Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Six defendants prepare for Montreal Mafia trial

Court officials in Canada have set aside two weeks in September for pretrial motions in the racketeering case against six reputed leaders of the Montreal Mafia, according to a story by the Canwest News Service. The six men have opted for trial by a judge alone.

More than 100 people were arrested in Project Colisee in November 2006. Government attention has focused on six big shots, including 83-year-old Nicolo Rizzuto (left), father of jailed mob boss Vito Rizzuto. Vito is serving time in the United States for participating in three 1981 murders.

Gotti family insider Kasman set to testify

Lewis Kasman, 51, is scheduled to testify tomorrow in a hearing related to racketeering charges against reputed Gambino Crime Family consigliere Joseph Corozzo Sr., according to stories by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News and Alan Feuer of the New York Times. Kasman (right) was a Gambino insider, considered to be the adopted son of the family's late boss John J. Gotti.
The hearing is to determine whether Corozzo Sr. should be permitted to use his son Joseph Corozzo Jr. as his defense counsel in an upcoming racketeering trial. Prosecutors indicated that Kasman will testify about his knowledge of Corozzo criminal activity.
Kasman could not become a "made" member of the Mafia because he is not Italian. Still officials note he was very close to John Gotti and to a number of members of the Gambino Family. Kasman reportedly taped his conversations with racketeers beginning in 2005 and has provided additional information to federal investigators.
Corozzo Sr. was named, along with scores of other defendants, in a recent federal indictment against alleged leaders, members and associates of the Gambino organization. Prosecutors say he is the consigliere, or third in command, of the organization. They have accused the younger Mr. Corozzo of serving as house counsel to the crime family. Corozzo Jr. is not facing charges in connection with the racketeering case.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

'Nose' broke: D'Amico can't pay lawyer

John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico cannot pay his attorney, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

Yesterday, attorney Robert Blossner told a Brooklyn federal judge, "He's been unable in any manner at all to meet any financial obligations to me."

Investigators say D'Amico, acting boss of the Gambino Crime Family, is a longtime gambler and could be out of cash. D'Amico might be eligible for a public defender as he faces charges of racketeering and extortion.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

'Ndrangheta grabs government funds online

The 'ndrangheta criminal society of Italy's Calabria region is believed responsible for the recent online theft of Italian government funds. Italian police say the money was transfered from a government bank account to Bologna and then to Egypt. The theft was noticed six weeks ago but officials kept it secret as police investigated. Authorities believe someone aided the theft by providing government security passwords.

Marcello sent away for 8 and a half years

U.S. District Judge James Zagel has sentenced Chicago mobster Michael Marcello to eight and a half years in prison, according to reports by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun Times and Azam Ahmed of the Chicago Tribune.

Marcello, 57-year-old brother of Chicago Outfit big shot James Marcello, pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges in advance of the Family Secrets trial in which his brother was convicted. He acknowledged paying witness Nicholas Calabrese $4,000 a month to keep quiet about unsolved gangland murders. Calabrese eventually became the featured witness in the Family Secrets case.

Judge Zagel said emotional pleas by Marcello family members convinced him to trim some months off the sentence of more than nine years in prison he was planning to impose.

According to federal prosecutors, Michael Marcello operated a lucrative video poker machine racket and delivered orders for his imprisoned brother.

Obesity gets Mafia suspect out of prison

A Palermo court has moved alleged Sicilian Mafia member Salvatore Ferranti, 36, from prison to house arrest because he was simply too fat, according to published reports. Ferranti was moved from prison to prison since taken into custody last August, but none of the institutions could accommodate him. He was attended around the clock by guards who aided him in performing his bodily functions, the reports said.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chris Colombo gets a year for gambling racket

A federal judge in New York has sentenced admitted gambler Chris Colombo, son of the late crime boss Joseph Colombo, to a year and a day in prison, according to a story by Oliver Mackson of the Times Herald-Record.

Colombo, 46, will begin his sentence in June, after his daughter's first birthday. His attorney asked for a sentence of probation. Prosecutors called for the maximum of 27 months. Possibly fearing a repeat of Colombo's HBO semi-reality series "House Arrest," in which Colombo allowed TV cameras to watch him as he was confined and wearing a monitoring device, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald decided to give him time behind bars.

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; 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.