Vinny "Ocean" Palermo: Life Afterward....

Ex-Boss Vinny "Ocean" Palermo in the good ol' days....

Vincent Palermo, former acting boss of New Jersey's only homegrown crime family, was a major Cosa Nostra player. The field was wide open for him at his ascension.

He and many DeCavalcante members and associates were eventually done in by the Fed's for the murder of a Staten Island businessman.

(What Vinny's been up to is exactly what I hoped to discover, only this interview never reached fruition.)

When last we heard about him, Vinny was set up in Texas rather nicely. He continued in one longtime business of his, running the Penthouse Club.

In 2011 newspapers were making hay out of a particular court case involving Vinny Palermo, a former resident of Island Park in Nassau County, one town over from where I live, in the five-towns enclave.

He arrived in Houston while in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Allegedly, the model for the fictional Tony Soprano character defaulted on payments on a $1.3 million promissory note. Vinny Ocean wanted to buy out a partner in a nightclub and missed a payment, the partner alleged.

Vinny Palermo, former DeCavalcante acting boss

Vinny Ocean's club was across the street from a rival establishment.. The street in question here, Westheimer, is a major thoroughfare in Houston. Lisa Hansegard owned the club and had agreed to sell it to Vinny for around $850,000. But first she and Vinny formed a partnership, and Vinny took control of the place.

Then, "tbrough mid-2007, the parties had an increasingly contentious relationship," wrote Courthouse News Service.

Hansegard was "denied access to the business and its records" and wasn't getting a dime from Vinny.

Under their arrangement, Hansegard was to be paid $1.3 million in weekly payments of $2,500, according to the complaint, which cited the Bill of Sale and Promissory Note.

Hansegard received two payments.

But "during the negotiation process for the sale, Hansegard learned that [her partner's] former name was Vincent Palermo and that he was a former member of the DeCavalcante organized crime family in New Jersey," the complaint states.

Bottom line, the newspapers exposed Vinny "Ocean" and highlighted where he was living and what his new name was.

Read my stories on the formation of the witness protection program (Stefano Magaddino was instrumental to the program's creation) here and here.

Timeline of DeCavalcante Crime Family Bosses

New Jerseys first mob boss supposedly was Filippo "Phil" Amari, a major drug trafficker who died in 1957.

Nicholas Delmore took over after Amari's short reign.

After Delmore the crime family was run by the man who gave it its longtime name. "Sam the Plumber" DeCavalcante led the family for years.

I've written extensively about DeCavalcante, as well as John Riggi, the next boss, who died this year.

Riggi appointed a very unpopular captain, John D'Amato, to acting boss. John Gotti told D'Amato that DeCavalcante enforcer Gaetano "Corky" Vastola was a rat and he should be killed D'Amato immediatly agreed. (Gotti was later convicted for this murder conspiracy; Vastola is still alive and reportedly has never cooperated. On May 3, 1988, Vastola was convicted of extortion and two counts of racketeering conspiracies and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In late 1990, Vastola lost his final appeal and was sent to prison. In May 1998, he was released.)

Then D'Amato's girlfriend told Anthony Capo that the acting boss was a homosexual. See story here.

In November 1991 D'Amato was shot and killed by bodyguard Capo with associate Victor DiChiara as the driver. His body has never been found.

The next street boss was Giacomo "Jake" Amari. An old-timer who was a labor racketeer like boss Riggi. He lead the family until his death in June 1997.

The man who replaced him as street boss was Vincent "Vinny Ocean" Palermo. His interests were a gambling boat, strip clubs and construction industries. Palermo knew how to be legitimate but he knew when he needed to be a gangster.

There s the case of Joseph Masella, a degenerate gambler, who some thought was going to cooperate.

Vinny Ocean ordered his death.

DeCavalcante associate Ralph Guarino started ratting on January 20th 1998. (Fritzy Giovanelli, a longtime Genovese mobster known for his access to law enforcement paperwork (he also was with a crew known to have shot an NYPD detective to death in Queens in January 1987), had been whispering news about an informant in New Jersey.)

Vinny Ocean was finished, along with many wiseguys, primarily due to John Gotti's order to hit a suspected informant.  Though other crews not directly involved were implicated, Vincent Palermo and James Gallo were the actual shooters (and Anthony Capo the wheelman) in the Fred Weiss murder.

Arrests were made in December 1999 when a federal indictment was handed down. It named many of the New Jersey crime family's members.

Anthony Capo was the first to cooperate. Longtime Soldier Joseph "Tin Ear" Sclafani DID NOT BECOME AN INFORMANT as some sites reported. He did his time and got out in 2005.

Anthony Rotondo and "Vinny Ocean" Palermo flipped following Capo.