Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Peter Limone, Joseph Salvati and the families of two other men falsely convicted of murder will split a $101.8 million cash award, according to a story by Pam Belluck of the New York Times.
The two other men, Henry Tameleo and Louis Greco, died while in prison. Limone served 33 years in prison before he was released. Salvati was jailed for 30 years. According to the July 26 decision of Judge Nancy Gertner, Limone (right) will receive $26 million and Salvati (left) will receive $29 million. The Tameleo estate will receive $13 million, and the Greco estate will receive $28 million. Family members of the falsely imprisoned men will also receive money.
The four men, who were linked with the New England Mafia, were convicted in 1968 of the March 12, 1965, murder of a low-level mobster Edward Deegan. Much of the evidence was supplied by Joseph "the Animal" Barboza. According to federal records, the FBI knew at the time that Barboza was testifying falsely in order to protect the real killer, Vincent Flemmi, an FBI informant.
Limone, Tameleo and Greco were initially sentenced to death for the murder they did not commit. The State of Massachusetts subsequently eliminated its death penalty.
It took 30 years for the FBI coverup to become known. In 2001, the federal government released FBI memos revealing the Barboza perjury.
Judge Gertner has been considering the case since January. She initially promised a decision by late March or early April.
See also: Limone, et al., v. United States court documents.
Related MobNews posts:
- Decision on Limone suit expected by late March 03-06-2007
- Limone testifies in $100M lawsuit 01-06-2007
- FBI 'knew all along they were not guilty' 12-22-2006
- Dukakis testifies in Limone lawsuit 12-14-2006
- DiNunzio released on $20K cash bail 12-05-2006
- Mass. police arrest DiNunzio 12-02-2006
- Salvati, Limone sue FBI for 1960s frameup 08-19-2006
- Attorney: FBI responsible for mob hit 06-30-2006
- Agent had 'Whitey' concerns in '81 06-14-2006
- FBI 'condoned' crimes, gang hits 06-07-2006
Peter Ruggieri, 38, once convicted of running an illegal sports gambling operation in Las Vegas, introduced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy (right) to mob-connected gamblers, according to a story by Jana Winter, Samuel Goldsmith and Chuck Bennett of the New York Post. The Post specifically mentioned the New York-based Gambino Crime Family.
Law enforcement and the NBA are investigating charges that Donaghy influenced the outcome of professional basketball games on which he and others had placed bets. Officials allege that Donaghy went into debt and fell under the influence of organized crime figures.Ruggieri is reportedly from Glen Mills, PA, a short distance from the hometown of Donaghy and his friend James Battista. Ruggieri and Battista, now 42, later moved to homes just over a mile apart in Las Vegas.
A Donaghy friend told the newspaper that Ruggieri was Donaghy's connection to mob gamblers. Ruggieri once worked as a bagman for an illegal sports bookmaking operation in Las Vegas. He was convicted of wire fraud in 2002 for taking bets from bookies in New Jersey and New York City.
Battista has faced some minor charges, including gambling, but has never been convicted of a serious offense, the newspaper reported.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Federal and local law enforcement agents made 121 arrests in raids against north Texas street gangs yesterday, according to an AP story published in the Los Angeles Chronicle.
Some of those arrested are being processed for deportation. Others face criminal charges. Members of 27 street gangs - including the Mexican Mafia, MS-13, the Latin Kings and the Asian Boyz - were rounded up.
A racketeering-murder case that could have called for the death penalty fell apart when witness memories suddenly failed and evidence was lost from a storage room. Prosecutors reached a plea deal with Bellomo on a charge of cheating a Bronx carting company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They dropped a charge relating to the 1998 mob hit on Ralph Coppola.
Bellomo acknowledged once serving as acting boss of the Genovese Family. He claimed, however, that he found religion in prison and has severed his connections with the Mob.
Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced Bellomo on Monday to 41 months in prison on the fraud charge. All but one year will be served concurrent with his existing sentence. Bellomo went into jail 11 years ago for racketeering. He had been scheduled for release in August 2008.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
David Gross, 45, a former Nassau County NY judge, faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after his mid-July admission that he attempted to launder money for the mob, according to a story by WNBC-TV in New York.
Gross admitted on July 13 that he agreed to launder $400,000 in proceeds of a jewelry robbery. At the time the deal was set up, he did not know that he was talking to an undercover FBI agent.
Gross teamed with Nicholas Gruttadauria, an alleged member of the Genovese Crime Family, to generate false invoices through a Freeport restaurant that would cover the illegal income. Gross was to keep 20 percent of all laundered cash for himself.
Gruttadauria also pleaded guilty in the case.
A source directly involved with the case told news reporters that Donaghy (left) had been betting on games with a mob-connected bookie and fell into debt. He then came under the influence of an organized crime figure. The FBI is looking into whether Donaghy then cooperated with the criminal by making calls that affected the outcome of games. The Bureau is specifically focusing on 10-15 games of the 60 Donaghy officiated since December 2006.
NBA Commissioner David Stern released this statement: "We would like to assure our fans that no amount of effort, time or personnel is being spared to assist in this investigation, to bring to justice an individual who has betrayed the most sacred trust in professional sports, and to take the necessary steps to protect against this ever happening again." Stern said the league would hold a press conference on the matter next week.
Donaghy is expected to turn himself over to authorities next week. Other arrests could follow. The investigation began more than a year ago, according to a column by Murray Weiss in the New York Post.
Nicholas "P.J." Pisciotti, a former lieutenant in the Bonanno Crime Family, testified in the racketeering-murder trial of his former boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano (right) last week, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.
Pisciotti, 37, a mob turncoat, spoke about the 2001 murder of Frank Santoro. He also described the events that caused him to turn his back on his former associates and his underworld oath. According to Pisciotti, he looked to his superiors for backing when Genovese Crime Family associates brought felony assault charges against him. Pisciotti hoped that back-channel conversations could cause the charges to be dropped. However, he later learned that Bonanno leaders Nicholas Santora and Anthony Rabito refused to intercede.
Basciano had a bit of a fashion emergency on Thursday, according to another Daily News story. Out of fresh dress shirts, Basciano showed up at trial wearing a t-shirt under his suit jacket and complaining that he was uncomfortable about it. Judge Nicholas Garaufis lent the former mob boss his own spare blue dress shirt and yellow tie. While it wasn't quite the quality that "Gorgeous" is used to, he seemed pleased.
Daniel Tedesco, longtime operator of a numbers game in Hartford, CT, died this week at the age of 84, according to a story by Edmund H. Mahony of the Hartford Courant.
Tedesco, reputedly linked to the New England Mafia Family based in Providence RI, ran his gambling racket from Tunnel Variety on Main Street. Some law enforcement officials believe he figured out a way to rig the "second-chance drawings" of the Connecticut State Lottery back in the 1970s. He was never charged with that offense.
Known as "the Fat Man," he was allegedly involved in stealing guns from the Colt armory and in dealing in other stolen property. Tedesco reportedly denied any involvement with organized crime and called the gun charge a "frame-up."
The Courant story details many of Tedesco's kind-hearted and generous contributions to the needy of the community.
Tedesco served some time in prison in the 1990s when he refused to identify for the FBI the source of an underworld loan he obtained. He was jailed on a contempt charge.
In recent years, Tedesco's gambling ventures became small-time affairs, as the region's gamblers looked to Connecticut's Indian casinos for action. He was a resident of the Newington Nursing Home at the time of his death on Thursday.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The Los Angeles Times reports that producer Joseph Isgro, once branded a Gambino Crime Family member by the FBI, is now preparing for a movie biography of Charlie "Lucky" Luciano. Isgro previously produced the film "Hoffa," starring Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito.
Bruno (right), who led western Massachusetts rackets for the New York-based Genovese Crime Family, was shot to death outside an Italian social club on Nov. 23, 2003.
Authorities believed years ago that they had Bruno's killer. On the eve of his murder trial, defendant Frankie A. Roche (left) became a government witness. His trial was postponed indefinitely.
Geas and Croteau were subsequently indicted. Authorities say Geas and his brother Ty C. Geas once served as enforcers for Bruno's successor Anthony J. Arillotta.
Superior Court Judge Tina S. Page ordered both defendants held for trial. Croteau is already imprisoned for a drug crime. Geas' attorney attempted without success to arrange for a release on bail. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 9.
Two alleged Russian mobsters are on trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court for 1992 killings, according to a story by Nancie L. Katz of the New York Daily News.
Marat Krivoi, 37, and Vitaly Ivanitsky, 33, both immigrants to the U.S., are on trial for the underworld executions of Boris Roitman in August 1992 and Thien Diep in December of that year. Informants provided law enforcement with evidence in the slayings just last year.
Krivoi, imprisoned since 1993 for two other killings, is reportedly the son-in-law of Russian Mafiya bigshot Boris Nayfield.
Massino did not see eye-to-eye with Basciano (right), who took over the family's top spot when Massino was sent away to prison. "He was always leery of Vinny," Cantarella said. "He didn't know how he made his money. He thought he was too quick, too hot-headed."
Massino (left) steered clear of a favorite restaurant, Casa Blanca in Queens, whenever he thought Basciano might be around, Cantarella added.
The two Bonanno bigshots expressed contrary underworld philosophies during an induction ceremony. Basciano felt that prospective Mafia members should have to commit a murder for the organization in order to be considered for full membership. Massino felt good earners should get a pass on that traditional requirement.
Basciano, already imprisoned on a racketeering conviction, is on trial for the racketeering murder of Frank Santoro. Last year, a jury deadlocked on the Santoro murder charge.
(For related MobNews posts, click on a keyword below.)
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Gennaro Angiulo, former underboss of the New England Mafia family, is due to be paroled on Sept. 18, according to a story by Shelley Murphy and Megan Tench in today's Boston Globe.
Angiulo (right), now 88, has been serving a 45-year federal sentence for racketeering. That sentence will not expire until May 2010. Angiulo is now confined in the prison hospital at Devens. The U.S. Parole Commission granted his latest parole request on June 22 but remained mum. The Globe obtained confirmation of the parole from a commission spokesman yesterday.
Based in an office at 98 Prince Street in Boston's North End, Angiulo was a najor force in Boston-area organized crime from the 1960s through the early 1980s, specializing in gambling and loansharking. His rise coincided with the reign of New England boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca, who was based in Providence, RI. Angiulo was brought down through federal electronic surveillance of his hangouts.
Angiulo and his three brothers - Donato, Francesco and Michele - were convicted of racketeering offenses in February 1986. Michele served three years in prison and died last year of lung cancer. The remaining brothers are in their 80s. Francesco, 86, has been out of prison since 2000 and living in the North End. Donato, 84, freed in 1997, is living in Medford, MA.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Police in the African nation of Kenya are battling politically linked organized criminal groups, according to recent press accounts.
A report from Nairobi yesterday indicated that police had killed 10 suspects in shootouts within the capital city. Three suspected gang members were shot to death in the Ngon'g district. Police ordered the three to stop, but instead they opened fire. The remaining fatalities occurred in the Huruma, Gachie and Kayole neighborhoods within Nairobi.
Police are tangling with the fundamentalist religious Mungiki sect, which has been officially banned. That group is charged with committing more than 40 murders since March. A dozen of the murders have involved beheadings. The Mungiki had been a religious order known for its rejection of western civilization. It has reportedly deteriorated into a politically motivated criminal organization advancing itself and its aims through murder and extortion.
George Torres, owner of a chain of Numero Uno groceries in Los Angeles, pleaded not guilty this week to federal racketeering charges, according to an AP story by Andrew Glazer published in the Monterey Herald.
Federal prosecutors say Torres, 50, murdered rivals, intimidated employees and bribed public officials as he expanded his supermarket chain in poor L.A. neighborhoods. Among his alleged victims are a member of the Primera Flats street gang who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1993 in retaliation for the murder of a Numero Uno security guard, a Mexican Mafia gangster who was shot to death in 1994 after attempting to extort protection money from a Numero Uno market, and a Torres employee who met his end after Torres decided he was stealing large amounts of money from the business.
Charged along with Torres in a 59-count indictment were his brother Manuel Torres-Ramos, 53; his son Steven Torres, 26; L.A. Convention and Exhibition Center Authority Commission member George Luk, 58; and former L.A. planning commission member Steven Carmona, 39. All pleaded not guilty.
Torres was initially arrested June 13. A trial date has been tentatively set for Aug. 7.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf of Boston's federal court is seeking a disciplinary hearing for federal prosecutor Jeffrey Auerhahn for withholding evidence in a New England Mafia trial, according to an AP report published on SouthCoastToday.com.
Auerhahn reportedly failed in the early 1990s to tell defense attorneys for accused killer Vincent Ferrara that a key witness had recanted a statement linking Ferrara with the 1985 murder of Vincent "Jimmy" Limoli.
When Judge Wolf learned of Auerhahn's actions in 2005, he freed Ferrara, who was serving a 22-year prison sentence. Now the judge wants Auerhahn to receive more than the letter of reprimand he was given by the Justice Department. The judge asked the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers to conduct a disciplinary hearing. That board has the power to disbar an attorney.
- Roy L. McDaniel, a retired FBI fingerprint analyst, testified that reputed crime boss Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo's fingerprint was found on a car title document for a vehicle used by the 1974 killers of Daniel Seifert, according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times. Seifert was set to testify that Lombardo was stealing funds from a Teamsters Union pension fund.
- Ronald Seifert, brother of murdered Daniel Seifert, testified that Daniel's wife told him she suspected Lombardo's involvement in the murder, according to Sun-Times coverage. Emma Seifert earlier testified that she was able to identify Lombardo among her husband's masked assassins by his build and his stride. Defense attorneys pointed out that she did not reveal her suspicion to police investigating the murder. She responded that she remained silent out of fear for her family. Ronald Seifert said Emma told him of her suspicions on the day of Daniel's death.
- Joel Glickman, an acknowledged bookmaker, refused to testify against defendant Frank Calabrese Sr. on July 2 despite a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to stories by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times and Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune. Glickman, 71, was asked if he had paid a "street tax" to Calabrese. He responded "I respectfully refuse to testify." Judge James Zagel found Glickman in contempt and sent him to lockup. He is expected to spend at least the duration of the trial behind bars. Prosecutors expected Glickman to testify that he paid between $1,300 and $2,000 a month for permission to run his gambling operation.
- Jim Stolfe, owner of Chicago's Connie's Pizza chain, testified Tuesday that he was approached in the early 1980s with a demand for a $300,000 "street tax," according to a video report by John Drummond of CBS-2 in Chicago. When Stolfe approached Frank Calabrese Sr. with the problem, Calabrese arranged for Stolfe to pay $100,000 instead. Later, he realized that Calabrese was behind the extortion racket.
- On Tuesday, Frank Calabrese Jr. (above) took the stand and began testifying against his father, a reputed bigshot of the Chicago Outfit., according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times. The younger Calabrese recalled being caught after stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his father's underworld enterprises. Frank Sr. "pulled out a gun, and he stuck it in my face and told me, 'I'd rather have you dead than disobey me.'" Frank Jr. recalled going out with his father and his uncle Nick Calabrese on collections, and he testified that his father had him set fire to a garage. The theft from his father was in support of a cocaine habit, Frank Jr. revealed on the stand.
Previous related post:
The Cuban parliament insists that the U.S. continues to seek the end of its communist President Fidel Castro, according to an AP story by Will Weissert published on philly.com.
In the wake of the release of anti-Castro documents by the CIA in June, the parliament condemned combined CIA-Mafia assassination attempts and insisted the U.S. policy has carried on to the present day. "The conduct of the Bush government clearly shows its intention to keep employing the worst possible tactics against Cuba," a resolution said.
In 1960, the CIA reached out to American mobsters for help getting rid of the communist president. Johnny Roselli, linked to the Chicago Outfit, was a key player. Poison pills were settled on as the method of assassination. The efforts reportedly ended after the failure of the Bay of Pigs mission in spring of 1961. Official U.S. involvement in assassination was outlawed in the 1970s.
Castro, 80, has not made a public appearance since last summer, when he established his brother Raul Castro as temporary leader of the government and underwent surgery to repair an intestinal problem.
Related MobNews post:
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Emma Seifert believes that Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo (left) was one of two masked gunmen who murdered her husband in 1974, according to stories by Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune and Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Testifying in the federal Family Secrets trial last week, Seifert described the killing of her husband Daniel on the morning of Sept. 27, 1974. Two masked men burst through the door of the office she shared with her husband. "I screamed, but obviously not loud enough," she said.
Daniel Seifert, a former friend of Lombardo's who was set to testify that Lombardo robbed funds from Teamster pensions, was struck, chased and shot to death. After being knocked to the ground, Seifert scrambled to his feet and ran from the office through a parking lot to his fiberglass factory. A bullet took him down. One of the gunmen approached and delivered another shot to his head.
After Seifert's death, the case against Lombardo fell apart.
Emma Seifert believed she recognized Lombardo by his build, his height and his stride. At the time of her husband's murder, she did not tell police of her suspicion that Lombardo was involved.
Related MobNews posts:
- Secrets: Shakedown video and the Clown's driver
- '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
As a racketeering/murder case against Bellomo (right) fell apart, U.S. Attorneys arranged a plea deal on mail fraud. That means, rather than face the worst penalties the government can impose, Bellomo could be sentenced to as little as three and a half years in jail. He will serve no more than five years.
Judge Lewis Kaplan apparently suffered some disbelief at the deal. After all, the original racketeering indictment included the 1998 murder of Ralph Coppola. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Miriam Rocah explained that the case against Bellomo fell apart shortly after the indictment. According to Rocah, witnesses were reluctant to testify against Bellomo and the prosecutors feared they would lose a jury trial.
US Mafia was born in New Orleans
Joseph P. Macheca and the
Birth of the American Mafia
Written by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, Deep Water captures the life and times of Joseph P. Macheca. It finally sets the record straight on the man who was a warrior for the corrupt New Orleans Democratic machine, a pioneer of the Crescent City’s fruit trade, a Confederate privateer and the legendary “godfather” of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil.
While answering at last the questions surrounding the 1890 assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the subsequent Crescent City lynchings, Deep Water establishes the factual details of Macheca’s life and sets them against the vivid backdrop of Gilded Age New Orleans. Published by iUniverse.
- Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.