Michael Persico's True Status in the New York Underworld


Michael Persico, son of the infamous reputed mob boss imprisoned for life, was sentenced to five years in prison last week in a proceeding during which he was essentially convicted of a crime for which he was never tried and that he never copped to in a plea agreement.

Based on available evidence and this blog's interview with Michael (Mikie Scars) DiLeonardo, a onetime capo from the regime of former Gambino boss John Gotti, Michael Persico, a widower in his sixties who lives with his two daughters, is nothing like the man the judge sought to depict last week.
Michael Persico is a mob prince?

Desiree Persico, daughter of Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico (Michael's brother) spoke with us as well. (We will incorporate new information from her remarks later today.)

The alleged Colombo associate copped to a loansharking charge back in 2012, but last week a judge in Brooklyn federal court said he was guilty of murder, which had been proven by "more than a preponderance of the evidence."

There was never a trial, there was a plea agreement.

There was a panel of judges that interceded on Persico's behalf when a judge first tried to hold him in jail following his arrest, claiming he was a menace to society.

There also was a homicidal maniac on the FBI's payroll for informing; correction: he informed on others while continuing to secretly murder people when it benefitted him. This cold-blooded, two-faced killer was the first to link Michael Persico to a 1993 murder that ended the Colombo civil war. Is this the acting capo the judge referred to last week?

Mikie Scars said: "If there really was a preponderance of evidence proving Michael Persico was involved in a murder conspiracy, then they would've tried him for a murder conspiracy and not let him cop to loansharking only."

"No way he should have gotten five years. A year and a day. Many guys have gotten one year, two years for shylock bullshit."

Michael Persico was indicted and arrested in 2010 with numerous reputed members and associates of the Colombo crime family, as well as a wife who is very well known to a certain segment of this blog's readers. (Her name eis Alicia DiMichelle, and she appeared on Mob Wives).

As per the US Attorney's Office of New York's Eastern District, the eight-count indictment charged eight defendants: Michael Persico, his cousin Theodore (Teddy) Persico, Jr., Thomas Petrizzo, Edward Garofalo, Jr., James Bombino, Louis Romeo, Alicia DiMichelle, and Mike Lnu.

The indictment's allegations included racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, extortion, and embezzlement of union benefit funds.

As outlined by the Feds in a related news release:

"As alleged in the indictment and the detention memorandum filed ... by the government, Theodore Persico, Jr. is a member of the administration of the Colombo organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, Petrizzo is a Colombo family soldier, and Michael Persico, Garofalo, and Bombino are Colombo family associates. The indictment is the product of a multi-year investigation in which the FBI used a cooperating witness to infiltrate the Colombo family and make hundreds of consensual recordings."

"Theodore Persico, Jr., Michael Persico, and others agreed that, in exchange for All Around obtaining debris removal subcontracting with Testa, All Around would kickback a portion of its profits as a commercial bribe to a Testa foreman. After All Around secured subcontracting work with Testa, Colombo family associates threatened Testa employees when Testa failed to pay All Around on the timetable set by the crime family. Consensual recordings captured defendant Michael Persico directing Bombino to threaten Testa employees, and captured Bombino reporting back to Michael Persico that, when Bombino made the threats, the Testa employees were “shakin’ in their boots over us.” Other charges in the indictment include an extortion of a furniture store owner, in which Michael Persico forced the furniture store owner to give Bombino control of the store until the owner repaid a loan owed to Colombo family associates."

Gang Land News reported in 2014 that things seemed to worsen for Michael Persico when a sealed Pre-Sentence-investigation Report (PSR) by the US Department of Probation threatened to undermine the plea deal, which included Perisco copping to a loansharking charge, with sentencing guidelines of three years in prison only.

The PSR claimed that Persico was involved in three murders. The killings included the 1992 slaying of Michael Devine, who was dating the former wife of Persico's imprisoned brother Alphonse Allie Boy), and the 1993 murder of Joseph Scopo, underboss of the Colombo crime family's rebellious Vittoria (Little Vic) Orena faction.

The PSR basically gave the judge ammunition to add to the sentence.

Still, there is a reason Michael Persico was living at his Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, home with his two daughters for the past several years, and not in a prison cell.

Initially, he'd been ordered held in prison awaiting trial. But then three federal appeals court judges ruled that he was being wrongly held, they noted. In a five-page opinion, the appeals panel wrote that “(s)ignificantly, the government offered no evidence that (Michael Persico) ordered others to use violence. Although the government claims to have recorded 800 conversations related to this case, none of those conversations capture Persico ordering violence."

“Indeed, Persico argues that the recordings show that whenever others asked him whether to use violence, he discouraged them. He also cites recordings reflecting that he told his co-defendants to stop threatening debtors with violence and that the only threats he ever considered were threats of legal action.”

Persico’s cousin Skinny Teddy was overheard saying that when it comes to enemies, he likes to “get a gun and shoot them, or stab them, or beat them up.” He also said he was going to seek Michael’s permission to hurt people.

But as the high court noted, Michael never granted such permission.

A recording related to the indictment also showed Michael had stopped another Colombo cohort from indulging in violent tendencies.

"You want me to yoke the guy up?" the codefendant was taped asking Michael Persico. "Hit him over the fuckin' head with a coffee pot?"

"Nah-hah," responded Persico.

His attorney depicted Michael as a victim of the federal government's relentless drive to punish him for simply having the last name of one of New York's reputedly most ruthless mob bosses.

Michael was an honest businessman, the lawyer argued, and he loved his father and brother, both alleged Mafiosi serving life sentences for crimes including murder.

Michael truly was a family man; he lost his wife and has been raising his two daughters, as well as his brother's daughters after Allie Boy was locked up.

Michael Persico's niece, Desiree Persico, Carmine "Junior" Persico's granddaughter, spoke with us last night. Consider that Desiree's father and grandfather have been in prison for years. Now, with Michael's sentencing last week, she effectively loses the only father figure she's ever truly known since her own father was sent away.

"My dad went to jail when I was six years old," Desiree Persico told us.

"Michael was there for me when my dad could not be. Michael is not who they say he is, he is a businessman, just trying to make sure his family is taken care of.

"He has two daughters who lost their mom 11 years ago. While he also helped raise me and my sisters he had his own kids to raise. And now just because he's a Persico they want to send him away. When are they going to leave us alone?"

The recordings quoted previously tell the truth, according to what DiLeonardo said. He personally knew Michael Perisco (and Allie Boy, as well as other alleged members of the Colombo crime family -- not to mention members and associates of all New York's five crime families).

Mikie Scars

Persico "was a gentleman who never got into a fight and who helped people," Michael said.

"He was not a hard-nosed guy. You could ask him for money and he'd give it to you."

And like the snippet from the wiretap recording quoted above portrays him, Persico didn't hurt people who didn't pay him back. In fact, he was known to forget about debts that were not repaid. He never sought a violent remedy.

As for who Persico helped, and whose debts he forgave, Mikie Scars replied, "Everyone on 13th Avenue. He helped everyone, and if you couldn't pay him back, he didn't come after you."

One night when DiLeonardo was 14 or 15 years old, he got into a fight, busted a bottle in his hand and was bleeding profusely. Who did a young Mikie Scars happen to bump into? None other than Michael Persico, around the same age.

He took Mikie Scars to the Persico family home in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, where both Michael Persico and his mother cleaned the wound and bandaged it.

As for why Michael Persico is an associate and not a made member of the Colombo crime family, DiLeonardo said: "He was never straightened out because his father didn't want it."

Michael Persico is indeed a Colombo crime family associate, but one who is known not for violence, but for an incredible business acumen.

He started a lot of businesses and put a lot of people to work in those businesses, DiLeonardo said.

Persico was slammed with the two extra years anyway, over a murder he allegedly participated in during the Colombo war.

When asked about Michael Persico and the Colombo war, DiLeonardo noted that he didn't believe Michael Persico would've been involved in any murders. In fact, when crews went gunning for each other in Brooklyn, supporters of Little Vic Orena would not have even targeted Michael Persico. He was considered a civilian when the Colombo factions were shooting it out, DiLeonardo said.

At the same time, DiLeonardo noted that if someone had taken Michael out, that would've brought the violence to an entirely different level.

To claim that the third Colombo civil war would still be going on today would not be much of a stretch, had anyone made that move.

"They'd be killing entire families as payback," DiLeonardo said.

Michael Persico getting a total of five years in prison -- and the judge actually saying that prosecutors had proved his role in a 1993 gangland hit by "more than a preponderance of the evidence" makes exactly zero sense.


  1. Off topic, but I just read Johnny G passed away. Hope all is well, Ed. D-C4

  2. Can't believe Scars doesn't have a book out yet, he's got such a fresh perspective on the 80's & 90's! Ed, if there was ever a guy to get a book done with, it's Scars. Allie Shades

    1. I agree, Mikey Scars seems to always set the record straight and bring a fresh perspective on things. For example, he set the record straight on the Curtis Sliwa incident, no murder plot it was to be a hospital job only. He also set the record straight that Junior was the boss and recognized as such by the other New York Families. I particularly liked when he addresses Junior's 302 and how there is no way of spinning or explaining that away. He's through in the street and is only up in arms about it to preserve his image and save face with his fan club. They (his fan club) either can't see it or don't want to see it. I think he hit the nail right on the head with that statement.

    2. Maybe he does have one going!!! If Franzese's Tv show happens and is a hit it will make all things mob related hot. That includes us mob blogs as well as books etc. "A rising tide lifts all boats etc."

    3. My point being people may be anticipating a rising tide

  3. Kenji's blog states "The FBI had a tape of Michael Persico speaking with his brother Allie Boy about Michael Devine. Michael Persico was able to get the recording suppressed." Is this true and does anyone know if its contents were leaked? It seems as though a lifetime has gone by in the unsolved murder of Michael Devine. I wonder if his family will ever see justice?

    1. I specifically asked Kenji about this case, and if he had any comment -- he told me he was the informant who recorded the people, identified but not named in the indictment. He didn't tell me anything further -- but I will ask him about this. It doesn't sound like the Michael Persico I have been speaking with people about all week.

    2. Hi Ed. I saw that in your previous post about Michael Persico's 5-year sentence you quote the Staten Island Advance "Allie Boy was even caught on tape in a Michigan prison raging against his then-wife Teresa's liaison with Devine." But further down in the story the SIA states "Capeci claimed Allie Boy "dragged" Michael into a plot to kill Devine during tape-recorded phone calls from a prison cell in Michigan." I'm assuming Alphonse was speaking to his brother Michael from that statement and if not that would explain why you left that part out in your previous story.

    3. I used direct quotes -- if the appeals panel ruled there was no evidence linking Michael to violence how can that be ?

    4. Another words I didn't use sources claim "so and so"

    5. Michael Persico was able to get the FBI tape of himself speaking with Alphonse Persico about Michael Devine suppressed. So the government could not proffer that very tape to the 2d Cir. Appeals Court to deny his bond. That's how it can be. :)

  4. thank for good post and sharing......

  5. Ed, off-topic but I read some of your old stories recently about how Sopranos wasn't based on DeCavs but Genovese NJ crew.

    I think the Phil Leotardo quote "5 fuckin families and we got this other pigme thing over in Jersey" suggests Soprano family is indeed DeCavs......what do you think?

    I agree with everyone else - write a book with Scars!

    Cheers ed - Silvio Dante

  6. Great blog post!!! Isn't today Papa Carmine's big day?

  7. Damn my whole comment was erased again. Its always when I post using my phone the system acts up. Its ok I was just rehashing what I'd already posted earlier anyway. Nothing profound or enlightening haha. It's not easy being Irish and completely un tech savvy. Good times!!!

  8. I agree that Scars seriously needs to put a book out. He is a wealth of knowledge from a unique transitional post Gotti era. He also doesn't appear to have a monster ego that propels him to completely embellish all his stories as far as I can tell as a novice outsider Mafia Buff. I think if done right it would blow a lot of other supposedly tell all Last Godfather, Mafioso, bla bla bullshit dramatic titles they always use. His might be a more down to earth history of his life and what he personally knew about many other Families etc...


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