Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out (Chapter 4): Michael Milken, the Mafia, and Some Powerful Hedge Funds

The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out (Chapter 4): Michael Milken, the Mafia, and Some Powerful Hedge Funds

Posted on 09 May 2011 by Mark Mitchell 

Tags: A.R. Baron, Al Qaeda, Andrew Redleaf, Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, Anthony Salerno, Apollo, Arnold Kimmes, Ascot Partners, Barber Shop Hit, Bernard Madoff, Blinder Robinson, Carl Icahn, Cerberus, D.H. Blair, Drexel Burnham, Eli Black, Ezra Merkin, Felix Sater, Felix Satter, FN Wolf, Fred Carr, Gruntal, Howard Silverman, Investors Overseas, Ivan Boesky, Jack Catain, John Lattanzio, John Mulheren, La Cosa Nostra, Leon Black, Lindsay Rosenwald, Mafia, Marc Rich, Maurice Gross, Meyer Blinder, Michael Catain, Michael Milken, Michael Steinhardt, Morty Davis, nuclear, organized crime, Osama bin Laden, Ralph Mafrici, Reliance, Rooney Pace, Russian mafia, SAC Capital, Salvatore Lauria, Sam Israel, Samuel Israel, Saul Steinberg, Semion Mogilevich, Stephen Feinberg, Steve Cohen, Steve Wynn, Steven M Cohen, Thomas Quinn, United Fruit, uranium, White Rock Partners, Whitebox Partners, Yakuza, Zev Wolfson

This is Chapter 4 of a multi-chapter story…

When Michael Milken and his famous co-conspirator, Ivan Boesky, were convicted on multiple counts of stock manipulation and insider trading, the media reported that Boesky not only cooperated with prosecutors, but delivered the key evidence that resulted in Milken receiving a prison sentence of ten years, three of which he served.

These reports were false. As was first noted by Pulitzer Prize winning author James Stewart in “Den of Thieves” (the seminal work on the government’s prosecution of Milken), a careful reading of Milken’s 99-count indictment makes clear that Boesky provided little information to the government. To the contrary, he explained that he could not testify against Milken because he was afraid of what might happen to him. As Boesky put it, Milken had “friends in Vegas” – an apparent reference to the Mafia.

Soon after Boesky expressed his fears, one of Milken’s closest associates, John Mulheren, got into his car and headed towards Boesky’s house. Police officers had been watching Mulheren, and knew that he had in his car a gym bag loaded with two handguns, a 12-guage rifle, and a semi-automatic machine gun.

Suspecting that Mulheren planned to murder Boesky, the cops arrested Mulheren and put him in jail, where, according to James Stewart, he spent most of his time conversing with Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, who had been the top boss of the Genovese Mafia family until he was jailed on charges of manslaughter.

Nobody has produced evidence that Milken had anything to do with Mulheren’s attempted assassination of Boesky. In fact, it seems unlikely that Milken would kill his old friend Boesky. As we will see, the two men remain on close terms today.

Milken also remained close with Mulheren until Mulheren’s death of a heart attack in 2003. To this day, Millennium Management, a major hedge fund founded by Mulheren and now run by Izzy Englander, remains a key component of the Milken network.

Perhaps Mulheren (whom the government was investigating for his role in the nationwide stock manipulation network that Milken operated in the 1980s) only meant to threaten Boesky. Or perhaps, as some have said, Mulheren was taking the wrong psychiatric medications. Whatever the case, there is no question that Boesky was right when he said that Milken had “friends in Vegas.”

Milken’s best friend in the world, according to Milken, is Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino mogul. Meanwhile, Wynn’s best friends in the world, according to Scotland Yard, are Michael Milken and the dons of the Genovese Mafia family.

Indeed, according to a declassified report written in the late 1980s by Scotland Yard investigators, Wynn had “been operating under the aegis of the Genovese Mafia since he first went to Las Vegas in the 1960s.” Scotland Yard noted that both Wynn and his father had a long standing relationship with the above-mentioned Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno.

Another of Milken’s closest associates was Fred Carr, who was one of the select friends who helped perpetrate Milken’s junk bond merry-go-round scam. Carr used Milken’s junk bond finance to seize control of Executive Life, a massive insurance and S&L conglomerate that was looted and later demolished (that is, “busted-out”). Prior to taking control of Executive Life, Carr had been a principal with Investors Overseas Service, which was, at the time, the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.

One of Investors Overseas’ key feeders (that is, the person who fed the Ponzi much of its money, which he had raised from unwitting investors) was John Pullman, whom the U.S. government had named as a close associate of that same Genovese Mafia boss – Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno. Meanwhile, Sylvian Ferdman, a Genovese Mafia courier, was routing money into the Investor’s Overseas racket from clients in South America.

Another key component of Milken’s junk bond merry-go-round in the 1980s was MDC Global, an insurance and investment company that controlled a brokerage called Blinder, Robinson. The eponymous head of Blinder, Robinson was Milken crony Meyer Blinder, whose diamond-encrusted pinky ring and thick, gold chains marked him as one among the new breed of financial operators who had descended upon Wall Street.

Blinder, Robinson was first indicted in 1989. Afterward, it came to be known as “Blind’em and Rob’em” because it was not only a key player in Milken’s nationwide stock manipulation network, but also among the most crooked Mafia brokerages in America.

Among the miscreants who manipulated stocks in league with Blinder, Robinson was Thomas Quinn, a capo in the Genovese Mafia family. Another Milken network man who manipulated stocks with Blinder, Robinson was Arnold Kimmes, also known as Charlie Kimmes. Since Kimmes had been named in a widely disseminated 1978 New York crime task force report as a “major organized crime figure”, Milken likely knew whom he was dealing with.

Quinn spent part of the year manipulating stocks in New York, and part of the year in Cannes, where he had a pink villa overlooking the Mediterranean – a pink villa that he had named Le Mas des Roses, or Farmhouse of the Roses, suggesting that some ruthless Mafia figures appreciate things that are cute and pretty. In 1989, as authorities in the U.S. were closing in on Milken, French police stormed Le Mas des Roses, kicking down doors, shouting, ransacking the place, hauling away evidence, and arresting Quinn, who ended up in prison.

Kimmes was arrested soon after. He escaped prison by ratting on Meyer Blinder, who did not escape prison. In 2000, Richard Walker, then the SEC’s director of enforcement, gave testimony to Congress in which he described Blinder, Robinson as being part of a network of brokerages — including D.H. Blair, Rooney Pace, FN Wolf, A.R. Baron, and many others – that were tied to organized crime. Most of these brokerages had been financed by Michael Milken or his closest associates.

The proprietor of Rooney, Pace, which was financed directly by Milken, was Randolph Pace, who was later indicted for running a $200 million stock manipulation scheme with another Milken crony, Judah Wernick. Both Pace and Wernick were also tied to a massive scandal that saw Russian Mafia figures, including Semion Mogilevich — described by British authorities as the “most dangerous mobster in the world” — launder upwards of $7 billion through the Bank of New York in the late 1990s.

Many of the other brokerages mentioned in the SEC’s Congressional testimony – including D.H. Blair, A.R. Baron, and FN Wolf — were financed by Zev Wolfson, a Milken crony who also financed Millennium, the hedge fund founded by Boesky’s prospective assassin John Mulheren.

D.H. Blair was particularly close to Milken. It was founded by Morty Davis, and run with help from Davis’s son-in-law, Lindsay Rosenwald, who served as vice chairman. After Milken went to prison in 1991, one of Milken’s top Drexel, Burnham employees, Richard Maio, became president of D.H. Blair.

In 2000, D.H. Blair was charged on multiple counts of stock manipulation and forced to shut its doors. To describe the full extent of D.H. Blair’s relations with La Cosa Nostra and the Russian Mafia, I would have to bore you with a list of names so long that this story would begin to read like a telephone directory.

But to give you just a small sampling, I will mention that the people indicted in just one of the hundreds of stock manipulation schemes perpetrated by D.H. Blair included: Frank Coppa, a capo in the Bonanno Mafia family; Edward Garafola, a soldier in the Gambino Mafia family; Daniel Persico, a capo in Colombo Mafia family; and Ernest Montevecchi, a soldier in the Genovese Mafia family.

After Milken got out of prison, he hooked up again with D.H. Blair’s former vice chairman, Lindsay Rosenwald, who is now one of the most powerful hedge fund managers in America, and perhaps the single biggest player in the world of biotech stocks.

I have written a book-length Deep Capture article (“The Story of Dendreon”) describing how Milken and Rosenwald, in cahoots with other Mafia-tied miscreants and hedge funds, including Millennium, have sought to destroy biotech companies that are developing promising medicines while promoting Rosenwald companies whose medicines are killing people. That story is a good introduction to the Milken network, but it doesn’t begin to describe the destruction this network has wrought.

Many other powerful hedge fund managers operating today got their start in the 1980s working for Milken-financed Mafia brokerages. And these hedge fund managers are among Milken’s closest associates. Again, when I refer to “closest associates,” I mean no more than a few dozen people who are intimately tied together.

SEC filings and other evidence compiled by Deep Capture show with perfect clarity that all of the hedge fund managers in this network regularly trade in unison, investing in (or, more often, attacking) the same companies. Press reports suggest that the biggest players in this network are, in fact, currently the targets of the largest FBI insider trading investigation in history.

One of the principle hedge fund managers in this network is Steve Cohen, who has been described by BusinessWeek magazine as “The Most Powerful Trader on the Street.” Cohen, who now runs the giant hedge fund SAC Capital, previously was among the select traders who effectively ran Gruntal Securities, a Mafia brokerage that received much of its finance from Michael Milken. While he was at Gruntal, Cohen was investigated by the SEC for trading on inside information that was delivered to him by Milken’s shop at Drexel, Burnham.

There were just a few other traders who had special partnership agreements with Gruntal, and who effectively ran the place. I will name them all, beginning with Maurice Gross, who handled the accounts of the Gambino Mafia family. Gross later founded his own operation with a Pakistani trader named Mohammad Ali Khan, who (according to a case filed by the New York attorney general) alighted with some of the Gambino’s cash. This was no doubt much to the dismay of Gruntal CEO, Howard Silverman, who had come to depend on the Mafia’s good graces.

As of 2008, Silverman was running one of the nation’s biggest “dark pool” trading platforms, an outfit that enabled his hedge fund clients to conduct manipulative trading in total anonymity. It should be a matter of concern that a guy with ties to the Mafia was running a major “dark pool” – especially since experts (such as the authors of the report commissioned by the Department of Defense) say that such platforms could easily be deployed by financial terrorists. And make no mistake: Silverman and all the other principals at Gruntal are, in fact, tied to the Mafia.

One of the people Silverman brought in to help run his brokerage – another of the select traders with special partnerships at Gruntal – was a fellow named Felix Sater, who is a high ranking Russian Mafia boss with ties to the Mogilevich organization. (I will refer throughout this story to the “Russian Mafia” because that is the most common term for it and its most notable feature is its ties to Moscow, but experts and government investigators often use the term “Eurasian organized crime” because it includes a number of mobsters from countries that are no longer part of Mother Russia. The Mogilevich organization, for example, is dominated by Ukrainians.).

Felix Sater is a criminal who was once charged with stabbing a Wall Street trader in the face with the broken stem of a wine glass, and who has threatened to kill multiple people.

The man who runs the Mogilevich organization, Semion Mogilevich, is not only the “most dangerous mobster in the world”, but also sits as #2 on the FBI’s list of “Most Wanted” criminals, behind only Osama bin Laden. A declassified FBI report states that the Mogilevich organization is involved in everything from major league market manipulation to prostitution, Afghan heroin, and trafficking in nuclear weapons materials.

On at least one occasion, the Mogilevich organization tried to sell highly enriched (nuclear bomb grade) uranium to Al Qaeda. This is a matter of dispute for some “experts”, but European Union officials confirm that it is true, and the evidence is indisputable that members of the Mogilevich organization did, at a minimum, claim in meetings with Al Qaeda operatives in Europe that they could obtain the nuclear materials.

Indeed, it is highly probably that Felix Sater, the former Gruntal Securities trader, himself had long-standing business relationships with Al Qaeda. After he left Gruntal Securities, Felix and another top Gruntal trader, Salvatore Lauria, started their own outfit – a brokerage called White Rock, which was indicted in 2001 for orchestrating stock manipulation schemes in league with D.H. Blair and a whole slew of Russian Mafia and La Cosa Nostra figures including the above-mentioned Genovese Mafia soldier Ernest Montevechi.

According to Felix’s White Rock partner, Salvatore Lauria, Felix himself escaped indictment (he was named only as an unindicted co-conspirator) because Felix offered to help the CIA get to Osama bin Laden if the Justice Department were to drop its stock manipulation charges against him. As Salvatore tells it, Felix had long been selling weapons from the Russian military arsenal to Al Qaeda, and the U.S. government accepted Felix’s offer to help track the terrorist group.

So shortly after the September 11 attacks, Felix was on a plane to Pakistan, where he planned to buy Stinger missiles from local jihadi outfits and find out where Osama bin Laden was located. Salvatore’s has told part of this story in a book, “The Scorpion and the Frog.”

Mafia figures often like to brag about their ties to the CIA, even when they have no such ties, so perhaps the CIA aspect of the story is false. But it is entirely possible that Felix was, in fact, selling weapons to Al Qaeda.

Certainly, Felix has never denied Salvatore’s claims. And according to multiple reports from law enforcement, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations in Russia, and the mainstream media in London (distinct from the mainstream media in the United States, which has a peculiar reluctance to publish anything interesting), Felix’s colleagues in the Mogilevich organization have been selling conventional weapons to Al Qaeda for many years.

If Felix really did go on a mission for the CIA, he likely had no intention of succeeding and merely wished to escape stock manipulation charges. At any rate, he didn’t go to prison, so now he is a dangerous criminal on the loose.

Jody Kriss, the former CFO of Bayrock, a real estate outfit owned by Felix, has filed a lawsuit claiming that Felix threatened to have him tortured to death because Kriss had discovered that Bayrock was a massive money laundering operation.

Someone close to Bayrock’s former executives, meanwhile, say that Felix has laundered money for Steve Cohen, his former trading partner at Gruntal Securities (and now the “Most Powerful Trader on Wall Street”). This has not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, and innocent until proven guilty, but there is no doubt that Cohen remains on close terms with Felix.

There are other indications that Felix remains to this day an important figure in the Milken network. For example, his alleged money laundering outfit, Bayrock, has partnerships with several investment funds, nearly every one of which is controlled either by Milken’s former top employees at Drexel, Burnham, or by others among the small band of people who are Milken’s closest associates. One of Felix’s partners, for example, is Apollo, a fund controlled by Leon Black, who is one of the most powerful investors in America.

Leon Black is the son Eli Black, who was, in the 1970s, the head of United Brands, formerly known as United Fruit, a company that has been accused of everything from bribing tin-pot dictators to dealing with La Cosa Nostra and funneling money to Latin American narco-terrorists.

In 1975, Carl Linder, another of Milken’s closest associates and a key participant in Milken’s junk-bond merry-go-round scam, used Milken finance to take over United Brands. In the midst of this takeover, Eli Black crashed through a plate glass window on the 44th floor of the Pan Am Building in New York, and fell to his death.

After this incident, Leon Black was named head of mergers and acquisitions at Drexel Burnham, the investment bank effectively controlled by Milken. The two men became friends, and after Milken’s criminal indictments, Black insisted that Drexel defend his friend at all costs. Even after Milken’s indictments and Drexel’s defense of the criminal resulted in Drexel’s collapse, Black continued to insist that Milken was innocent, and today the two men are close friends, involved in multiple business ventures together. Milken’s son, Lance, is partner at Apollo, the Leon Black fund that maintains a partnership with Felix Sater.

Another of the most powerful financiers in America (and also among Milken’s closest associates) is Carl Icahn. In the early 1980s, Icahn was the head of the options department at Felix Sater’s Gruntal Securities. After leaving Gruntal, Icahn started his own investment outfit, funded mostly by Michael Milken and Zev Wolfson (Wolfson being the guy who funded Mulheren and the above-mentioned Mafia brokerages).

As soon as he launched his investment fund, Carl Icahn hired several key employees: Harvey Houtkin, Allen Barry Witz, Gary Siegler, and Alan Umbria. Meanwhile, Umbria, who represented Icahn on the floor of the American Stock Exchange, served as the front-man for the Genovese Mafia in a New York restaurant called Crisci’s, which featured in the movie “Donnie Brasco”—a movie about an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates the Mob. Umbria was also the Mafia’s front-man in another New York restaurant — The Court of the Three Sisters.

One day in the late 1980s, Umbria’s close business associate walked into The Court of the Three Sisters and found Umbria presiding over a meeting in one of the restaurant’s private rooms. The business associate was asked to leave before he could hear what was discussed at this meeting, but the businessman knows who was in attendance – namely, Alan Umbria, a collection of Genovese Mafia thugs, and Louis Micelli, who is a stock broker.

In addition to being a stock broker, Micelli is a major league narco-trafficker with deep connections to the drug cartels of Colombia, and to a Paraguay cell of Hezbollah, the jihadi-mafia outfit that takes its directions from the regime in Iran. It was the Paraguay cell of Hezbollah that helped Iran blow up a synagogue in Argentina, and for a long time, this cell trafficked in cocaine from bases in Ciudad del Este and other cities in the “tri-border” region where Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet.

That region has since come under greater scrutiny, so Hezbollah’s drug kingpins have moved deeper inside Paraguay, but they continue to traffic coke, working with Hezbollah jihadis resident in North America – especially in Toronto, Detroit, and New York. Hezbollah’s trafficking operation continues to be a partnership with La Cosa Nostra, the Russian Mafia, and (yes) some stock brokers, more of whom we will meet later.

Now, back to Gruntal. There were just a few other traders who effectively ran that outfit in the 1980s, and one of them was Andrew Redleaf, whose wealthy family did a lot of business with Milken’s operation at Drexel. Redleaf got his job at Gruntal on Milken’s recommendation, and after leaving Gruntal, Redleaf went into business with some of Milken’s friends.

For example, Redleaf invested in Sun Country Airlines in partnership with Tom Petters, who was arrested in 2008 and indicted for orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme in cahoots with Michael Catain, the son of a famous Genovese Mafia enforcer named Jack Catain. Redleaf currently runs a large hedge fund called Whitebox Partners, one of around twenty hedge funds, including SAC Capital, that regularly trade in unison.

Another one of the hedge funds in this network is the massive and eminently powerful Cerberus Capital, run by Stephen Feinberg and Ezra Merkin. In the early 1980s, Feinberg was one of Michael Milken’s top employees at Drexel, Burnham. In the mid-1980s, Milken asked Feinberg to move to Gruntal Securities to help the others (namely, Russian Mafia boss Felix Sater, Gambino Mafia broker Maurice Gross, and Steve Cohen) oversee Gruntal’s operations, which had become important to Milken’s nationwide stock manipulation network.

But aside from the SEC’s investigation of Steve Cohen, regulators did not catch on to Gruntal’s criminality until the mid-1990s, when it was forced to pay the largest fines in SEC history after a series of scandals that saw its managers charged with embezzlement and cooking the books. By then, the traders who really ran the place in the 1980s had moved on to much bigger projects, one of which, we know, was Feinberg’s Cerberus Capital.

In 2006, Mainichi Shimbum, Japan’s most respected business newspaper, reported that Cerberus was tied to the Japanese Yakuza. Feinberg said it wasn’t true and he sued the Japanese newspaper, but there is no doubt that Mafia outfits worldwide are becoming more closely intertwined, and obviously Feinberg has come into contact with quite a few Mafia outfits, including those that were involved with Gruntal.

In addition, Feinberg’s partner in Cerberus, Ezra Merkin, has been charged with civil fraud for his role in the massive Ponzi scheme perpetrated by the infamous Bernard Madoff. One of Merkin’s other funds, Ascot Partners, was the second biggest “feeder” to the Madoff criminal operation.

Among the other big Madoff feeders, according to court documents, were some “made” members of the Mafia, such as Ralph Mafrici, who had a joint account with Madoff’s hedge fund in the name of Eleanor Cardile, a relative of Madoff’s right hand man, Frank DiPascali. Mr. Mafrici was a Genovese Mafia capo who allegedly ordered the assassination of another Mob boss named Albert Anastasia. Since Anastasia was getting his hair cut at the time, the assassination was famously dubbed “The Barber Shop Hit.”

The last of the traders who effectively ran Gruntal was Sam Israel. He later went to work for Michael Steinhardt, who was (and still is) one of the most powerful hedge fund managers in America. In 1991, Steinhardt’s fund cornered the market for U.S. Treasuries, posing a threat to economic stability until the government threatened to press criminal charges, convincing him to back off.

John Lattanzio, the manager of Steinhardt’s hedge fund, was extremely secretive. There wasn’t much information on him until a court case stated that Lattanzio once proposed marriage to a Russian hooker and gave her $289,275 diamond ring.

Nothing wrong with that (marriage is a wonderful thing), but the interesting development in this case was that the lovers quarreled, Lattanzio wanted his ring back, and the hooker-wife told the judge that Lattanzio had big-time Mafia connections. She also said that Lattanzio “would not hesitate to use [the Mafia] to harm me.” Which is not surprising because the man who launched Lattanzio’s career, Michael Steinhardt, also has big-time Mafia connections.

When it became evident that Steinhardt’s ties to the Mafia might become public, Steinhardt preemptively published a book in which he revealed (as if were no big deal) that his father, Sol “Red” Steinhardt, had done time in Sing-Sing prison because he was, in the words of a Manhattan District Attorney, the “biggest Mafia fence in America.” In fact, Steinhardt’s father was effectively the chief financial officer for the Genovese Mafia family.

Of course, the Steinhardts were also among Milken’s closest associates. Nowadays, Michael Steinhardt runs a big exchange traded fund (ETF) outfit called Wisdom Tree Investments. His partner in that operation is Jonathan Steinberg, son of Saul Steinberg, who was a key player in the junk bond scheme that Milken ran in the 1980s. Steinberg used Milken junk bonds to seize Reliance, a giant insurance and financial services firm, which was subsequently looted and destroyed (“busted out”).

In his book, Steinhardt admitted that the first and most important investors in the major hedge fund that he ran in the 1970s-1980s were: the Genovese Mafia family; Ivan Boesky (Milken’s most famous criminal co-conspirator); and Milken crony Marc Rich.

When Rich was convicted for trading with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis, Steinhardt testified on Rich’s behalf. Later, Steinhardt, a big contributor to the Democratic Party, pressured then President Bill Clinton to pardon Rich for most of his crimes, and Clinton complied, stirring up large controversy. Although Rich was pardoned, he still owes the U.S. government taxes, so he lives in Switzerland, where his palatial home is guarded by a private army of mercenaries.

Rich has done quite a lot of business with companies, such as Highland Capital, that were under the control of Russian Mob boss Semion Mogilevich, and he was linked to the scandal that saw Mogilevich and other Russian Mafia figures launder more than $7 billion through the Bank of New York.

The consensus among organized crime experts and FBI investigators is that the Genovese Mafia family brought the Russian Mafia to America – and perhaps the reader is just beginning to understand the importance of the Milken network to both the Russians and the Genovese.

At any rate, it should be no surprise to learn that Sam Israel, the Gruntal trader who went to work for Steinhardt, later went into business with Robert Booth Nichols, whom the FBI had indentified as a close associate of the Genovese Mafia family. The business was a criminal hedge fund called Bayou, and Israel was sentenced for his crimes in 2008. When it came time for him to show up for prison, Israel parked his car on a bridge and left a note in the window that said, “Suicide is Painless.” Then he ran away.

After that, Israel had second thoughts and decided to turn himself in. But he no longer had his car, so he had to drive to prison on a little red motor scooter, which must have been embarrassing. But at least he was famous – the media was reporting that Bayou was the “biggest Ponzi scheme in history”.

Before that, the biggest Ponzi schemers in history had been the above-mentioned Milken and Mafia cronies Fred Carr and Tom Petters. Unfortunately, in December of 2008, the Mafia-tied Milken crony Sam Israel’s Ponzi was topped by the Mafia-tied Milken crony Bernard Madoff, who turned himself in to the FBI and announced that his Ponzi scheme (which absconded with upwards of $50 billion) was, in fact, bigger.

But that is only the tip of the icerberg so far as the Milken network’s ties to organized crime are concerned. Upcoming chapters will make this abundantly clear.

To be continued… -funds/

Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 8:52am

Some Players...

John A. Mulheren

Born : June 20, 1949
The Bronx, New York

Died : December 15, 2003 (aged 54)
Rumson, New Jersey


United States

Alma mater

Roanoke College



John A. Mulheren, Jr. (June 20, 1949 in The Bronx, New York — December 15, 2003 in Rumson, New Jersey) was an American financier and philanthropist.

[edit] Biography

Born in the Bronx, Mulheren was a Wall Street icon who earned hundreds of millions in the 1980s as a stock and option trader. Known for his charismatic personality and generosity, Mulheren became a managing director for Merrill Lynch at age 25 and later became the chief executive of Bear Wagner Specialists, one of seven NYSE specialist trading firms. He owned the Chapel Beach Club located in Sea Bright, New Jersey and Crazies Ice Cream in Rumson, New Jersey.

A protege of Ivan Boesky, Mulheren was implicated in the insider trading scandals of the late 1980s and was convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges in 1990. Mulheren's involvement in the scandals and his relationship with Boesky are discussed with great detail in Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart. Upon learning that Boesky had implicated him in the scandal, Mulheren reportedly set out to kill Boesky. Mulheren's conviction was overturned by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991.

Mulheren graduated from Roanoke College in 1971. He donated millions to the college naming several buildings after former professors and mentors. The entrance to the college is named "John's Bridge" in his honor. Mulheren's widow, Nancy, is a college trustee.

Mulheren suffered from Bipolar Disorder. He died of a heart attack at his farm in Rumson, New Jersey on December 15, 2003. Bruce Springsteen, a close friend, performed at the funeral.

Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 8:55am

Maria Bartiromo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maria Bartiromo

Bartiromo moderating a session at the World Economic Forum.


September 11, 1967 (age 43)
Brooklyn, New York


New York University


Journalist, columnist, news anchor


CNBC's The Wall Street Journal Report anchor, Closing Bell co-anchor


Jonathan Steinberg (1999-)



Official website

Maria Bartiromo (born September 11, 1967) is an American author and television journalist. Bartiromo is a native of New York and attended New York University. She worked at CNN for five years before joining CNBC television. At CNBC, she became the co-host of the Closing Bell program as well as the host and managing editor for The Wall Street Journal Report and is credited as being the first reporter to broadcast live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange daily.[1] She has been a guest on various television shows and the recipient of several journalism awards. In addition Bartiromo is a magazine columnist and author of three books: Use the News: How to Separate the Noise from the Investment Nuggets and Make Money in Any Economy, The 10 Laws of Enduring Success, and The Weekend That Changed Wall Street.

[hide] 1 Early Life and Education
2 Career 2.1 Television
2.2 Books

3 Awards
4 Personal life
5 References
6 External links

[edit] Early Life and Education

Bartiromo grew up in the Bay Ridge section of southern Brooklyn. As a teenager, she worked in the coat check room of her parents' Italian restaurant where her father was the chef.

Bartiromo attended Fontbonne Hall Academy, an all girls Roman Catholic high school in Bay Ridge and graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in journalism and economics.[2]

[edit] Career

Maria Bartiromo advertisement in Times Square. 

Maria Bartiromo at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008 
[edit] Television

Before joining CNBC in 1993, Bartiromo was a producer and assignment editor with CNN Business News for five years.[3]

Bartiromo replaced analyst Roy Blumberg when she began reporting live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. During her time with CNBC she has hosted the segment Market Watch and been a contributor to the Squawk Box segment.

Bartiromo is the anchor and managing editor of CNBC's Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo which features interviews with financial experts, entertainers, athletes, and politicians.[2] Since 2007, Bartiromo has been the host of the TV show The Business of Innovation. In the past she has hosted several other programs including Closing Bell (2002–present), Market Wrap (1998–2000), and Business Center (1997–1999).

Bartiromo has also appeared on the television shows: NBC Universal's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Caroline Rhea Show, McEnroe, and The Colbert Report, as well as guest-hosting on Live with Regis and Kelly.[citation needed]

Bartiromo was nicknamed the "Money Honey" in the late 1990s due to her striking looks and for being the first woman to report live from the raucous floor of the New York Stock Exchange.[3][4] She also received the nickname "Econo Babe".[5] In January 2007, Bartiromo filed trademark applications to use the term "Money Honey" as a brand name for a line of children's products including toys, puzzles and coloring books to teach kids about money.[6][7] and was also the subject of a conflict of interest controversy triggered by questions about her relationship with Todd Thompson, then a senior executive of Citigroup.[8]

Bartiromo has anchored the television coverage of New York City's world famous New York City Columbus Day Parade.[9] since 1995 and was the Grand Marshall in 2010.

She appeared as herself in in the following films: Risk/Reward, the documentary about the lives of women on Wall Street (2003), The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, an action film about armed men who hijack a New York City subway train (2009), the drama film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) [10] and in the documentary Inside Job (2010).

Bartiromo is the subject of the Joey Ramone song "Maria Bartiromo".[11]

[edit] Books

Bartiromo is the author of three books:[12]
Use the News: How to Separate the Noise from the Investment Nuggets and Make Money in Any Economy (2001) ISBN 978-0-06-662086-2 – on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists
The 10 Laws of Enduring Success (2010) ISBN 978-0-307-45253-5
The Weekend That Changed Wall Street (2011) ISBN 978-1-59184-351-1

[edit] Awards
Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Award, presented by the Coalition of Italo-American Associations, 1997.[12]
Lincoln Statue Award, presented by the Union League of Philadelphia, 2004.[12]
Gracie Award, for Outstanding Documentary, Greenspan: Power, Money & the American Dream, broadcast on CNBC, 2008.[2][13]
Emmy Award, for Outstanding Coverage of A Breaking News Story, "Bailout Talks Collapse", NBC Nightly News, 2008.[2][14]
Emmy Award, for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting, "Inside The Mind of Google", CNBC, 2009.[2][15]
Financial Times 50 People Who Shaped the Decade, named in the "Culture" category, 2009.[2][16]
Cable Hall of Fame, inducted for her impact on the cable industry, the first journalist inducted, 2011.[2][17]

[edit] Personal life

Bartiromo married Jonathan Steinberg on June 13, 1999. Steinberg, the son of investor Saul Steinberg, is the founder and chief executive officer of WisdomTree Investments, a financial investment services company.[18]

[edit] References

1.^ "Maria Bartiromo Visits The NYSE", NYSE Calendar (NYSE Euronext), August 4, 2010, retrieved March 17, 2011
2.^ a b c d e f g "Maria Bartiromo", CNBC TV Profiles, CNBC, retrieved March 17, 2011
3.^ a b Brady, James (April 17, 2005), "In Step With: Mario Bartiromo", Parade, retrieved March 17, 2011
4.^ Wilner, Richard (March 28, 2010), "Maria is no longer sweet on 'Honey'", New York Post, retrieved March 19, 2011
5.^ Zaslow, Jeffrey (January 25, 1998), "Maria Bartiromo", USA Weekend, retrieved September 29, 2007[dead link]
6.^ McLaughlin, Tim (January 29, 2007), "CNBC "Money Honey" looks to sweeten her pocketbook", Reuters, retrieved October 20, 2007
7.^ United States Patent and Trademark Office Search System
8.^ Jones, Del (January 30, 2007), "CNBC journalist lands in the news spotlight", USA Today, retrieved October 20, 2007
9.^ "The Annual Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue, New York City", New York: Columbus Citizens Foundation, October 11, 2010, retrieved March 17, 2011
10.^ "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps", Internet Movie Database, retrieved March 17, 2011
11.^ Teather, David (July 14, 2006), "Maria Bartiromo: Money honey who stirred Ramone's hormones",, retrieved January 20, 2011
12.^ a b c "Maria Bartiromo Profile", CNBC, retrieved April 1, 2011
13.^ "2008 Gracie Awards Winners", Alliance for Women in Media, retrieved April 1, 2011
14.^ "30th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards Winners", National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, September 21, 2009 (updated October 5, 2009), retrieved April 1, 2011
15.^ "31st Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards Winners", National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, September 27, 2010 (updated October 14, 2010), retrieved April 1, 2011
16.^ "Fifty faces that shaped the decade" (Flash Video), Financial Times, December 28, 2009, retrieved April 1, 2011
17.^ "Maria Bartiromo" (Flash Video), Cable Hall of Fame, retrieved April 1, 2011
18.^ Moyer, Liz (June 13, 2006), "A Tree of Wisdom", Forbes

ty joye
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 8:57am

Steve Wynn (entrepreneur)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For persons of a similar name see Steve Wynn or Steve Winn

Stephen Wynn


Stephen Alan Weinberg
January 27, 1942 (age 69)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.


Real-estate developer

Net worth

US$2.3 billion (2011)[1]

Stephen Alan "Steve" Wynn (born January 27, 1942) is an American casino resort/real-estate developer who has been credited with spearheading the dramatic resurgence and expansion of the Las Vegas Strip in the 1990s. His companies refurbished or built some of the most currently widely recognized resorts in Las Vegas such as the Golden Nugget, The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Wynn, and Encore.

As of 2011, Wynn is the 512th richest man in the world with a net worth of $2.3 billion (up from $1.5 billion).[1] He made his debut in the Forbes 400 at #377 with a net worth of $650 million in September 2003, but was reported to be worth $1.1 billion only six months later in Forbes' list of world billionaires published in March 2004.

In April 2010, Wynn caused a stir when he chided the government on CNBC and said he was considering moving the company's global headquarters from Las Vegas to Macau. A few weeks later, amidst criticism from his rivals, he clarified that he meant a greater allocation of time spent in Macau because of the substantially higher profits made there.[2][3]

Early life, Frontier, and the Golden Nugget

Wynn was born Stephen Alan Weinberg in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Michael, changed the family's last name in 1946 from "Weinberg" to "Wynn" when Steve was six months old "to avoid anti-Jewish discrimination" according to several sources.[4] Wynn was raised in Utica, New York, and graduated from The Manlius School, a private boys' school east of Syracuse, New York, in 1959. Steve Wynn studied cultural anthropology and English literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.

Wynn's father ran a string of bingo parlors in eastern United States. In 1963, his father died of complications from open heart surgery in Minneapolis, leaving $350,000 of gaming debts, shortly before Wynn graduated from Penn with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.

Wynn took over running the family's bingo operation in Maryland. He did well enough at it to accumulate the money to buy a small stake in the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where he and his wife Elaine moved in 1967. Between 1968 and 1972 Wynn also owned a wine and liquor importing company. He managed to parlay his profits from a land deal in 1971 (the deal involved Howard Hughes and Caesars Palace) into a controlling interest in the landmark downtown casino, the Golden Nugget Las Vegas[5] (he also owned Golden Nugget Atlantic City in Atlantic City, New Jersey). Wynn renovated, revamped and expanded the Golden Nugget from a gambling hall to a resort hotel and casino with enormous success, in the process attracting a new upscale clientele to downtown Las Vegas.

[edit] The Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio

Wynn had previously acquired interests in various existing casinos. His first major Strip casino, the Mirage, which opened in 1989, set a new standard for size, opulence and construction costs. The Mirage featured an indoor forest and an outdoor "volcano"; and with high-quality room appointments and an emphasis on service, the Mirage was another major success. The Mirage was the first project in which he was involved in the design and construction of a casino. The $630 million cost to build the facility was financed largely with junk bonds issued by Michael Milken. The property was considered a high-risk venture by the standards then prevailing in Las Vegas because of its expensiveness and emphasis on luxury. However, it became enormously lucrative and made Wynn a major part of Las Vegas history.

Wynn's next project was Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, which opened in 1993 at a cost of $450 million. With its live pirate show and location next to the Mirage, Treasure Island was another victory for Wynn. The Cirque du Soleil show at the Treasure Island was the first permanent Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas.

Wynn expanded further on his concept of the luxury casino with Bellagio, a $1.6 billion resort, including an artificial lake, indoor conservatory, a museum-quality art gallery and branches of high-end boutiques and restaurants from Paris, San Francisco, and New York City. The architect was the famous American Jon Jerde of The Jerde Partnerships. When built, Bellagio was the most expensive hotel in the world. The Bellagio is credited with starting a new spree of luxurious developments in Las Vegas. Among these developments include The Venetian, Mandalay Bay, and Paris Las Vegas.

[edit] Beau Rivage

He also designed and built a luxury resort, the Beau Rivage, in Biloxi. Beau Rivage was originally the name he wanted to give to the Bellagio. He then went to Italy on vacation and decided Bellagio was a better name for the hotel.

[edit] Wynn Las Vegas to Wynn Macau to present and Encore

Mirage Resorts was sold to MGM Grand Inc. for $6.6 billion ($21 a share) in June 2000 to form MGM Mirage. Five weeks before the deal was closed (April 27, 2000) Steve Wynn purchased the Desert Inn for $270 million. He closed the Inn in only 18 weeks, and with the money he made on that deal, and with his ability to secure ever-greater financing, Steve Wynn took Wynn Resorts Limited public in 2002. Wynn became a billionaire in 2004, when his net worth doubled to $1.3 billion.[6] On April 28, 2005 he opened his most expensive resort to that date, the Wynn Las Vegas, on the site of the former Desert Inn.

Wynn successfully bid for one of three gaming concessions that were opened for tender in Macau, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, which has a long history of gaming and is the largest gaming market in the world, having surpassed Las Vegas in 2006.[7] This property, known as Wynn Macau, opened on September 5, 2006.

In the summer of 2008, hiring began for Encore Las Vegas, the newest in Steve Wynn's collection of resorts (the tower of Encore is modeled after the Wynn Las Vegas tower, and in fact, they share the same "property" though they are separate hotels). Wynn hired 3500 employees for this property. Encore opened on December 22, 2008.

Wynn Encore Macau opened on April 21, 2010.

Recently he spent a record price for a painting by J. M. W. Turner, $35.8 million for the Giudecca, La Donna Della Salute and San Giorgio and spent $33.2 million on a Rembrandt, the auction record for the artist.[8]

Many of the collection's pieces were on display at the Bellagio. The collection was on display at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno while the Wynn Las Vegas was being constructed and was installed in the resort shortly before it was opened. The Wynn Las Vegas gallery, which had charged an entrance fee, closed shortly after the start of 2006. The artwork from the former gallery is now scattered around the resort. Although the artwork is owned personally by Wynn, Wynn Resorts pays an annual lease of $1. As part of the lease agreement, insurance and security are the responsibility of the company.

The centerpiece of the collection is Le Rêve, the Picasso portrait that was the working name of the resort project. Wynn purchased the painting in 1997 for $48.4 million at the Christie's auction of the Ganz-collection on November 11, 1997. In 2006 he reportedly was to sell it to Steven A. Cohen for $139 million, which would at that time have been the highest price paid for any piece of art. However, he put his elbow through the canvas while showing it to his guests, including the screenwriter Nora Ephron and her husband Nick Pileggi, the broadcaster Barbara Walters, the art dealer Serge Sorokko and his wife, the model Tatiana Sorokko, the New York socialite Louise Grunwald and the lawyer David Boies and his wife, Mary.[9] This canceled the sale, and after a $90,000 repair, the painting was estimated to be worth $85 million. Wynn sued his insurance company over the $54 million difference with the virtual selling price, possibly exceeding his own buying price. The case was settled out of court in April 2007.[10][11][12][13]

[edit] Personal life

Wynn met Elaine Farrell Pascal when Wynn's father Mike and Elaine's father were joking around about both their kids meeting and going on a date. Wynn and Elaine became college sweethearts, married in 1963, divorced in 1986, married a second time in 1991, and filed for divorce again in 2009.[14] Elaine Wynn remains a director of the company's board. Wynn once said he bought the Desert Inn casino, the site of his Wynn Las Vegas, as a birthday gift for his wife.[15]

They have two daughters, Kevyn and Gillian. Kevyn was kidnapped in 1993[16] and Wynn paid $1.45 million in ransom for her safe return. The kidnappers were apprehended when one attempted to buy a Ferrari in Newport Beach, California, with cash. Kevyn was found unharmed several hours later.

Steve Wynn also suffers from the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which cripples night vision and reduces visual ability in the periphery until the sufferer essentially has "tunnel vision." Many people with RP eventually become legally blind.

His cousin John was named CEO of Benison International in March of 2010.

In 2010, Wynn switched to a vegan diet after watching the documentary Eating by Mike Anderson.[17][18]

In December 2010, Prince Albert II of Monaco has bestowed Monegasque citizenship to Wynn. Oddly Wynn never resided in Monaco which is the main pre-condition of Monegasque citizenship. Usually, one must reside in the Principality for a minimum of ten continuous years, and contribute in some major way, to qualify for Monegasque citizenship. Wynn, however, has not renounced his U.S. citizenship and remains both an American citizen and taxpayer, said a statement issued by Wynn Resorts Ltd. spokeswoman Jennifer Dunne. News of Wynn's Monegasque citizenship was initially spread by Robert Eringer, a blogger critical of the Monaco government who has been in litigation with Monaco.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, this unusual naturalization has been accorded when Wynn has agreed to serve as outside director for a joint venture between the governments of Monaco and Qatar. The company Wynn accepted to be a director of has been announced in August as Monaco QD International Hotels and Resorts Management, it would acquire and manage hotels and resorts in Europe, the Middle-East and North America.

On April 29, 2011, Wynn married Andrea Hissom in a ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas.

[edit] Accolades

In May 2006, Time magazine included Wynn as one of the World's 100 Most Influential People.

Wynn was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts by President George W. Bush on October 30, 2006.[19]

In November 2006, Wynn was inducted into the American Gaming Association Hall of Fame.

Wynn has received honorary doctorates from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Sierra Nevada College.

On July 26, 2009, a segment on Wynn was aired on the CBS News series 60 Minutes.

[edit] References

1.^ a b Steve Wynn profile - Forbes, Retrieved April 2011.
2.^ "Wynn opens Macau casino, weighs moving headquarters".
3.^ "Wynn going Far East, young man".
4.^ "Steve Wynn Raising the stakes in Vegas". The Times (London). 2009-01-11. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
5.^ The First 100 Persons Who Shaped Southern Nevada
6.^ My Way Finance
7.^ Macau leads Las Vegas in gambling -
8.^ Vogel, Carol (December 18, 2009). "Rembrandt Buyer Is Said to Be Stephen Wynn". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
9.^ "Lloyd's Sued on Payout for Hurt Picasso". New York Times. 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
10.^ Nora Ephron (2006-10-16). "My Weekend in Vegas". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
11.^ "Steve Wynn's Bad Dream". The Smoking Gun. 2007-01-11. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
12.^ "Wynn Settles Suit Over Painting Cohen Coveted". FINalternatives. 2007-03-26. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
13.^ Marc Spiegler (2007-01-17). "Kasino-Milliardär Wynn fordert Schadenersatz für selbst zerstörten Picasso". artnet Magazin. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
14.^ Steve Wynn's Marriage Kaput. Again. TMZ, March 10, 2009
16.^ Las Vegas Review Journal report
17.^ Katsilometes, John (November 4, 2010). "Steve Wynn: Viva Las Vegan". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
18.^ "The Rise of the Power Vegans". BusinessWeek. November 4, 2010.
19.^ Personnel Announcement
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 9:00am

Genovese crime family

The Genovese crime family is one of the "Five Families" that dominates organized crime activities in New York City, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the American Mafia (or Cosa Nostra). The Genovese crime family has been nicknamed the "Ivy League" and "Rolls Royce" of organized crime. They are rivaled in size by only the Gambino crime family and Chicago Outfit and are unmatched in terms of power. They have generally maintained a varying degree of influence over many of the smaller mob families outside of New York, including ties with the Patriarca, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany and Philadelphia crime families.

Finding new ways to make money in the 21st century, the Genovese family took advantage of lax due diligence by banks during the housing spike with a wave of mortgage frauds. Prosecutors say loan shark victims obtained home equity loans to pay off debts to their mob bankers. The family found ways to use new technology to improve on old reliable illegal gambling, with customers placing bets through offshore sites via the Internet. The modern family was founded by Lucky Luciano, but after 1957 it was renamed after boss Vito Genovese. Originally in control of the waterfront on the West Side of Manhattan (including the Fulton Fish Market), the family was run for years by "the Oddfather", Vincent "the Chin" Gigante, who feigned insanity by shuffling unshaven through New York’s Greenwich Village wearing a tattered bath robe and muttering to himself incoherently.

Although the leadership of the Genovese family seemed to have been in limbo since the death of Gigante in 2005, the family still appears to be the most organized family and remains powerful.[2] The family, now named after Vito Genovese, has endured like no other. Unique in today's Mafia, the family has benefited greatly from members following the code of Omertà. While many mobsters from across the country have testified against their crime families since the 1980s, the Genovese family has only had five members turn state's evidence in its history.[3]


[edit] Origins

Main article: Morello crime family

The Genovese crime family originated from the Morello crime family of East Harlem, the first Mafia family in New York City. The Morellos started arriving in New York from the village of Corleone, Sicily around 1892, when only a few thousand Italians lived in New York. The family was run by Giuseppe Morello, a ruthless Mafioso in Sicily, and his associate Ignazio "Lupo the Wolf" Saietta. Morello's lieutenants were his brothers Antonio Morello and half brothers Nicholas Morello (Terranova), Vincenzo "Vincent" Terranova and Ciro "The Artichoke King" Terranova. By the early 1900s, the Morello family was involved with counterfeiting, extortion, kidnapping, and other traditional Mafia activities in Manhattan.

As the Morello family increased in power and influence, bloody territorial conflicts arose with other Italian criminal gangs in New York. Their new rival was the Neapolitan Camorra organization, which consisted of two small Brooklyn gangs run by Pellegrino Morano and Alessandro Vollero. Unlike the Sicilian Morellos, the Camorra was composed of immigrants from Naples, Italy. Initially the Morellos and the Camorra collaborated to divide up criminal activities in Manhattan. However, when Giuseppe Morello and Saietta went to prison in 1909 for counterfeiting, Morano decided that he could kill the remaining Morello leadership and take the family's more lucrative rackets. Morano's move resulted in the bloody Mafia-Camorra War from 1914 to 1918. By 1918, law enforcement had sent many Camorra gang members to prison, decimating the Camorra in New York and ending the war. Although the Morellos had won this gang conflict, they had suffered losses also, including the 1916 assassination of boss Nicolo Morello. The Morellos now faced stronger rivals than the Camorra.

With the passage of Prohibition in 1919 and the outlawing of alcohol sales, the Morello family regrouped and built a lucrative bootlegging operation in Manhattan. However, by the early 1920s, the Morello family no longer existed. A powerful Sicilian rival, Salvatore D'Aquila, had declared a death sentence on Giuseppe Morello and Saietta, both recently released from prison, forcing them to flee to Italy for safety. When the two men returned to New York, they relied on Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria, a new Morello ally, to kill D'Aquilla. However, the price of Masseria's help was to essentially take over the Morello Family.[4]

[edit] The Castellammarese era

During the mid-1920s, Massaria continued to expand his bootlegging, extortion, loansharking, and illegal gambling rackets throughout New York. To operate and protect these rackets, Massaria recruited many ambitious young mobsters. These mobsters included future Cosa Nostra powers Charlie "Lucky" Luciano, Frank Costello, Joseph "Joey A" Adonis, Vito Genovese, Albert Anastasia and Carlo Gambino. Masseria was willing to take all Italian-American recruits, no matter where they had originated in Sicily or Italy.

Masseria's strongest rival in New York was Salvatore Maranzano, leader of the Castellammare del Golfo Sicilian organization in Brooklyn. A recent arrival from Sicily, Maranzano had strong support from elements of the Sicilian mafia and was a traditionalist mafiosi. He recruited Sicilian mobsters only, preferably from the Castellammarese clan. Marangano's top lieutenants included future family bosses Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonanno, Joseph Profaci, and Stefano Magaddino. By 1928, the Castellammarese War between Masseria and Maranzano had begun. By the late 1920s, more than 60 mobsters on both sides had been murdered.[4] On April 15, 1931, Masseria was murdered in a Coney Island, Brooklyn, restaurant, reportedly by members of Luciano's crew. Angry over broken promises from Masseria, Luciano had secretly conspired with Maranzano to plot Masseria's assassination. On the day of the murder, Luciano was allegedly eating dinner with Masseria at a restaurant. After Luciano went to the restroom, his hitmen arrived and murdered Masseria. With Masseria's death, the Castellamarese War had ended.

Now in control of New York, Maranzano took several important steps to solidify his victory. He reorganized the Italian-American gangs of New York into five new families, structured after the hierarchical and highly disciplined Mafia families of Sicily. Maranzano's second big change was to appoint himself as the boss of all the families. As part of this reorganization, Maranzano designated Luciano as boss of the old Morello/Masseria family. However, Luciano and other mob leaders privately objected to Maranzano's dictatorial role. Maranzano soon found out about Luciano's discontent and ordered his assassination. Discovering that he was in danger, Luciano plotted Maranzano's assassination with Maranzano trustee Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese. On September 10, 1931, Jewish gangsters provided by Luciano ally Meyer Lansky shot and stabbed Maranzano to death in his Manhattan office. Luciano was now the most powerful mobster in the United States.[5]

[edit] Luciano and the Commission

"Lucky" Luciano in a police photo 
After Maranzano's murder, Luciano created a new governing body for the Cosa Nostra families, the Commission. The Commission consisted of representatives from each of the Five Families, the Chicago Outfit and the Magaddino crime family of Buffalo, New York. Luciano wanted the Commission to mediate disputes between the families and prevent future gang wars. Although nominally a democratic body, Luciano and his allies actually controlled the Commission throughout the 1930s. As head of the new Luciano family, Luciano appointed Vito Genovese as his underboss, or second in command, and Frank Costello as his Consigliere, or advisor. With the new structure in place, the five New York families would enjoy several decades of peace and growth.

In 1935, Luciano was indicted on pandering charges by New York district attorney Thomas Dewey. Many observers believed that Luciano would never have directly involved himself with prostitutes, and that the case was fraudulent. During the trial, Luciano made a tactical mistake in taking the witness stand, where the prosecutor interrogated him for five hours about how he made his living. In 1936, Luciano was convicted and sentenced to 30 to 50 years in prison. Although in prison, Luciano continued to run his crime family. His underboss Genovese now supervised the day-to-day family activities. In 1937, Genovese was indicted on murder charges and fled the country to Italy. After Genovese's departure, Costello became the new acting boss of the Luciano family.

During World War II, federal agents asked Luciano for help in preventing enemy sabotage on the New York waterfront and other activities. Luciano agreed to help, but in reality provided insignificant assistance to the allied cause. After the end of the war, the arrangement with Luciano became public knowledge. To prevent further embarrassment, the government agreed to deport Luciano on condition that he never return to the United States. In 1946, Luciano was taken from prison and deported to Italy, never to return to the United States. Costello became the effective boss of the Luciano family.

[edit] The Prime Minister

Frank Costello at the Kefauver hearings. 
During the reign of Frank Costello, the Luciano family controlled much of the bookmaking, loansharking, illegal gambling and labor racketeering activities in New York City. Costello wanted to increase the family involvement in lucrative financial schemes; he was less interested in low grossing criminal activities that relied on brutality and intimidation. Costello believed in diplomacy and discipline, and in diversifying family interests. Nicknamed "The Prime Minister of the Underworld", Costello controlled much of the New York waterfront and had tremendous political connections. It was said that no state judge could be appointed in any case without Costello's consent. During the 1940s, Costello allowed Luciano associates Meyer Lansky and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel to expand the family business in Southern California and build the first modern casino resort in Las Vegas. When Siegel failed to open the resort on time, his mob investors allegedly sanctioned his murder.

While serving as boss of the Luciano family in the 1950s, Costello suffered from depression and panic attacks. During this period Costello sought help from a psychiatrist, who advised him to distance himself from old associates such as Genovese and spend more time with politicians. In the early 1950s, U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee began investigating organized crime in New York in the Kefauver hearings. The Committee summoned numerous mobsters to testify, but they refused to answer questions at the hearings. The mobsters uniformly cited the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a legal protection against self-incrimination. However, when Costello was summoned, he agreed to answer questions at the hearings and not take the Fifth Amendment. As part of the agreement to testify, the Special Committee and the U.S. television networks agreed not to broadcast Costello's face. During the questioning, Costello nervously refused to answer certain questions and skirted around others. When the Committee asked Costello, "What have you done for your country Mr. Costello?", he famously replied, "Paid my tax!". The TV cameras, unable to show Costello's face, instead focused on his hands, which Costello wrung nervously while answering questions. Costello eventually walked out of the hearings.

[edit] The return of Genovese

Costello ruled for 20 peaceful years, but that quiet reign ended when Genovese was extradited from Italy to New York. During his absence, Costello demoted Genovese from underboss to capo and Genovese determined to take control of the family. Soon after his arrival in the United States, Genovese was acquitted of the 1936 murder charge that had driven him into exile.[6] Free of legal entanglements, Genovese started plotting against Costello with the assistance of Mangano crime family underboss Carlo Gambino. On May 2, 1957, Luciano family mobster Vincente "Chin" Gigante shot Costello in the side of the head on a public street; however, Costello survived the attack. Months later, Mangano family boss Albert Anastasia, a powerful ally of Costello, was murdered by Gambino's gunmen. With Anastasia's death, Gambino seized control of the Mangano family. Feeling afraid and isolated after the shootings, Costello quietly retired and surrendered control of the Luciano family to Genovese.[7]

Vito Genovese in a police photo 
Having taken control of what was now the Genovese crime family in 1957, Vito Genovese decided to organize a Cosa Nostra conference to legitimize his new position. Held on mobster Joseph Barbera's farm in Apalachin, New York, the Apalachin Meeting attracted over 100 Cosa Nostra mobsters from around the nation. However, local law enforcement discovered the meeting by chance and quickly surrounded the farm. As the meeting broke up, Genovese escaped capture by running through the woods. However, many other high-ranking mobsters were arrested. Cosa Nostra leaders were chagrined by the public exposure and bad publicity from the Apalachin meeting, and generally blamed Genovese for the fiasco. Wary of Genovese gaining more power in the Mafia Commission, Gambino used the abortive Apalachin Meeting as an excuse to move against his former ally. Gambino, former Genovese bosses Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello, and Lucchese crime family boss Tommy Lucchese allegedly lured Genovese into a drug distribution scheme that ultimately resulted in his conspiracy indictment and conviction. In 1959, Genovese was sentenced to 15 years in prison on narcotics charges. Genovese, who was the most powerful boss in New York, had been effectively eliminated as a rival by Gambino.[8] Genovese would later die in prison.

[edit] The Valachi Hearings

Joseph Valachi at the McClellan Hearings 
The Genovese family was soon rocked by a second public embarrassment: the United States Senate McClellan Hearings. While incarcerated at a federal prison in Atlanta, Genovese soldier Joseph "Joe Cargo" Valachi believed he was being targeted for murder by the mob on the suspicion that he was an informer. On June 22, 1962, Valachi brutally murdered another inmate with a pipe. Valachi told investigators that he thought the victim was Joseph "Joe Beck" DiPalermo, a Genovese soldier coming to kill him.

To avoid a capital murder trial, Valachi agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors against the Genovese family. He thus became the first Cosa Nostra mobster to publicly affirm the organization's existence. With information from prosecutors, the low-level Valachi was able to testify in nationally-televised hearings about the Cosa Nostra's influence over legal enterprises in aid of racketeering and other criminal activities to make huge profit. Valachi also introduced the name "Cosa Nostra" as a household name. Although Valachi's testimony never led to any convictions, it helped law enforcement by identifying many members of the Genovese and other New York families.

[edit] Front bosses and the ruling panels

New York Police Department mugshot of Thomas Eboli 
After Genovese was sent to prison in 1959, the family leadership secretly established a "Ruling Panel" to run the family in Genovese's absence. This first panel included acting boss Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli, underboss Gerardo "Jerry" Catena, and Catena's protege Philip "Benny Squint" Lombardo. After Genovese died in 1969, Lombardo was named his successor. However, the family appointed a series of "Front Bosses" to masquerade as the official family boss. The aim of these deceptions was to confuse both law enforcement and rival crime families as to the true leader of the family. In the late 1960s, Gambino boss Carlo Gambino loaned $4 million to Eboli for a drug scheme in an attempt to gain control of the Genovese family. When Eboli failed to pay back his debt, Gambino, with Commission approval, murdered Eboli in 1972.

After Eboli's death, Genovese capo and Gambino ally Frank "Funzi" Tieri was appointed as the new front boss. In reality, the Genovese family created a new ruling panel to run the family. This second panel consisted of Catena, Michele "Big Mike" Miranda, and Lombardo. In 1981, Tieri became the first Cosa Nostra boss to be convicted under the new Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In 1982, Tieri died in prison.[9] After Tieri went to prison in 1981, the Genovese family reshuffled its leadership. The capo of the Manhattan faction, Anthony Salerno ("Fat Tony"), became the new front boss. Lombardo, the defacto boss of the family, retired and Vincent "Chin" Gigante, the triggerman on the failed Costello hit, took actual control of the family.[10] In 1985, Salerno was convicted in the Mafia Commission Trial and sentenced to 100 years in federal prison.

After the 1980 murder of Philadelphia crime family boss Angelo "Gentle Don" Bruno, Gigante and Lombardo began manipulating the rival factions in the war-torn Philadelphia family. Gigante and Lombardo finally gave their support to Philadelphia mobster Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, who in return gave the Genovese mobsters permission to operate in Atlantic City in 1982.[10]

[edit] The Oddfather

FBI mugshot of Vincent Gigante in his bathrobe. 
After Vincent Gigante took over the Genovese family, he instituted a new "administration" structure. Former Salerno protègé Vincent Cafaro had turned informer and identified Gigante as the real boss to the FBI, so the use of front bosses no longer protected the real leader of the family. In addition, Gigante was unnerved by Salerno's conviction and long sentence, and decided he needed greater protection. Gigante decided to replace the front boss with a new street boss position. The job of the street boss was to publicly run the family operations on a daily basis, under Gigante's remote direction. To insulate himself even further from law enforcement, Gigante started communicating to his men through another new position, the messenger. As a result of these changes, Gigante did not directly communicate with other family mobsters, with the exception of his sons, Vincent Esposito and Andrew Gigante, and a few other close associates.

Another Gigante tactic to confuse law enforcement was by pretending insanity. Gigante frequently walked down New York streets in a bathrobe, mumbling incoherently. Gigante succeeded in convincing court-appointed psychiatrists that his mental illness was worsening, and avoided several criminal prosecutions. The New York media soon nicknamed Gigante "The Oddfather".[11] Gigante reportedly operated from the Triangle Social Club in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. He never left his house during the day, fearing that the FBI would sneak in and plant a bug. At night, he would sneak away from his house and conduct family business when FBI surveillance was more lax. Even then, he only whispered to keep from being picked up by wiretaps. To avoid incrimination from undercover surveillance, family members were forbidden to speak Gigante's name under penalty of death. When necessary, mobsters would only point to their chins when referring to him. In this way, Gigante managed to stay on the streets while the city's other four bosses ended up getting long prison terms.

While the public and media were watching Gigante, other family leaders were running the day-to-day operations of the family. Underboss Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano operated out of Brooklyn and ran the family's Windows Case rackets. Consigliere Louis "Bobby" Manna, who operated out of the New Jersey faction of the family, as well as supervising four captains around that area during the 1980s.

In 1985, Gigante and other family bosses were shocked and enraged by the murder of Paul Castellano, the Gambino family boss. An ambitious Gambino capo, John Gotti, had capitalized on discontent in that family to murder Castellano and his underboss outside a Manhattan restaurant and become the new Gambino boss. Gotti had violated Cosa Nostra protocol by failing to obtain prior approval for the murder from The Commission. Ironically, as mentioned above, Gigante had been the triggerman on the last unsanctioned hit on a boss--the hit on Costello. With Castellano dead, Gigante now controlled the Commission and he decided to kill Gotti. Gigante and Lucchese crime family boss Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso hatched a scheme to kill Gotti with a car bomb. On April 13, 1986, a bomb exploded in Gambino underboss Frank DeCicco's car, killing DeCicco. However, Gotti was not in DiCicco's car that day and escaped harm.[11] Although Gigante eventually made peace with Gotti, Gigante remained the boss of the most powerful crime family in New York. The Genovese family dominated construction and union rackets, gambling rackets, and operations at the Fulton Fish Market and the waterfront operations. During this period, Gigante used intimidation and murder to maintain control of the family.

During the early 1990s, law enforcement used several high profile government informants and witnesses to finally put Gigante in prison. Faced with criminal prosecution, in 1992 Gambino underboss Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano agreed to testify against Gotti and other Cosa Nostra leaders, including Gigante. Philadelphia crime family underboss Phil Leonetti also became a government witness and testified that during the 1980s, Gigante had ordered the murders of several Philadelphia associates. Finally, Lucchese underboss Anthony Casso implicated Gigante in the 1986 plan to kill John Gotti, Frank DeCicco and Eugene "Gene" Gotti. While in prison, Gigante was recorded as saying that he'd feigned insanity for 40. In 1997, Gigante was convicted on racketeering and conspiracy charges and sentenced to 12 years in federal prison. While Gigante was in prison, the Genovese family was run by acting bosses Ernest Muscarella, Dominick Cirillo, and Gigante's brother Mario. On December 19, 2005, Gigante died in prison from heart disease.

Since the 1990s, infamous mobsters in top positions of the other Five Families of NYC have become informants and testified against many mobsters, putting bosses, capos, and soldiers into prison. The most prominent government witness was Bonanno crime family Boss Joseph "Big Joe" Massino, who started cooperating in 2005. Genovese Underboss Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano, Consigliere Louis "Bobby" Manna, capo James Ida ("Little Jimmy") and street boss Liborio "Barney" Bellomo received lengthy prison sentences on murder, racketeering and conspiracy convictions. During the last decades, US law enforcement systematically broke down the Genovese crime family, as well as the other Mafia families. Despite these indictments the Genovese family remains a formidable power with as approximately 250 made men and 14 active crews as of 2005, according to Selwyn Raab.

[edit] Current position and leadership

When Vincent Gigante died in late 2005, the leadership went to Genovese capo Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo, who was apparently running the day-to-day activities of the Genovese crime family by 2006.[12] In 2006, Genovese underboss and former Gigante loyalist, Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano was released from prison. That same year, former Gigante loyalist and prominent capo Dominick Cirillo was allegedly promoted to consigliere in prison. By 2008, the Genovese family administration was believed to be whole again.[13] In March 2008, Leo was sentenced to five years in prison for loansharking and extortion. Underboss Venero Mangano is reportedly one of the top leaders within the Manhattan faction of the Genovese crime family. Former acting consigliere Lawrence "Little Larry" Dentico was leading the New Jersey faction of the family until convicted of racketeering in 2006. Dentico was released from prison in 2009. In July 2008, one-time Gigante street boss Liborio "Barney" Bellomo was paroled from prison after serving 12 years. What role Bellomo plays in the Genovese hierarchy is open to speculation, but he is likely to have a major say in the running of the family once his tight parole restrictions are over.

A March 2009 article in the New York Post claimed Daniel Leo was still acting boss despite his incarceration. It also estimated that the family consists of approximately 270 "made" members.[14] The Genovese family maintains power and influence in New York, New Jersey, Atlantic City and Florida. It is recognized as the most powerful Cosa Nostra family in the United States.[2] Since Gigante's reign, the Genovese family has been so strong and successful because of its continued devotion to secrecy. According to the FBI, many family associates don't know the names of family leaders or even other associates. This information lockdown makes it more difficult difficult for the FBI to gain incriminating information from government informants.[15]

According to the FBI, the Genovese family has not had an official boss since Gigante's death.[16] Law enforcement considers Leo to be the acting boss, Mangano the underboss, and Cirillo the consigliere. The Genovese family is known for placing top caporegimes in leadership positions to help the administration run the day-to-day activities of the crime family. At present,capos Bellomo, Ernest Muscarella, Cirillo, and Dentico hold the greatest influence within the family and play major roles in its administration.[15] The Manhattan and Bronx factions, the traditional powers in the family, still exercise that control today.

[edit] Historical leadership

[edit] Bosses (official and acting)
1892–1898—Antonio Morello—died of natural causes
1898–1909 — Giuseppe "The Clutch Hand" Morello — imprisoned in 1910
1910–1916 — Nicholas "Nick" Morello — murdered in 1916 during the Mafia-Camorra War
1916–1920 — Vincenzo "Vincent" Terranova — murdered in 1922
1920–1922 — Giuseppe "The Clutch Hand" Morello — became underboss to Giuseppe Masseria in 1922
1922–1931 — Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria — murdered in 1931 during the Castellammarese War
1931–1946 — Charles "Lucky" Luciano — imprisoned in 1936, deported to Italy in 1946 Acting 1936–1937 — Vito Genovese — fled to Italy in 1937 to avoid murder charge
Acting 1937–1946 — Frank "the Prime Minister" Costello — became official boss after Luciano's deportation

1946–1957 — Frank "Frankie the Prime Minister" Costello — resigned in 1957 after assassination attempt
1957–1969 — Vito "Don Vito" Genovese — imprisoned in 1959, died in prison in 1969 Acting 1959–1962 — Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo — disappeared in 1962
Acting 1962–1969 — Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli — lost effective authority around 1965. Became front boss upon death of Genovese.
Effective 1965–1969 — Philip "Benny Squint" Lombardo — promoted to official boss

1969–1981 — Philip "Benny Squint" Lombardo — retired in 1981, died of natural causes in 1987
1981–2005 — Vincent "Chin" Gigante — imprisoned in 1997, died in prison in 2005[17] Acting 1990–1992 — Liborio "Barney" Bellomo — promoted to street boss
Acting 1997–1998 — Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo — suffered heart attack and resigned 1998
Acting 1998–2005 — Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello — resigned when indicted in July 2005

Acting 2005–present — Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo [18] — Imprisoned in 2008. Projected release date is January 25, 2013

[edit] Front bosses and street bosses

After Philip Lombardo replaced Thomas Eboli as effective boss in the mid-1960s, Lombardo decided that Eboli should continue to perform the outward functions of the boss while Lombardo secretly made all the decisions. Lombardo created this deception so as to divert law enforcement attention from himself to Eboli. The family maintained this "front boss" deception for the next 20 years. Even after government witness Vincent "Fish" Cafaro exposed this scam in 1988, the Genovese family still found this way of dividing authority useful. So in 1992, the front boss position was replaced by that of "street boss". From 1998 to 2006, a committee of capos known as the "administration" conducted decision making for the family.[19]

Front boss
1969–1972 — Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli — murdered in 1972
1972–1980 — Frank "Funzi" Tieri — indicted under RICO statutes and resigned, died in 1981.
1981–1992 — Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno — imprisoned in 1987, died in prison in 1992.

Street boss
1992–present — Liborio "Barney" Bellomo — imprisoned from 1996–2008. Co-Acting 1998–2002 – Ernest Muscarella and Frank Serpico [20][21] – in 2002 both were indicted,[22] and Serpico died of cancer.[23]
Acting 2003–2005 — Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo — imprisoned in 2006
Acting 2005–2008 — Mario Gigante [24][25]

[edit] Underbosses

Underboss - the number two position in the family (after the boss). Also known as the "capo bastone", the underboss ensures that criminal profits flow up to the boss. The underboss also oversees the selection of caporegimes and soldiers to carry out murders and other crimes for the family. When the boss dies, the underboss normally assumes control until a new boss is chosen (which in some cases is the underboss).
1898–1910 — Ignazio "Lupo the Wolf" Saietta (controlled Little Italy, Manhattan until his 1909 arrest for counterfeiting.)
1910-1916 — Vincenzo "Vincent" Terranova (Brooklyn leader in Morello gang)
1916-1920 — Ciro "The Artichoke King" Terranova (Manhattan/Bronx leader in Morello gang)
1920-1922 — Vincenzo "Vincent" Terranova (killed in Morello-Masseria-Valenti conflict on May 8, 1922)
1922-1930 — Giuseppe "Peter the Clutch Hand" Morello (killed August 15, 1930)
1930-1931 — Joseph Catania (murdered on February 3, 1931)[26]
1931-1931 — Charles "Lucky" Luciano (Became boss April 1931)
1931-1936 — Vito Genovese (Promoted to acting boss in 1936, fled to Italy in 1937)
1936-1936 — Frank "Chee" Gusage
1937-1951 — Guarino "Willie" Moretti (Murdered in 1951)
1951-1957 — Vito Genovese (second time as underboss)
1957-1972 — Gerardo "Jerry" Catena (also boss of New Jersey faction; jailed from 1970 to 1972)
1972-1974 — Frank "Funzi" Tieri (Promoted to front boss in 1974)
1974-1975 — Carmine "Little Eli" Zeccardi
1975-1980 — Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno (Promoted to front boss)
1980-1981 — Vincent "Chin" Gigante (Promoted to official boss)
1981-1987 — Saverio "Sammy" Santora (Died of natural causes)
1987–present — Venero Mangano (imprisoned in 1991, released December 2006) Acting 1990-1997 — Michael "Mickey Dimino" Generoso
Acting 1997-2003 — Joseph Zito
Acting 2003-2005 — John "Johnny Sausage" Barbato (Imprisoned in 2005)

[edit] Consigliere

Consigliere - Also known as an advisor or "right-hand man," a consigliere provides counsel to the boss of the crime family. The consigliere ranks just below the boss in the family power structure, but does not have any family members reporting to him. Each family usually has one consigliere.
1931 - 1937 — Frank Costello (Promoted to acting boss in 1937)
1937 - 1957 — "Sandino" (mysterious figure mentioned once by Valachi)
1957 - 1972 — Michele "Mike" Miranda (Retired in 1972)
1972 - 1975 — Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno (Promoted to underboss in 1975)
1975 - 1978 — Antonio "Buckaloo" Ferro Acting 1978 - 1980 — Dominick "Fat Dom" Alongi

1980 - 1981 — Dominick "Fat Dom" Alongi
1981 - 1989 — Louis "Bobby" Manna (Imprisoned in 1990) Acting 1989 - 1990 — James "Little Guy" Ida (Promoted to official consigliere in 1990)

1990 - 1996 — James "Little Guy" Ida (Imprisoned in 1997)
2003 - 2005 — Lawrence "Little Larry" Dentico (Imprisoned in 2006)
2008–present — Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo

[edit] Messaggero

Messaggero – The messaggero (messenger) functions as liaison between crime families. The messenger can reduce the need for sit-downs, or meetings, of the mob hierarchy, and thus limit the public exposure of the bosses. Boss Vincent Gigante was credited with inventing the messaggero position to avoid law enforcement attention.
1957-1970s - Michael "Mike" Genovese (Vito Genovese's younger brother)[27][28][29]
1981-1997 - Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo
1997-2003 - Andrew Gigante

[edit] Administrative capos

If the official boss dies, goes to prison, or is incapacitated, the family may assemble a ruling committee (or panel) of capos to help the acting boss, street boss, underboss, and consigliere run the family, and to divert attention from law enforcement.
1997-1998 -(eight-man committee) - Frank "Farby" Serpico, Ernest "Ernie" Muscarella, Pasquale "Patsy" Parello, Lawrence "Little Larry" Dentico, John "Johnny Sausage" Barbato, Alan "Baldie" Longo, Federico "Fritzy" Giovanelli and Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo
1998-2001 -(seven-man committee) - Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo, Ernest Muscarella, Pasquale Parello, Lawrence Dentico, John Barbato, Alan Longo and Daniel Leo
2001-2002 -(five-man committee) - Dominick Cirillo, Ernest Muscarella, Lawrence Dentico, John Barbato and Alan Longo
2002-2003 -(four-man committee) - Dominick Cirillo, Lawrence Dentico, John Barbato and Daniel Leo
2007–2010 — (three-man panel) — Tino "The Greek" Fiumara (died 2010)[30] the other two are unknown.

[edit] Current family members

[edit] Current administration
Boss Vacant
Acting Boss Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo - belonged to the Purple Gang of East Harlem in the 1970s. In the late 1990s, Leo joined Vincent Gigante's circle of trusted capos. With Gigante's death in 2005, Leo became acting boss. In 2008, Leo was sentenced to five years in prison on loansharking and extortion charges. In March 2010, Leo received an additional 18 months in prison on racketeering charges and was fined $1.3 million. Leo is currently in prison.[31][32]
Street Boss Liborio Bellomo - replaced Front Boss Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno in 1992 as the first Genovese street boss. Bellomo was imprisoned from 1996 until July 2008.
Underboss Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano - became underboss in 1986 under boss Vincent Gigante . A Gigante loyalist, Mangano belonged to the West Side Crew. Mangano was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in the 1991 "Windows Case". He was convicted of extortion and attempting to manipulate the bidding process of window replacements within municipal housing projects. Released from prison in November 2006, Mangano is reportedly still a Manhattan faction leader.
Consigliere Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo - former capo and trusted aide to boss Vincent Gigante. Cirillo belonged to the West Side Crew and was known as one of the Four Doms; capos Dominick "Baldy Dom" Canterino, Dominick "The Sailor" DiQuarto and Dominick "Fat Dom" Alongi. Cirillo served as Acting Boss from 1997 to 1998, but resigned due to heart problems. In 2003, Cirillo became acting boss, resigned in 2006 due to his imprisonment on loansharking charges. In August 2008, Cirillo was released from prison. Law enforcement believes that Cirillo is still active in the family.
New Jersey Faction Boss - Vacant - was Tino Fiumara until his death on September 16, 2010.[33][34]

[edit] Capos

[edit] New York

Bronx faction
Liborio "Barney" Bellomo – capo and current Street Boss, was also the acting boss and protégé of Vincent Gigante. He controls one of the most influential crews in the crime family, the Manhattan East Harlem and Bronx-based 116th Street Crew. Bellomo, in his early 50s, was released from prison in July 2008 and is a top candidate to become the new official boss.[35]
Joseph "Joe D" Dente Jr. – capo, operating in the Bronx. In December 2001, Dente and capos Rosario Gangi and Pasquale Parrello were indicted in Manhattan on racketeering charges. Dente was released from prison on April 29, 2009.[36][37][38]
Pasquale "Patsy" Parello – capo operating in the Bronx, owns a restaurant on Arthur Ave. In 2004, Parello was found guilty of loansharking and embezzlement along with capo Rosario Gangi.[39] Parello was released from prison on April 23, 2008.[40][41]

Manhattan faction
Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello – capo and former acting boss for Vincent Gigante, Ianniello is a longtime Manhattan faction leader who also operates in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut.[42] Iannello was imprisoned on extortion and racketeering charges and released on April 3, 2009.[43]
Rosario "Ross" Gangi – capo operating in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. Gangi was involved in extortion activities at Fulton Fish Market. He was released from prison on August 8, 2008.[44][45]
John "Johnny Sausage" Barbato – capo and former driver of Venero Mangano, involved in labor and construction racketeering with capos from the Brooklyn faction. He was imprisoned in 2005 on racketeering and extortion charges, and released in 2008.[46][47]
James "Jimmy from 8th Street" Messera – capo of the Little Italy Crew operating in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In the 1990s, Messera was involved in extorting the Mason Tenders union and was imprisoned on racketeering charges.[48][49]

Brooklyn faction
Alphonse "Allie Shades" Malangone – capo operating from Brooklyn and Manhattan. Malagone was very powerful in the 1990s, controlling gambling, loansharking, waterfront rackets and extorting the Fulton Fish Market. Malangone also controlled several private sanitation companies in Brooklyn through Kings County Trade Waste Association and Greater New York Waste Paper Association. Malagone was arrested in 2000 along with several Genovese and Gambino family members for their activities in the private waste industry.[50][51]
Anthony "Tico" Antico – capo involved in labor and construction racketeering in Brooklyn and Manhattan. In 2005, Antico and capos John Barbato and Lawrence Dentico were convicted of extortion charges. In 2007, Antico was released from prison.[52][53] On March 6, 2010, Antico was charged with racketeering in connection with the 2008 robbery and murder of Staten Island jeweler Louis Antonelli.[54] He was acquitted of murder charges, but found guilty of racketeering.
Frank "Punchy" Illiano – capo operating in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Illiano was a high-ranking member of the Gallo crew in the Colombo crime family before switching to the Genovese family in the mid-1970s.
Charles "Chuckie" Tuzzo – capo operating in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Tuzzo was involved in pump and dump stock schemes with capo Liborio "Barney" Bellomo. Tuzzo and acting street boss Ernest Muscarella infiltrated a International Longshoreman's Association (ILA) local in order to extort waterfront companies operating from New York, New Jersey and Florida.[55][56] On February 2, 2006, Tuzzo was released from prison after serving several years on racketeering and conspiracy charges.[57]

Queens faction
Anthony "Tough Tony" Federici – capo in the Queens faction with alleged money laundering, bribery and loansharking activities. Owner of a Queens restaurant, Federici was honored in 2005 by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall for his community service.[58]

[edit] New Jersey

Main article: Genovese crime family New Jersey faction

The Genovese crime family is operating in New Jersey with five crews.[59] According to the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation, several other New York based Genovese family members run criminal activities in New Jersey. The family's power has traditionally been base in New York, but in recent years some of the New Jersey faction members have risen to acting positions within the family's hierarchy.
(Acting) Stephen Depiro – acting capo of the "Fiumara crew". Depiro was overseeing the illegal operations in the New Jersey Newark/Elizabeth Seaport before Fiumara's death in 2010. It is unknown if Depiro still holds this position.[60]
(In prison) Angelo "The Horn" Prisco – capo of a "crew" operating in Hudson County waterfronts citys of Bayonne and Jersey City; Monmouth County and Florida. In 2009, Prisco was sentenced to life [61] and is currently imprisoned in Florida.[62]
Ludwig "Ninni" Bruschi – capo of a "crew" operating in South Jersey Counties of Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, and North Jersey Counties of Hudson, Essex, Passaic and Union. He was indicted in June 2003 and paroled in April 2010.[63]
Unknown – after the death of capo Joseph "The Eagle" Gatto in April 2010 [64] it is unknown who is controlling the old "Gatto crew" operating in Bergen and Passaic Counties.
Silvio P. DeVita – capo of a "crew" in Essex County.
Lawrence "Little Larry" Dentico – capo operating in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Dentico was acting consigliere from 2003 through 2005, when he was imprisoned on extortion, loansharking and racketeering charges. Released from prison on May 12, 2009.[65][66]

[edit] Soldiers

New York
Salvatore "Sammy Meatballs" Aparo – former acting capo of the Gangi crew who operated large loansharking and labor rackets. In October 2002, he was sentenced to five years in federal prison for racketeering.[67] On May 25, 2006, Aparo was released from prison.
Ralph Anthony "the Undertaker" Balsamo (born in 1971) - Bronx and Westchester soldier who works closely with Liborio Bellomo. Runs an funeral parlor where family meetings are held and is known as "the Undertaker". Pleaded guilty in 2007 to narcotics trafficking, firearms trafficking, extortion, and union-related fraud and sentenced to 97 months in prison.[68] Currently imprisoned in a low security prison facility in Petersburg and is set to be released on March 9, 2013.[69]
Louis DiNapoli - soldier with his brother Vincent DiNapoli's 116th Street crew.
Vincent "Vinny" DiNapoli - soldier and former capo with the 116th Street Crew. DiNapol is heavily involved in labor racketeering and has reportedly earned millions of dollars from extortion, bid rigging and loansharking rackets. DiNapoli dominated the N.Y.C. District Council of Carpenters and used them to extort other contractors in New York. DiNapoli's brother, Joseph DiNapoli, is a powerful capo in the Lucchese crime family.[70][71]
Albert "Kid Blast" Gallo – acting capo of the Illiano crew in the South Brooklyn neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, and Cobble Hill. Gallo runs gambling and loan sharking operations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. In the mid-1970s, Gallo transferred from the Gallo crew of the Colombo crime family to the Genovese family and became a made member.
John "Little John" Giglio - soldier involved in loansharking.[72]
Federico "Fritzy" Giovanelli - soldier who was heavily involved in loansharking, illegal gambling and bookmaking in the Queens/Brooklyn area. Giovanelli was charged with the January 1986 killing of Anthony Venditti, an undercover NYPD detective, but was eventually acquitted. One known soldier in Giovanelli's crew was Frank "Frankie California" Condo. In 2001, Giovanelli worked with soldier Ernest "Junior" Varacalli in a car theft ring.
Alan "Baldie" Longo – acting capo of the Malangone crew, he was involved in stock fraud activities and white-collar crime in Manhattan and Brooklyn. He was imprisoned on loansharking and racketeering charges, sentenced to 11 years, released in June 2010.[73][74]
Ernest "Ernie" Muscarella – former acting capo of the 116th Street crew in the Manhattan faction. Muscarella served as acting street boss for Vincent Gigante and Dominick Cirillo in 2002 until his racketeering conviction. He was released from prison on December 31, 2007, and is still active in the family.[75]
Joseph Olivieri - soldier, operating in the 116th Street Crew under Capo Louis Moscatiello. Olivieri has been involved in extorting carpenters unions and is tied to labor racketeer Vincent DiNapoli.[76] Was convicted of perjury and was released from Philadelphia CCM on January 13, 2011.[77][78]
Daniel "Danny" Pagano - former acting capo of the Westchester County-Rockland County crew. Pagano was involved in the 1980s bootleg gasoline scheme with Russian mobsters.[79] In 2007, Pagano was released after serving 105 months in prison.[80]
Charles Salzano - A soldier released from prison in 2009 after serving 37 months on loan sharking charges.[68]
Joseph Zito - soldier in the Manhattan faction (the West Side Crew) under capo Rosario Gangi. Zito was involved in bookmaking and loansharking business.[81] Law enforcement labeled Zito as acting underboss from 1997 through 2003, but he was probably just a top lieutenant under official underboss Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano. In the mid-1990s, Zito frequently visited Mangano in prison after his conviction in the Windows Case. Zito relayed messages from Mangano to the rest of the family leadership.

New Jersey
Anthony Palumbo - former acting capo in the New Jersey faction. Palumbo was promoted acting boss of the New Jersey faction by close ally and acting boss Daniel "Danny the Lion" Leo. On February 2, 2009, Palumbo was released from prison.[82][83]

Albert "Chinkie" Facchiano - operated in South Florida until his 2007 arrest, is now considered retired.[84]

[edit] Other territories

The Genovese family operates primarily in the New York City area; their main rackets are illegal gambling and labor racketeering.
New York City - The Genovese family operates in all five boroughs of New York as well as in Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Orange Counties in the New York suburbs. The family controls many businesses in the construction, trucking and waste hauling industries. It also operates numerous illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, ,and insurance rackets. Small Genovese crews or individuals have operated in Albany, Syracuse, Delaware County, and Utica. The Buffalo, Rochester and Utica crime families or factions traditionally controlled these areas.
Massachusetts - Springfield, Massachusetts has been a Genovese territory since the family's earliest days. The most influential Genovese leaders from Springfield were Salvatore "Big Nose Sam" Curfari, Francesco "Frankie Skyball" Scibelli, Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, and Anthony Arillotta (turned informant 2009).[85] In Worcester, Massachusetts, the most influential capos were Frank Iaconi and Carlo Mastrototaro. In Boston, Massachusetts, the New England or Patriarca crime family from Providence, Rhode Island has long dominated the North End of Boston, but has been aligned with the Genovese family since the Prohibition era. In 2010, the FBI convinced Genovese mobsters Anthony Arillotta and Felix L. Tranghese to become government witnesses.[3][86] They represent only the fourth and fifth Genovese made men to have cooperated with law enforcement.[3] The government used Arillotta and Tranghese to prosecute capo Arthur "Artie" Nigro and his associates for the murder of Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno.[86][87]
Connecticut - The Genovese family has long operated trucking and waste hauling rackets in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2006, Genovese capo Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello was indicted for trash hauling rackets in New Haven and Westchester County, New York.
Las Vegas - The state of Nevada legalized gambling in 1931, but Sin City was without a doubt turned into a gambling mecca and paradise by the American Mafia. Once again, Genovese crime family members such as Frank Costello, Vincent Alo and associates Meyer Lansky and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel realized the opportunities that Las Vegas offered. Bugsy Siegel was one of the first New York mobsters sent out west in the 1930s to oversee the expansion of the Mob's race wire operations. By the mid 1940s various American mafia crime families, mainly New York's Genovese crime family and the Chicago Outfit were looking to invest heavily in new, swanky casinos and hotels. Soon other crime family leaders from Cleveland, Detroit, New England, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh came together in hopes of obtaining hidden ownership of a casino. This was always done through front men they chose to oversee the casino skim, usually Jewish associates or syndicate money men such as Morris "Moe" Dalitz and Joseph "Doc" Stacher. The Genovese crime family was one of the first to invest in Las Vegas casinos and the crime family maintained those investments through Lansky and his Jewish syndicate associates. By the 1960s the Chicago Outfit and the Cleveland Syndicate carried the most influence in Las Vegas, maintaining their casino investments well into the 1980s. To this day Las Vegas is recognized as an open city where all Cosa Nostra. crime families can operate, but today their interests are focused outside of the casino count room and not on casino ownership. The crime families still generate a great deal of profits from gambling, loansharking, extortion and narcotics rackets. They also invest in legitimate businesses such as nightclubs, strip-joints and restaurants, along with food and service industry operations such as pizza and sandwich shops, and catering companies.

[edit] Family crews
116th Street Crew - led by Liborio "Barney" Bellomo (crew operates in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx)
Greenwich Village Crew - (former crew of Vincent Gigante ) (crew operates in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan)
Broadway Mob - (operated in Manhattan)

[edit] Hearings
Valachi hearings - (McClellan hearings) 1963.

The Vito Genovese Family Chart - of the Valachi hearings [88]

Boss: Vito Genovese, the successor to: Frank "Frankie the Prime Minister" Costello and Charles "Lucky" Luciano

Acting Boss: Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli, the successor to: Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo

Underboss: Gerardo "Jerry" Catena

Consiglieri: Michele "Mike Miranda" Miranda

Messenger: Michael Genovese

Coppola Regime: Capo - Michael "Trigger Mike" Coppola, the successor to: Ciro "The Artichoke King" Terranova; Soldiers-Buttons Charles Albero, Alfredo Cupola, Anthony DeMartino, Benjamin DeMartino, Theodore DeMartino, Pasquale Erra, Anthony Ferro, Joseph Lanza, Frank Livorsi, Philip "Benny Squint" Lombardo, Felix Monaco, Louis Pacella, Joseph Paterra, Joseph Rao, Al Rosato, Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, Anthony "Blackie" Salerno, Ferdinand Salerno, Angelo Salerno, Dan Scarglatta, Giovanni Schillaci, Frank Serpico, Joseph Stracci, Joseph Tortorici, and Joseph Gagliano

Eboli Regime: Capo - Pasquale "Patsy Ryan" Eboli, the successor to: Dominick "Dom the Sailor" DiQuatro; Soldiers-Buttons: Dominio Alongi, Joseph Bruno, Michael Barrese, Edward Capobianco, Steve Casertano, John DeBellis, Joseph DeNegris, Cosmo DiPietro, Alfred Faicco, Anthony Florio, Mario Gigante, Vincent "Chin" Gigante, Michael Maione, Vincent Mauro, Peter Mione, Pasquale Moccio, Gerardo Mosciello, Sabastian Ofrica, Joseph Luco Pagano, Pasquale Pagano, Armando Perillo, Girolamo Santuccio, Fiore Siano, John Stopelli, and Joseph Valachi

Miranda Regime: Capo - Michele "Mike Miranda" Miranda- the current Consigliere; Soldiers-Buttons John Ardito, Lorenzo Brescia, Anthony Carillo, Frank Celano, Salvatore Celembrino, Alfred Criscuolo, Peter DeFeo, Joseph DeMarco, Joseph Lanza, Alfonso Marzano, Barney Miranda, Carmine Persico Jr., David Petillo, Mathew Principe, Frank Tieri, Eli Zaccardi, Joseph Agone, Philip Albanese, Ottilio Caruso, Mike Clemente, George Filippone, Joseph Lapi, George Nobile, Michael Spinella

Alo Regime: Capo - Vincent "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo, the successor to: Joseph "Joe Adonis" Doto; Soldiers-Buttons: of the Alo Regime Nicholas Belangi, Joseph Bernava, Lawrence Centore, Francesco Cucola, Aniello Ercole, Frank Galluccio, Angelo Iandosco, August Laietta, Gaetano Martino, Aldo Mazzarati, Louis Milo, Sabato Milo, Thomas Milo Sr., Rocco Perrotta, James Picarelli, Louis Pardo, Rudolph Prisco, Nicholas Ratenni, Satisto Salvo, George Smurra and Gaetano Somma

Boiardi Regime: Capo - Richard Boiardi; Soldiers-Buttons: of the Boiardi Regime Settimo Accardi, Albert Barrasso, Anthony Boiardi, Paul Bonadio, Thomas Campisi, Antonio Caponigro, Charles Tourine Sr., Peter LaPlaca, Ernest Lazzara, Andrew Lombardino, Paul Lombardino, Anthony Marchitto, Anthony Peter Real, Salvatore Chiri

Angelina Regime: Capo - James "Jimmy Angelina" Angelina, the successor to: Rocco "The old man" Pelligrino; Soldiers-Buttons Louis Barbella, Joseph Barra, Morris Barra, Earl Coralluzzo, Tobias DeMiccio, Mattew Fortunato, Paul Marchione, Michael Panetti, John Savino

Greco Regime: Capo - Thomas "Tommy Palmer" Greco; Soldiers-Buttons unknown

Former Caporegimes: John Biello, Generosos Del Duca, Gaetano Ricci, Guarino "Willie Moore" Moretti, Anthony "Little Augie Pisano" Carfano, and John De Noia [88]

[edit] In popular culture
The 1971 film The French Connection (film) is about smuggling narcotics (heroin) from Marseille, France to New York City. In the real French Connection, the heroin was shipped from Sicily to France, then to New York City. Top members of the Genovese family, and the others four families in New York controlled the heroin trade in the United States.[89]
In the 1991 film Mobsters, Genovese boss Charlie "Lucky" Luciano was played by Christian Slater. Patrick Dempsey played Meyer Lansky, Costas Mandylor played Frank Costello), and Richard Grieco played Bugsy Siegel). The film was about the formation of the Mafia Commission in the United States.[90]
In the 1991 film Bugsy, Genovese boss Lucky Luciano was played by actor Bill Graham. Warren Beatty played Bugsy Siegel) and Ben Kingsley played Meyer Lansky.
In the 1999 film Bonanno: A Godfather's Story, Genovese boss Charlie "Lucky" Luciano was played by actor Vince Corazza and boss Vito Genovese by Emidio Michetti.[91]
The 2010 to present HBO U.S. television series Boardwalk Empire takes place in 1920s Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mobster Charlie "Lucky" Luciano is played by actor Vincent Piazza.[92]

[edit] References

1.^ a b The Changing Face of ORGANIZED CRIME IN NEW JERSEY - A Status Report(May 2004)State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation
2.^ a b The Frank And Fritzy Show: Cast - the wiretap network -
3.^ a b c Marzulli, John (2009-07-01). "Mobster 'Mikey Cigars' Coppola won't rat out pals in Genovese crew". New York: Retrieved 2010-03-12.
4.^ a b Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(Page 1)By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
5.^ Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(Page 2) - By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
6.^ Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(Page 3) - By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
7.^ Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(Page 4) - By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
8.^ Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(Page 5) - By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
9.^ Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(Page 7) - By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
10.^ a b Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(Page 8) - By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
11.^ a b Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(page 9) - By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
12.^ Capeci, Jerry, "Meet the Genovese Crime Family's New Boss, November 30, 2006, The New York Sun
13.^ Epic saga of the Genovese Crime Family(page 10) - By Anthony Bruno - Crime Library on
14.^ IT'S A MOB FAMILY CIRCUS TURNCOATS, TURF WARS & JAILED DONS TURN TODAY'S MAFIA INTO BADA-BOZOS - By Stefanie Cohen (March 8, 2009), New York Post Archived June 3, 2009 at WebCite
15.^ a b Cohen, Stefanie (October 18, 2009). "City's main mob power". New York Post.[dead link]
16.^ "Family may soon have new Boss" Mafia News Today On April 9, 2010
17.^ Raab, Selwyn (1995-09-03). "With Gotti Away, the Genoveses Succeed the Leaderless Gambinos". Retrieved 2010-03-12.
18.^ "Charges against mob boss show Mafia alive and well in New York", 1 June 2007
19.^ "United States of America vs. Liborio Bellomo", 2006-2-23.
20.^ Mike Claffey Snitch Stole 3 Years of Mob Secrets January 28, 2002. New York Daily News
21.^ Greg B. Smith Genovese Family Keeps Its Chin Up Gigante becomes top don as Gotti fades August 12, 2001. New York Daily News
22.^ Rick Porrello's American
23.^ Jerry Capeci. Jerry Capeci's Gang Land. (view)
24.^ 'Buster' Ardito Hunts for Bugs by Jerry Capeci (June 22, 2006) The New York Sun
25.^ The Mobster and the Failed Polygraph by Jerry Capeci (July 13, 2006) The New York Sun
26.^ New York Magazine (pg.33) July 17, 1972
27.^ Block, Alan A. "East Side, West Side: organized crime in New York, 1930-1950" (1999) [1]
28.^ "The Vito Genovese Family". McClellan Chart 1963.[dead link]
29.^ Raab, Selwyn "Five Families: The Rise, Decline and Resurgence of Americas Most Powerful Mafia Empires". St. Martin Press. 2005 (pg 61) [2]
30.^ Escaping the Law, One Last Time: An Elusive Mobster's End, Double-Checked by William K. Rashbaum February 1, 2011 New York Times
31.^ "Former Acting Boss of Genovese Crime Family Sentenced in Manhattan Court to 18 Additional Months in Prison" US Attorney's Office March 23, 2020
32.^ "Reputed acting crime boss pleads guilty to racketeering charges". 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
33.^ New Jersey mobster with Hudson County roots dies of natural causes Michaelangelo Conte. September 20, 2010. The Jersey Journal
34.^ "New Jersey mobster with Hudson County roots dies of natural causes". Mafia[dead link]
35.^ "Liborio Bellomo" Inmate Locator Federal Bureau of Prisons
36.^ Indictments Name 73 Linked to the Genovese Crime Family By Robert F. Worth. December 6, 2001. New York Times.
37.^ "So Many Indictments" American
38.^ "Joseph Dente Jr." Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
39.^ Big Frankie's Vegas Sting Cop posed as wiseguy to probe fight-fixing Michaele McPhee. New York Daily News. January 13, 2004
40.^ Pasquale Parello Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
41.^ "Criminal RICO indictment against Genovese Crime Family" United States vs. Liborio Bellomo, John Ardito, Ralph Balsamo and others. 2005
42.^ Reputed Genovese family members indicted From Marissa Muller, CNN,July 28, 2005
43.^ Matthew Ianniello - Inmate Locator - Locate Federal inmates from 1982 to present - Federal Bureau of Prisons
44.^ Allan May's Mob Report current mob stuff 10-28-2002 Rick Porrello's
45.^ "Rosario Gangi" Inmate Locator Federal Bureau of Prisons
46.^ PRESS RELEASE:Genovese Family Acting Boss Dominick "Quiet Dom" Cirillo and Three Captains Indicted for Racketeering(April 5, 2005)
47.^ "John Barbato" Inmate Locator Federal Bureau of Prisons
48.^ Corruption Haunts Laborers International Union 1998.
49.^ USA Bulletin. November 1997 Volume 45, Number 6
50.^ THE MOB ON WALL STREET--PART 2(12/16/1996)BusinessWeek
51.^ Two Convicted as Leaders Of New York Trash Cartel - By SELWYN RAAB Published: October 22, 1997 - New York Times
53.^ "Anthony Antico" Inmate Locator Federal Bureau of Prisons
54.^ "Mobster charged in jeweler's slaying" by Frank Donnelly Silive March 06, 2010

Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 9:01am

55.^ LONGSHOREMEN (ILA) / TEAMSTERS (IBT) / CARPENTERS (UBC) Longshore Union Allegedly Infiltrated by Genovese UNION CORRUPTION UPDATE - February 4, 2002 -- Vol. 5, Issue 3, National Legal and Policy Center -- Organized Labor Accountability Project[dead link]20071011231141 at the Wayback Machine.
56.^ Vincent "Chin" Gigante, Boss of the Genovese Crime Family, Together with Genovese Acting Boss, Former Acting Boss, Family Captain, 2 Soldiers and 2 Associates Indicted amd Charged with Infiltration of Longshoreman's Union(January 23, 2002)Press Release - Organized Crime & Political Corruption by John Flood & Jim McGough
57.^ "Charles Tuzzo" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
58.^ "Judge Is Charged in Money-Laundering Case" By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM August 31, 2005 - New York Times
59.^ "Waste And Abuse" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-03-12.
60.^ Jerry Capeci. Tino looks for Christmas past. April 12, 2010. The Huffington Post. Jerry Capeci: Tino Looks For Chrismas Past
61.^[dead link]
62.^ "Angelo Prisco" Inmate Locator Federal Bureau of Prisons
63.^ State of New Jersey Inmate Finder
64.^ "Longtime Genovese NJ Capo Joseph Gatto dies" Mafia News Today April 19, 2010
65.^ Lawrence Dentico Indicted - US Attorney's Office: Fourteen Arrested with Unsealing of RICO Indictment Against Genovese Crime Family Members, Associates. - 2005/08/17 -- Dentico, Lawrence et al. -- Indictment -- News Release
66.^ Lawrence Dentico Inmate Locator Federal Bureau of Prisons
67.^ "SWAT OLDFELLA IN RACKETS WITH 5 YEARS" BY JOHN MARZULLI New York Daily News October 11th 2002
68.^ a b
69.^ "Wiseguy pleads guilty in Bronx racket". Daily News (New York). August 26, 2008.
70.^ PLASTERERS Union Racketeer Sentenced in NY Fed. Court UNION CORRUPTION UPDATE - January 31, 2005 -- Vol. 8, Issue 3, National Legal and Policy Center -- Organized Labor Accountability Project[dead link]Archive copy at the Wayback Machine.
71.^ THE MAFIA'S BITE OF THE BIG APPLE Byzantine building codes and horrendous logistics help the mob control New York City construction -- at a price that the big developers have been all too willing to pay. By Roy Rowan REPORTER ASSOCIATE Julia Lieblich - June 6, 1988, FORTUNE Magazine
72.^ "Genovese Family Soldier and 7 Genovese and Gambino Family Associates Charged With Racketeering Conspiracy, Loansharking, Extortion, Attempted Obstruction of Justice, Arson, and Murder" PR Newswire
73.^ 12-Year Term in Largest Securities Fraud(May 31, 2001)(A version of this article appeared in print on Thursday, May 31, 2001, on section C page 17 of the New York edition.)- The New York Times
74.^ "Alan Longo" Inmate Locator Federal Bureau of Prisons
75.^ "Ernest Muscarella" Friends of Ours[dead link]
76.^ Kates, Brian. Genovese crime soldier Joseph (Rudy) Olivieri to finger contracting big, prosecutors say. October 19, 2010. New York Daily News.
77.^ Reputed Genovese soldier Joseph Olivieri found guilty of perjury, By Brian Kates. New York Daily News. October 28, 2010
78.^ Joseph Olivieri Profile at the Federal Bureau of Prisons
79.^ 5 Are Indicted As Participants In Rackets Ring - By JAMES FERON, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES Published: June 13, 1989 - New York Times
80.^ Daniel Pagano - Inmate Locator - Locate Federal inmates from 1982 to present - Federal Bureau of Prisons
81.^ "383 F. 3d 65 - United States v. Bruno" Open Jurist
82.^ "Federal Bureau of Investigation - The New York Division: Department of Justice Press Release". Retrieved 2010-03-12.
83.^ AP Photo/Seth Wenig. "Three N.J. men are among 13 indicted in crackdown on Genovese crime family". Retrieved 2010-03-12.
84.^ "Albert "The Old Man" Facchiano gets 6 months of house arrest" Associated Press - Pravda May 25, 2007
85.^ Genovese crime family Springfield Representatives
86.^ a b "Lawyers: Mobster becomes informant" By STEPHANIE BARRYMassLive September 07, 2010
88.^ a b "Gangrule McClellan Chart 1963"[dead link]
89.^ "US foreign policy and the war on drugs: displacing the cocaine and heroin" By Cornelius Friesendorf (Google Books) pg. 43
90.^ "Mobsters 1991" IMDb
91.^ "Bonanno: A Godfather's Story" IMBd
92.^ "Boardwalk Empire" IMDb

Genovese crime family

The family is named after Vito Genovese, who was boss from 1957-1969.


New York City

Founded by

"Joe the Boss" Masseria and Charlie "Lucky" Luciano named after Vito Genovese

Years active



Various neighborhoods in New York City and throughout the USA.


Made men (full members) are Italian or Italian-American. Criminals of other ethnicities are employed as "associates."


250 - 300 made members,[1] well over 1,000 criminal associates[1]

Criminal activities

Racketeering, conspiracy, loansharking, money laundering, murder, drug trafficking, extortion, labor racketeering, pornography, prostitution, bookmaking, and illegal gambling,


Lucchese, Gambino, Bonanno and Colombo crime families


The Westies and various other gangs in New York City, including their allies
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 9:08am

Junk Bond Financing and Financiers 

The Network of Junk Bond Financiers 

Meshulam Riklis (Rapid-American) 

Riklis is a man of flamboyance and some mystery. He immigrated from Israel to Minnesota about 1947. There were conflicting stories of his early life. Some said he was originally Hungarian, others that he grew up in Turkey, others that he fought against Rommel in North Africa. Riklis is apparently the source of all these stories. In Minneapolis-St. Paul he worked as a stock broker and became famous for his aggressiveness. Later he organized a group of investors to acquire two printing companies, Rapid Electro-type and American Colortype, which became his major vehicle for "wheeling and dealing," Rapid-American. In the late 1950's Riklis used Rapid-American to acquire many small and medium-sized firms. In most cases he acquired these companies paying little or no cash. He traded exotic kinds of securities, such as high-paying preferred stock, high-yield bonds, and convertible bonds. These securities are sometimes called "Chinese money" because they were used by another innovative financier named James Ling. Ling was not Chinese but his name appeared to be, hence the name Chinese money. 

In 1967 Riklis began a campaign to acquire Schenley Industries, the distributor of Dewar's White Label Scotch Whiskey and other popular brands of liquor. Riklis fought off competing offers and finally gained control. The takeover involved paying the Rosenstiel family (who held controlling interest in Schenley) a premium in cash for their shares and giving the other stockholders a much lower amount not in cash but in junk bonds. Riklis pioneered the type of takeovers that KKR and Michael Milken carried out later. Riklis asserted that he never paid off a bond issue except with another bond issue. Riklis' bonds were not in good repute and there was a history of defaults.

Riklis later acquired the Riviera Hotel, a casino in Los Vegas. Riklis was accused of draining funds from some of his acquisitions, driving them into bankruptcy.

Riklis is also famous for being the husband of Pia Zadora, a beautiful model who made a few movies and adorned the pages of Playboy Magazine.

Milken and Riklis made acquaintance once Drexel Burnham junk bond operation became important. Riklis was very interested in Milken creating a secondary market for Riklis' low grade securities. It was getting more difficult to find someone who would take Riklis' bonds in trade for stock because they were so illiquid.

Carl Lindner ( American Financial Corporation) 

Carl Lindner and his brother Robert used their family's dairy business to build a chain of convenience stores in Cincinnati, Ohio. From there they went into the financial and communications fields. Through their holding company American Financial Corporation (AFC) they control Great America Insurance, a holding company for a group of property and life insurance companies that constitute the twenty third largest insurer in the country. AFC owns the fourth-largest bank in Cincinnati and the second-largest savings and loan. The Lindners also control seventy shopping centers around Cincinnati. They once owned Bantam Books and the major newspaper of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer. Charles Keating, also of Cincinnati, was a close friend and colleague of the Lindners.

Carl Lindner also had major investments in United Brands (formerly known as United Fruit), Gulf + Western (now Paramount Communications), Warner Communications, Kroger (a major supermarket chain in the eastern U.S.), and Penn Central.

Whereas the Lindner companies and financial institutions once operated on conservative, cautious principles they later became involved in riskier ventures. Lindner insurance companies began to invest in junk bonds and other Lindner companies began to issue junk bonds. The SEC noted that Lindner companies were the single largest filers of new issues of securities in the U.S. Lindner was repeatedly accused of self-dealing in the corporations under his control; e.g. having such a corporation give him a private aircraft. He became closely associated with Milken and the others in the junk bond field to the extent that his financial institutions invested in the junk bonds of of the others. He, like some the others, actively enraged in public relations efforts to present an image of fiscal propriety to the general public.

Victor Posner ( Sharon Steel) 

Posner was raised in Baltimore, worked in his father's dry goods store, and early went into real estate. He was said to be a major slumlord in Baltimore, but retired to Miami Beach in his forties. He came out of retirement, perhaps because of threatened takeovers of companies he held. He acquired a number of smaller companies and then he managed, through the use of leverage, to gain control of the reputable manufacturing firm of Sharon Steel. Posner drew salaries from the companies he controlled to the extent that he was the highest paid corporate executive in the U.S. during the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Posner used bizarre forms of notes and stock, which he sold to institutional investors, to carry out the acquisition of substantial shares of companies such as Southeastern Public Service, National Propane, and a clothing maker Wilson Brothers. But the illiquidity of Posner's securities was becoming a serious problem. When Posner took over Sharon Steel he arranged for the employee pension fund to sell off its blue chip portfolio and invest in the junk bonds Posner had used to acquire other companies.

He was sued by the SEC for diverting funds from the public corporations he controlled to members of his family. Posner developed a philosophy of unconcern about such suits; if he had good enough lawyers he didn't need to worry. The lawyers, of course, would be paid for by the corporations he controlled.

In 1988 Sharon Steel went into bankruptcy. 

Saul Steinberg (Leasco, Reliance) 

Saul Steinberg at a very young age decided he wanted a career in finance. He managed to attend the Wharton School of Business while only an undergraduate and wrote a senior paper on the profit opportunities in computer leasing. IBM had had a policy of not selling computers but only leasing them. This policy was challenged by the Justice Department and IBM started to sell computers as well as lease them. In setting the lease rate IBM used a depreciable life of only four years. Steinberg realized that if the computers were depreciated over a longer period, say eight years, he could charge a far lower fee than IBM. The period for depreciation was not dictated by the physical life. The computers could easily become obsolete long before they wore out. Steinberg set up a company Leasco to carry out such a leasing operation. He tried to write the leasing contract so that the leasees would have to pay even if their leased computer became technically obsolete before the end of the lease contract. He further contracted for insurance against nonpayment on the lease. On the basis of such iron-clad leases Steinberg borrowed money to finance the purchase of computers. Furthermore, the accounting system put the present value of the lease payment on the books at the time the contract was signed. The accounting profit of Leasco looked quite impressive and the theory of the operation was acceptable to the financial world. The stock in Leasco traded at a price/earnings ratio of about fifty to one. With this inflated stock and a reputation as a financial wizard Steinberg was able to acquire many other companies, companies that were more conservatively valued.

In this way he acquired a very large insurance company Reliance in 1968 before he was thirty years of age. By the time the market had shown that the idea behind Leasco was not as solid as it seemed, Steinberg had acquired enough holdings and cash that his financial positions was only mildly affected. In 1969 he attempted a takeover of Chase Bank of Manhattan. The Rockefellers and the rest of the Establishment fought to prevent him from taking it over.

Like Riklis, Lindner, and Posner, Steinberg was often accused of self-dealing in the corporations that he came to control. His ex-wife charged that he used corporation money to renovate his apartment and to buy a jet aircraft.

By now Steinberg had learned that he could make money even from an unsuccessful takeover. After acquiring a substantial block of stock in a company he could demand "green mail;" i.e., pressure the company board of directors to pay a higher price for his stock than the general public could get. His acquaintance with Michael Milken gave him the clot to threaten companies with takeovers.

Laurence Tisch (Lorillard) 

Laurence Tisch graduated with honors from New York University and went on to get his MBA at Wharton. After graduation Tisch served for three years during World War II in the Office of Strategic Services, which later became the CIA. After the war he joined his family in renovating old hotels. His family was a quite interesting one. His father had been an All-American basketball player. In contrast to the other members of the network of junk bond financiers there was no seediness or underhandedness involved in his or his families operations.

One major acquisition of the Tisch family was Loew's, a theater chain. In 1968 the Tisch family acquired the cigaret manufacture P. Lorillard, the makers of Kent cigarets. These companies were acquired with securities that were subsequently proving to be illiquid. This was putting the damper on any further acquisitions by Tisch. Milken's junk bond operations were important in providing liquidity to the junk bond market.

In 1974 Tisch gained control of a Chicago insurance holding company, CNA Financial using some cash and a lot of securities. This gave Tisch control over a large amount of investment funds. The cost of acquisition of an insurance company is the equity in the company, but the funds held are many times this equity. Tisch is now chairman of the network CBS.

A social note: A niece of Laurence Tisch married the son of Saul Steinberg in a wedding in which the flowers alone cost one million dollars.

Fred Carr (First Executive) 

Fred Carr was the son of an immigrant from Hungary who established a produce business in New York City. Later the family moved to Los Angles where Fred grew up and attended Cal State Los Angeles. He drove a truck and started his own driveway repair business to help put himself through college. By his early twenties he was trading in the stock market. Later he founded a very successful mutual fund called the Enterprise Fund. In two years the funds under his management rose from $20 million to $800 million. He was usually at the top of the list of high gain performers in the mutual fund field. However, there were charges that he drifted from the straight and narrow; e.g. buying unregistered "letter" stock and reselling it to others without registering it. By 1970 he had lost his touch and Enterprise Fund ranked 339th out of 379 mutual funds in performance. He abruptly left the Enterprise Fund and SEC temporarily shut it down because of irregularities and chaos in the record keeping. It later reopened under the direction of Gerald Tsai. 

In 1974 Fred Carr was asked to run financially troubled First Executive Insurance. Carr went to Michael Milken to get funds to stave off collapse and started marketing a new product called Single Premium Deferred Annuity. A buyer makes a payment now and starts receiving annuity payments a specified number of years in the future. This is great for an insurance company's cash flow in the immediate future. In return for the help Milken gave, Carr agreed to market junk bonds through First Executive.

The Single Payment Deferred Annuities (SPDA's) were a great success. First Executive had a total of $700 million of policies of all kinds when Fred Carr took control in 1974. By 1979 it was selling $1 billion worth of SPDA's each year. Saul Steinberg bought stock in First Executive and by 1981 had become the largest stockholder. First Executive began selling annuities to corporations linked to Milken to "refinance" their pension plans. The pension plans were declared "overfunded" and the assets sold off to be replaced by annuity contracts from Carr's First Executive. The contracts used in this refinancing were called "guaranteed investment contracts" (GIC's). The companies which bought these GIC's could count them as investment-grade bonds even though they were simply packages ofjunk bonds which First Executive guaranteed. By 1990 Carr's First Executives had $5 billion of GIC's outstanding. Institutions that otherwise would not have been able to hold junk bonds were allowed to once they were packaged and labeled as GIC's by virtue of First Executive's guarantee. 

By the end of the 1980's First Executive was buying $2.5 billion of Drexel junk bonds each year. Furthermore, once First Executive had purchased a bond issue it gave those bonds a stamp of quality as being held by a major insurance company. Milken could also use First Executive as an example when trying to sell junk bonds to other insurance companies. Although there were other insurance companies which became important markets for Milken, Fred Carr was by far the most important player in Milken's junk bond game. First Executive had a representative at Drexel who bought anything Milken told him to, no questions asked. Milken and Carr also set up reinsurance firms together.

In 1980 insurance purchased about $22 billion in corporate bonds, by 1988 they were buying $180 billion.

The Savings and Loan Industry

The Savings and Loans were in difficulty long before Michael Milken came onto the American financial scene. Originally S&L's were restricted to holding mortgages on real estate. This restricted S&L's competitiveness with respect to bank which were not so restricted. But the interest rates that banks and S&L's could pay on deposits were regulated so S&L's did not have to match banks in a bidding contest on interest rates. During the 1970's inflation rates went up and interest rates followed. This was especially hard on S&L's, which had their assets tied up in long term mortgages paying low interest rates but had to pay high current rates to keep depositors. Fundamentally at that stage the S&L's became bankrupt, but every one wanted to postpone the inevitable. The government's actions in trying to stave off the bankruptcy of the S&L's turned a bad situation into a disasterous one. The Garn-St. Germain Act of 1982 removed most of the restrictions on what S&L's could hold. From 1982 they could hold stocks, bonds, real estate, and commercial loans as well as mortgages. But at the same time that the restrictions on what S&L's could hold were removed, the interest rates restrictions for banks were also removed. Nevertheless the Federal Government continued to insure S&L deposits. Depositors did not have to concern themselves about the safety of an S&L. S&L's were another financial institution, like insurance companies, where a relatively small investment in equity gave the buyer control over a much larger amount of investible assets. The purchase of an S&L with a billion dollars worth of assets might require only $30 million to buy up its equity. Within months of the passage of Garn-St. Germain members of Milken's circle were taking over S&L's using Drexel junk bond money. The S&L's then became major markets for junk bonds. A $30 million outlay for a S&L could easily lead to the sale of $500 million of junk bonds by Drexel for which it would charge a commission of $20 million. Some of the S&L's taken over by friends of Milken were: 
•1. Imperial in San Diego (Saul Steinberg) 
•2. CenTrust in Miami (David Paul) 
•3. Gibraltar in Beverly Hills 
•4. City Fed in New Jersey 
•5. Ben Franklin in Texas 
•6. Lincoln Savings (Charles Keating) 

Other S&L's, such as Columbia Savings in Beverly Hills under the direction of Tom Spiegel, joined the circle of junk bond buyers. By 1989 Columbia S&L had bought $10 billion in junk bonds. Spiegel's compensation for running Columbia was spectacular, $9 million in 1985. In addition, Milken let Spiegel in on some opportunities for spectacular capital gains, and, allegedly, for trading on insider information. By the late 1980's most of these S&L's were siezed by state or federal regulatory agencies.


In 1969 Perry Mendel, a developer in Montgomery, Alabama, decided to use some of his real estate to create a chain of day-care centers. Mendel brought in another Montgomery businessman, Richard Greengrass, to help him carry out his plan. The centers, called Kinder-Care, were a success and by 1987 employed 17 thousand people in 12 thousand centers. The gross revenue was $900 million with operating profits of $75 million (but a net profit of only $6 million).

In 1978 Mendel and Greengrass went to Milken to raise some capital. Milken convinced them to raise much more than they originally intended. They not only expanded Kinder-Care and bought up another chain, Sylvan Learning Centers, and expanded it, but also bought up an insurance company Pioneer Western. A few months later they bought CenterBanc, an S&L, in Florida. And then, they acquired American S&L in Miami. Mendel and Greengrass renamed their company Enstar. In the course of about 18 months a chain of day-care centers had been converted into a $3 billion banking and insurance company. This transformation had been financed by Drexel junk bonds, but strangely Enstar also bought $650 million in junk bonds. Enstar helped Milken finance the takeover Safeway, Revlon, and Gillette. In return, Milken let Mendel and Greengrass in on some very lucrative investments. The deals got shadier and shadier, and in 1991 Mendel and Greengrass were convicted of fraud by a federal court. Here is an example of one of their more outrageous ploys. Enstar sold the Kinder-Care portion of the company. In the selloff, Mendel and Greengrass told the Kinder-Care stockholders that they were giving them the day-care centers. They then announced that the IRS had objected to this transaction so the Kinder-Care stockholders would have to pay $4.75 per share to receive what they already owned. There had been no IRS objection.

The Default Rate on Junk Bonds

The Milken organization claimed the default rate on their high yield securities was only one percent. Critics claim the default was more like three or four percent. At this higher rate, junk bonds give a lower return than Treasury bills and no one would knowingly buy them. By 1983 there were hundreds of millions of dollars of junk bonds which had flatly defaulted. There were other cases where the default was concealed as an "exchange;" i.e., the bond was supposed to pay interest in cash but instead gave "stock" or "zero-coupon convertible bonds" or "payment-in-kind bonds" in lieu of interest.

The junk bonds market could have collapsed in the mid-1980's under the burden of the defaults and effective defaults, but Milken got a lucky break. Edward Altman of the Business School of New York University was hired by Morgan Stanley, the most pretigious investment bank in the U.S., to do research on the default rate on junk bonds. Morgan Stanley wanted to enter the obviously lucrative field of marketing original issue junk bonds. It made the mistaken presumption that Drexel's position in the field was based upon knowledge and research when, in fact, it was, in Benjamin Stein's words, based "upon years of mutual backscratching in the back alleys of finance." Altman computed the ratio of the face value of the bonds that actually defaulted in a given year to the total face value of bonds in existence in that year. Although this procedure might seem reasonable, it did not allow for the tremendous growth in junk bonds over the period. Suppose all of the junk bond issues default after five years. This would be a 100 percent default rate. But if the first year there is $100 million issued and the amount doubles each year then this would be the record Altman's method would show:






Amount issued 









Total Amount 















Default Rate (%) 






A default rate of around 3 percent and declining looks a lot better than the actual 100 percent rate. Altman did not count the default-equivalents of giving "securities" in lieu of money for the interest payments as defaults. Altman concluded that the default rate on junk bonds was between 1 and 1.5 percent in most years, and through Morgan Stanley this value was publicized. Drexel, of course, gave this estimate of the default rate further publicity. This erroneous figure was accepted because of the academic credentials of Altman and the prestige of Morgan Stanley. Altman studied all bonds with a rating below investment grade. This lumped together "fallen angels" with Milken junk bonds. He also made the unjustified assumption that the residual value of defaulted Milken junk bonds was the same as that of "fallen angels"; i.e., thirty five to forty percent. Despite these and other major flaws, Altman's studies were accepted by various institutions, including the U.S. government, as vindicating investment in the junk bond market. 

In 1988 a team of financial analysts at Harvard University under the direction of Paul Asquith undertood a study of junk bonds. In contrast to Altman they focused on the default rates of bonds over the bonds lifetimes. They concluded, "Buying and holding all [junk] bonds issued in 1978 and 1979 produces cumulative default rates exceeding 34% by November 1, 1988...Cumulative default rates rise markedly as the time since issue increases and are 0-8% three years after issue, increase to 18% to 26% seven years after issue ... and exceed 34% eleven years after issue."

Instead of a one percent default rate per year the Asquith group found an average default rate of about 3.4 percent per year. At this default rate junk bonds were a poor investment and it was foolish and irresponsible for insurance companies, pension funds, banks and S&L's to hold them.

Michael Milken

Michael Milken was born in the Los Angeles area and grew up on the border between Encino and Van Nuys. His father was a very industrious man who was an orphan and worked his way through college in Wisconsin to become an accountant. Michael and his younger brother Lowell were good sons, helping their parents where they could and excelling in school and sports. Michael played varsity basketball in highschool and was the head cheerleader in other sports. He did his undergraduate work in business at UC-Berkeley during the period 1964 to 1968. While other students were indulging in the radicalism of the 1960's Michael was studying accounting and economics. It was at Berkeley that he discovered the work of Walter Braddock Hickman, entitled Corporate Bond Quality and Investor Experience, on the bond market from 1900 to 1943. Hickman did find that by some measurement the average yield on the lower quality bonds was higher than that of the higher quality bonds but not by very much. Milken exaggerated this difference and chose not to allow for the special effects the Great Depression of the 1930's and World War II had on the bond market. The Depression severely depressed bond prices so that any bonds bought at the depths of the Depression showed extraordinary gains. World War II and the Federal Government's creation of a managed economy meant there were no defaults on bonds during the war years.

Milken graduated in 1968 as a Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in business administration. After graduation Milken married and moved to Philadelphia to go to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. While pursuing his regular coursework (reportedly with straight A's) he continued to investigate whether or not the bond market was pricing bonds of different risks efficiently. He left Wharton in 1969 to go to work for Drexel and three years later completed his MBA thesis. It was entitled, "Managing the Corporate Financial Structure." Stein characterizes it as, "an stonishing mishmash of basic, obvious facts," and "a lot of bluster to prove something everyone already knows."

At Drexel, later to become Drexel Burnham, Milken made contact with a number of prominent wheeler-dealers, such as Meshulam Riklis of Rapid-American and McCrory, Lawrence Tisch of Lorillard, and Carl Lindner of American Continental. Stein gives summaries of the careers of these financiers and others who became important to Milken in his career.



Benjamin Stein, License to Steal: The Untold Story of Michael Milken and the Conspiracy to Bilk the Nation
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 9:15am

Meyer Blinder -

The Prince of Penny Stocks 
Fortune; 1/19/1987; Katz, Donald R. 

EVEN AMONG DENVER'S free-L wheeling fraternity of penny stockbrokers, Meyer Blinder stands apart. The irrepressible founder of Blinder Robinson wears high-collared silk shirts open to the sternum, gold chains, a gold bracelet, and a diamond and gold pinky ring. Then there is his street-corner-tough Brooklyn accent, and a nose gnarled like a prizefighter's -- the result, he relates, of the time a customer slammed the door in his face during an earlier career selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. 

Blinder's style may be a long way from Wall Street. But plenty of people want him as their broker. More than 1,700 stockbrokers work for Blinder in 58 offices spread across 35 states. His firm brings public more new issues each year than any Wall Street house, and Blinder, 65, has made a personal fortune he estimates at nearly $200 million by selling highly speculative stocks. Blinder says he underwrites only the brightest entrepreneurial dreamers and then sends his brokers out to sell pieces of the dream to investors willing to roll some dice. 

He has built an empire by taking the necktie off the brokerage business, but detractors say he operates in the spirit of outlaws who once roamed the Rockies. Alarmed by Blinder Robinson's aggressive ways, the Securities and Exchange Commission has tried for six years to put the firm out of business, and local regulators in a score of states have challenged either the licensing status or sales practices of Blinder's brokers. In late December, the SEC suspended Blinder Robinson from the brokerage business for 45 days and suspended Blinder himself for two years. Blinder said he would appeal the ruling in federal court and ask for a stay of the SEC order while the appeal is pending. Meanwhile, trading was halted in the company's stock, Blinder International Enterprises Inc. 

Blinder attributes most of his problems to his success. He said as much recently to a group of trainees he was teaching to sell stocks the Blinder way. ''You know why I got so much trouble with regulators,'' Blinder told them, his jewelry and his smile gleaming in the spotlights. '' 'Cause they come in here and look at my salary, and they get sick.'' Blinder expects to make $9 million in 1986, twice what he collected in 1985. He also controls 54% of the shares in Blinder International, which went public two months ago at $1.50 a share and was recently selling at $3.50. At that price his stake was worth $140 million. Blinder says his firm will report revenues of $125 million in 1986, more than double the 1985 figure. In 1987 he intends to open four new offices and train 200 new brokers every month, and then inspire each broker to establish one new account per day. ''There has to be a lot of ya here,'' Blinder told his 200, mostly young trainees, ''because the more of you there are and the more you sell, the more money I make. You are about to enter the greatest business in the world for making the most amount of money in the shortest span of time, and do- ing it honestly. Don't cheat. You know what happens if you cheat. I get in trouble.'' 

Even without a hint of cheating, the penny market, where stocks generally trade for less than a dollar, is wild and risky. Some say the business got its start a century ago, when miners sold off portions of their undiscovered finds in order to keep up the search. Since then, through good times and bad, Denver has been a town for fast deals. Denver money underwrote 308 public offerings between October 1985 and October 1986, more than double the number for the same period a year earlier. Many penny shares open with an astounding bang that sends the bid price up by several hundred percent within a matter of days. Frequently the bust is not far behind. 

The penny market has a lingo all its own. Stocks trading at up to 5,000 times their projected earnings get passed back and forth in what some penny players call the chaser market, the chase being after rumors. Though local brokers are often accused of high-pressure salesmanship, they say their tactics are simply less genteel than those practiced on Wall Street. In Denver there is still talk of crossing stocks -- of salesmen buying a stock from one customer and selling it to another without sending it back to the trading room -- a technique that winnows the market down to a broker's Rolodex. Robert Davenport, a regional director of the SEC in Denver, calls the penny trade a ''greater fools market,'' by which he means a customer had better find another fool to take a stock off his hands before the price falls. 

Nobody plays the penny market harder or better or with more style than Meyer Blinder. ''Ya know,'' Blinder says, gazing into the palatial penthouse suite where he works, ''when I built the Blinder building four years ago, I sort of pictured myself sittin' here and staring out at Pike's Peak every so often.'' But his desk faces the other way, and he says that ''in all those years I can never remember turning around.'' His $1-million office covers the entire top floor of the building 15 miles outh of downtown. ''I modeled it after some of the suites I've seen in Las Vegas,'' he explains. ''The ones for high rollers.'' He has a circular bar with a golden sink. He has a kitchen, a cook, and a dining room. He has an exercise room with a sauna and a small swimming pool. The flick of a switch sends powerful jets of water coursing from one end of the pool toward the other, so when Blinder wants to exercise, he can get in the pool and swim perpetually against the stream. 

BLINDER has been heading up stream all his life. ''I sucked wind for a long time,'' he says. ''I had my pauper days. I sold picture frames. I sold wedding albums. I sold magazines outside burlesque houses.'' He grew up in various working-class neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York, as the short kid who could never back down from a fight. He got his first job when he was 8, helping out at his father's candy store. Instead of attending high school, he went to work across the river in Manhattan's garment district. ''For two years I was one of the guys who pushed those gigantic coffin-shaped boxes full of silk down 34th Street,'' he says. ''I couldn't even see over the top. I made $8 a week and went to night school.'' 

At 18, with $150 in capital, he started his first business, a textile remnants operation. After several years of door-to-door salesmanship, he began a food vending business that eventually grew large enough to require more capital. ''I went to the bank,'' Blinder recalls. ''I needed $1,000, but the guy would only give me $150 and I had to put up my car and my business as collateral.'' Blinder then visited several New York underwriters in hopes of raising funds through a public offer- ing. They all turned him down. At that point, says Blinder, ''I went to an attorney whose name I took off some prospectus, and we sold stock in our vending company to our customers. We raised $150,000.'' 

Blinder continued to segue methodically from one business to another, moving each time to something that promised quicker rewards in a shorter amount of time. He was 49 when he finally discovered the securities business. After an abortive attempt to open a small brokerage in Jersey City, New Jersey, he and an old friend, Mac Robinson, began a storefront operation in Westbury, Long Island, in 1970. Rather than selling equity in large companies, they decided to specialize in small over-the-counter stocks. Blinder felt he understood small businesses and thought that in the OTC market a fellow could really make a play. He says Robinson couldn't stand the pace and sold out shortly thereafter. 

In 1977 an acquaintance of Blinder's who ran a brokerage firm in Denver was slipping into bankruptcy. Blinder put up $50,000 to take over the outfit and, at 56, he and his wife Lillian moved to Denver. His second son, Larry, 35, followed soon after and now works with his father; Martin, 40, runs a Van Nuys, California, fine-art publishing company, Martin Lawrence Limited Editions Inc., which Blinder Robinson brought public in 1985. Blinder arrived in town at the start of a penny stock boom unlike any since the surge in uranium issues during the mid-1950s. This time the catalyst was oil and gas. In May of 1977 Blinder Robinson underwrote a company called Federal Energy and sold it as an initial public offering at 10 cents per share. Before long the price had doubled. From the beginning, Blinder backed small businesses that wouldn't qualify for loans from banks, insurance companies, or large venture capital firms. ''I wanted to give them a little capital to get started,'' he says. ''I kept thinking how much faster I would have been a success if somebody had given me $300,000 when I was young.'' 

Blinder figures he has raised over $200 million for the 78 companies he has brought public. But almost half have gone under or have been reconstituted as other businesses from empty shells. Although 52 of the firm's new issues more than doubled at some point after going public, only 21 currently sell above the offering price, and 22 have owners willing to sell but nobody willing to buy (see chart). Blinder argues that at least he gave investors a chance for significant gains, and struggling entrepreneurs an opportunity to succeed. 

State and federal securities officials take a different view. The regulators who have dogged Blinder believe that, like several other firms specializing in the shares of small companies -- chiefL among them First Jersey Securities, whose chairman, Robert Brennan, resigned last September -- Blinder Robinson so domi nates the market in the securities it brings public that stock prices become open to manipulation. 

Blinder's regulatory difficulties began in 1980 after a federal district court judge ruled that his brokers made ''misrepresentations and fraudulent price predictions'' when they sold shares in American Leisure, an Atlantic City casino and hotel company. The judge also ruled that Blinder violated antifraud statutes when he bought some of the stock at the time of the offering without publicly disclosing the purchase. Blinder claimed that his own attorneys and an SEC lawyer told him the maneuver was legal. Nevertheless, the district court issued an injunction barring Blinder Robinson from any future violation of securities laws. Subsequently, an administrative law judge ordered sanctions against the firm that would prohibit Blinder from associating with any broker or dealer for 90 days. Blinder appealed the ruling to the full SEC, which slapped on the even tougher sanctions in late December. Earlier Blinder had begun a still-pending appeal to quash the district court's ruling. 

In 1983 the SEC regional office in Denver accused Blinder Robinson of delivering to other firms securities that customers had paid for, thus preventing shareholders from gaining access to them. Blinder says he relishes the court fight due to begin in early 1987. ''I can really drag the SEC through the mud on this one,'' he says. ''I want them to pick themselves up, say they made a mis- take, and walk away.'' 

OVER THE YEARS Blinder Robinson has been served with several fair-practice complaints by the Na- tional Association of Securities Dealers. The NASD refuses to comment, but SEC sources contend that four of them led to sanctions. The most recent complaint alleges that Blinder Robinson made outsized trading profits on one stock, Telephone Express. Even when Blinder Robinson's trades, and those of other thinly traded stocks, meet NASD guidelines, the ''spread'' -- the difference between the bid and ask price -- is often wider than for blue chip issues. A stock that can be bought for 7 cents on a given day can sometimes be resold the same day for only 4 cents. The vast divide would necessitate nearly a 60% price appreciation for a shareholder to escape with his original investment. 

As for the other charges against Blinder, the SEC's Davenport says 30-odd states have actions pending against the firm -- mostly cases of overeager brokers selling securities by phone in states where the issues weren't registered. Blinder says his firm is fully licensed in 35 states, and that only two -- Iowa and Nebraska -- have flatly denied him entrance. 

Blinder also got caught up in a mini-scandal involving an account he managed for Colorado Governor Richard Lamm that turned a $5,100 investment into $50,000. In June of 1985 Blinder ivested Lamm's money in a company called Source Venture. He sold the stock later that month and invested the proceeds in other Blinder Robinson issues. In July, Source Venture merged with Cattle Baron Inc. Blinder owned half of Cattle Baron, which wanted to build a casino near Las Vegas. 

Last August the Rocky Mountain News revealed that long after selling his Source stock Lamm, a vocal opponent of gambling in Colorado, had written a letter on his official stationery to the Nevada State Gaming Commission recommending Blinder for a casino license. The letter stirred up a controversy that forced Lamm to withdraw his recommendation, drop Blinder as his broker, and promise to give his trading profits to charity. Lamm claims he didn't know anything about Source Venture until several months after it was sold. He also says he knew nothing about his other stocks, since the trades were handled by his lawyer. Blinder scoffs at the governor's protestations of ignorance. ''He knew about his trades,'' Blinder mutters. ''Guy's a jellyfish. We sent the confirmation tickets directly to his home. He gave me his card with his home phone on it. The son of a bitch never even thanked me for lending him my plane the day he was stuck in Mexico and had to get to a governors' meeting in Utah. He asked for that plane and I sent it. Probably cost me ten grand. Now he says he barely knows me. Guy's got no backbone.'' 

Some people who know Blinder believe he has been treated unfairly. One of those is Mark Goldstein, the former mayor of Gainesville, Florida, who counts himself among Blinder's satisfied customers. ''As someone experienced in politics,'' Goldstein says, ''I think it's clear that the Denver authorities are out to get Meyer. When they can't get you in court, they'll go after you in other ways. They don't like tough guys, and Blinder's a tough guy.'' 

In 1982 Goldstein went to Blinder Robinson to raise capital for a small broadcast and satellite TV system after being turned down on Wall Street. Blinder Robinson took ACTV public at 15 cents a share; recently the stock was selling for 12 1/2 cents. Goldstein came back to Blinder a year later to launch Mam matech, a company that teaches women how to detect breast tumors. Mammatech stock opened at a penny, ran up over a dollar, then settled back to a recent bid of just under 2 cents a share.''Sure, the man talks like a bull from Brooklyn,'' Goldstein says, ''but he gave my companies a start. I'd like to know the cost to the taxpayers of the SEC actions against him. And I'd like to compare his financial work to the mergers on Wall Street that put people out of work and take prod- ucts out of the marketplace.'' 

TED ABBUZZESE, who founded Wall Street West, another Denver penny stock firm, seconds the motion that regulators have been hounding Blinder. ''All the penny brokers have been caught in the witch hunt,'' says Abbuzzese. The SEC regional office accused Abbuzzese of market manipulation in 1980, and the Colorado state commissioner of securities circulated the accusations throughout the country. When Abbuzzese appealed to the SEC in Washington, the charges were unanimously overturned. Abbuzzese says that, compared to Blinder, he took a ''turn the other cheek'' approach by appealing to the SEC rather than going to court. He adds that Blinder's troubles are making it ''hard on the others of us in Denver.'' 

A senior executive at a third penny firm is more outspoken about Blinder's effect on Denver houses. ''You want to know what we hold against him?'' asks this executive, who declines to be identified. ''We resent his supporting bad deals. He's giving us all a bad name. I'm a person of substance here. My great-grandfather has a mountain named after him. I just wish he'd take himself and his sleazo deals and get out of town.'' 

Blinder says he senses a great number of people backing away from him now. When he was taking so much heat last summer, the executives of Gateway Communications, a technology firm that stands as one of Blinder Robinson's success stories, defended him. But after Blinder's problems multiplied, the company would issue only a vague financial statement to a reporter seeking comment on its relationship to Blinder. And two small Long Island firms that were to be co-underwriters of Blinder Robinson's own public offering dropped out, one of them admitting openly that bad publicity was behind the decision. ''With the SEC you're guilty by association,'' explains the head of one of the firms. 

WORST OF ALL, says Blinder, the leadership of local charities he supports -- specifically those in the Denver Jewish community -- have failed to back him publicly. ''I really tried to join in, but now I feel I'm being ostracized.'' Blinder is a prominent benefactor of charities, both locally and nationally. An emergency center at the Denver Children's Hospital bears his name, and he has become the nation's principal sponsor of research into Crohn's disease, a degenerative gastro- intestinal illness that afflicts his wife and his son Larry. ''I won't give any money to the arts,'' he says. ''I'm tone deaf, and I happen to think it's more important to cure cancer than to have a ballet.'' 

Blinder admits that his inability to back away from a fight is hard on his wife, who would like to leave Denver. ''I just can't do that,'' he says. ''There are still a few things I want to do here.'' By that he means making the SEC turn tail, making his firm ''larger and more profitable than Merrill Lynch,'' and making himself a billionaire. Despite the charges hanging over Blinder, his brokers open hundreds of new accounts every day, and the firm intends to apply for membership on the Hong Kong stock exchange. ''It's a lot better to be up here gettin' shot at than being down low and gettin' stepped on,'' Blinder mused as the sun dropped behind the peaks to the west. ''You know what I really wish,'' he said, his voice momentarily losing its edge. ''I wish I could have 20 years back. I could make my money so much faster if I got to do it all over again.''
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 9:17am

Meyer Blinder -

Penny-Stock Fraud, From Both Sides Now

By Diana B. Henriques
New York Times
February 16, 2003

Artley T. Bernstein spends his days exploring the piranha-infested shoals of the penny-stock market, where cheap, thinly traded stocks can be rigged to generate enormous profits for insiders.

In a spare bedroom of his eight-room Georgian-style apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan, he searches the Internet for clusters of seemingly unrelated companies that use the same obscure accountants, lawyers and underwriters, and share the same mysterious offshore investors. He looks for flaws, fibs and fantasies in corporate documents — like one company's plan to sell stock and use it to take over AOL Time Warner, AT&T, General Electric and, for good measure, General Motors. Then Mr. Bernstein posts his conclusions on, his Web site, to warn investors away.

Some of his most faithful readers are market regulators. Following his road maps, federal investigators have found and shut down frauds they might have missed. Occasionally, he tips regulators in advance, before his targets realize that he is on their trail. One prosecutor called his assistance "singular."

His cooperation has helped the government build criminal cases against at least 34 people.

Mr. Bernstein is so good at what he calls "connecting the dots" of complicated penny-stock frauds for one good reason: five years ago, he was a formidable dot himself.

Through his law firm, Bernstein & Wasserman, he worked for some of the most notorious penny-stock manipulators of the past two decades: Stratton Oakmont, Biltmore Securities and Sterling Foster. He also worked for a host of forgettable little companies whose stocks those firms manipulated.

But in reality, he worked for Randolph Pace — a wily Wall Street veteran who, with Meyer Blinder and Robert E. Brennan, make up what one lawyer has called "the three tenors of the penny-stock world." (Mr. Blinder was jailed for securities fraud in 1992, after the collapse of his firm, Blinder, Robinson & Company. Mr. Brennan, the smiling force behind the equally infamous First Jersey Securities, is serving a nine-year prison term after being convicted of fraud in 2001.)

What makes Mr. Bernstein's apparent turnaround remarkable is its rarity. Recidivism is so common in the penny-stock world that some law enforcement experts are instinctively skeptical of anyone who claims to have left its temptations behind.

But several prosecutors and regulators have been persuaded by Mr. Bernstein, a small, dark, boyish-looking man of 51 who began to cooperate with the government in the fall of 1998. He spent hundreds of hours coaching investigators on how to decipher Mr. Pace's complex deals. He confirmed information from other sources and "gave the government sufficient confidence" to seek an indictment against Mr. Pace in November 1998, one prosecutor said.

The government later expanded its case to include two additional penny-stock firms and several new defendants. Mr. Bernstein also provided background information about Stratton Oakmont's deals with the shoe designer Steve Madden, who pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering in 2001 and was sentenced last spring to 41 months in prison.

In May 1999, Mr. Bernstein, too, pleaded guilty to securities fraud, conspiracy and perjury and agreed to forfeit $850,000 in illegal profits. He prepared to testify when Mr. Pace came to trial on charges of secretly controlling Sterling Foster and prospering from its roughly $200 million in fraudulent business. That did not become necessary. Mr. Pace pleaded guilty in 2000 and last April and was ordered to pay nearly $135 million in restitution to investors and was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison.

By the time Mr. Bernstein pleaded guilty, his career was in ruins. He had been disbarred. His law partners had walked out on him. He could not seek a new job while he faced prison, but he was desperate to keep busy.

In July 1999, after carefully sounding out his own lawyer and the government, he started StockPatrol, which he saw as a logical extension of the guidance he had been providing to investigators. He began by scanning hyberbolic chat groups and e-mail messages on the Internet for the latest hot penny-stock tip. Then he would scour the touted company's public paperwork, looking for red flags.

The found them — and regulators paid swift attention. Following are a few examples: 

· On Jan. 31, 2000, he published the first of several articles questioning whether Wellness Universe, a small health services company, was really the target of a $1 billion takeover bid, as it claimed. Eleven days after the first article, regulators halted trading in the shares, and three months later, the company's founder, George Pappas, was indicted in Manhattan. In January 2001, Mr. Pappas pleaded guilty to charges that he concocted a phony takeover to drive up the stock price so he and his family could sell for a quick profit of $2.3 million. He is awaiting sentencing.

· On March 4, 2001, Mr. Bernstein advised regulators that he would be running an article the next day about the Ives Health Company, a little Oklahoma concern that claimed to have a new AIDS drug. On the next day, regulators halted trading and, a month later, the company and its founder, M. Keith Ives, were indicted in Manhattan on federal conspiracy and wire fraud charges. Mr. Ives denies the charges and is scheduled for trial in June.

· In September 2002, Mr. Bernstein questioned the growth prospects claimed by the Vector Holdings Corporation, whose primary business was a stuffed-potato booth at a Florida shopping mall. A month later, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company, its president and its transfer agent of violating securities laws — in part for not disclosing that the president, Allen E. Weintraub, had a criminal record. Mr. Weintraub and the companies have settled the cases without admitting wrongdoing, but the penalties have yet to be determined..

When Mr. Bernstein came before Judge Loretta A. Preska in Federal District Court in Manhattan for sentencing in June, the many letters submitted on his behalf included one from Cameron K. Funkhouser, a vice president of the NASD's regulatory arm. Speaking only for himself, Mr. Funkhouser cited his "very positive relationship" with Mr. Bernstein, adding, "My office has opened several successful cases" based on his leads.

Richard D. Owens, the assistant United States attorney who prosecuted Mr. Bernstein, also cited StockPatrol at the hearing, but added that when Mr. Bernstein first came to the government, "we, of course, raised our eyebrows a bit."

And no wonder. Mr. Owens knew that operating a "fraud detection" site is hardly an untainted concept. One notable effort,, foundered two years ago after its parent company was found by federal prosecutors to have been the target of a stock manipulation scheme. And in May, a stock adviser, Amr Ibrahim Elgindy — whose Web sites, and, promised to expose penny-stock schemes — was indicted in Brooklyn on federal charges of operating a stock manipulation and extortion racket. He denies the charges and is scheduled for trial in June.

But Mr. Owens told Judge Preska that he was impressed by Mr. Bernstein's effort. "Whatever doubts we had about his motives or his purposes or his intents have quickly fallen away," he said.

Judge Preska added her own endorsement. "You have used your time and your talent in a way to help investors avoid just the sorts of things that you had previously used your time and talents to impose," she said. "I applaud you for your work." She sentenced him to two years' probation.

His quiet days running StockPatrol bear almost no resemblance to his life as an adviser to Mr. Pace's raucous empire. Like Mr. Blinder and Mr. Brennan, Mr. Pace was an intelligent, urbane, charming rogue. He survived many regulatory cases over the years and continued to prosper even after his firm, Rooney Pace, was expelled from the securities industry in 1988.

By then, Mr. Pace's business was thoroughly intertwined with Mr. Bernstein's law practice. After graduating from Columbia and the New York University Law School, Mr. Bernstein worked at two midsize firms in Manhattan and spent a few idealistic years on the city's special narcotics prosecution squad. But in 1982, at the age of 30 — "just young enough not to be afraid," he said — he set up on his own. A lawyer he knew had become general counsel for Rooney Pace and had tossed a bit of business to the eager Mr. Bernstein.

By the mid-1980's, Rooney Pace was nearly a quarter of his growing firm's business. Did Mr. Pace's reputation worry him? "I did not really see the penny-stock world as separate from the real world," he said. "I had customers who had problems with Shearson brokers or Merrill Lynch brokers that cost them far more money than some of my cases for Rooney Pace involved."

Even after Rooney Pace closed in late 1987, Mr. Pace's friends hired Mr. Bernstein. As the 1990's opened, Bernstein & Wasserman was growing like a weed.

Those were lavish, lunatic days. Mr. Pace and his friends "lived to party," Mr. Bernstein recalled.

"They had `boys' nights out' that would go on for weeks," he added.

There were binges at elegant restaurants, junkets to lush resorts, shopping sprees at Armani, recuperative weeks at some palm-studded spa.

Occasionally, Mr. Bernstein and his wife, Debra L. Cherney, were invited along. One New Year's Eve, they joined the Paces and three other couples for a Broadway show and dinner at Nobu, a top Manhattan restaurant. Another day, Mr. Bernstein was suddenly invited to join Mr. Pace's entourage for a private-jet excursion to Atlantic City.

Through it all, Mr. Bernstein said, he still thought of himself as an ethical person who just happened to represent "a bunch of people who were scoundrels." He concedes, "My business was so completely dependent on this group of clients — I was blinded by that."

Joel M. Cohen, a former federal prosecutor who worked on cases involving Stratton Oakmont, recalls his frustration with Mr. Bernstein's myopia. "Hartley was described by insiders as a `player,' somebody who, in one way or another, understood the game, knew the rules and went along with them," he said. "He was living in denial; he really was."

Even when government pressure forced Sterling Foster to close in 1997, Mr. Bernstein still felt immune. "My impression, looking back, is that Randy Pace tried to keep me at arm's length from anything that was actually unlawful," he said, almost wistfully. 

But closing one eye to Mr. Pace's unsavory past clearly affected Mr. Bernstein's depth perception. He invested in several fraudulent deals and lied about those deals to regulators. He had crossed the line.

One afternoon in September 1997, he learned that several of Mr. Pace's friends were striking deals with prosecutors and talking — about him. Shocked and frightened, he hired a lawyer, Scott A. Edelman of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. 

Looking back now, his days in the Pace empire seem to him to have occurred a lifetime ago — one specific lifetime ago: that of his daughter, Raine. She was born on Dec. 17, 1997, shortly after her father came under investigation, and died on June 3, 2001, of what is believed to have been an asthma-related seizure. 

"When all this happened with Hartley, we thought it was the end of the world," mused his wife, herself a lawyer, the family breadwinner and a loyal defender of her husband's essential decency. "But I remember thinking that day: I thought I had problems — I didn't know what a real problem was."

They are both active in bereavement support groups and still hope for a family. Mr. Bernstein, meanwhile, says he is exploring ways to turn StockPatrol into a profitable, but still lawful, venture — perhaps by expanding it into a radio program or a book.

His admirers among the enemies of penny-stock fraud say they are confident that Mr. Bernstein's redemption is genuine and that he will resist future temptations. But even they cannot explain why he can see so clearly now what he could not see for so long: the dots that add up to fraud.
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 9:21am

Thomas F. Quinn -

MARCH 12, 2010

The Last of the Golden Swindlers 

In his five-decade criminal career, Thomas F. Quinn has stolen an estimated $500 million. He's served minimal jail time. Now the government is getting tougher on financial fraudsters, and his luck may be about to change. 

Thomas F. Quinn's alleged aliases have included Georgios Samaras, Robert Dzigi, Tasos Douros and Pele Lechien. "Chien" is French for dog and Pele was supposedly the name of a Quinn pooch. 

Even in the face of authorities, Mr. Quinn remained maddeningly elusive. At one Securities and Exchange Commission session, Mr. Quinn insisted on only answering questions by blinking his eyes, says a former agency attorney who was there. After a few questions and blinks, the proceeding was halted as a pointless exercise. 

During his swindling career, Mr. Quinn helped run a giant boiler-room operation out of a villa overlooking the French Riviera, had a champion racehorse and was alleged to have helped former financier Martin Frankel pull off one of history's largest insurance frauds. U.S. authorities say he stole an estimated $500 million total.

His record, which includes three SEC injunctions and two federal criminal convictions, stretches back to 1966 when regulators barred the 28-year-old Mr. Quinn from the brokerage business for peddling shares of a bogus Florida land company. In 1992, a federal judge called Mr. Quinn an "incorrigible" recidivist whose business activities "appear to be devoted exclusively to securities fraud." Yet he has served a total of only about six years in prison—with most that in France. 

All of that could change now. Last November, at the age of 72, he was arrested by federal agents as he stepped off a plane from Ireland at John F. Kennedy Airport and charged with helping orchestrate a $50 million telecommunications fraud. If convicted, Mr. Quinn could face more than 20 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and his attorney declined to comment. Mr. Quinn is currently in a federal prison outside of Dallas, awaiting a trial that is scheduled for February 2011. 

Mr. Quinn stands as one of the few remaining members of a class of swindlers who cut their teeth during a golden age of securities fraud. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the stock market, having weathered the Great Depression and a world war, was flying high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, after plunging to near 40 in the 1930s, soared to nearly 1,000 by early 1966. Expanding jet travel and telecommunications allowed financial criminals to set up in distant places to cheat victims near and far. 

For much of the past half-century, people like Mr. Quinn could bank on the fact that even when caught they were unlikely to draw lengthy prison stays. Judges and others in law enforcement often viewed white-collar criminals as less of a threat to society than other types of offenders. Mr. Quinn's first criminal conviction for securities fraud in a New York federal court in 1970 earned him a six-month sentence. For his 1993 U.S. conviction in a Nevada federal court for securities fraud related to the international boiler-room operation, Mr. Quinn received no additional jail time beyond what he'd already served in Europe. 

Many of Mr. Quinn's generation have passed. In more than a quarter-century of stock fraud, Ramon D'Onofrio collected six criminal convictions and seven SEC injunctions but only about 12 months in prison. Even after a 1990 heart transplant, he nabbed one last conviction on fraud-related charges—and no prison sentence. He died about a decade ago. 

Arnold Kimmes, who law-enforcement officials say was a longtime Quinn confederate and was believed by the California attorney general to have ties to organized crime, died in 2008 after a fraud career that dated back to the 1940s, interrupted by only a few years in prison.

But Mr. Quinn faces his latest criminal case in a legal landscape that has grown increasingly intolerant of financial fraudsters, partly due to public anger over waves of financial scandals, from the Wall Street insider-trading schemes of the 1980s to Enron Corp.'s collapse in 2001. More law-enforcement resources are going to fight fraud, penalties are tougher and judges are more willing to hand out stiff sentences. Bernard Madoff got 150 years for his epic Ponzi scheme, while former Enron President Jeffrey Skilling got a quarter-century. The appeal of Mr. Skilling's conviction was recently argued before the Supreme Court.

During decades of pursuit, authorities found Mr. Quinn to be a tough nut to crack. Mr. Quinn frequently used aliases and fake passports, say investigators. Stan Whitten, a retired SEC official who spent a good chunk of seven years chasing the swindler, was never able to nab him, or even meet him. "Tommy seemed like a guy incapable of doing something in a legal manner," he says.

He could also be charming. Chicago attorney Steven Scholes deposed him while serving as a receiver for the SEC on a Quinn-related case in 1996. During a break, a plane pulling an advertising banner flew by and Mr. Quinn volunteered to read the distant message: "Leave Tommy alone," he intoned. Mr. Scholes says he couldn't help but laugh. 

"Just forget me," Mr. Quinn said when this reporter reached him briefly in 1995 by calling a residence he was using in Long Island. "I've got a lot of trouble and a lot of personal grief. I'm just trying to get on with my life. I'm not in the securities business and never will be again." 

Mr. Quinn was born and raised in a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood, the only son of an Irish-American truck driver and an Italian-American housewife.

He "was the focal point of the family," says Joseph Sorrentino, a boyhood friend who remained in touch with Mr. Quinn and went on to become a prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney's office. Mr. Quinn's mother supplemented the family income by running three businesses, including selling jewelry and clothing out of the garage. Mr. Sorrentino recalls that he would sleep over at the Quinn home because it was one of the few that had air conditioning. 

Mr. Quinn was an A-student at his Catholic school and an altar boy. He was known around the neighborhood as the local "genius," says Mr. Sorrentino, who himself went on to Harvard Law School. As an undergraduate at St. John's University in New York, Mr. Quinn studied philosophy and from memory "would quote passages from Thomas Aquinas on ethics," his friend adds. 

Still, he once stole some beer for a party by passing himself as a delivery man at a supermarket, says Mr. Sorrentino. He also says his friend once bought hot dogs for the neighborhood kids by flashing the corner of a $10 bill to the vendor—who didn't discover until too late that all Mr. Quinn had was a fragment of the bill.

Mr. Sorrentino recalls once gazing at the Empire State Building with Mr. Quinn. "I saw a tall building. Tom saw himself in a suite at the top," he says.

Several years ago, Mr. Quinn came to Los Angeles for a visit. The two took a long walk that included a stop at the home of a former Quinn employee who was suffering from a serious illness. Mr. Quinn delivered an envelope with cash for him and his family. "For friends, he was like a one-man welfare state," says Mr. Sorrentino.

Mr. Quinn didn't talk business with his prosecutor friend. Instead, they reminisced about their Brooklyn days, which "seemed like a comfort zone for him," says Mr. Sorrentino.

With a law degree from St John's, Mr. Quinn was admitted to the New York bar in 1962 and that same year became the president of a small brokerage firm, Thomas Williams and Lee, Inc. 

According to a 1966 SEC court filing, he peddled as a no-risk investment the stock of a Florida land company that had little revenue or cash and listed assets that "were almost completely illusory." The injunction barred him from the securities business for "flagrant fraudulent practices." 

He married and divorced a childhood sweetheart. He met his second wife, Rochelle Rothfleisch, while she was working as a hairdresser, says Mr. Sorrentino. Mr. Quinn visited her shop in connection with a venture he had selling a new kind of hair-spraying device. His two marriages produced five children.

Though Ms. Rothfleisch's name showed up on brokerage and bank account records in Quinn-related deals, she was never charged with wrongdoing. Ms. Rothfleisch died in 2004. "She said she was just signing things when Tommy asked her to," recalls one investigator who interviewed Ms. Rothfleisch. "She was just enjoying the ride." 

The ride included travel, fabulous homes and even a champion racehorse named Grey Swallow—which won the Irish Derby in 2004 along with a purse of €736,000 (almost $900,000 at the time). 

During the 1980s he set up shop in France, where he helped run a boiler-room stock scam in which telephone salesmen pitched largely worthless stocks to investors around the world, authorities say. The Quinns lived in a villa called Le Mas des Roses, in the hilltop village of Mougins. The villa had a waterfall, pool and gardens along with commanding views of Cannes and the Mediterranean, according to visitors. The couple also rented an apartment in Paris on the exclusive Avenue Foch.

But his boiler-room operation attracted the attention of French authorities, who in 1988 arrested Mr. Quinn and seized records from the villa. Copies of those records, photocopies of which were viewed by The Wall Street Journal, show a man who kept extensive, tightly packed handwritten notes of cash and stock transactions with a bevy of names, some of them alleged Quinn aliases. Yet occasional signs of more mundane interests surfaced. One page shows a list of U.S. utilities with their stock prices and notation "good for capital appreciation."

In the late 1990s, Mr. Quinn's name popped up as investigators poured through the records and wreckage of the giant insurance scam headed by Mr. Frankel, who is serving a 16-year federal prison sentence for looting over $200 million from insurance companies. Mr. Quinn wasn't criminally charged in that case. But a lawsuit filed in Mississippi federal court by five state insurance commissioners alleges he helped Mr. Frankel hide his scam. 

Alan Curley, a Chicago attorney representing the insurance commissioners, says that records obtained through his investigations show that Mr. Frankel wired millions of dollars to Quinn-connected accounts, including $2.9 million sent to a bank on the Pacific island of Vanuatu. Mr. Quinn's lawyer declined to comment on the suit.

Now Mr. Quinn's long career could be drawing to a close. 

In the current fraud case, Mr. Quinn and confederates allegedly stole millions in 2005 from giant telecommunications companies. The defendants allegedly bought on credit ever greater amounts of phone-line capacity from the big companies, resold it and then failed to pay their telecom suppliers—a scheme known as a "bust out." The scam cost victim companies over $50 million, according to government court filings, with about $21 million in pilfered funds ping-ponged around Europe before heading to bank accounts in Beirut. Mr. Quinn helped set up and finance the scheme, prosecutors say in court filings. 

Officials at the U.S. Attorney's office in Dallas, which is prosecuting Mr. Quinn, decline to discuss how they developed the case. A court filing by prosecutors shows that the government used wiretaps to gather evidence. That filing said evidence showed that Mr. Quinn tried to cover up his role in the scheme and was linked to an attempt to pay a witness to leave the U.S. to avoid being questioned.

Court documents show that a grand jury charged Mr. Quinn last May with 12 counts of conspiracy and fraud, but the indictment was sealed for fear he would go into hiding if he learned of the charges. U.S. authorities worked with British and French authorities to apprehend Mr. Quinn, including one attempt to arrest him at the Nice airport in October. 

Mr. Curley says that he had never been able to find Mr. Quinn to serve him with the lawsuit papers. With Mr. Quinn back in federal custody, the attorney finally succeeded in January.

Another old case is getting new life, too. Upon learning of his recent arrest, the SEC filed papers in Chicago federal court to enforce a 1994 judgment against Mr. Quinn related to some of his alleged stock-fraud activities for $26 million, which the agency calculates is now at $56 million with interest. The agency court filing calls him "an incorrigible securities law recidivist and career criminal."

In a court filing, lawyers for Mr. Quinn challenged that characterization. Though he "made mistakes as a younger man," Mr. Quinn is "far from a career criminal" and has "fulfilled his debts to society and then some." The filing calls the current criminal case against him "cryptic at best."

Prosecutors and Mr. Quinn are currently fighting over whether he should be allowed out on bail. A filing by Mr. Quinn's attorneys argue that he has serious medical conditions, including melanoma and heart problems, that require care outside of prison. The filing also shows that relatives and friends have offered to pledge property towards a $5 million bond, giving "adequate assurance that Quinn will not flee." 

Prosecutors contend that Mr. Quinn is a "serious flight risk." One government court filing estimated he has "likely pocketed" over $500 million in his "sordid history of perpetrating fraud scheme after fraud scheme against citizens of this country and Europe."

Mr. Quinn is believed to have properties in four countries and multiple bank accounts, the government said. While federal agents took two passports from him, Mr. Quinn could be in possession of others, said a government filing. In the months before his arrest, prosecutors said Mr. Quinn had made trips to Turkey, the Maldives and the United Arab Emirates, which does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S. "Quinn is well-informed of countries having extradition treaties with the United States," said one filing.
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 10, 2011, 9:26am

D.H. Blair & Co. Indicted for Racketeering -

07/27/00 - 06:16 PM EDT

Two years after D.H. Blair & Co. ceased operations, a New York grand jury indicted the retail brokerage firm and several of its executives and employees on racketeering charges, prosecutors said Thursday. 

The executives, including Kenton Wood, the firm's chairman, and Alan Stahler and Kalman Renov, its vice chairmen, face up to 25 years in state prison if they are convicted on the felony charges. 

The indictment also names 12 other D.H. Blair employees including Vito Capotorto, the firm's head trader, and Alfred Palagonia, the top-producing broker. 

The 173-count indictment charges that the firm defrauded its own customers, other investors, other brokerage firms and securities regulators from 1989 through 1998. The charges include manipulating the prices of IPOs and engaging in illegal sales tactics, including dodging customers' orders to sell stocks. 

Prosecutors noted that more than 50,000 customers invested with the firm and that it made "large profits," but they said the extent of customers' losses was unknown. 

All defendants surrendered and pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon. 

"D.H. Blair & Co. and its executives are innocent of these charges, absolutely deny that they engaged in any criminal activity whatsoever and anticipate their ultimate vindication," said Andrew M. Lawler, a lawyer for the firm and its executives. "The indictment is erroneously based on novel theories of securities law which we believe cannot be the basis for criminal charges." 

Each defendant was also charged with securities fraud and scheme to defraud in the first degree. Both charges are felonies punishable by up to four years in state prison, but convictions on the racketeering charges would control the sentencing, prosecutors said. 

J. Morton Davis, who joined Blair in 1961 and bought a majority stake seven years later, was not named in the indictments. Davis gave the retail brokerage arm of the company to his family in 1992, retaining control of the investment banking division, D.H. Blair Investment Banking, which continues to operate today. Stahler and Renov are his sons-in-law. Davis did not return calls for comment. 

The indictments also accused some Blair employees of falsifying business records, suppressing complaints and giving false testimony. Brokers at D.H. Blair obtained boxes of computer printouts owned by the firm Salomon Smith Barney and containing the names of more than 10,000 of its customers, said Daniel J. Castelman, chief of the investigation division for the Manhattan District Attorney. Brokers from D.H. Blair cold-called many of the people named on the list, he said. 

Castelman said Salomon Smith Barney is not involved in the investigation "except as the victim of a theft." 

Duncan King, a spokesman for Salomon Smith Barney, declined to comment. 

It was unclear whether investors could expect any restitution beyond $2.4 million obtained by NASD Regulation in 1998. 

Castelman said in a telephone interview that restitution could be included in a plea agreement, or a judge could order it as part of a conviction. 

"It is the policy of this office to try to return criminal proceeds to the victim," he said. 

"It's clear to us that they have substantial assets," he said, referring to the defendants. "Some were making more than $1 million a year." 

Prosecutors said they built a case from leads obtained in an investigation of A.R. Baron, a penny-stock brokerage firm that filed for bankruptcy protection in 1996. Andrew Bressman, a top-producing broker at D.H. Blair, left the firm in 1992 to found Baron with a group of former Blair brokers. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to one count of enterprise corruption and one count of grand larceny, agreeing to cooperate with the district attorney. He has not yet been sentenced. 

In 1997, the New York Stock Exchange censured Blair and fined it $250,000, alleging the firm did not take proper steps to prevent misconduct by its brokers. Later, the National Association of Securities Dealers censured the firm and fined it $4.3 million for allegedly overcharging retail investors. Concurrent with that action, Wood and Capotorto paid a combined $525,000 in fines, neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing. In 1998, Blair set up a $2.25 million restitution fund after settling state investigators' charges of abusive sales practices.

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