Showing posts from January, 2014

Asaro Recorded Badmouthing Bonanno Boss

Considering all the hoopla over the 36-year-old Lufthansa heist, which is pretty big news, admittedly, garnering coverage around the globe, 70-year-old acting Bonanno boss Thomas "Tommy D" DiFiore from Commack, Long Island, must be feeling somewhat marginalized.

Maybe not, but Tommy D is more than likely pretty furious with Bonanno capo Vinny Asaro, considering Asaro's big mouth is the only reason DiFiore is part of the Lufthansa indictment and now living in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. And on top of that, Asaro was caught on tape saying not very nice things about DiFiore.

"Tommy D was not caught in any incriminating conversations by the FBI's secret snitch, Asaro cousin Gary Valenti," Jerry writes this week ."But in recorded talks with his cousin, Asaro managed to implicate DiFiore in the only crime that he is accused of, and establish to a judge's satisfaction that Tommy D is the family's acting boss."

Key Witness's Television Infamy Causing Concern

The NY Daily News is reporting that prosecutors are actually in a state of "fear" over the fact that jurors for an upcoming gangland murder trial may become starstruck owing to the fact that a former "star" of the reality TV show “Mob Wives” is due to take the stand.
Also of concern is the possibility that jurors might ignore evidence and reach a verdict based on whether or not they want to gain or avoid "the notoriety associated with the show," prosecutors noted in court papers.
Hector Pagan, the "star" witness against reputed mobsters Richard Riccardi and Luigi Grasso, appeared on the show during the 2010 and 2011 seasons; he flipped during the summer of 2011.

Pagan Set to Testify in Upcoming Brooklyn Mob Trial

From NY Daily News: Prosecutors fear jurors for an upcoming gangland murder trial with stars in their eyes may become part of the cast of the reality TV show “Mob Wives.”

Hector Pagan, the star witness against reputed mobsters Richard Riccardi and Luigi Grasso, has become a recurring plot line on the popular show because he is the ex-husband of “Mob Wives” star Renee Graziano.

Pagan's so-called "betrayal" of his ex-wife and father-in-law, Bonanno capo Anthony Graziano, will undoubtedly be the subject of further discussion when he takes the stand in Brooklyn Federal Court next month, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Argentieri stated in papers seeking an anonymous jury.

The feds want the jurors' identities kept secret to prevent anyone from hunting them down "to generate additional stories," Argentieri warns.

Worse, jurors might ignore the evidence and reach a verdict to "avoid the notoriety associated with the show or seek it out." Pagan is the act…

Third Time Not the Charm; Feds Reject Second Ligambi Retrial

From George Anastasia's Big Trial Trial Blog: The Feds are not going to retry mob boss Joe Ligambi on conspiracy and gambling charges having failed to secure convictions following two separate trials in which both juries were deadlocked over these charges.

In a motion filed yesterday afternoon, the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania asked Judge Eduardo Robreno to dismiss the three remaining counts pending against the 74-year-old mob leader.

George Borgesi was released immediately after the second trial on Friday.

Ligambi's attorney on Monday said he hoped to have Ligambi freed by today.

Anastasia quoted him saying: "Hopefully, my client and I will be having dinner together tomorrow night."

Jacobs said he would be buying.

Eddie "Tall Guy" Garofalo Cheated With Big Ang’s Daughter?

Celeb Dirty Laundry earned its name with its recent report that Alicia DiMichele, convinced that Renee and her friend Carla Murino (whom DiMichele has repeatedly accused of having an affair with her husband, Colombo gangster Eddie "Tall Guy" Garofalo) are “rats” who are selling her out to the press, is actually partly correct -- someone has had an affair with Tall Guy.

A source close to Carla Murino told Dirty Laundry that Alicia's belief that a member of her inner circle has done her dirty -- only it isn't Carla Murino or Renee Graziano.

The blog notes that, on the latest episode of Mob Wives, Big Ang was actually misleading DiMichele and had an ulterior motive regarding why she has been siding with the Philly mob wife and fueling the feud between her and Rene.

NJ Luchese Capo's Son Nailed with Marijuana

New Jersey troopers found 65 pounds of marijuana in a pickup truck on Saturday driven by Carlo Taccetta, a suspected soldier in the Luchese crime family and son of reputed Luchese capo Michael Taccetta, also known as "Mad Dog," a high-ranking member who controlled the family's New Jersey faction in the 1980s-90s and was one of the 20 defendants in the notorious trial considered to be the longest in U.S. history.
Carlo Taccetta, 41, of the Whippany section of Hanover, was stopped on West Bloomfield Avenue in Montville as part of an ongoing investigation Saturday, State Police said.
Troopers found the marijuana after Taccetta gave them permission to search his Dodge Ram pickup truck.

"Uncle Joe" in Limbo After Two Jurors Deadlock Panel of 12

In what crime writer George Anastasia called "a stunning rebuke of the government's case," the Ligambi jury acquitted Philly capo George Borgesi, 50, of racketeering conspiracy. The Philadelphia mob's former consigliere was released that same day, Friday, Jan. 24.
Also acquitted, but only of one out of four charges, was mob boss Joe Ligambi, whom the jury found not guilty of witness tampering but remained deadlocked on the three other counts (all specific to Ligambi, leaving him open to possible retrial).
One potential mitigating factor that may offset prosecutors' zeal for a third trial is the fact that the panel of 12 voted 10 to 2 to acquit Ligambi of the remaining three charges: a conspiracy charge and two gambling charges.

Lufthansa Overshadows Other Crimes Indictment Alleges

“We never got our right money, what we were supposed to get, we got fucked all around. Got fucked around. That ­fucking Jimmy [Burke] kept everything.” --Vincent Asaro, as recorded by cooperator
Yesterday's Bonanno bust was not solely related to the infamous Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy Airport in 1978.
However, the legendary "unsolved" caper that informed a pivotal moment in the Martin Scorsese film "Goodfellas" has been the media's primary focus, to the extent that the fact that the crime family's acting boss, Thomas “Tommy D” DiFiore, was also caught in the net has been largely overlooked.
Only mobster Vincent Asaro, 72, who has fallen in and out of favor with the Bonanno hierarchy over the years, primarily due to greed, is linked to Lufthansa.
Heretofore, only a Lufthansa cargo agent, described as the “inside man” in the robbery, has been prosecuted. Louis Werner, $20,000 in the hole due to gambling debts, used his knowledge of the incoming cas…

Bonanno Roundup Nets Acting Boss, Capo Involved with Lufthansa

Bonanno capo Vincent Asaro was arrested for murder, racketeering, extortion, arson, robbery and other charges--some of which are linked to the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
He was one of five alleged members of the crime family rounded up by Federal agents in a series of pre-dawn raids this morning in the New York area.
Also arrested were Bonanno acting boss/underboss Thomas “Tommy D” DiFiore of Commack, the highest-ranking Bonanno family member not behind bars; soldier John “Bazoo” Ragano; soldier and acting captain Jack Bonventre; and Asaro's son, Jerome. See the indictment here, courtesy of CBS News.
Only Vincent Asaro was charged in the Dec. 11, 1978 JFK robbery itself; both Asaros face life in prison for the murder of a suspected police informant. High-profile informant Henry Hill long ago identified Vincent Asaro as the capo who ran the airport for the Bonanno family at the time of the heist.

The 'Ndrangheta, the Most Powerful of Italy's Mafias

“The only thing that can’t be bribed is the weather.”

Southern Italian proverb

If not for the Ndrangheta organized crime syndicate, the southern Italian region of Calabria would be a "failed state" due to the Calabrian Mafia's powerful grip on the economy and virtually all aspects of life in that part of Italy.

This sentiment was expressed some five years ago by an American diplomat, whose papers were leaked to WikiLeaks, which published them on Jan. 13.
The American diplomat further noted in the papers that the Ndrangheta had been able to establish itself and flourish due to ineffective and corrupt politicians and port officials, and the absence of strong law enforcement. Also, the focus on the more well-known Sicilian Cosa Nostra had provided this shadowy network the time and space to organize itself and perpetuate.

The diplomat was actually shortchanging the group.

The Ndrangheta controls far more than all of Calabria.

Ligambi Jury Reaches Partial Verdict; Specter of Third Trial Rises

The jury in the racketeering conspiracy retrial of old-school Philly mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his nephew, George Borgesi, has reached a partial verdict, but it won't be made public until Tuesday (Monday is a holiday).
Before recessing on Friday, the jury sent the judge a note saying it had reached a verdict on two of the five counts, but remained hung on the other three.
The note highlighted that there was a "firm difference of opinion" over the remaining charges.
Ligambi, 74, is charged with racketeering conspiracy, two counts of illegal gambling and one count of witness tampering. The case against him includes secretly recorded conversations, most of which involve other mobsters as well as cooperators.
Borgesi, 50, faces a single count of racketeering conspiracy that is built primarily on informants' testimony; the consensus of court watchers says that Borgesi's fate depends on whether or not the jurors believe any of the two turncoat…

Bonanno 'Enterprise Corruption' Trial Ekes Along....

The big Bonanno trial is expected to begin, eventually, but it continues to get ensnared by delays.
The defendants were rounded up last July; they are alleged members of a crew headed by longtime Bonanno heavyweight brokesterNicholas "Nicky Mouth" Santora, who also is on trial.
Santora became a power on the street back in the late 1970s, when FBI agent Joe Pistone used his Donnie Brasco cover to infiltrate the same crew Santora belonged to, under Dominic "Sonny Black" Napolitano.

Former Morgan Stanley Wealth Manager Blames His Dog

We now take a break from our regularly scheduled editorial to give you the following:

Is this guy kidding? I almost choked on my coffee while reading the following story this morning. I wanted to give it a mention... then I discovered the connection to Vinny Gorgeous, and knew I had to do something on it.

The NY Daily New is running a report today that says: "An ex-Morgan Stanley wealth manager who secretly filmed trysts with three women claimed he “accidentally” recorded the romps with cameras that were meant to watch his pet, authorities said Thursday.

Young Couple's Murders Likely Linked to Canadian Organized Crime

This past Monday Amanda Trottier's mother and her husband discovered the bodies of their daughter and her boyfriend, Travis Votour -- both on the main floor of a house in Aylmer, Quebec. However, the murdered couple's 3-year-old daughter was found in an upstairs bedroom unharmed.
The deaths of Trottier and Votour, both of whom were 23 years old, have been ruled suspicious by police. In addition, police have said that the two murders are possibly connected to organized crime, though no details regarding how or why the police made this claim has been offered.
Gatineau police also noted that Votour had been arrested several times before, most recently in May 2013 for drug possession and assaulting a police officer. He was currently facing a few charges when he died -- which could be how the police are linking the homicides to Canadian organized crime.

Canadian Cops Uncover Plans for Desjardins' Escape Caper

Canadian law enforcement has foiled plans for an escape plot meant to free organized crime big-shot Raynald Desjardins, according to a story that ran last Saturday in Montreal's French-language La Presse newspaper.

The void at the top created by the sudden death of Vito Rizzuto is making mobsters antsy up north, as expected.

As per the foiled caper, Desjardins would have been freed after his cohorts rammed his prison transport and unleashed a violent barrage of gunfire while the arrested gangster was traveling from prison in Bordeaux to the courthouse in Joliette.

Desjardins was arrested in December 2011 for his alleged involvement in the slaying of former Bonanno acting-boss Salvatore Montagna, who'd been appointed by Vinny Gorgeous Basciano after he was arrested based on the testimony of former boss Joe Massino, who flipped.

Montagna was shot to death on Thanksgiving Day in 2011, shortly after 10 a.m. on Ile aux Tresors, a suburban area on an island near the town of Charlema…

Ligambi Jury Speaks the Dreaded Word: "Impasse"

From  Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog: They've been here before.

The jury in the racketeering conspiracy retrial of mob boss Joe Ligambi and his nephew George Borgesi told a judge today that it was at an 'impasse" and unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the case.

But Judge Eduardo Robreno told the panel of 11 women and one man to keep working.

"It was a long trial," Robreno said in a brief comment to the panel after the jurors had been called back into the courtroom around 2 p.m. "Go back and continue working."

The jury did just that, then recessed for the day at 4 p.m. Deliberations are to resume tomorrow at 9:30.

Unflattering View of "Mob Wives" Appeared in Federal Court

"[That show] is scripted and edited like any other [show], with scenes and lines taken out of context for dramatic effect.""In reality the show is about a group of women, loosely connected by their so-called affiliation with organized crime, arguing and fighting amongst themselves over petty grievances for the viewing pleasure of people who have no lives of their own.""The sad fact of 21st century life is that people will pay large sums of money to produce shows of this nature, which pander to the basest instincts of a society growing less intelligent by the day." Those are just a few salient points made about the reality show "Mob Wives" by John Wallenstein, attorney for Alicia DiMichele, in a statement filed in Brooklyn federal court last week when DiMichele presented herself before the judge for sentencing. Wallenstein, like any good advocate, is trying to get his client the best deal possible.

DiMichele, 39, faces up to six months behind bar…

"Punchy" Illiano, Part of Gallo Crew, Died Yesterday

Frank "Punchy" Illiano, above, a Brooklyn capo with the Genovese crime family, died Monday, January 6, at age 86 of natural causes in New York. Cosa Nostra News learned this directly from a personal friend of the elderly gangster, who noted that Punchy was "very well-respected."

We have since learned that Illiano had been ill for the past two years of his life, and had been suffering nerve damage ever since he had been shot by a sniper in 1974 during the second of the two Gallo wars.

Why Vito Rizzuto Got a Full Catholic Funeral

The National Post raises an interesting question Why did Vito Rizzuto get a full Catholic funeral in Montreal, when some bishops in Sicily are refusing mafiosi?

And, we might add, while a large church held a well-attended funeral for Vito, in the U.S., Mafia members and associates -- if widely known by the public as such -- typically have their membership card revoked by the Catholic Church. John Gotti was denied a proper funeral, as was his predecessor, Paul Castellano.

Here's Adrian Humphrey's answer:

As news cameras jostled to capture the solemn grandeur of Vito Rizzuto’s funeral last week, a church bell’s slow toll accompanied the gold-coloured casket of Canada’s most powerful Mafia boss down the front steps of Montreal’s landmark Notre Dame de la Défense, a Catholic Church that has hosted more funerals for notorious mobsters than any other in North America.

The magnificent outline of the historic church in the city’s Little Italy neighbourhood was a comforting façade for …

Spiro, Alleged Greek Mafia Boss, Declares Innocence

Nick Christophers -- whom I have interviewed in the past -- is the well-known editor of Mob Candy. He has done me the honor of writing a guest blog about Spiro Velentzas, who the feds allege was the boss of the Greek Mafia. He is also the one whom then-Gambino boss John Gotti was referring to when he famously declared: "You tell this punk, I, me, John Gotti... will sever your motherfuckin’ head off!"

Spiro is serving life in prison. Christophers, for one, doesn't believe the feds had the goods to support their allegations, nor to impose such a draconian prison sentence. Spiro, now in prison 25 years, still declares his innocence. And I agree that there is more to this than meets the eye, as well. "Fat Pete" Chiodo is the main reason Spiro is behind bars. Fat Pete became a rat after the Lucheses (unjustly) had decided he was an informant and moved to assassinate him. 

Sorry, Tweets DiMichele, No Outcome Today

User Actions  Follow I'm sorry to say there was no outcome today, to be always thanks for all the Love and Support❤️ ReplyRetweetFavoriteMore 16RETWEETS38FAVORITES

Manny Garofalo Speaks Out

“Alicia has chosen to humiliate my nephew Edward and our entire family in the name of my brother who she never even knew. The show’s stupid. I think it’s disgraceful. It’s blood money. It’s my brother’s blood.”
That's what Emmanuel "Manny" Garofalo had to say about Alicia DiMichele and "Mob Wives" in an interview with the New York Daily News.
Manny added that he is so sickened by this "exploitation" of the murder of his brother, Eddie "The Chink," that he's thinking of selling his home and moving to a place where he won't be recognized.

DiMichele's 'Mob Wives' Salary Revealed by Prosecutors

Alicia DiMichele, who is to be sentenced tomorrow for her role in a Colombo crime family-related embezzlement scam, earns $8,000 per episode of "Mob Wives," for a total of $96,000.

That is according to papers prosecutors filed in Brooklyn federal court last Friday. DiMichele is, in fact, so flush from her earnings from "Mob Wives" and her two Philadelphia boutique stories that she faces a hefty fine of up to $116,000  for embezzling $40,000 from a trucking company, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors seem to be taking their cue from the Honorable Sandra L. Townes, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Paroled Brancato Seeks Big-Screen Comeback

“I would say, ‘I warned you about drugs years ago’ — and told him something would happen and something did happen. I would see him and say, ‘I hear you’re doing drugs and you should stay away from that stuff.’ And he’d say, ‘Oh, sure, right.’

“You were there. You caused it.

“Here’s a guy who was in the quintessential movie about not wasting your life and that’s exactly what he did,”

— Chazz Palminteri when asked what he'd say to Lillo Brancato, an actor he has no plans to get in touch with.

It should have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity -- what is known in common parlance as "the big break."

But for Lillo Brancato, Jr. (born March 30, 1976), the success of playing the lead role (Calogero Anello) in the film "A Bronx Tale" (1993), which marked the directorial debut of Robert De Niro, was so very fleeting in the end.

Rizzuto Told American Judge About Spot on Lung in 2007

Canadian Mafia drug kingpin Vito Rizzuto, 67, died in a very unnatural way for someone in his line of work: of natural causes, on Dec. 23.

His funeral mass this past Monday was held at Notre-Dame-de-la-Défense, a Catholic Church in Montreal's Little Italy. It is the same church where masses were held for Vito's father and one son, both named Nicolo, though the son preferred Nick. (Vito's other son, Leonardo, reportedly practices law).

(The church has a certain notoriety of its own regarding its sizable cupola, brick facade and frescoes -- specifically one fresco painted prior to World War II that depicts Benito Mussolini signing the Lateran Accords in 1929, which recognized The State of the Vatican City, ensuring its "absolute and visible independence" and "to guarantee to it an indisputable sovereignty in international affairs." The treaty's principles are upheld today. Built by Italian immigrants, the church was inaugurated in 1919.)

Genovese Boss Tieri Organized Galante Hit?

The historical problem with writing about the Mafia is the basic fact that, since it is a secret society, it doesn't keep records regarding quarterly revenues.

The CEO doesn't writer a letter to the board, informing them of any upcoming plans to "grow" the crime family, etc.

So where do facts used in a given work come from? What is the source of the source? Usually law enforcement documents, such as 302s; trial transcripts of testimony -- then there are congressional  committees; enterprising journalists/historians who find information no one else has either through contemporary sources or by digging through musty old files. Then there are memoirs, such as Joseph Bonanno's Man of Honor and the one written by Nicola Gentile.