Jurors in Chicago's Family Secrets trial on Tuesday were shown a videotape of an Outfit "street tax" collector at work. Frank "the German" Schweis, whose case was severed from the current trial because he is ill, was shown trying to persuade adult-bookstore owner William "Red" Wemette to pay the $1,100 a month tax, according to a story by Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune.
Cooperating with authorities, Wemette told Schweis (right) that an underworld competitor was already taking protection payments from him. Schweis suggested that no one would dare to compete with the Outfit. He recalled one competitor who was eliminated: "Lumbo made it real [expletive] clear to him."
Prosecutors say "Lumbo" is a nickname for Family Secrets defendant Joseph Lombardo.
On Wednesday, the jury heard from a former driver for Lombardo (left). Alva Johnson Rodgers, 78, was brought into the Outfit in 1973 after helping Chicago gangster Marshall Caifano in a successful legal appeal. Rodgers, a habitual criminal, and Caifano once shared a cell in Atlanta federal prison, according to a Coen story in the Tribune.
Rodgers recalled when Lombardo was promoted over Caifano within the Outfit. Rodgers then went to work as Lombardo's driver. Soon after, Rodgers and Caifano started a peep-show business in Chicago and moved to monopolize the porn industry in the city under Outfit control.
Prosecutors on Wednesday also played an audio tape of Lombardo threatening the life of a casino owner who failed to pay back a loan.
Related MobNews posts:
- 'Secrets' witness provides Outfit history 06-26-07
- Opening statements at 'Secrets' trial 06-21-07
- Chicago 'Secrets' trial opens 06-19-07
- Schweihs severed from 'Secrets' trial 06-18-07
- Chicago mobster paid hush money 06-18-07
- Ratting out the Outfit 06-08-07
- Chicago mobster admits 14 killings, cooperates 05-24-07
- TV report previews Chicago Outfit trial 05-15-07
- Family Secret jurors' names secret 04-25-07
- Feds look for $500K from Lombardo 04-24-07
- Witness list of Chicago Outfit trial revealed 04-23-07
- Deputy marshal charged with aiding mob 01-13-07
- Chicago commission papers subpoenaed 01-10-07