Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Racketeer Schiro gets 20 years in prison

Paul "the Indian" Schiro, 71, convicted of racketeering in the Family Secrets trial of September 2007, was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison, according to reports by CBS2Chicago and by Jeff Coen of the Chicago Tribune.

Though the Family Secrets jury did not convict Schiro (right) on a racketeering murder charge, U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel said he considered the 1986 murder of Emil Vaci when calculating Schiro's sentence. Vaci was killed in Phoenix, Arizona, after Chicago mob bosses felt he was cooperating in a federal investigation.

Schiro was indignant at his sentencing and denied that he was involved with Chicago's underworld. "There's no evidence of racketeering I can see at all," he said. "I went to trial with codefendants I never met in my whole life."

Federal officials say Schiro has been a career criminal and was once a close friend to Anthony Spilotro. The Chicago Outfit sent Spilotro to Las Vegas in the early 1970s to watch over its casino investments there. Spilotro was killed in 1986.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and 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.