minute payday by writing a book. You may be able to get this done without looking like a turncoat, like  Tony Napoli  did. He managed to write a book called ‘My Father My Don’ with much respect, and we know exactly how he did it. Is Uncle Frankie gonna be able to do it right when he writes his book? You will laugh when you hear what he says about it. What are the international mobs doing these days to make noise? Nicky Vegas tells us, and we pretty much piss them off enough to assume we now have Yakuza after us. And, did you know the priests are in the mob these days? We will tell you exactly how the mob is being helped by the clergy these days. You don’t want to miss this show. Click here to listen to Mafia Talk Radio Show #6 . (Scroll down to the bottom of the page)