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.

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.