Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out (Chapter 5): The Russians, their Friends, and Bernie Madoff’s Bear Markets

The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out (Chapter 5): The Russians, their Friends, and Bernie Madoff’s Bear Markets

13 May 2011 by Mark Mitchell 

Tags: Bernard Madoff, Boris Berezovsky, BrokerKreditServis, economic warfare, Evraz, Felix Sater, Financial Terrorism, Litvinenko, Mahfouz, Man Financial, Man Group, MF Global, Michael Milken, Orange Diviner, polonium, Roman Abramovich, Rusal, SAC Capital, Semion Mogilevich, Steve Cohen, Tuco Trading, Vladimir Putin

This is Chapter 5 of a multi-chapter story…

As Bernie Madoff’s former secretary noted in an article that she wrote for Vanity Fair magazine, right before Madoff turned himself over to the FBI, he made a point of flying to Switzerland to meet with Marc Rich. In fact, Marc Rich, the fellow who had been indicted for trading with Iran, was the last person Madoff met before going to jail.

Madoff and Rich would have had much to discuss. They had done business together for decades, going back to the time in the 1980s when Rich and a man named Edmund Safra were among the most important Western business partners of the regimes in Iran and Russia. Safra first came to fame in the Iran-Contra affair, which saw him selling his contacts with the Iranian regime to the Israelis, and he later became a billionaire due largely to the business he conducted with Marc Rich in Russia.

In the 1990s, Safra controlled the Republic National Bank and countless other financial entities that were heavily focused on Russia. And much of the business that Safra and Rich conducted in Russia was done with the people who were the real power in Russia, the people who make Russia’s foreign policy and direct its economic activities. Safra has been widely credited with having been among the small clique of billionaires who orchestrated the 1999 rise to power of Russian president (now prime minister) Vladimir Putin.

That clique was led by two Russian oligarchs, Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich. At the time, Berezovsky was the most powerful man in Russia, famously named the “Godfather of the Kremlin” by Forbes journalist Paul Klebnikov, who authored a book by that name and was then murdered on the street outside his Moscow offices.

In 1999, Abramovich was relatively obscure, but he was an important business partner for Berezovsky. The two men effective co-managed a single business empire. They were, as we will see, also involved in various ventures with the Russian Mafia kingpin Semion Mogilevich. Abramovich, like Mogilevich, earned billions siphoning money (with the apparent consent of Vladimir Putin) from the Russian state oil firm, Gazprom.

It should be understood that Gazprom is much more than an oil company. It is one of the most important instruments of state power in Russia, a key tool of Putin’s foreign policy and the source of cash that Putin uses to cement relationships between himself and shady businessmen, most notably Abramovich and Mogilevich.

Moscow police arrested Mogilevich in 2008, and some interpreted this as a sign that President Dmitry Medvedev was asserting his power by taking on the friends of Prime Minister Putin. More likely, the arrest was meant to placate the United States, which, after all, had Mogilevich as #2 on its Most Wanted list. Either way, Mogilevich was quickly released, with the Russian Interior Minister announcing that the charges against the world’s most notorious Mafia boss were “not of a particularly grave nature.”

As of 2011, reports from Moscow suggest that Mogilevich may face no charges whatsoever. This was not a surprise, given Mogilevich’s importance to the Russian government. As I mentioned, Mogilevich was implicated in massive money laundering scheme that saw more than $7 billion laundered through the Bank of New York. Much of that money was said by prosecutors to have been filched by Russian government officials, including president Boris Yeltsin, who had just named Vladimir Putin as his successor thanks in large part to the support of Abramovich, Berezovsky, and quite likely, Mogilevich.

More recently, U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by Wikileaks in 2010 reinforced the statements (which I quoted at the outset of this story) of National Intelligence Director Admiral Blair that the Russian government and organized crime outfits (the most prominent of which is the Mogilevich organization) are closely intertwined.

As one cable from the U.S. embassy in Moscow noted, the Russian government “operates more as a kleptocracy than a government. Criminal elements enjoy a ‘kryshna’ (a term from the criminal/mafia world literally meaning roof or protection) that runs through the police [and] the Federal Security Service [Russia’s spy agency]…”

Until his death, Edmund Safra was clearly part of this nexus. His Republic National Bank was among those that were implicated (though never charged) in the Russian Mafia and money laundering scandal that focused on the Bank of New York. Soon after that scandal became big news in 1999, two masked men arrived at Safra’s home in Monaco, locked him in a bathroom, lit the place on fire, and left Safra to die a terrible death from smoke inhalation.

That murder has never been solved, but one theory is that it was part of the Russian government’s effort to cover up a money laundering and stock manipulation network that was, in fact, much bigger than the Bank of New York scandal that broke in 1999. As we will see in an upcoming chapter, that theory is correct.

Many of the people involved were among Michael Milken’s closest associates. Two of these associates were Bruce Rappaport and Abbas Gokal, owners of Inter Maritime Bank, which became the Bank of New York affiliate most responsible for building ties to Russia.

Gokal, you will recall, was also a key BCCI figure, closely linked to Pakistan’s spy services and tied up in the Iran-Contra scandal. Later, Gokal (in addition to being an official advisor to the regime in Iran) would also be implicated in assisting Pakistan’s nuclear weapons proliferation, including the transfer of nuclear weapons expertise to Iran.

One of the Russian oligarchs whom Gokal and Rappaport introduced to Bank of New York was Mikhail Fridman, head of Alfa Bank, who is a close associate of Abramovich and Mogilevich. Currently, Fridman and Alfa Bank are the principal financiers of Iran’s Buhsher nuclear facility, which is widely believed to be part of Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. In 1999, Fridman, like Safra, was among the small clique of billionaires (led by Berezovsky and Abramovich) who orchestrated Vladimir Putin’s rise to power.

After the Bank of New York scandal hit the front pages in 1999, Berezovsky purportedly had a falling out with Putin and went into “exile” in London. Some Russian journalists, noting that Putin has met with Berezovsky since then, argue that the falling out was not real – that it was yet another example of the smoke and mirrors that Putin uses to conceal the nature of his relationships. Aside from the meetings, there is no strong evidence to support this theory, but anything is possible when it comes to the affairs of Russia.

Whatever the case, Berezovsky and Abramovich split up their business empire in 1999 in a deal that is still being mediated by Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa al Nahyan (he of the same family that co-founded BCCI). That same year, Putin’s government charged Berezovsky with various crimes, and Berezovsky emerged as the leading figure in “the London Circle”, a strange group of Russian exiles that seems to be opposed to Putin’s regime.

Abramovich remained in Russia, and is now perhaps that nation’s most powerful man. He is Russia’s fourth richest oligarch, having earned billions not only from siphoning money from the Russian state oil company, Gazprom, but also from companies that are involved in everything from financial services to radioactive isotopes. And he maintains a private army of at least 100 former KGB operatives and mercenaries.

Such private armies are not mere security companies; they are the bonds that tie oligarchs like Abramovich to the siloveki – the former KGB operatives and current spies who feature prominently in Putin’s government. Putin himself is a former KGB operative, and before becoming president, he was the head of the KGB’s successor outfit, the FSB.

People like Mogilevich and Abramovich should be viewed as being part of the intelligence apparatus that controls Russia. Indeed, Russian commentators note that Putin and Abramovich have something approximating a father-son relationship, with there being some dispute as to which man is the father figure.

In 2010, I began to take an interest in Abramovich because he seemed to be tied to a network of brokerages in the United States, including the criminal operation run by Bernard Madoff, and also, Tuco Trading, the little, unregistered brokerage that employed the jihadi Zuhair Karam (whom I introduced at the outset of this story). Indeed, I had taken such a close interest that I was beginning to wonder whether someone was going to put radioactive polonium in my tea.

Of course, I joke – that seemed unlikely, but there was the odd case of a former KGB operative named Alexander Litvinenko, who had been an employee of Berezovsky and a member of the London Circle. In 2006, Litvinenko was making what seemed like outrageous claims about Putin, stating, for example, that Putin’s government had extensive contacts with Al Qaeda.

Putin’s government responded that it was, in fact, Litvinenko and Berezovsky who were funding jihadis, including the same Al Qaeda-tied Chechen terrorists who had, in 2004, taken hostage hundreds of children (many of whom were subsequently killed when Russian forces attacked the hostage-takers) at a school in the Russian city of Beslam.

Litvinenko, in turn, said that the Russian intelligence services had orchestrated the “Chechen” terrorist attacks as part of an effort to enhance Putin’s power, the theory being that the Russian people would embrace a strongman like Putin if they believed their children were being killed by Chechens. Litvinenko’s claims were echoed by Russia’s most prominent journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who was promptly murdered in the elevator of her apartment building.

Since then, it has been concluded even by the Russian courts that the Russian intelligence services did stage at least one Chechen “terrorist attack”, a bombing that killed an unspecified number of people and collapsed a bridge. The FSB says that it was merely a training exercise to prepare Russia’s intelligence operatives for real Chechen attacks. As for the other attacks, the evidence remains circumstantial, and the truth may never be known.

Whatever the truth, though, Litvinenko (who was on close terms with Chechen nationalists) claimed again in 2006 that he had evidence that the Russian government had developed a working relationship with Al Qaeda. Soon before he was to release this evidence (or, at any rate, soon before the date on which he claimed he was going to release this evidence) Litvinenko was poisoned by radioactive substance called polonium-210, which had apparently been dropped in his tea. Two weeks later, in November 2006, Litvinenko was dead.

Berezovsky’s spokesman said the murder was the work of Putin’s thugs. Others said it was the work of Abramovich. Moscow newspapers aligned with Putin duly accused Berezovsky of orchestrating the radioactive polonium attack as part of a conspiracy to discredit the Russian government. Still others said that Litvinenko had been trying to blackmail some powerful business people in Moscow and was killed as a result. Meanwhile, the Russian government claimed that Litvinenko was building a nuclear bomb for Al Qaeda and accidentally poisoned himself with the polonium.

None of these theories have been supported by solid proof. Such are the mysteries of present day Russia. But even more concerning than the murder itself is the fact that the murderers were able to easily smuggle polonium 210 into Britain, suggesting that this substance could quite easily get into the hands of people such as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier), Al Qaeda Golden Chain member Sheikh Mahfouz, and all the jihadis who not only supported outfits such as Benevolence International (which was in contact with people shopping for nukes) but also have close business relationships with leading Russians, including Abramovich and Berezovsky.

In 2003, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a lengthy report on the real possibility that terrorists could deploy “dirty bombs” made of radioactive material. The report listed polonium 210 (the substance used to kill Litvinenko) as one of the 10 radioactive materials of “greatest concern”. A dirty bomb would not be nearly as lethal as a full-fledged nuclear device, but one dirty bomb could contaminate much of lower Manhattan with cancer-causing radiation and precipitate wide-spread panic, with millions of people fleeing major cities.

A dirty bomb coupled with an effective attack on the financial markets could potentially bring the United States to its knees.

This is why I think it is generally a good idea to be on the lookout for people who are in any way mixed up with both radioactive polonium poisonings and unregistered little brokerages, like Tuco Trading, which transacted manipulative trading equal to twenty percent of the volume of the biggest brokerage on the planet. And this is why I kept telephoning Zuhair Karam, the jihadi who worked for Tuco Trading

I really did believe Zuhair when he said he was “just one of the little guys” but I figured he knew something about the big guys who were trading through Tuco in the month before the collapse of Bear Stearns in 2008. I also suspected that this trading might have been connected to trading through a larger network of brokerages that included not just Madoff’s crooked operation, but also ostensibly upstanding outfits like Credit Suisse, the giant investment bank.

In fact, the New York district attorney’s ongoing investigation of Assa Corporation seems to overlap with a current Justice Department investigation focused on Credit Suisse. The Assa Corporation, recall, is the Iranian espionage and business outfit indicted in 2009 for funding Iran’s nuclear program. It was a unit of the Alavi Foundation, which owned the building that had housed the offices of Ivan Boesky and Marc Rich. The Iranian agents who ran Alavi and Assa Corp., we know, took their orders from diplomats working out of Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York.

The misdeeds of Credit Suisse could fill several books, but for our purposes, it is enough to know that the bank had several key relationships. One was with Bernard Madoff. Credit Suisse’s raised at least $1 billion for Madoff’s scam (the bank denies that it did so knowingly). Meanwhile, Credit Suisse’s most important client was Leon Black (the Milken crony whose father fell through a plate glass window in the Pan Am building). The relationship between Black and Credit Suisse is, to this day, so close that Black has played a role in deciding which executives should run its key departments.

Credit Suisse’s other key relationship is with the regime in Iran. Indeed, it is fair to say that the Islamic Republic has had few better friends than the executives of Credit Suisse. In December 2009, Credit Suisse was fined $536 million, or around 10 percent of the bank’s profits for that year, for deliberately helping Iranian banks, including Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, hide their identities and conduct secret transactions valued at more than $1 billion. Amazingly, however, no Credit Suisse executives faced criminal charges.

It is amazing because Credit Suisse’s executives conducted these secret transactions for Iran knowing full well that they were transferring the $1 billion directly to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Aerospace Industries Organization, the Iranian government entities responsible for the regime’s covert production of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, while Credit Suisse was helping to finance Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the bank was also using code names to conceal securities trading though other brokerages on behalf of financial firms in Sudan and Libya. A former employee of the Manhattan district attorney’s office (who now runs a private intelligence firm that specializes in tracking suspicious financial transactions) suspects that the Libya and Sudan trading was tied to similar trading originating out of Iran and involving executives of the Alavi Foundation and the Assa Corporation, the Islamic Republic’s espionage and business operations in New York.

So far, the Justice Department has not described the nature of that trading, nor has it revealed the names of the Credit Suisse employees and the other brokerages involved. But when I called Zuhair Karam of Tuco Trading, I knew that his family was on close terms with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al Arian, the fellow who was, like the Assa Corp, taking directions from Iranian operatives working out of the UN headquarters in New York. I also had received a tip that much of the massive volume that went through Tuco in 2008 was tied to a certain Iranian fellow was an associate of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

I figured Zuhair could tell me more about this, but he was not cooperative. Not yet, anyway. At this stage in 2010, I knew only that the report by Tuco’s bankruptcy receiver stated that 2,000 anonymous accounts in China and one other account had traded 2 billion shares through Tuco in the month before the March, 2008 collapse of Bear Stearns.

In fact, Tuco certainly traded far more shares than that, but the receiver’s report only mentioned the trading out of the 2,000 anonymous accounts in China and that one other account. In any case, those 2 billion shares alone were, I must stress, equal to around 20 percent of the volume of the largest brokerage on the planet.

I knew that the people behind those anonymous accounts were not Chinese, and I suspected that Zuhair Karam could tell me more about the people who were behind the accounts. But, as I say, Zuhair was not initially cooperative. Only later would he provide the confirmation I needed to know the full story.

But while Zuhair was still refusing to cooperate, I had begun a discussion with another person tied to Tuco, a trader in Moscow by the name of Alexey Ivin, who, along with several other Russian traders, held an account at Tuco called “Orange Diviner.” We do not know how many shares were traded through this account because Tuco’s bankruptcy receiver had a stroke before he could finish his report, but Orange Diviner was interesting on many levels.

For starters, it seemed surprising to me that Tuco, an obscure, little brokerage in Chicago that had not even bothered to register with the authorities, had attained such international prominence . When Orange Diviner came on board at the beginning of 2008, Tuco had been in business for only a few months. And the international attention that Tuco had received was by no means insignificant. The Orange Diviner group was comprised of some seriously heavy players, most of whom appeared to be top henchmen of either Roman Abramovich (Putin’s right-hand man) or Semion Mogilevich (the Russian Mafia kingpin).

One of the “Orange Diviner” Tuco traders was named Sergey Maksimov, and according to a man familiar with Orange Diviner, this was the same Sergey Maksimov (sometimes spelled “Sergei Maximov”) who worked at a high level for Semion Mogilevich at an outfit called YBM Magnex, which was a massive stock fraud and one of the big reasons why Mogilevich ended up in second place on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, just below Osama Bin Laden. YBM Magnex was tied to the larger stock manipulation and money laundering network that was identified after the Bank of New York scandal became public.

An FBI report from 1999 (since declassified) noted that Czech authorities had reported that Sergey Maksimov was dead, the victim of an execution-style murder. However, he is alive and well. With help from Russian journalists and an organized crime expert in Boston who has provided assistance to the Deep Capture investigation, we located him in Ukraine, where he now runs a big financial institution called VAB Bank.

I couldn’t get in touch with Mr. Maksimov, but Alexey Ivin agreed to answer my questions about Tuco and Orange Diviner with the stipulation that his answers would be translated into English by his girlfriend. His answers – well, to summarize, he said everything at Tuco was on the up and up, so far as he knew.

Later, I sent Mr. Ivin an email with the following question: “I notice that other people in Orange Diviner [all of whom had accounts at Tuco] include Sergey Maksimov of VAB Bank, Sergey Pavlov of EvrazRuda, and Evgeny Potapov, formerly of Evrazruda, and Alesandr Romanov of Evraz Group. A few others — altogether an impressive group. How did you all come together to form Orange Diviner?”

Mr. Ivin responded, “sergey maksimov – he was my friend who invite my person from orange-diviner and he is my partner of business. sergey pavlov and evgeny potapov – they was investors in orange-diviner. romanov was just a student. other people—was just students too, they don’t have enough experience in trading business.”

I couldn’t think of any clever way to get more information out of Mr. Ivin, and though it seemed that he was lying about the students, I felt like he might be willing to help me, so I asked him rather bluntly, “Since Sergey Maksimov previously worked with Semion Mogilevich, do you think you could help me learn more about Mogilevich and mafia involvement in U.S. markets. I know this would be risky for you, but it would be a good deed…”

Mr. Ivin replied, “Maksimov never was work with Mogilevich, and we (maksimov and i) don’t know this man…I don’t know what you toking [sic] about”. When I wrote back to Mr. Ivin, noting that he had not disputed that Maksimov worked for VAB Bank, and the Maksimov who worked for VAB was definitely the same Maksimov who worked for Mogilevich, Mr. Ivin replied that the Maksimov in Orange Diviner did not work for VAB Bank after all. Then Mr. Ivin sent me an email that said, “Sergey Mikhaylov, Timofeyev’s heir to the leadership of Orekhovskaya, Igor “Max” Maksimov, was killed in February…”

I do not know what that was supposed to mean, and to make a long story short, I never did get to the bottom of this. But I’ll go out on a limb, and say that since Mr. Ivin did not initially dispute that Maksimov worked for VAB Bank, and since I am certain that Maksimov at VAB is the same guy who worked for Mogilevich, and since Mr. Ivin refused to tell me where his Maksimov currently worked (if not at VAB), it is likely the case that the Maksimov who co-founded Orange Diviner was, indeed, a top Russian Mafia boss with links to the Russian government.

As I continued to ask questions about the other members of Orange Diviner, Mr. Ivin became even less communicative, saying at one point that he had never heard of a fellow, Alexandr Lyssenko, who was listed clearly in Tuco’s account books as being a member of Orange Diviner. When I followed up with questions stating that the other members of Orange Diviner were not students, but had, in fact, worked at high levels for Roman Abramovich’s most important companies, including the Evraz Group, Mr. Ivin did not deny it. Rather, he answered vaguely, “I don’t know about cooperation between [Orange Diviner] and Evraz.”

In fact, one of the Orange Diviner traders at this obscure, unregistered brokerage in Chicago was the Moscow-based Evgeny Potapov. He had been president of Abramovich’s Evraz Group. That is, he was the top-henchman to Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin’s right-hand man, Roman Abramovich (the fellow who is like a father to Putin). Potapov has also served as a board member and head of overseas assets for the giant Russian metals concern Norilsk Nickel.

In that capacity, Potapov had Norlisk launch a program in 2007 with the Russian foreign ministry to combat terrorism and organized crime. That a metals company suspected of having ties to the Mafia and to jihadis (who use Russian metals like they use diamonds – as currency) is directing the Russian foreign ministry’s battle against organized crime and terrorism should give you an idea of how things work in Russia.

Another member of Orange Diviner, Alesandr Romanov, had been the director of transportation at Abramovich’s Evraz Group. Meanwhile, Orange Diviner member Sergey Pavlov had been both head of investment planning at Evraz, and head of investments at Rusal, another big company then owned by Abramovich.

As for Alexandr Lyssenko, the fellow whose name did not ring a bell with Mr. Ivin – he was working for Alfa Group, the outfit run by Mikhail Fridman. Alfa is best known for having helped Iraq skirt UN sanctions during the reign of Saddam Hussein. But, as I mentioned, Fridman, a close associate of Abramovich and Mogilevich, is also the principal financier and developer of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, the facility that has much of the Western world in hysterics because it is assumed to be a front for the Islamic Republic’s secret efforts to acquire nuclear bombs in preparation for the coming of the Hidden Imam.

Yet another member of the Orange Diviner Tuco Trading group was Evgeny Chernov, who was working for ITP Rus AG, a company that has been linked to Gazprom scandals. Mr. Chernov also served for some time as Russia’s deputy trade representative in Armenia. Then there was Orange Diviner member Maxim Mishin, who was working for MDM Group, a company that was implicated in the scandal that saw Mogilevich and the Russian government manipulating the markets and laundering money through the Bank of New York.

As for Mr. Ivin himself, he works as the “head of international” for BrokerKreditServis (BKS, sometimes called BCS), a Moscow brokerage that is a joint venture with Russia’s state development bank, Vnesheconombank, or VEB. According to the Heritage Foundation, a respected think tank, VEB is an instrument of Russia’s intelligence services. BKS’s chief operating officer, Dmitry Peshnev Podolskiy was formerly the head of the above-mentioned Alfa Group, Iran’s favorite nuclear proliferator.

All in all, this was an interesting group of “day traders” – traders who should be watched closely, especially given that they were, in 2008, availing themselves of the services of this strange brokerage in Chicago, Tuco Trading. Since Tuco Trading was shut down by an “Emergency Order” of the SEC soon after the Orange Diviner account was set up, it is possible that the account did not have a chance to conduct much trading through Tuco.

But, as we will see, there is good reason to believe that it might have done so, and even better reason to believe that these same people transacted large volumes through Tuco’s partner brokerages, which were not shut down by the SEC.

In any case, we have to wonder why a group of illustrious Russians who sat at the nexus of the Russian Mafia-intelligence apparatus (an apparatus that also happens to have extensive ties to Iran) was involved with this obscure brokerage in Chicago.

So, yes, in the Fall of 2010, I found this odd, and I turned my attention back to trying to figure out who was behind those anonymous accounts in China. I was intrigued by the tip I had received that it was an Iranian with ties to the Revolutionary Guard, but it would be another couple months before Zuhair Karam would help me confirm the identity of this Iranian, and his ties to the Russian Mafia.

Meanwhile, I learned more about Bernie Madoff’s criminal operation, and it was beginning to look a lot like a massive market manipulation enterprise that catered to Russian oligarchs, the Mafia, and other people who are likely hostile to the United States.

* * * * * * * *

In December, 2008, shortly after Bernard Madoff went to lengths to pay one last visit to Marc Rich (friend of Iran) then turned himself in to the FBI, a Frenchman named Thiery Magon de la Villehuchet was found dead in his Manhattan office, Xanax on the desk, his wrists slit open, blood drained into a carefully placed garbage can. The police ruled it a suicide.

Monsieur de la Villehuchet has been described in the press as a “victim” of Bernard Madoff’s famous Ponzi scheme. In other words, he put a lot of money into Madoff’s hedge fund, lost all that money, and couldn’t take the stress. As matter of honor, he killed himself, and did so with such composure that he thought to position that garbage can so nobody would have to clean up after him.

A few months after Monsieur de la Villehuchet’s death, another maned named Jeffrey Picower was found dead, floating in the swimming pool at his Palm Beach mansion. They said it was a heart attack. The press reported that Picower was another “victim” of the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Meanwhile, the press continued to report that while Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was a colossal fraud, his giant brokerage and market making operation was legitimate. After all, Bernard Madoff was a “prominent” businessman. For a time, he had been the chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange, and he even roamed the halls of the SEC, which invited him to help it write some of its rules governing brokerages and hedge funds. Surely, Madoff’s rise to “prominence” suggested that his best-known business, the brokerage, was on the up and up.

This recalls Mark Twain’s observation that “it has become a sarcastic proverb that a thing must be true if you saw it in a newspaper.” Indeed, as Twain saw it, the fact that people believed what they read in the newspapers was evidence that civilization was in decline. I think it is fair to say that civilization has, indeed, taken a beating since the time of Twain, and unless the media gets its act together, things will only become worse.

The truth is, Picower and Monsieur de la Villehuchet were not victims – they were perpetrators. As we now know from multiple lawsuits that have been filed against the Madoff estate, Picower alone personally pocketed more than $5 billion from the Madoff Ponzi fraud. Monsieur de la Villehuchet and Marc Rich also profited from Madoff’s criminal operation.

What these men had in common was that they were, of course, among Michael Milken’s closest associates. Monsieur de la Villehuchet had co-founded Apollo Management with Leon Black, the fellow who had helped Milken run Drexel, Burnham. This is the same Leon Black whose fund is now in business with Felix Sater, the Russian Mafia boss who seems to have sold weapons to Al Qaeda, and which employs Lance Milken (Michael Milken’s son).

While he was selling weapons to Al Qaeda, Felix also tried to broker a deal whereby the U.S. investment bank Salomon Brothers would be bought by Felix’s friend Boris Berezovsky (then still the “Godfather of the Kremlin” and Roman Abramovich’s key business partner). Nothing came of the Salomon deal, but Felix’s partner Salvatore Lauria says the deal almost closed, and Felix has not disputed Salvatore’s account.

Mr. Picower, the fellow found floating in his swimming pool, had formerly been the largest investor in the arbitrage fund run by Milken’s famous criminal co-conspirator, Ivan Boesky, who, with Marc Rich, had been among the biggest investors in the fund run by Michael Steinhardt (son of the “biggest Mafia fence in America”). Boesky and Rich, recall, also both worked out of the offices owned by the Alavi Foundation, the Iranian espionage outfit.

After Boesky was released from prison in the 1990s, he headed to Moscow and hooked up with Berezovsky, Abramovich and members of the Mogilevich organization.

Sources close to Felix Sater tell Deep Capture that as of 2008, Boesky, Felix and other Russian Mafia characters to be introduced shortly had become the key clients of an offshore hedge fund called Lines Overseas Management. Lines Overseas, meanwhile, was a key feeder to the Madoff criminal operation.

Another key client of Lines Overseas Management was Ali Nazerali, the fellow who once worked at a high-level for the Gokal family (tied to the Iranian regime and Pakistani intelligence). This is the same fellow who ran the BCCI outfit First Commerce Securities with his relatives, one being the BCCI treasurer who set up the Capcom Saudi intelligence outfit that manipulated the U.S. markets in the 1980s with help from Michael Milken.

Another key Lines Overseas client, introduced by Nazerali, was Christopher Metsos, who was a Russian spy. In 2010, the FBI arrested Metsos along with nine other Russian spies, all of whom were charged with espionage and deported back to Moscow.

I realize that at this stage in the story, the mention of Russian spies, Milken cronies, the Mafia, and BCCI in the same breath will seem a bit nutty. But read on, and you will see that such relationships are by no means unusual or incidental.

* * * * * * * *

Another person who helped perpetrate Madoff’s fraud was Ezra Merkin, who fed billions into the Ponzi scheme while concurrently running Cerberus Capital, the hedge fund founded by Stephen Feinberg, who had formerly been one of Michael Milken’s top employees at Drexel Burnham before being reassigned to work with Felix Sater at Gruntal.

We also know that other big Madoff feeders included “made” members of the Mafia, such as Ralph Mafrici (perpetrator of “The Barbershop Hit”), 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.

Meanwhile, one of the biggest feeders to the Madoff fraud was Bank Medici, an outfit in Austria that catered mostly to shady characters tied to Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin. One of Bank Medici’s big clients – and a likely participant in the larger Madoff operation – was Roman Abramovich (the guy whose relationship with Putin is like that of a “son” or a “father”, depending on whom you ask; the same guy whose top henchmen, along with some Mogilevich henchman, had those odd accounts at Tuco Trading).

After Madoff’s fraud was exposed, and Bank Medici was implicated in the fraud, its founder, Sonja Kohn, disappeared. The Wall Street Journal speculated that she feared being killed by her Russian clients, who had lost money in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The speculation, however, was false. Ms. Kohn might well have been targeted for assassination, if only because she knew a great deal about Madoff’s larger operation, but her Russian clients did not lose a dime in the Ponzi scheme. Nor did Sonja Kohn herself.

According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in fact, Ms. Kohn and Bank Medici were receiving large payments from an outfit called Cohmad Securities, which was a unit of Madoff’s brokerage.

That is an extremely important piece of information. It is one of several pieces of information that show that the Madoff’s brokerage was tied into the criminal activities of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Cohmad Securities was co-owned by Madoff partner Robert Jaffe, and played an instrumental role in managing Madoff’s brokerage services. According to the Boston Globe, Jaffe was a once a key money manager for the Angiulo Brothers, who were then the bosses of the Genovese Mafia family in Boston.

The other key figure in the Madoff brokerage was Genovese Mafia capo Ralph Mafrici’s pal, Frank DiPascali, who seems to have been a point man for Madoff’s larger criminal operation.

Jaffe also helped raise money for the Ponzi scheme. And, importantly, it is clear that a lot of the money from the Ponzi was used to finance the operations of Madoff’s brokerage. By piecing together numbers cited in just a few lawsuits, it seems that at least $1 billion was diverted from the Ponzi to Madoff’s brokerage. And since I haven’t come close to getting through all the paperwork that has emerged from the Madoff case, it seems fair to assume that the figure might well be, in fact, much larger than $1 billion.

Why would Madoff transfer money from his fund to his brokerage? One hypothesis is that some of the Ponzi’s feeders (i.e. the people whom I have just named and their clients) wanted Madoff’s brokerage to engage in manipulative naked short selling, generating phantom stock to drive down the markets.

Indeed, an off-shore businessman who has seen some of Madoff’s records says that Madoff’s investment fund (his Ponzi) would place orders for stock, and these orders would be filled by Madoff’s market making operation (his brokerage), which would sell the stock to the “buyer” without first purchasing or borrowing it, thereby creating phantom supply.

Such naked short selling, though, creates large liabilities in the form of “securities sold but not yet delivered.” The fraud that brought down the giant brokerage, Refco, in 2005, saw Refco CEO Santo Maggio hide precisely the same sorts of naked short selling liabilities with help from an Austrian Bank called BAWAG (another operation tied to Roman Abramovich, the Mogilevich organization, and other Milken cronies whom we will meet in an upcoming chapter).

Just as Refco tried to hide its naked short liabilities with help from the Austrian bank BAWAG, so too did Madoff, most likely with help from Bank Medici, which was receiving payments from Cohmad, a key component of the Madoff brokerage.

There are several other reasons to believe that the $1 billion or more that was transferred from the Madoff Ponzi to the Madoff brokerage was used to cover up naked short selling liabilities.

One reason is that Madoff’s “stock loan” department (as Madoff’s former secretary has testified) was housed on the same floor of the Lipstick building as his Ponzi fund. Multiple former employees of the Madoff operation have said that visitors were prohibited from visiting that floor, precisely because it was the center of Madoff’s criminal enterprise. And “stock loan” – i.e. the brokerage function that was responsible for borrowing (or, in the criminal scenario, not borrowing) stock for (naked) short sellers — would have been key to any phantom stock scheme perpetrated in league with the Ponzi.

As confirmation that Madoff’s brokerage was a criminal outfit dependent on the Ponzi, we need only know that Daniel Bonventre, the brokerage’s director of operations, was charged in February 2010 with helping to ensure that “more than $750 million of [the Ponzi] investor fund were used to support [Madoff’s] market making [i.e. brokerage] and proprietary trading operations, but were accounted…so as to conceal the true source of the funds.” And Bonventre’s chief function at Madoff’s operation was, according to his indictment, to supervise “settlement and clearing of trades executed by the market making and proprietary trading operations.”

In other words, the guy who secretly transferred a lot of the “Ponzi” cash to the brokerage seemed to be doing so specifically to cover “settlement and clearing” – i.e. to hide the fact that stock was not “settling and clearing” because it was stock that had been sold “naked.” That is, it was stock that had been sold even though Madoff and his clients had not purchased or borrowed any stock to sell. It was phantom supply, meant to manipulate (and perhaps even crash) the markets.

No doubt, it was not a coincidence that Madoff had long courted the SEC and had even managed to wangle himself into the position of actually writing some of the SEC’s most important rules governing short selling. Indeed, SEC officials named one of its short selling rules after the SEC’s favorite crony – Bernard Madoff. The rule was called “The Madoff Exemption” – and it permitted market makers, such as Madoff, to sell short on a downtick.

The SEC rule prohibiting others to short sell on a downtick (which was scrapped entirely, at the behest of Madoff and others in his network, right at the inopportune moment in 2007 when the markets had begun to weaken) was meant to prevent traders from inducing death spirals and crashing the markets. But thanks to “The Madoff Exemption”, the clients of Madoff could induce death spirals without a word from the SEC.

Madoff also helped write the SEC rule that allowed market makers, such as Madoff, to engage in naked short selling so long as the purpose was to maintain “liquidity” in the markets, and so long as real stock was eventually delivered. Given that Madoff was, after all, a criminal of monumental proportions, it boggles the mind that neither the SEC nor the media ask whether Madoff might have “rented out” his market making exemption to hedge funds wishing to use naked short selling to drive down the markets.

It is more than likely that Madoff not only rented out his exemption, but abused it, never “clearing”, or delivering the stock he had “temporarily” sold naked.

The fact that Madoff actually helped write the SEC rules governing short selling (rules that contained precisely the sort of loopholes that would allow miscreant traders to crash the markets) should give you a sense of just what sort of agency the SEC was in 2008. In fact, the utter failure of the SEC and the all-important Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, or DTTC, to prevent naked short selling caught the attention of the people who were hired by the Defense Department Irregular Warfare Support program to analyze the causes of the 2008 financial crisis.

The report that was produced for the Defense Department (the same report I cited at the outset of this story) states that there is a possibility that the SEC and the DTTC (a self-regulating body responsible for ensuring settlement of short sales and other transactions) were compromised by organized crime or even foreign enemies of the state. The report concludes: “Implications that these parties [the SEC, the DTTC, and other Wall Street institutions] have been complicit [in acts of financial terrorism] or otherwise co-opted cannot be ruled out.”

That statement is not preposterous. Bernard Madoff was not the only suspect character roaming the halls of the nation’s regulatory bodies. We have seen that Sheikh DeLorenzo (he with the Al Qaeda partner linked to the military spy scandal) also received favorable treatment from the SEC, which allowed him to set up Al Safi Trust’s naked short selling machine in 2007. And as we will see, there were still other, equally dangerous people who “captured” officials at both the DTTC and the SEC.

* * * * * * * * *

Given the people whom Bernard Madoff serviced, it is clear that he was not just a monumental criminal, he was also a threat to national security. Consider that he had just a few other key “feeders” who profited from his scam, one of whom was the Abu Dhabi royal family, another of whom was Al Qaeda Golden Chain member Sheikh Mahfouz. The Abu Dhabi royals and Sheikh Mahfouz, of course, came to be on close terms with Madoff and his network when they were perpetrating the BCCI criminal enterprise.

Sheikh Mahfouz is the man who set up Blessed Relief (an Al Qaeda front) with “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” Yasin al Qadi (Osama bin Laden’s favorite financier). Remember that he also had ties to the folks at Benevolence International (who tried to obtain nukes for Al Qaeda). Sheikh Mahfouz fed the Madoff Ponzi through EFG Bank in Dubai, an outfit with close ties to Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mo, who, in 2007, helped set up Al Safi Trust’s naked short machine with Sheikh DeLorenzo.

Some associates of the Milken network say that Sheikh Mahfouz had some ownership stake in EFG (which, like the other feeders, claims, improbably, to have been a “victim”), but I have been unable to confirm that. Whatever the case, in 2010, EFG’s affiliate, EFG Hermes, bought Credit Libonais, a bank that was majority-owned by Sheikh Mahfouz’s family. Given that the feeders to Madoff’s Ponzi were likely participating in this fraud in order to help cover up naked short selling, it seems probable that Sheikh Mahfouz and the Abu Dhabi royals were among Madoff’s short selling clients in 2008.

It is also likely that some of the naked short selling handled by Madoff’s brokerage originated from Tuco Trading (the little outfit tied to the jihadi Zuhair Karam, the Russians and others to be discussed). This is because Tuco Trading had a partnership with Man Financial, which was a unit of Man Group, a giant hedge fund that was (though it, too, claims to be a “victim”) one of the principal feeders to the Madoff Ponzi fund. Man Financial also had member accounts at Tuco and provided Tuco with one of its trading platforms.

The managing director of the Man Group, also known as MF Global, is Thomas Harte, and he (like Shiekh Mahfouz and the other Madoff feeders) is one of Michael Milken’s closest associates. Mr. Harte had been a vice president of Milken’s operation at Drexel Burnham. A number of MF Global’s other top executives, such as senior vice presidents Fred Demler and Fred Ulmann, are also Drexel alumnae. Further evidence that the Man Group is part of the Milken network emerged when the media published reports in 2010 that the Man Group was thinking about buying Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital.

Steve Cohen, we know, was investigated in the 1980s for trading on inside information given to him by Milken’s shop while Cohen was running Gruntal Securities with Felix Sater, Feinberg and others. Nowadays, the media is reporting that Cohen is the main target of the largest FBI insider trading investigation in history. Most likely Man Group’s stated plan to buy SAC Capital was designed to discourage the FBI from investigating the hedge fund and its role in a larger criminal enterprise.

This, we will see, is a familiar pattern – members of the Milken network purchasing or offering to purchase funds and companies run by other Milken cronies who are under federal investigation. The idea seems to be to keep investigators focused on individuals rather than the funds or companies. Once the funds or companies are purchased, investigators tend to assume the new owners will run them in a more honest fashion.

As for the Man Group’s credentials, it is worth noting that its subsidiary, Man Financial, not only had a partnership with Tuco Trading, but also had a similar partnership with BrokerKreditServis, the Russian outfit where Orange Diviner’s Mr. Ivin works as “head of international.” BrokerKreditServis, you will recall, is run by the former head of Alfa Bank (financier to Iran’s nuclear program), and Orange Diviner’s other traders were henchmen of Roman Abramovich and Mogilevich.

Meanwhile, Man Financial had other key clients. One key client was the Lucchese Mafia family. This has been well documented by lawyers representing a company called Eagletech, and it has been confirmed by others.

Another key Man Financial client in 2008 – Al Qaeda.

To be continued…. ar-markets/

Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 13, 2011, 11:09am

Litigation Release: Lines Overseas Management, LOM Securities, LOM Capital

Posted on October 17, 2010 by PennyStockHaven

Court Enters Final Judgments against Brian N. Lines, Scott G.S. Lines, Anthony W. Wile, Wayne E. Wew (formerly Wayne E. Wile), Lines Overseas Management Ltd., LOM Securities (Bermuda) Ltd., LOM Securities (Bahamas) Ltd., LOM Securities (Cayman) Ltd., and LOM Capital Ltd. in Market Manipulation Case

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that the Honorable Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered judgments of permanent injunction and other relief against Brian N. Lines, Scott G.S. Lines, Anthony W. Wile, Wayne E. Wew, Lines Overseas Management Ltd., LOM Securities (Bermuda) Ltd., LOM Securities (Bahamas) Ltd., LOM Securities (Cayman) Ltd., and LOM Capital Ltd. on October 15, 2010. (The LOM companies collectively are referred to hereinafter as the “LOM Entities”). All of the foregoing defendants, with the exception of LOM Securities (Bahamas) Ltd. and LOM Securities (Cayman) Ltd., were enjoined by the Court from violating certain of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, as described below. The Court also ordered broad ancillary relief against the defendants, including as to certain defendants, disgorgement, civil money penalties, and compliance with undertakings to not trade in penny stocks quoted on certain U.S.-based electronic quotation services and, for the LOM Entities, to not maintain accounts for U.S.-resident customers. Brian and Scott Lines and the LOM Entities were ordered to disgorge over $1.9 million in profits and prejudgment interest and pay civil penalties totalling $600,000.

Without admitting or denying the Commission’s allegations, the defendants consented to the entry of the judgments against them. These judgments resolve the Commission’s claims against these defendants in a civil action that was filed on December 19, 2007, in which the Commission alleged that that these defendants had participated in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate the stock price of Sedona Software Solutions, Inc. (“SSSI”), and, except for Wile and Wew, also had participated in a second stock manipulation scheme involving SHEP Technologies, Inc. (“SHEP”) f/k/a Inside Holdings Inc. (“IHI”).

In addition to entering permanent injunctions, the Court ordered Brian and Scott Lines, who are brothers and during the relevant time were the controlling persons of the LOM Entities, to pay, jointly and severally with the LOM Entities, disgorgement of $1,277,403, prejudgment interest of $654,918. The Court also imposed civil penalties in the following amounts: $450,000 for the LOM Entities, $100,000 for Brian Lines; and $50,000 for Scott Lines. In addition to entering permanent injunctions against Anthony Wile and Wayne Wew, the Court ordered Wile to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $35,000, and Wew to disgorge approximately $8000 and pay a $10,000 civil penalty.

In its Complaint in the civil action, the Commission alleged that, in early 2002, Brian and Scott Lines assisted two LOM customers, defendants William Todd Peever and Phillip James Curtis, to secretly acquire a publicly-traded OTCBB shell company named Inside Holdings, Inc. (“IHI”). Peever and Curtis then arranged for a reverse merger of IHI with SHEP Ltd., a private company that purportedly owned certain intellectual property. Peever and Curtis paid three touters to publish a series of highly positive reports recommending investments in the newly-merged entity, SHEP Technologies, Inc. The Commission’s complaint alleged, in pertinent part, that during the first half of 2003, Peever, Curtis, and the Lines brothers sold over three million SHEP shares into this artificially-stimulated demand in an unregistered distribution of SHEP stock. As part of the alleged scheme, the Lines brothers, Peever, and Curtis failed to file required reports regarding their beneficial ownership of IHI and SHEP stock, and Brian Lines caused several false reports to be filed with the Commission in order to conceal that Peever and Curtis, among others, owned substantial positions in, and had been selling, SHEP stock.

As further alleged in the Commission’s Complaint, in late 2002, Anthony Wile and another individual formed Renaissance Mining Corporation (“Renaissance”) and thereafter engaged in substantial promotional activities that created the misleading impression that Renaissance had acquired three Central American gold mines and was the “Leading Gold Producer in Latin America.” In fact, Renaissance had only executed a non-binding Letter of Intent to acquire those mines and lacked the funding necessary to consummate the acquisition. The Complaint further alleges that Wile acted in concert with the Lines brothers, who acquired a publicly-traded shell, Sedona Software Solutions, Inc., using LOM accounts in the names of nominees to disguise their ownership of the Sedona shell, as part of a plan to merge Sedona with Renaissance.

The Complaint alleges that, in early 2003, Wile and his associate primed the market for Renaissance/Sedona by disseminating materially false and misleading information that misrepresented the ownership of the gold mines and created the impression that the Renaissance/Sedona merger had been completed. Wile and his associate also arranged for the Renaissance/Sedona offering to be touted to prospective investors by Robert Chapman, the publisher of an on-line investment newsletter, and three other newsletter writers, all of whom purchased Renaissance shares for nominal sums. Through this deceptive promotional campaign, Wile and his associate informed the market that there would be an opportunity to invest in Renaissance by acquiring Sedona stock at approximately $10 per share beginning on January 21, 2003.

According to the Complaint’s allegations, on that date, Wile orchestrated a pre-arranged manipulative trade between his uncle, defendant Wayne E. Wile (who subsequently changed his name to Wayne Wew), and Brian Lines to artificially drive up the price of Sedona stock from $.03 per share to over $9.00 per share and stimulate trading in the stock. The Complaint alleged that Scott Lines solicited investors, including at least one LOM customer in the United States, to purchase Renaissance stock in anticipation of the merger between Renaissance and Sedona, without disclosing that he and Brian Lines owned the Sedona shell corporation. The Complaint further alleged that, after Renaissance and Sedona had announced their pending merger, the Lines brothers sold 143,000 shares of Sedona stock in an unregistered distribution to numerous public investors at between $8.95 and $9.45 per share, reaping over $1 million in illegal profits. On January 29, 2003, the Commission suspended trading in Sedona’s stock.

Final judgments were entered by the Court against each defendant and provide the following relief, respectively:

(i) Brian Lines is permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud, securities offering registration, and securities ownership disclosure provisions of the federal securities laws, Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) and Sections 13(d) and 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rules 13d-1, 13d-2, and 16a-3 thereunder; (2) ordered to pay disgorgement, jointly and severally with Scott Lines and the LOM Entities, in the amount of $1,277,403, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $654,918; (3) ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $100,000; and (4) ordered to comply with an undertaking to not trade for a period of three years in penny stocks that are quoted or displayed on the OTC Bulletin Board Montage, Pink Sheets, or the ArcaEdge Electronic Limit Order File;

(ii) Scott Lines is permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud, broker-dealer registration, securities offering registration, and securities ownership disclosure provisions, Sections 5 and 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act and Sections 13(d), 15(a), and 16(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 13d-1, 13d-2, and 16a-3 thereunder; (2) ordered to pay disgorgement, jointly and severally with Brian Lines and the LOM Entities, in the amount of $1,277,403, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $654,918; (3) ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $50,000; and (4) ordered to comply with an undertaking not to trade for a period of two years in penny stocks that are quoted or displayed on the OTC Bulletin Board Montage, Pink Sheets, or the ArcaEdge Electronic Limit Order File;

(iii) Lines Overseas Management Ltd. is permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud, securities offering registration, and securities ownership disclosure provisions, Sections 5 and 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act, and Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act and Rules 13d-1, 13d-2, and 16a-3 thereunder; (2) ordered to pay disgorgement, jointly and severally with Brian Lines, Scott Lines and the other settling LOM Entities, in the amount of $1,277,403, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $654,918; (3) ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $450,000, jointly and severally with the other settling LOM Entities; and (4) ordered to comply with an undertaking to: (a) not trade for a period of two years in penny stocks that are quoted or displayed on the OTC Bulletin Board Montage, Pink Sheets, or the ArcaEdge Electronic Limit Order File; (b) not accept or maintain any account for or on behalf of any United States customer for a period of two years; and (c) hire an independent consultant for two years to monitor compliance with these undertakings;

(iv) LOM Capital Ltd. and LOM Securities (Bermuda) Ltd. are permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud and securities offering registration provisions, Sections 5 and 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act and, in addition, LOM Securities (Bermuda) is permanently enjoined from violating the broker-dealer registration provision, Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act; (2) ordered to pay disgorgement, jointly and severally with Brian Lines, Scott Lines and the other settling LOM Entities, in the amount of $1,277,403, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $654,918; (3) ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $450,000, jointly and severally with the other settling LOM Entities; and (4) ordered to comply with an undertaking to: (a) not trade for a period of two years in penny stocks that are quoted or displayed on the OTC Bulletin Board Montage, Pink Sheets, or the ArcaEdge Electronic Limit Order File; (b) not accept or maintain any account for or on behalf of any United States customer for a period of two years; and (c) hire an independent consultant for two years to monitor compliance with these undertakings;

(v) LOM Securities (Bahamas) Ltd. and LOM Securities (Cayman) Ltd. are permanently enjoined from violating the securities offering registration provision, Section 5 of the Securities Act; (2) ordered to pay disgorgement, jointly and severally with Brian Lines, Scott Lines and the other settling LOM Entities, in the amount of $1,277,403, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $654,918; (3) ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $450,000, jointly and severally among the settling LOM Entities; and (4) ordered to comply with an undertaking to: (a) not trade for a period of two years in penny stocks that are quoted or displayed on the OTC Bulletin Board Montage, Pink Sheets, or the ArcaEdge Electronic Limit Order File; (b) not accept or maintain any account for or on behalf of any United States customer for a period of two years; and (c) hire an independent consultant for two years to monitor compliance with these undertakings;

(vi) Anthony Wile is permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud and securities offering registration provisions, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act; (2) ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $35,000; (3) barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for a period of five years; and (4) barred from participating in an offering of penny stock for a period of three years;

(vii) Wayne Wew (formerly Wayne E. Wile) is permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud provisions, Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act; (2) ordered to pay disgorgement in the amount of $5,422, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $2,608; and (3) ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $10,000.

As part of a global settlement with the LOM Entities, Brian Lines, and Scott Lines, the Commission agreed to dismiss with prejudice the pending civil enforcement action against LOM Holdings Ltd., which is the parent holding company for the LOM Entities.

The Court previously had entered permanent injunctive relief against defendants Peever, Curtis, and Chapman. The Commission’s claims for monetary relief against those defendants remain pending before the Court. al/
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 13, 2011, 11:22am

Lucchese crime family

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lucchese crime family

Current Boss Vittorio "Little Vic" Amuso


New York City

Founded by

Gaetano "Tommy" Reina and named after Tommy Lucchese

Years active



Various neighborhoods in New York City and New Jersey


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


115-140 made members,[1] 1,100+ associates.

Criminal activities

Racketeering, Assault, Bookmaking, Burglary, Cargo theft, conspiracy, Contract killing, counterfeiting, Cigarette smuggling, Credit card fraud, drug trafficking, extortion, fencing, fraud, illegal gambling, hotel robbery, hijacking, jewelry heist, Labour Racketeering, Point shaving, loansharking, money laundering, murder and Robbery


Genovese, Gambino, Bonanno and Colombo Crime Families


Various gangs in New York City and their allies

Sicilian Mafia

Commission ·Sicilian Mafia clans ·Sicilian Mafiosi


Second Mafia War ·History of the Sicilian Mafia


Italian Antimafia Commission · Addiopizzo · Maxi Trial

American Mafia (Commission)

Mafia crime families ·Italian-American crime families
Commission member families:
Bonanno ·Colombo ·Gambino ·Genovese ·Lucchese ·Chicago Outfit ·DeCavalcante


Castellammarese War

Chain of Command

Family (Cosca)
Consigliere (Advisor)
Caporegime or capodecina (Captain)
Soldato (Soldier)


Made man ·Omertà ·Vendetta

This box: view · talk · edit

The Lucchese crime family is one of the "Five Families" that controls organized crime activities in New York City, U.S., within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia (or Cosa Nostra).[2] Originally put together by Gaetano "Tommy" Reina in the early 1920s up until his murder in 1930, their illicit activities include profiting from labor and construction racketeering, illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, hijacking, fraud, fencing and murder for hire.[2] The family was taken over by Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano during the Castellammarese War until his death in 1951. The family under Gagliano was peaceful and low key, concentrating their criminal actives in the Bronx, Manhattan and New Jersey. The next boss was Tommy "Three-Finger Brown" Lucchese who turned the family around and became one of the most powerful Commission members. Lucchese teamed up with Gambino family boss Carlo Gambino to control organized crime in New York City together. When Lucchese died of natural causes in 1967, Carmine Tramunti controlled the family for a brief time; he was arrested in 1973. With his release from prison, Lucchese’s successor Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo gained control of the family. Corallo was very secretive and soon became one of the most powerful members of the Commission. Corallo was arrested and tried in the famous Commission case of 1986.

Corallo decided to put Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and Anthony Casso in charge of the family. Casso was soon promoted to underboss and the family barely survived the reign. Casso, fearing arrest in the early 1990s, kept ordering those he felt unloyal to be murdered. The former street boss for Casso Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco feared for his own life and turned informant. This led to the arrest of the entire Lucchese family hierarchy and Casso was finally caught. He quickly turned informant, trying to save his own life. The family lost power, respect and honor in the underworld. The family is still controlled by Amuso who is serving life and today is controlled by a three man panel of capos.


[edit] The Reina Gang

The early history of the Reina crime family can be traced to members of the Morello gang based in East Harlem and the Bronx. Gaetano "Tommy" Reina would leave the Morello's around the time of World War I and created his own family based in East Harlem and the Bronx. As the family's leader, Reina avoided the Mafia-Cammora War for control over New York City. He instead focused on controlling the home ice distribution business throughout New York City.[2] During the early 1920s, Reina became a powerful prohibition era boss and aligned himself with Joseph Masseria, the most powerful Italian-American crime boss in New York. Masseria soon became involved in the Castellammarese War, a vicious gang war with rival Sicilian boss Salvatore Maranzano. At this point, Masseria started demanding a share of Reina's criminal profits, prompting Reina to consider changing allegiance to Maranzano. When Masseria learned of Reina's possible betrayal, he plotted with Reina lieutenant Tommy Gagliano to kill him. On February 26, 1930, gunman Vito Genovese murdered Reina outside his aunt's apartment.[2] With Reina dead, Messeria bypassed Gagliano, who expected to take control of the Reina gang, and installed his underling Joseph "Fat Joe" Pinzolo as boss. Furious with this betrayal, Gagliano and Tommy Lucchese secretly defected to Maranzano. In September 1930, Lucchese lured Pinzolo to a Brooklyn office building, where Pinzolo was murdered.

[edit] The Two Tommies

With Masseria's murder in early 1931, Maranzano won the Castellammarese War. He then outlined a peace plan to all the Sicilian and Italian Mafia leaders in the United States.[3] There would be 24 organizations (to be known as "families") throughout the country who would elect their own bosses. Maranzano also reorganized all the Italian-American gangs in New York City into five New York families to be headed by Maranzano, Lucky Luciano, Vincent Mangano, Tommy Gagliano and Joseph Profaci. Gagliano became the boss of the old Reina gang, to be later known as the Lucchese family, with Lucchese as his underboss and Stefano Rondelli as his consigliere. The final element of Maranzano's peace plan was that he would become the supreme leader of all the families, the Boss of all Bosses. However, Luciano and other mob members did not want another top leader. When Maranzano learned about Luciano's disaffection, he hired a gunman to kill him. However, in September 1931 Luciano struck first. Several Jewish assassins provided by Luciano associate Meyer Lansky murdered Maranzano in his office. Luciano now became the most powerful mobster in New York.

Luciano kept the family structure as created by Maranzano, but removed the Boss of Bosses in favor of a ruling body, The Commission. The Commission's responsibility was to regulate the families' affairs and resolve all differences between the families.[3] The first Commission members included Luciano family boss Luciano as head of the Commission, Mangano family boss Vincent Mangano, Gagliano family boss Tommy Gagliano, Profaci family boss Joseph Profaci, Chicago Outfit boss Al "Scarface" Capone, and Maranzano family boss Joseph Bonanno.[3] Although the Commission was technically a democratic institution, it was actually controlled by Luciano and his allies.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano and Lucchese led their family into profitable areas of the trucking and clothing industries.[2] When Luciano was sent to prison for pandering in 1936, a rival alliance took control of the Commission. The alliance of Mangano, Bonanno, Buffalo crime family boss Stefano Magaddino, and Profaci used their power to control organized crime in America.[3] Understanding his vulnerability, Gagliano was careful to avoid opposing this new alliance. Gagliano was a quiet man who avoided the media and stayed off the streets. He preferred to pass his orders to the family though Lucchese and a few other close allies. In contrast, Lucchese was the public face of the family who carried out Gagliano's orders. In 1946, Lucchese attended the Cosa Nostra Havana Conference in Cuba on behalf of Gagliano.[4] Gagliano remained the hidden boss of the family until his death in 1951 or 1953.

[edit] The Lucchese era

Boss Tommy Lucchese, during a July 1958 government hearing in Washington, DC 
After Gagliano's death in 1951 or 1953, Lucchese became family boss and appointed Vincenzo "Vincent" Rao as his Consigliere and Stefano LaSalle as his Underboss. Lucchese continued with Gagliano's policies, making the now Lucchese family one of the most profitable in New York. Lucchese established control over Teamsters union locals, workers' co-operatives and trade associations, and rackets at the new Idlewild Airport.[3] Lucchese also expanded family rackets in Manhattan's Garment District and in related trucking industry around New York City. Lucchese built close relations with many powerful New York politicians, including Mayors William O'Dwyer and Vincent Impellitteri and members of the judiciary, who aided the family on numerous occasions. Throughout his regime, Lucchese kept a low profile for which he became lauded in Mafia circles. Remembering how the Mustache Petes treated their soldati like mere commodities, he saw to it that his men were well taken care of.[2]

When Lucchese became boss, he helped Vito Genovese and Carlo Gambino in their fights to take control of their families.[3] By 1962, Lucchese and Gambino controlled the Commission. Together they backed the Gallo crew from the rival Profaci family in its war with their boss Joe Profaci. Gambino and Lucchese saw the war as a way to take over rackets from the distracted Profaci's. After uncovering a plot by Joe Bonanno to assassinate them, Lucchese and Gambino used the Commission to strip Bonanno of his role as boss. This power play started a war within the Bonanno family and served to strengthen both the Lucchese and Gambino families.

Lucchese led a quiet, stable life until his death from a brain tumor on July 13, 1967. At the time of his death, he had not spent a day in jail in 44 years.[2] Lucchese left his family in a very powerful position in New York City. The Lucchese family had a stronghold in East Harlem, the Bronx and consisted of about 200 made members.[5] After Lucchese's death, the Commission made Carmine Tramunti acting boss until Lucchese's chosen successor, Anthony Corallo, was released from prison.[3]

[edit] Tramunti and the French Connection

Carmine Tramunti 
At the time of his appointment as temporary boss, Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti was almost 70 years old and in ill health. With boss-in-waiting Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo in prison, Tramunti reign was to end upon Corallo's release. Tramunti faced a number of criminal charges during his time as acting boss and was eventually convicted of financing a large heroin smuggling operation, the infamous French Connection. This scheme was responsible for distributing millions of dollars in heroin up and down the East Coast during the early seventies.

After law enforcement busted the French Connection, the seized heroin was stored in the NYPD property/evidence storage room pending trial. In a brazen scheme, hundreds of kilograms of heroin were stolen from the room and replaced with bags of flour. The scope and depth of this scheme is still not known, but officials suspect it involved corrupt NYPD officer/officers who allowed mobsters to steal $70 million in heroin and replace it with white baking flour. Officers discovered the theft when they noticed insects eating the so-called heroin. Certain plotters received jail sentences, including Papa (he was later assassinated in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia). In 1974, after Tramunti's incarceration, Corallo finally took charge of the family.[2]

[edit] Tony Ducks and the Jaguar

Anthony Corallo 
After Tramunti's incarceration in 1974, Anthony Corallo finally took control of the Lucchese family. Corralo came from the Queens faction of the family. Known as "Tony Ducks" from his ease at 'ducking' criminal convictions, Corrallo was a Boss squarely in the Tommy Lucchese mold. Corrallo had been heavily involved in labor racketeering and worked closely with Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters president, during the 1940s and 1950s. Corallo also enjoyed close ties to the Painters and Decorators Union', the Conduit Workers Union, and the United Textile Workers. Corrallo appointed Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro as the Underboss and supervisor of all labor and construction racketeering operations in New York, and Christopher "Christie Tick" Furnari as the reputed Consigliere. The family prospered under Corallo's leadership, particularly in the narcotics trafficking, labor racketeering, and major illegal gambling operations. As Corallo never discussed business during sit-downs, fearing U.S. government were monitoring the conversations, he discussed business in his bodyguard and chauffeur's Jaguar which had a phone in it, and reportedly drove around New York while on the phone discussing business. Salvatore "Sal" Avellino and Aniello "Neil" Migliore shifted as Corallo's chauffeurs during the 1970s and 1980s.[6]

Corallo, a huge fan of the New Jersey faction of the family, reputedly inducted and promoted Anthony "Tumac" Accetturo and Michael "Mad Dog" Taccetta into the organization and put them in charge of the Jersey Crew, which reportedly controlled most of the loansharking and illegal gambling operations in Newark, New Jersey at the time.[6]

In the early 1980s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) finally managed to plant a bug in the Jaguar. The FBI recorded Corallo speaking at great length about mob affairs, including illegal gambling, labor racketeering, drug trafficking, and murder. Corallo was arrested and put on trial along with all the heads of the Five Families at the time. This trial became legendary as the Mafia Commission Trial. Corallo was convicted on numerous charges and January 13, 1987 was sentenced to 100 years in prison, where he died in 2000.

To succeed him as boss, Corallo originally chose acting boss Anthony "Buddy" Luongo. However, Luongo disappeared in 1986. Corallo's ultimate choice was Vittorio "Vic" Amuso.[6] Allegedly both Amuso and Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso were candidates for the job. Evidence suggests that Corallo wanted Casso, but Casso convinced him to select Amuso instead. After becoming boss, Amuso made Casso his underboss, allowing him to exert great influence over family decisions.

[edit] The iron fists of Amuso and Casso

FBI surveillance photo of Casso (right) with Lucchese family boss, Vittorio Amuso. 
During the late 1980s, the Lucchese family underwent a period of great turmoil. Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and his fierce underboss, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, instituted one of the most violent reigns in American Mafia history. Both men were heavily involved in labor racketeering, extortion, drug trafficking and committed many murders. Amuso and Casso were strong rivals of Gambino crime family boss John Gotti and strong allies of Genovese crime family boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante. Angry over Gotti's unauthorized murder of Gambino boss Paul Castellano, Amuso, Casso, and Gigante conspired to murder Gotti. On April 13, 1986 a car-bombing killed Gambino underboss Frank DeCicco, but missed Gotti. This assassination attempt sparked a long and confusing 'tension' between these three crime families with many deaths reported on all sides.[7][8]

During the late 1980s, Amuso began demanding 50% of the profits generated by the Jersey Crew. New Jersey leaders Anthony Accetturo and Michael Taccetta refused Amuso's demand. In retaliation, Amuso issued the "Whack Jersey" order, demanding that the entire Jersey Crew be killed. He summoned them to a meeting in Brooklyn. Fearful for their lives, all the Jersey crew members skipped the meeting and went into hiding.

Taccetta and Accetturo were later put on trial in 1990, as both Amuso and Casso were implicated in a case involving the fitting of thousands of windows in New York at over-inflated prices, and the pair went into hiding of that same year, naming Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco as acting boss. For the next few years, Amuso and Casso ruled the family from afar and ordered the execution of anyone they deemed troublesome, either they were considered rivals or potential informants. All of this convinced many Lucchese wiseguys that Amuso and Casso were no longer acting or thinking rationally.[7][8]

Alphonse D'Arco in a 1970s FBI surveillance photo 
What followed next was a series of botched hits on family members suspected of being informants. Ironically, these hits caused several family members to actually turn informer. Amuso ordered the slaying of capo Peter "Fat Pete" Chiodo, who along with Casso was in charge of the Windows Case operation. He was shot 12 times, but still survived. After Amuso ordered hits on Chiodo's wife and sister in violation of longstanding rules against women being harmed, Chiodo turned state's evidence and provided the entire windows operation that eventually controlled $150 million in window replacements, sold in New York City. As Amuso also sanctioned the hit on Anthony Accetturo, who was on trial in 1990, he also cooperated with the government.[7][8]

The planned executions went as high as acting boss D'Arco. Furious over the failed hit on Chiodo, Amuso set up D'Arco to be killed at a Manhattan hotel. However, this hit also came undone after D'Arco saw a man hide a gun in his shirt, then slip it into the bathroom. D'Arco fled for his life and turned himself over to the authorities to spare him and his family from Amuso and Casso and their increasingly erratic demands. He was the first Mafia boss, acting or otherwise, to break his blood oath.[8]

Law enforcement eventually caught up with the two fugitives. On July 29, 1991, the FBI captured Amuso in Pennsylvania, and in 1993 Casso was caught in Greenwood, New York.[8] Amuso steadfastly refused all offers from the government to make a deal and become a government witness. In contrast, Casso quickly agreed to a deal and started revealing family secrets. One of the biggest secrets was that Casso had been paying two New York Police Department detectives, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, to provide Casso with sensitive police information and even perform to contract murders. Casso related how Eppolito and Caracappa, on Christmas Day 1986, murdered an innocent Brooklyn man who had the same name as a suspected government informant.[9] Casso told the government that in 1992 Lucchese hit men tried to kill the sister of another suspected informant, violating the alleged Mafia “rule” barring violence against family members.[10] Unfortunately for Casso, his testimony proved so inconsistent that prosecutors accused him of breaking the terms of his deal with them. As a result, the court ordered no leniency for Casso at his sentencing.

In 1991, Amuso was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1994, Casso also received a life sentence. Casso had reportedly conspired with reputed consigliere Frank Lastorino and Brooklyn faction leaders George Zappola, George Conte, Frank "Bones" Papagni and Frank Gioia, Jr. into murdering Steven "Wonderboy" Crea, Amuso's acting underboss of the Bronx, as well as Gambino crime family acting boss John "Junior" Gotti, son of the imprisoned John Gotti, along with members of the Genovese crime family once again. But due to massive indictments, none of the plots were committed.[8]

[edit] Acting bosses

Steven "Wonderboy" Crea in a FBI photo 
When Amuso went to prison, he chose Joseph "Little Joe" DeFede to be his acting boss. Throughout the mid 1990s Amuso continued to control the family from prison. DeFede, who supervised the powerful Garment District racket, reportedly earned more than $40,000 to $60,000 a month. DeFede placed Steven Crea in charge of the family's labor and construction racketeering operations. Crea increased the Lucchese family earnings from these rackets between $300,000 and $500,000 every year. But as US law enforcement kept pressuring the organized crime activities in New York, DeFede was arrested and indicted on nine counts of racketeering in 1998. DeFede pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. Angry at DeFede's guilty plea, Amuso promoted Crea as the new acting boss.[11]

Steven Crea success with the labor and construction rackets convinced Amuso that DeFede had been previously skimming off these profits. In late 1999, Amuso placed a contract on DeFede's life. On September 6, 2000, Crea and seven other Lucchese members were arrested and jailed on extortion charges, mostly to the supervising of the construction sites with various capos Dominic "Crazy Dom" Truscello and Joseph "Joey Flowers" Tangorra. Crea was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to five years in prison.[11][12]

After Crea's conviction in 2001, consigliere Louis "Lou Bagels" Daidone, a prominent Lucchese family member from Queens, took control of the family. However, Daidone's tenure was short lived. After his release from the prison, the scared DeFede became a government witness and helped the government convict Daidone of murder and conspiracy. Daidone's conviction was also helped by the testimony from Alphonse D'Arco in September 2004.[11]

[edit] Mafia cops

Main article: Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa

In April 2006, Casso revealed that two respected New York City police detectives worked as hitmen and informants for Casso during the 1980s and early 1990s before their retirement. They were Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, who spent much of their combined 44 years with the NYPD committing murders and leaking confidential information to the Lucchese family. Between 1986 and 1990, Eppolito and Caracappa participated in eight murders and received $375,000 from Casso in bribes and payments for murder 'contracts'. Casso used Caracappa and Eppolito to pressure the Gambino crime family by murdering several of their members. This is because Casso, along with the imprisoned Amuso and Genovese crime family boss Vincent Gigante, wanted their rival John Gotti out of the way. Caracappa and Eppolito are now seen as the main source of 'tension' between these three families during the late 1980s and early 1990s.[13][14]

For one contract, Eppolito and Caracappa kidnapped mobster James Hydell, forced him into their car trunk, and delivered him to Casso for torture and murder. Hydell's body was never found. The two detectives also shot Bruno Facciolo, who was found in Brooklyn in the trunk of a car with a canary in his mouth. After pulling Gambino crime family captain Edward "Eddie" Lino for a routine traffic check, the detectives murdered him on the expressway in his Mercedes-Benz. In 2006, Eppolito and Caracappa were convicted of murdering Hydell, Nicholas Guido, John "Otto" Heidel, John Doe, Anthony DiLapi, Facciolo, Lino, and Bartholomew Boriello on the orders of Casso and the Lucchese family. They were sentenced to life imprisonment.[14][15]

[edit] Three-man ruling panel

With the arrest of acting boss Louis Daidone in 2003 imprisoned boss Vic Amuso created a three-man ruling panel to run the family.[16] The panel consisting of three senior Bronx faction capos Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna brought the power back into the Bronx's, while staying out of the media. According to a February 2004, New York Post article, the Lucchese family consisted of about 9 capos and 82 soldiers making the family the fourth largest in New York City.[17] In 2006, the former acting boss Steven Crea was released from prison after serving five years, under restrictive parole conditions that expired in 2009.[18][19] The three man panel jointly continued to maintain the power over the family, acting as street bosses.[19] On November 28, 2009, consigliere Joseph Caridi was released from prison after serving almost six years for extortion and loansharking.

On December 18, 2007, two members of the ruling panel Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna were indicted along with top New Jersey faction capos Ralph V. Perna and Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr..[20][21] In the New Jersey indictment a total of thirty-two members and associates of the New Jersey faction were arrested. Information obtained from New Jersey law enforcement agencies investigation "Operation Heat" revealed that the New Jersey faction controlled a $2.2 billion dollar illegal gambling, money laundering and racketeering ring from New Jersey to Costa Rica.[22][23]

On October 1, 2009, the Lucchese family was hit with two separate indictments charging 49 members and associates with bribery and racketeering.[24] In the first indictment 29, members and associates of the Lucchese family were arrested.[24] The indicted charged Joseph DiNapoli, Matthew Madonna and acting capo Anthony Croce with running operations that nearly grossed $400 million from illegal gambling, loansharking, gun trafficking, bribery and extortion.[25] In the second indictment obtained from investigation "Operation Open House" 12 more Lucchese mobsters were charged with bribery. Acting capo Andrew Disimone and others mobsters were charged with bribing New York Police Department (NYPD) detective and sergeant posing as crooked cops to protect illegal poker parlors.[24][26]

[edit] Current position and leadership

Although in prison for life, Victor Amuso remains the official boss of the Lucchese family. Although Amuso has led the family for almost a quarter-century, it is unclear how much influence he now has over its day-to-day affairs. In the last few years, a three-man ruling panel consisting of Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli, Aniello "Neil" Migliore, and Matthew Madonna has been running the family. All three men are long time capos in the family, but Migliore is believed to be the most powerful. Migliore has been a major player in the family for more than 30 years and is said to have huge respect on the street. Arguably, Migliore, DiNapoli and Madonna brought stability to the Lucchese family during the 2000s. The family's presence remains strong in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and New Jersey. In 2009 the Lucchese family was handed three federal indictments showing that the family continues to be very active in organized crime, especially in labor racketeering, illegal gambling, and extortion.[24][25][27] In one of the indicitments ruling panel members Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna were charged with controlling an ring that extorted and bribed businesses and construction sites in Manhattan and the Bronx.[24][25]

A March 2009 article in the New York Post stated that the Lucchese family consists of approximately 100 "made" members,[19] possibly making it the smallest of the Five Families, although not the weakest. It is probably the third most powerful family (behind the Gambino and Genovese families). The Bonanno family has had to deal with their boss turning government informant and his successor being deported to Canada. Meanwhile, the Colombo family has been damaged ever since the family wars of the 1990s and a rash of indictments in the 2000s.[28]

[edit] Historical leadership of the Lucchese crime family

[edit] Boss (official and acting)

The boss is the head of the family and the top decision maker. Only the boss,underboss or consigliere can initiate an associate into the family, allowing them to become a made man. The boss can promote or demote family members at will. The Acting Boss is responsible for running the crime family while the boss is incarcerated or incapacitated. If the boss dies, the acting boss may become the new boss, or be stepped over and lose his position as Acting Boss.[29][30]
1922–1930 — Gaetano "Tommy" Reina [31] — during the 1920s created his family from members of the Morello gang. Reina's gang controlled operations in East Harlem and the Bronx. On February 26, 1930, Reina was murdered during the Castellammarese War by the Masseria faction. Some believe that Reina's murder sparked the shooting war between the Masseria and Maranzano factions, others believe the war truly started with the murders of Castellammarese Clan leaders in Detroit and Chicago later that year.
1930 — Bonaventura "Joseph/Fat Joe" Pinzolo [31] — murdered on September 5, 1930
1930–1953 — Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano [31] — retired due to health in 1951, died either in 1951 or on February 16, 1953. Acting 1951–1953 — Gaetano Lucchese — promoted to boss

1953–1967 — Gaetano "Tommy Brown" Lucchese [31] — became one of the most powerful members of the Mafia Commission by expanding the family's interest in the trucking and production in the Garment District. Lucchese teamed up with Gambino family boss Carlo Gambino to control the Mafia Commission. By 1966, Lucchese was semi-retired due to his illness and died of a brain tumor on July 13, 1967.[32][33][34][35] Acting 1966–1967 — Carmine Tramunti — stepped down
Acting 1967 — Ettore "Eddie" Coco [31] — resigned

1967–1973 — Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti [31] — apponited by the Commission; imprisoned in October 1973.
1973–1986 — Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo [31] — On February 15, 1985, Corallo was indicted in the Mafia commission case, was convicted on November 19, 1986 and on January 13, 1987 was sentenced to 100 years in prison.
1986–present — Vittorio "Vic" Amuso [31][36] — former Brooklyn faction leader and consigliere Chris Furnari convinced Corallo to make Furnari's protégés Amuso and Casso the new bosses in early 1987. Former Bronx faction leader and underboss Tom Santoro advised against it, knowing the succession of Amuso and Casso would be the biggest mistake in the crime family's history. In 1990, Amuso became a fugitive until his capture by the FBI on July 29, 1991 in Pennsylvania. In 1991, Amuso was sentenced to life imprisonment. Acting 1990–1991 — Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco [31] — demoted in September 1991
Acting 1991 — Ruling Panel — Anthony Baratta, Alphonse D'Arco, Salvatore Avellino and Frank Lastorino [37] On September 21, 1991, D'Arco became a government witness.[38]
Acting 1991–1993 — Ruling Panel — Anthony Baratta, Salvatore Avellino, Steven Crea (made Underboss 1993) and Domenico Cutaia
Acting 1994–1998 — Joseph "Little Joe" DeFede [31][39] — imprisoned in 1998. Became a government witness after his release in early 2002, fearing that Amuso had sanctioned his murder.
Acting 1999–2001 — Steven "Wonderboy" Crea [31] — official underboss was promoted by Amuso. Crea was indicted and jailed on September 6, 2000 on extortion charges and convicted in 2001 was sentenced to five years in prison.[12]
Acting 2001–2003 — Louis "Louie Bagels" Daidone [31] — imprisoned March 2003, received life in prison in January 2004
Acting 2003–present — Ruling Panel — Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna [16][19]

[edit] Street Boss

The Street Boss position was created in the early 1990s by Genovese family boss Vincent Gigante. The main purpose was to distance the official boss from federal surveillance and enforce his orders to the other members of the administration. The street boss helps divide up the responsibility of the boss ensuring the official boss can devote more time to upper management. The street boss is considered the go-to-guy for the boss, by passing on his orders to lower ranking members.[40]
1990–1991 — Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco – promoted to Acting Boss [38]
2003–present — Ruling Panel — Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna

[edit] Underboss (official and acting)

The underboss is the number two position in the family (after Don, Godfather, Boss). Also known as the "capo bastone" in some criminal organizations, this individual is responsible for ensuring that profits from criminal enterprises flow up to the boss and generally oversees the selection of the caporegime(s) and soldier(s) to carry out murders and other criminal activities. The underboss takes control of the crime family after the boss's death. Keeping this power until a new boss is chosen, which in some cases was the Underboss.
1920–1930 — Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano – promoted to boss
1930–1951 — Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese – promoted to acting boss
1951–1972 — Stefano "Steve" LaSalle –[41][42] retired
1973–1978 — Aniello "Neil" Migliore –[16] resigned
1978–1986 — Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro Sr. – imprisoned in the Commission Case
1986–1989 — Mariano "Mac" Macaluso –[36][43] retired in 1989
1989–1993 — Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso –[36] imprisoned, became government witness in 1993 Acting 1990–1992 — Anthony "Bowat" Baratta –[44] imprisoned

1993–present — Steven "Wonderboy" Crea – promoted to acting boss in 1998 [45] Acting 1998–2001 — Eugene "Boopsie" Castelle – imprisoned
Acting 2001–2003 — Joseph "Joe C. Caridi – promoted to Consigliere
Acting 2003–2008 — Three Capos — Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna

[edit] Consigliere (official and acting)

Consigliere is an advisor to the boss and usually the number three person in a crime family.
1931–1953 — Stefano "Steve" Rondelli [46] – retired
1953–1973 — Vincenzo "Vinny" Rao [41][42] – imprisoned in 1965-1970,[47] retired Acting 1965–1967 — Mariano "Mac" Macaluso
Acting 1967–1973 — Paul "Paulie" Vario [48] – imprisoned 1974-1978,[49][50][51]

1973–1981 — Vincent "Vinnie Beans" Foceri [52] – retired
1981–1986 — Christopher "Christie Trick" Furnari – imprisoned in 1986
1986–1987 — Ettore "Eddie" Coco [43] – retired
1987–1989 — Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso – promoted to underboss [36]
1989–1993 — Frank "Big Frank" Lastorino – imprisoned in April 1993[53]
1993–1996 — Frank Papagni [54] – imprisoned in September 1996[53]
1996–2003 — Louis "Louie Bagels" Daidone – promoted to Acting Boss in 2001
2003–present — Joseph "Joe C." Caridi – imprisoned 2003-2009 [55][56]

[edit] Current family members

[edit] Current administration
Boss Vittorio "Vic" Amuso – boss since the 1987 conviction of Anthony Corallo. One of the most feared mobsters from the old Brooklyn faction of the family. Jailed in 1992, Amuso is currently serving a life sentence [57]
Acting boss/Street boss – Three-man Ruling Panel – Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna. All three men are Bronx faction leaders who are apparently running the day-to-day activities of the family. Migliore is the most powerful member of the three man panel and has the final say in all decisions.[16][45]
Underboss Steven "Wonderboy" Crea – Current Underboss, and former acting boss was released from prison in 2006.[18][45] He is a Bronx faction leader and longtime construction racketeer. Crea is a longtime ally of imprisoned boss Vic Amuso.
Consigliere Joseph "Joe C." Caridi – operates out of the Long Island and Queens factions in extortion and labor racketeering. A former Amuso ally, Caridi was imprisoned on extortion and loansharking charges. Released from prison on November 27, 2009.[56]
New Jersey faction boss Michael "Mad Dog" Taccetta – leader of Jersey Crew and boss of the entire New Jersey faction of the Lucchese family. Currently imprisoned.

[edit] Capos

[edit] New York

Capo (Crew boss/captain/lieutenant/caporegime): a capo is appointed by the family boss to run his own borgata (regime, or crew) of sgarrista (soldiers). Each capo reports directly to the underboss, who gives the capo permission to perform criminal activities. If the family needs to murder someone, the underboss normally asks a capo to carry out the order. The capo runs the day-to-day operations of his crew. The capo's soldiers give part of their earnings to the capo, and the capo gives a share to the underboss. A capo can recommend to the underboss or boss that a recruit be allowed to join his crew as a mob associate.

Bronx faction
Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli – Capo operating in the Bronx. DiNapoli is a member of a Ruling panel along with Migliore and Madonna running the family.[16] He has two younger brothers in the Genovese crime family, Vincent and Louis.
Matthew "Matt" Madonna – Capo operating in the Bronx. Madonna served 20 years in prison for narcotics trafficking. He is a member of the Ruling panel along with Migliore and DiNapoli running the family.[16]
John "Hooks" Capra – Capo operating in the Bronx and Manhattan. He was convicted of running an illegal gambling operation that earned more than $20 million every year with members of the Gambino family. Capra was released from federal prison on September 10, 2008.[58][59][60][61]

FBI mugshot of Joseph Lubrano. Joseph "Big Joe" Lubrano – Capo active on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.[62] Lubrano is 40-years-old and is considered a rising member in the family. In 1994, he was wrongfully sent to prison for beating a police officer and was released four years later.[63] In May 2010, Lubrano was listed on the FBI Most Wanted List for several armed robberies, he was arrested on September 11, 2010.[64][65][66][67]
(Acting) Andrew DiSimone – an acting capo in the Bronx. DiSimone was arrested on October 1, 2009 for bribery and illegal gambling operations. He was convinced that he was paying off corrupt NYPD officers for protection on loansharking, sports bookmaking and illegal gambling activities. The two officers were actually undercover agents for two years the officers in a sting named Operation Open House receiving $222,000 in bribes.[24][26]

Manhattan & Long Island
Aniello "Neil" Migliore – Capo operating in Manhattan, Long Island and Florida. Migliore is a former rival of Amuso, he was shot in 1992 on orders from Amuso.[68][69] He is a member of a Ruling panel along with DiNapoli and Madonna running the family.[16]
Dominic "Crazy Dom" Truscello – Capo of the Prince Street Crew, members are active in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. Truscello operated in construction racketeering along with Steven Crea.[70][71]
(Acting) Anthony Croce – an acting Capo active in Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island. Croce was arrested in November 2008 for running a sport gambling ring operating in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan.[72] He was charged in two separate indictments in 2009; the first was in October for bribery, loansharking, gun trafficking, extortion, gambling and racketeering [24] and the second in November for running a sports betting ring from his bar "Night Gallery" in New Dorp, Staten Island.[73][74]

Brooklyn faction
Eugene Castelle – Capo of the Bensonhurst Crew, operating from Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach. He was imprisoned in 2001 on racketeering and was released in 2008.[75]
(In prison) Domenico "Danny" Cutaia – Capo of the Brownsville Crew. Cutaia is a former messenger between the imprisoned Amuso and the crime family.[76] On October 25, 2009, Cutaia was sentenced to three years in prison for bank fraud. He is reportedly suffering from multiple sclerosis.[77]
(Acting) Carlo Profeta – acting Capo of the Brownsville Crew. On February 24, 2010, Profeta was indicted along with Lucchese soldier Salvatore Cutaia, associates Joseph Cutaia and Eric Maione, Bonanno capo Anthony Mannone and associate Jerome Carameilli on racketeering and extortion charges.[78][79][80] In February 2011, Profeta and associate Eric Maione pleaded guilty to extortion charges.[81]
Anthony "Blue Eyes" Santorelli – Capo operating in Brooklyn. Santorelli formerly led the The Tanglewood Boys, a recruitment gang for the Lucchese family.[82][83]

[edit] New Jersey

Main article: The Jersey Crew

The Lucchese family's Jersey Crew, is a faction that consists of three crews that operate in Newark's Down Neck section and Northern Jersey counties of Essex, Union, Morris, Monmouth, Bergen, Passaic and Sussex.[1][84] In the 1970s into the 1980s, rackets were set up in Florida, South Jersey and Philadelphia.
(In prison) Michael "Mad Dog" Taccetta - Capo of the Jersey Crew and boss of the entire Lucchese's New Jersey faction.[85][86][87] Longtime rival of Victor Amuso. Taccetta is currently serving life in prison for conspiracy and drug trafficking convictions.[88][8][89] His younger brother Martin Taccetta was reportedly the acting boss of the Jersey Crew until he was sent back to prison.
Ralph Vito Perna - Capo in the Jersey crew. Was arrested in December 2007 with Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna. The Jersey crew ran an illegal gambling operation that earned approximately $2.2 billion overa 15-month period. The crew also worked with New Jersey correction officers and members of Nine Trey Gangster, a set in the Bloods gang. The Jersey crew used Bloods members to smuggle illegal drugs and pre-paid cell phones into the New Jersey state prisons.[22][90][91]
Robert "Bucky the Boss" Caravaggio - Capo in the Jersey Crew who oversees operations in Northern New Jersey, especially Morris County. Caravaggio also worked with Carlo Taccetta.[1]
Joseph "Joey" Giampa - Capo in the Jersey Crew. Giampa has a stepson named Gennaro Vittorio, a.k.a. Gerry Giampa who is also involved in organized crime.[92][93]

[edit] Soldiers

A soldier, also known as sgarrista, soldato, wiseguy, button, buttonman or goodfella, is a made man and has already proven himself to the family. He becomes a made guy after the voting of the captains, who then pass the message up to the boss or underboss. When he is made he takes an oath to honor the family. A soldier is one of the lowest ranks in the crime family but still has much power over associates and friends. The soldier is then assigned into a crew and given a capodecine (Captain). The caporegime gives orders and jobs from collecting money to hits.
Thomas "Tommy Red" Anzellotto – soldier in Lucchese family replaced legendary Lucchese soldier Samuel Cavalieri in 1988.[94]
Salvatore "Sal" Avellino Jr. - a soldier and former Capo in the Lucchese family in the 1980s. Longtime Amuso supporter and used to sit at the family’s Ruling Panel in the early 1990s. Currently operates under the Queens and Long Island factions in racketeering and extortion activities. Avellino is also the family’s current waste management executive in New York. Avellino is best known for being boss Anthony Corallo’s bodyguard and chauffeur in the 1980s.[95][96][97]
Carmine Avellino – soldier involved in illegal gambling, waste management racketeering, and extortion. Carmine’s older brother Salvatore "Sal" Avellino Jr. was a capo in the Lucchese family.[98][99]
Michael "Mikey Bones" Carcione - soldier and former acting capo for Domenico Cutaia’s crew, formerly known as The Vario Crew. The crew operates around Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. In 2008 Carcione was arrested along with capo Domenico "Danny" Cutaia, soldiers John Baudanza (a son-in-law to Cutaia), Salvatore Cutaia (son of Domenico Cutaia), associates Steven Lapella, Victor Sperber, Louis Colello, and John Rodopolous for loansharking, illegal gambling among other illegal criminal activities.[100]
Alfonso T. "Tic" Cataldo - a soldier in the Lucchese family that is running the illegal gambling operations in northern New Jersey working with Eurasian organized crime groups. Cataldo was arrested in December 2007 on charges of promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering charges along with two members of the Lucchese ruling panel Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna.[23][86]
John "Sideburns" Cerrella - soldier, former acting capo in the 1990s. Formerly a Genovese family associate operating in Broward County, Cerrella later became a made man in the Lucchese family. He is a Long Island faction leader who conducts racketeering, fraud, stocks and wire fraud in Queens and Long Island. The 69 year-old Cerrella was released from prison on November 27, 2009.[101][102][103]
Joseph "Joey Blue Eyes" Cosentino – soldier in the Lucchese family involved with murdering a man connected to drug dealer Constable Farace along with Lucchese soldier Anthony Mangano in 1997.[94][104]
Ralph Cuomo - soldier and owner of Ray's Pizza in Little Italy. In 1969, Cuomo was convicted of narcotics trafficking after being found with 50 pounds of high quality heroin. In 1998, Cuomo confessed to discussing heroin drug sales in the pizzeria with Lucchese soldier Frank Gioia, Jr. (In 1998 Gioia became a government witness and testified against Lucchese Capos and soldiers)[105][106]
Salavatore Cutaia – soldier whose father, Domenico Cutaia, is a high-ranking Lucchese capo. Salavtore’s son Joseph Cutaia is considered to be an associate in the family. His son Joseph was charged on December 24, 2009 for an attempted robbery and stick up of a Bensonhurst, Brooklyn couple along with Nicholas Bernardo.[107]
Santo Giampapa – soldier, he and his brother Joseph were acquitted in the 1992 killing of Lucchese Capo Michael Salerno.[94]
Frank "Big Frank" Lastorino - soldier in the Bensonhurst, Brooklyn Crew. A former Capo and Consigliere,[53][108] Lasterino hatched the plot to kill both John A. Gotti and captain Steven Crea to take over the Lucchese family in the early 1990s. Lastorino was released from federal prison on December 23, 2008 after serving 14 years on racketeering, extortion and conspiracy to commit murder.[109]
Vincent "Vinny Casablanca" Mancione - soldier and former Acting Capo of a Queens and Long Island Crew. Mancione is a close ally of Joseph Caridi. On December 12, 2002 Macione, Consigliere Joseph Caridi, and Capo John Cerrella and soldier Carmelo Profeta were arrested for extorting restaurants in Long Island. The 49 year-old Mancione was released from prison in August 2006 and continues to operate with the long Island faction.[110]
Anthony Mangano - soldier in the Lucchese family involved with murdering a man connected to drug dealer Constable Farace along with Lucchese soldier Joseph Cosentino in 1997.[94]
Frank Manzo - soldier with the Vario Crew.[111]
Anthony Pezzullo - soldier, former member of the "Lucchese Construction Group" involved in bid rigging, extorting construction companies, and corrupting union locals. The group consisted of (acting boss) Steven Crea, (capos) Dominic Truscello and Joseph Tangorra, (soldiers) Phillip Desimone, Joseph Datello (Truscello crew member), Joseph Zambardi and associate Andrew Reynolds.[112]
Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr. - son of former Philadelphia crime family boss Nicodemo Scarfo. He served as a soldier up until his fathers arrest in mid 1990s; he then joined the Lucchese crime family with his fathers help. Today he is a soldier with The Jersey Crew operating in South Jersey and Philadelphia. There are rumors that Scarfo is trying to take over the Philadelphia family.[113][114]

[edit] Imprisoned soldiers
Ray Argentina – soldier in the Lucchese family. In 2001 Argentina was charged along with Louis Gampero for illegal mortgage fraud activities in Brooklyn, up state New York and Long Island. He was also running an illegal cocaine ring in Long Island with Ken Cardona. Argentina is currently incarcerated and projected release date is October 4, 2024.[94][115][116]
Anthony "Bowat" Baratta - soldier and former capo in the Bronx. Ran large drug trafficking operations in the 1990s and sat on the family's Ruling Panel.[53] He is currently imprisoned on narcotics and racketeering charges with a projected release-date of September 25, 2012.
John Baudanza - a soldier, operating in his father-in-law Domenico Cutaia's crew.[117][118] His father Carmine and uncle Joseph are both members of the Colombo crime family. In 1997, John and his cousin Joseph M. Baudanza were involved in stock crimes.[119] On April 17, 2007, John, along with his father and uncle pleaded guilty to racketeering charges related to operating a "pump and dump" stock scam.[120][121] He is currently serving his sentence in the Allenwood prison with a projected release date of August 2, 2015.[122]
George "Goggles" Conte - a soldier, and former capo. In 1991, Conte along with other capos inducted five new members into the crime family.[53][108] In January 1995, Conte and George Zappola were indicted and convicted of murder and racketeering.[123][124][125] Conte is currently imprisoned, with a projected release date of March 10, 2014.[126]
Louis "Louie Bagels" Daidone - soldier a former acting boss, Consigliere and capo. He was convicted to life in prison in 2003.[127]
Christopher "Christie Trick" Furnari Sr. - soldier a former Consigliere in the Lucchese family, convicted in the 1980s Mafia Commission case. He is currently imprisoned with a projected release date is November 24, 2044.[128]
James "Jimmy Frogs" Galione – a soldier replaced late Lucchese soldier Pete DePalermo position. In 1997 he and Mario Gallo plead guilty to the murder of an associate to the Bonanno/Colombo families Constable "Gus" Farace in 1989. Farace was a drug dealer responsible for killing an undercover federal agent. He was also charged with running a crack ring that operated in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn since 1992. He is currently imprisoned due out on December 24, 2015.[94][129][130][131]
Joseph "Joey Bang Bang" Massaro - a soldier in the Harlem Crew reported to Capo Anthony Baratta. He was operating in Long Island forcing topless bar owners to book his strippers from Entertainment Plus Agency. Massaro would use threats of intimidations and arson to get his way. In summer of 1989 helped cover up a murder of Joseph Fiorito with Patrick Esposito he was arrested in 1993. At his trail FBI agent Joe Pistone discussed what he learned about a Bonanno-Lucchese family sit-down over the topless bars in Long Island. Former Lucchese family acting boss Alphonse D'Arco also testified against him, Massaro received a life sentenced.[132][133][134][135]
Frank "Bones" Papagni - soldier and former capo in the early 1990s,[53] with racketeering, illegal gambling and loansharking operations in the Brooklyn section. He is serving 20 years for the attempted murder conspiracy on John A. Gotti in 1993. Papagni's projected release-date is November 24, 2015.
Michael J. Perna - soldier and former Capo in the Jersey faction; he began working for the Lucchese families Jersey faction sometime in 1976; by the 1980s was serving as the Underboss of the Jersey Faction for Michael Taccetta; acquitted in the 21 month trail along with other Jersey faction members on August 26, 1988; in 1993 was convicted of gambling and extortion along with Michael and Martin Taccetta with the testimony of Thomas Ricciardi and Anthony Accetturo; relatives include his father Joseph Perna, younger brother Ralph; The 67 year-old is currently imprisoned at the Federal Correction Institution at Fairton, New Jersey his projected release date is August 2, 2015.[85][87][136][137][138]
Martin Taccetta - soldier and former Capo in the Jersey Crew was released from prison in 2005 due to lack of evidence in his trial, and wrongfully being accused of murder charges in his older brother Michael Taccetta's trial in 1993. On July 30, 2009 the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed lower court decision that granted Taccetta release and reinstated Martin life sentence for racketeering and extortion.[139][139][140]
Joseph "Joey Flowers" Tangorra - soldier and former capo whose crew was based in Bensonhurst Brooklyn and was involved in extortion and racketeering activities. Tangorra is currently incarcerated and reportedly suffers from mental illness. His projected release date is December 9, 2014.[141][142][143]
George "Georgie Neck" Zappola - soldier and former capo under the regime of Amuso and Casso in the 1980s.[123][124] He operated out of the Brooklyn wing with racketeering, extortion activities. Zappola is currently imprisoned on murder-conspiracy charges in aid of racketeering with Frank Papagni. His projected release date is March 3, 2014[53][144][145]

[edit] Family crews

A crew is a group of soldiers and associates who operate in a specific area. The capo runs the crew and reports to the underboss. The soldiers run illegal activities such as illegal gambling, loansharking, bookmaking, extortion, and fencing of stolen goods. The soldiers pay tribute to the capo and the capo sends a portion of this tribute money to the boss and underboss. The soldiers are "made men", or full family members, and have associates (who are not made men) working for them. An associate works for a crew in hopes of proving his worth to the family and becoming a made man. To be eligible to become a made man, an associate must be of Italian ancestry on both sides of his family.
The Vario Crew – active in Brooklyn and Queens
The Jersey crew – a faction in the Lucchese crime family. The leader of the Jersey crew/faction is imprisoned Michael Taccetta, the acting boss/capo is Ralph Perna.[1][146]

Recruitment gangs
The Tanglewood Boys – a recruitment gang made up of young Italian men trying to prove themselves as associates. In the early 1990s, the crew was under the control of Anthony "Blue Eyes" Santorelli.[104][147] The gang operates Westchester, the Bronx and Manhattan.
East Harlem Purple Gang – was a group of Italian American hit-men and heroin dealers. The group was consider a semi-independent gang operating in East Harlem and the Bronx during the late 1970s. Members would join the Lucchese and Genovese families.[148]

[edit] Controlled unions

The Lucchese family has taken over unions across United States. The crime family has extorted money from the unions in blackmail, strong-arming, violence and other matters to keep their control over the market. Similar to the other four crime families of New York City they worked on controlling entire unions. With the mob having control over the union they control the entire market. Bid-rigging allows the mob to get a percentage of the income on the construction deal only allowing certain companies to bid on jobs who pay them first. The mob also allows companies to use non-union workers to work on jobs the companies must give a kickback to the mob. Unions give mob members jobs on the books to show a legitimate source of income. The mafia members get into high union position and began embezzling money from the job and workers.
Clothes manufacturing - In the Garment District of Manhattan, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees Locals 10, 23, 24, and 25 were controlled by members of the Lucchese family. Lucchese Associates would extort the businesses and organize strikes. Today some unions still are working for the family.[149][150][151][152]
Kosher meat companies - In the early 1960s Giovanni "Johnny Dio" Dioguardi merged Consumer Kosher Provisions Company and American Kosher Provisions Inc. together.[153] Dio was able to control a large portion of the Kosher food market, forcing supermarkets to buy from his companies at his prices.[153]
Food distribution - At the Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, the Lucchese family controlled unions involved in the food distribution industry.
Airport services and freight handling - At John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty, the unions were controlled by the Lucchese family.
Construction - Teamsters unions in New York City and New Jersey have been under Lucchese control; Mason Tenders Locals 46, 48, and 66 were controlled by the old Vario Crew.[154]
Newspaper production and delivery - In November 2009, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau sent search warrants to investigate the Newspaper Mail Deliverers Union. This union controlled circulation, production and delivery offices at The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News and El Diario La Prensa. When the Cosa Nostra took control over the union, the price and costs for newspapers increased. Charges were put against many union members as well as the former union President Douglas LaChance. LaChance is accused as being Lucchese crime family associate. In the 1980s LaChance was convicted on labor racketeering charges and served five years in prison. He was also involved in the Manhattan 1990s case were New York Post was being strong-armed in to switching their delivery companies, but was acquitted in the case.[155][156]

[edit] Allied and Rival criminal groups

[edit] Mafia allies
The Lucchese-Gambino-Genovese alliance (1953–1985) between Tommy Lucchese, Carlo Gambino and Vito Genovese began with a plot to take over the Mafia Commission by murdering family bosses Frank Costello and Albert Anastasia. At that time, Gambino was Anastasia's new underboss and Genovese was the underboss for Costello. The first target of the conspiracy was Costello. On May 2, 1957 gunmen attempted to kill Costello on a New York street. Costello survived the assassination attempt, but immediately decided to retire as boss in favor of Genovese. The conspirators' second target was Anastasia. On October 25, 1957, the Gallo brothers (from the Colombo family) murdered Anastasia in a Manhattan barber shop, allowing Gambino to become boss of Anastasia's family. After he assumed power, Gambino started conspiring with Lucchese to remove their former ally Genovese. After the disastrous 1957 Apalachin meeting of mob leaders in Upstate New York, Genovese lost a great deal of respect in the Commission. In 1959, with the assistance of Luciano, Costello, and Meyer Lansky, Genovese was arrested. Gambino and Lucchese assumed full control of the Mafia Commission. Under Gambino and Lucchese, the Commission pushed rival Bonanno boss Joseph Bonanno out of power, triggering an internal war in that family. In the 1960s, the Commission backed the Gallo brothers in their rebellion against Profaci family boss Joe Profaci. In 1962, Gambino's oldest son Thomas married Lucchese's daughter Frances, strengthening the Gambino-Lucchese alliance.[151][157][158] Lucchese gave Gambino access into the rackets at the New York airports rackets he controlled and Garment District rackets, Gambino allowed Lucchese into some of their rackets.[159] After Lucchese death in July 1967, Gambino used his power over the Commission to make Carmine Tramunti the boss of the Lucchese family. Gambino continued the alliance with Tramunti's successor, Anthony Corallo. After Gambino's death, the new Gambino boss Paul Castellano continued the alliance with Corallo. In 1985, the Gambino-Lucchese alliance finally dissolved after Gambino capo John Gotti ordered Castellano's assassination without Commission approval.[160]
The Lucchese-Genovese alliance (1986–present) The new alliance started in 1986 with Vincent Gigante and Victor Amuso the bosses of the two families teaming up against John Gotti. Gotti had ordered the murder of Gambino family Boss Paul Castellano who was the head of the Commission (or Boss of Bosses). This started a three family war; the Genovese and Lucchese families versus the Gambino family. The alliance tried to get revenge for the murder of Castellano and order the killing of Gambino family underboss Frank DeCicco. The alliance is still strong today and the two families operate on deals around New York City. Joseph DiNapoli a member of the family's three man ruling panel has two brothers in the Genovese crime family; Vincent "Vinny" DiNapoli, a captain, and Louis DiNapoli, a soldier in Vincent's crew.

Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 13, 2011, 11:23am

The Lucchese-Gambino alliance (1999–present) The new alliance between the two families was started by acting Boss Steven Crea teaming up with Gambino family capos in 1999. They would extort the construction industry and would make millions in bid-rigging together.[161] In early 2002 Lucchese Capo John Capra worked with Gambino family member acting Boss Arnold Squitieri, acting underboss Anthony Megale and Bronx based acting Capo Gregory DePalma. The group was involved in illegal gambling and extortion activities in Westchester. The members were arrested in 2005 leaving to reveal that Gambino acting Capo DePalma had allowed an FBI agent Joaquin Garcia (known as Jack Falcone) work undercover with his crew since 2002.[162][163] In late 2008 Gambino family New Jersey based acting Capo Andrew Merola teamed with Lucchese’s Jersey faction acting Boss Martin Taccetta in an illegal gambling ring, shaking down Unions, and extorting car dealerships. Merola was indicted in 2008 and Taccetta was sent back to prison in 2009.[139][164]
The Lucchese-Bonanno sitdown (2010) Lucchese family acting Capo Carlo Profeta and Bonanno family Capo Anthony Mannone had a sitdown over a Lucchese soldier owing Mannone $213,000.[79] On February 24, 2010, acting capo Carlo Profeta, soldier Salvatore Cutaia and associates Joseph Cutaia and Eric Maione, with Bonanno family Capo Anthony Mannone and associate Jerome Carameilli were indicted on racketeering and extortion charges.[78][80]

[edit] Other allies
The Lucchese-Lepke alliance (1920s-1944) started with Tommy Lucchese and Louis "Lepke" Buchalter extorting payments from garment makers in New York's Garment District. During the 1930s, Lepke was one of the most powerful Jewish gangsters in New York City.[165] With his allies Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel, Lepke fought for control over Jewish neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn and together formed Murder, Inc. Lepke would fall when his trusted Brownsville crew leader, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, became a government witness and testified against Lepke in a murder trial. On March 4, 1944, Lepke was executed by electrocution. After the Lepke execution, Lucchese gained control over the Garment District and took over Lepke's rackets in Brownsville.[166]
The Lucchese-Greek mafia alliance (1980s-present) started in the early 1980s. The Velentzas Family, a Greek-American criminal organization led by Spiros Velentzas, operated in Astoria, Queens and other Greek communities in the city. The Lucchese family offered Velentzas protection in return for a percentage of his family's illegal gambling profits.
The Lucchese-Russian mafia alliance took place in the late 1980s. Marat Balagula was a Russian criminal boss whose organization controlled Brighton Beach and other Russian-American communities in New York. When the Colombo crime family tried to extort payments from Balagula's lucrative gasoline business, he met with Lucchese consigliere Christopher Furnari. Funari offered Balaqula an alliance to protect him from the other New York Cosa Nostra families
The Lucchese-Nicky Barnes alliance took place from the early 1970s into the 1980s. Leroy "Nicky" Barnes was an African-American drug dealer based in Harlem who was supplied with heroin by Lucchese associate Matthew Madonna and Colombo capo "Crazy Joe" Gallo. Barnes created a criminal organization known as The Council that dealt large amounts of heroin in Harlem.

[edit] Rivals
The Cuban mafia called La Coporacion (or the Corporation) and was led by Jose Miguel Battle, Sr. a Cuban born male who set up an organization in Miami, Florida to Union City, New Jersey. He worked from Union City, New Jersey with help from Bonanno family Capo Joseph "Bayonne Joe" Zicarelli up into the 1980s. He then began to work with another mafia family Genovese Capo James Napoli. In 1985 his Corporation battled with Lucchese family members for control over number rackets.[167][168]
The Albanian mafia called the Rudaj Organization was led by Boss Alex Rudaj, Nikolla Dedaj and Italian Nardino Colotti were operating in Yorktown New York, Bronx, and Queens. The group started in 1993 and it leadership and power has now been shut down by the Italian Mafia and criminal prosecution in 2004. The Rudja Organization had a brief fight for control of gambling rackets in Astoria, Queens with the Lucchese family. The Albanian muscle attacked two Greek associates of the Lucchese family on August 3, 2001.[169][170][171][172]

[edit] Former members
Patrick Testa – a made member of Gambino's DeMeo crew. Transferred later to the Lucchese family. Murdered December 2, 1992.
Angelo Sepe – a made member who was a suspect in the 1978 Lufthansa robbery at JFK airport. Murdered July 18, 1984.
Anthony DiLapi – a Teamsters union leader in New York City's Garment District and a Lucchese soldier. Murdered February 4, 1990.
Bruno Facciolo – a soldier who is a brother to Gambino family associate Louis Facciolo. Died in 1990's.
James Burke – an associate who may have organized the 1978 Lufthansa heist. Died April 13, 1996 from lung cancer.
Thomas DeSimone – an associate who was murdered January 14, 1979.
Richard "Toupe" Pagliarulo – a soldier in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1991, Pagliarulo became the capo of Peter Chiodo's Bensonhurst, Brooklyn crew. Died of natural causes in prison.[53][173]

[edit] Government informants and witnesses
Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco – acting boss from 1990 to 1991, then demoted. Became government witness on September 21, 1991.
Joseph "Little Joe" DeFede – acting boss from 1993 to 1998, then demoted to capo when imprisoned. Became government witness in early 2002 after his release.
Anthony Casso – underboss from 1986 to 1993. Became government witness in 1992.
Anthony "Tumac" Accetturo – capo of the Jersey crew from 1970s to 1988. Became government witness in 1993.
Peter Chiodo – capo. Became a government witness after being shot 12 times on May 8, 1991.[174]
Frank Gioia, Jr. – soldier. Became government witness in 1998.
Frank Gioia, Sr. – soldier. Did not testify against the family but entered Witness Protection Program with son Frank Gioia Jr. in 1998.[106]
Vincent Salanardi – soldier. Became government witness in 2002.[175]
Frank Suppa – soldier. Member of the Jersey faction seen as a Capo in Florida; became informant in late 1997.[176][177]
Henry Hill – associate. His life was the basis for the book Wiseguy and the film Goodfellas. He and his wife Karen, became government witnesses.[178]

[edit] Family events

The Gaetano Lucchese Family Chart - from the 1963 Valachi hearings [42]

Boss: Gaetano "Tommy Brown" Lucchese [42]

Underboss: Stefano "Steve" LaSalle

Consiglieri: Vincenzo "Nunzio" Rao

Caporegimes: Ettore "Eddie" Coco, Joseph "Joey Narrow" LaRatro, Giovanni "Big John" Ormento, Joseph "Joe Palisades" Rosato, Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti, Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, Joseph "Joe Brown" Lucchese, James "Jimmy Doyle" Plumeri, Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro Sr., Natale "Joe Diamonds" Evola [42]

Soldiers-Buttons: Frank Arra, Joseph Bendenelli, Nicholas Bonina, Frank Callace, Frank Campanello, Paul John Carbo, Frank Cintrano, Sam Cavalieri, Paul Correale, Dominick Bianco, Donato Laietta, Edward D’Argenio, John DiCarlo, Thomas Dioguardi, Johnny "Johnny Dio" Dioguardi, Charles DiPalermo, Vincent Corrao, Joseph DiPalermo, Salvatore Granello, Joe Emanuel, Anthony Lisi, Salvatore LoProfo, Salvatore Maneri, Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Vic Panica, Andinno Pappadia, Dominick Petrillo, Anthony LoPinto, Vincent Potenza, Calogero Rao, Charles Sooperto, Salvatore Shillitani Joseph Silesi, Nicholas Tocentino, Angelo Tuminaro, Joseph Vento, Anthony Vadala, Sam Valente, Tom Valente, James Vintaloro [42]

[edit] Trials
Mafia Commission Trial - boss Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, underboss Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro, and Consigliere Christopher "Christy Tick" Furnari received 100-year sentences.
Window Case - 1978 to 1990 - four of the five New York City crime families (Lucchese, Genovese, Gambino and Colombo) formed a cartel that controlled the sale and installation of thousands of energy-efficient windows in New York City housing projects.[179][180]

[edit] Famous heists
Air France Robbery (In 1967 Lucchese associates stole $420,000 from Air France cargo at JFK Airport)
Pierre Hotel Robbery (In 1972 Lucchese family associates stole hundred of thousands in Jewels)
Lufthansa Heist (On December 11, 1978 Lucchese family members and associates stole 5 million in cash and Jewels from JFK Airport.)
Mafia related events in timeline 
Main article: Timeline of organized crime

[edit] In popular culture
The 1981 film Gangster Wars Lucchese family's future boss Gaetano "Tommy Brown" Lucchese was played by actor Jon Polito.[181]
The 1990 film Goodfellas was based on Lucchese mob associate Henry Hill and The Vario Crew of the Lucchese family.
The 1991 film Mobsters Lucchese family boss Gaetano "Tommy" Reina was played by actor Christopher Penn.[182]
In the 1991 film Out for Justice, the William Forsythe character "Richard Madano" was based on Lucchese mobster Matthew Madonna.
The 1999-2007 HBO TV-show The Sopranos, the Lucchese family's New Jersey faction was the main inspiration for the DiMeo crime family according Crime Library. Main character Anthony "Tony" Soprano was based on Lucchese mobster Michael Taccetta.[183]
The 2006 film Find Me Guilty was based on the 1980s trial of 20 members of the Lucchese Jersey Crew.
The 2006 Electronic Arts video game The Godfather: The Game, the Stracci Family could be based on the Lucchese crime family. In the game, the family is based in New Jersey; the Lucchese family has a large power base in New Jersey.
In the 2007 film American Gangster, the Armand Assante character Dominic Cattano was based on Lucchese mobster Carmine Tramunti.
In the 2008 Rockstar North's video game GTA IV, the fictional Lupisella family could loosely be based on the Lucchese family. The Lupisella family is mainly based in Bohan, the GTA 4 version of the Bronx, and is operating in Liberty City, the game's version of New York City.

[edit] References

1.^ a b c d The Changing Face of ORGANIZED CRIME IN NEW JERSEY - A Status Report(May 2004)State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation
2.^ a b c d e f g h "The Lucchese Family: Blood and Gravy" by Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library
3.^ a b c d e f g Raab, Selwyn. The Five Families: The Rise, Decline & Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empire. New York: St. Martins Press, 2005.
5.^ "FUHGEDDABOUD THE OLD MOB After Gotti, Mafia ordered to clean house" BY MICHELE MCPHEE New York Daily News July 7th 2002
6.^ a b c "The Lucchese Family; Tony Ducks and the Jaguar" by Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library
7.^ a b c "The Lucchese Family: Off With Everyone's Head" By Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library
8.^ a b c d e f g "The Lucchese family: The Gaspipe Backfires" By Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library
9.^ "Of Murder, Mob Witnesses And Shouting in the Court" By ALAN FEUER New York Times March 14, 2006
10.^ "'Most Ruthless Mafia Leader Left; Leader on the Lam Runs the Lucchese Family, Agents Say" By SELWYN RAAB New York Times November 28, 1992
11.^ a b c "The Lucchese family: A Revolving Door" by Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library
12.^ a b "Judge Hands Labor Racketeering Kingpin a Soft Sentence, Over Prosecutors' Complaints" by Tom Robbins Village Voice - The March 17–23, 2004
13.^ Drury, Bob. Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob. ISBN 1-4165-2399-5
14.^ a b Lawson, Guy. The Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia. 2007. ISBN 978-0-7432-8944-3
15.^ "Dispatches from mob trial" By Dan Ackman Slate Magazine
16.^ a b c d e f g "What’s Left of the Mob" By Jerry Capeci New York Magazine May 21, 2005
17.^ Al Guart. "Mob Wants You; Recruiting drive sends Wiseguys tally to 651". New York Post. February 8, 2004.[1]
18.^ a b "Steven Crea" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
19.^ a b c d "It's a Mob Family Circus" By STEFANIE COHEN New York Post March 8, 2009
20.^ "N.J. authorities indict 34 in Lucchese crime family bust from ‘Operation Heat’" Mafia Today May 14, 2010
21.^ "N.J. mob indictments handed to Lucchese crime family" Newsroom New Jersey May 14 May 2010 14
22.^ a b
23.^ a b
24.^ a b c d e f g "49 indicted for bribery, racketeering schemes on a crazy Lucchese mob day" BY Jose Martinez and Brian Kates New York Daily News October 2nd 2009
25.^ a b c "Lucchese crime family members busted in mob raid" By LAURA ITALIANO and MURRAY WEISS New York Post October 1, 2009
26.^ a b "Dozens Arrested in Raids Against Luchese Crime Family" By A. G. SULZBERGER New York Times October 1, 2009
27.^ "Mob Arrests On Staten Island" MyFox New York November 18, 2009
28.^ "With Gotti Away, the Genoveses Succeed the Leaderless Gambinos" By SELWYN RAAB New York Times September 03, 1995
29.^ "Crime Bosses of New York - The Lucchese" The American Mafia website
30.^ "New York" By Mario Machi American
31.^ a b c d e f g h i j k l DeVico, Peter J. The Mafia Made Easy: The Anatomy and Culture of La Cosa Nostra. (pg. 175) Tate Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-60247-254-8
32.^ "White-Collar Mafioso: Tommy Lucchese (1899-1967)" By Thomas Hunt
33.^ "Tommy Lucchese Biography" Bio website
34.^ Harrell, G.T. For Members Only: The Story of the Mob's Secret Judge. Arthur House Publishing, 2009 (pg 99-101)
36.^ a b c d Philip Carlo. Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss (pg.296)
37.^ Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss by Philip Carlo (pg. 240)
38.^ a b "Declaration of Alphonse D'Arco in Mason Tenders RICO Suit
39.^ Luchese Ex-Boss Singing for Feds by Robert Gearty (October 23, 2002) New York Daily News
40.^ "The Lucchese Family: But Who's Really the Boss?" by Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library
41.^ a b Gage, Nicholas. "Part II The Mafia at War". New York Magazine. July 17, 1972. (pg. 27-36)
42.^ a b c d e f "McClellan Chart 1963"]
43.^ a b Organized crime: 25 years after Valachi. (1988). Issue 1806. (pg. 897)
44.^ American federal tax reports: Second series, Volume 83 (1991) Prentice-Hall (view)
45.^ a b c "Who's the boss today?" Mafia News Today
46.^ Joseph Bonanno. A Man of Honor: The Autobiography of Joseph Bonanno. (pg. 84, 106, 116)
47.^ Nixon vs. the City's Top Crime fighter by Peter Maas (June 30, 1969) New York Magazine (pg.24-27)
48.^ Gangbusters: The Destruction of America's Last Great Mafia Dynasty by Ernest Volkman (pg.125-132)
49.^ "Vario Convicted of Tax Evasion; Reputed Mafioso Could Get 11-Year Prison Term". February 10, 1973. New York Times
50.^ "Vario is Sentenced to 6 Years in Jail". April 7, 1973. New York Times
51.^ Wise Guy by Nicholas Pileggi Jan. 27, 1986) New York Magazine (pg. 32-33)
52.^ In the Matter of Joseph Truncale. Laborers' International Union of North America: Independent Hearing Officer (Docket No. 00-54D) Decided April 24, 2001
53.^ a b c d e f g h "Dumb Fellas Grads' Dream Of Mob Glory Died Behind Prison Bars" by Jerry Capeci (May 4, 1998) New York Daily News
54.^ Convictions: A Prosecutor's Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves by John Kroger (pg. 74)
55.^ "FEDS BUST L.I. 'SOPRANOS' Say mobsters put bite on restaurant" New York Daily News. November 12, 2002
56.^ a b "Joseph Caridi" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
57.^ "VITTORIO AMUSO" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
58.^ DOJ press release on Gambino Squitieri, et al. indictments
59.^ Joaquin Garcia, Michael Levin. Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family. (pg. 363) [2]
60.^ Geoffrey Gray. Massive Indictment Rocks Gambino Family. New York Sun. March 10, 2005. [3]
61.^ "U.S. CHARGES Acting Boss, Acting Underboss and top leaders of Gambino Crime Family with Racketeering and other crimes." Department of Justice Press Release March 9, 2005
62.^ "Joseph (Big Joe) Lubrano, suspected mobster in Luchese crime family, nabbed by feds" BY Alison Gendar and John Lauinger. New York Daily News. September 13, 2010
63.^ "The Wrong Guy Got Jail in 1994 Attack" By Mike Mcalary.New York Daily News May 22, 1998
64.^ Reputed Luchese family mobster arrested (September 13, 2010) New York Post
65.^ Lucchese family capo Lubrano on run captured by Feds (September 14, 2010)
66.^ FBI New York Wanted Fugitive Joseph Lubrano Arrested (September 12, 2010)
67.^ Federal Bureau of Prisons: Giovanni Lubrano
68.^ "Reputed Mobster Shot; Power Struggle Suspected" By JAMES BENNET New York Times April 5, 1992
70.^ "Construction Indictments" DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEW YORK COUNTY Press release September 6, 2000
71.^ "Laborers-LIUNA Local 20 Official Charged In Mob Racketeering" The
72.^ "Bronx sports gambling ring led by Luchese family member busted" By Thomas Zambito New York Daily News November 24, 2008
73.^ "Mafia "tomato" gets squished: Raids on SI bet ring bear fruit" By Murray Weiss and Chuck Bennett New York Post November 19, 2009
74.^ "Carmine Sciandra" Friend of Ours July 08, 2010
76.^ N.J. Excluded Person - Domenico Cutaia
77.^ "No sympathy for sick mobster Domenico Cutaia suffering from MS - judge throws the book at him" by John Marzulli New York Daily News October 23rd 2009
78.^ a b "Superseding Indictment Unsealed Charging Luchese and Bonanno Captains, Soldier, and Associates Variously with Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Extortion, and Other Crimes" Department of Justice Press Release February 24, 2010
79.^ a b Wiseguy Talks: "Get Your Gun; Get Your Knife, Go Out and Rob" by Jerry Capeci (March 8, 2010) Huffington Post New York
80.^ a b "Mafia Family Members, Associates Charged with Racketeering, Extortion and Other Crimes" Mafia Today February 26, 2010
81.^ Two Lucchese mobsters plead guilty by Mitchel Maddux (February 1, 2011) New York Post
83.^ "After 3 Years of Witnesses' Silence, Man Is Charged in a College Student's Killing" By JOSEPH BERGER New York Times December 10, 1996
84.^ DeVico, Peter J. The Mafia Made Easy: The Anatomy and Culture of La Cosa Nostra. Tate Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-60247-254-8
85.^ a b "ALL 20 ACQUITTED IN JERSEY MOB CASE" By JESUS RANGEL New York Times August 27, 1988
86.^ a b "Mob informant's role in Seton probe" New July 08, 2003
87.^ a b "2 Top New Jersey Crime Figures Admit Juror Bribery in U.S. Trials" By CHARLES STRUM New York Times September 21, 1993
88.^ "NEW JERSEY DAILY BRIEFING;Jailed Mob Boss Indicted" New York Times<
89.^ Jersey mob soon to get infusion of old blood
90.^ "Names of those charged in $2.2B gambling ring" by Claire Heininger Tuesday, December 18, 2007
91.^ "Ralph Perna" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
92.^ "The Cop and the Stalker" New York Magazine
93.^ "Drive on Mob Sabotaged In New Jersey" By CLIFFORD J. LEVY New York Times August 12, 1994
94.^ a b c d e f "ROSTER IS GANGSTER RAP SHEET" By GREG B. SMITH New York Daily News February 6th 1998
95.^ "Salvatore Avellino, Jr" State of New Jersey Casino Control Commission
96.^ "Mob, Murder and Garbage: A Connection Is Reordered" By JOSEPH P. FRIED New York Times January 09, 1995
97.^ "For garbage companies, slowdown means there's less to take out" By Winzelberg, David Long Island Business News Friday, June 5, 2009
98.^ "United States of America, Appellee, v. Carmine Avellino, Defendant-appellant"
99.^ "Carmine Avellino" State of New Jersey Casino Control Commission
101.^ "The Miniacis and the Mafiosi" by Bob Norman Broward Palm Beach New Times July 2, 1998
102.^ "FEDS BUST L.I. 'SOPRANOS' Say mobsters put bite on restaurant" By MIKE CLAFFEY and JOHN MARZULLI New York Daily News December 11th 2002
103.^ "John Cerrella" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
104.^ a b "Breaking the Code" by Mike Mcalary New York Magazine
105.^ "Ray's Pizza Won't Be The Same" by Jerry Capeci This Week in Gangland -
106.^ a b "Mobster helps prosecutors in trial of alleged cop killer." Rick Porello's American Mafia September 23, 1999
107.^ "Grandson of Luchese crime capo - Joseph Cutaia - faces rap in robbery try" BY John Marzulli New York Daily News December 24th 2009
108.^ a b Lucchese Class of '91 by Jerry Capeci This Week in Gangland (May 4, 1998)
109.^ "Wiseguys Breaking Mob Laws" July 14, 2005 The New York Sun
110.^ "Trooper Acquitted of Possessing Steroids" by Alfonso Castillo NY Newsday March 15, 2005
111.^ "Metro Datelines; 5 Plead Guilty In Airport Trial" New York Times October 9, 1986
113.^ "Nearly $5 million mob-linked fraud cited" by George Anastasia August 30, 2009
114.^ "Scarfo pal's conviction offers glimpse into mob"
115.^ "Indictment Says Mob Is Linked To a Mortgage Fraud Operation" By ALAN FEUER New York Times March 29, 2001
116.^ "Ray Argentina" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
117.^ Breakshot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia by Kenny Gallo, Matthew Randazzo (pg.449)
118.^ La Cosa Nostra Database: John Baudanza. (2007-2011) Baudanza
119.^ "The Mob is Busier than the Feds Think" by Gary Weiss (Dec. 15, 1997)
120.^ "Seven Members and Associates of the Colombo and Luchese Organized Crime Families Plead Plead Guilty to Racketeering and extortion in Connection with Boiler Room Stock Fraud Schemes" Department of Justice Press Release (April 17, 2007)
121.^ Hedge Fund Mobster Gets Seven Years at FIN Alternatives, December 19, 2007
122.^ Federal Bureau of Prisons: Inmate Locator "John Baudanza" (Projected Release date August 2, 2015)
123.^ a b "2 in Lucchese Gang Accused of 'Mob Hit'" by Selwyn Raab (January 25, 1996) New York Times
124.^ a b Conte&st=cse&scp=5 "Blood Ties: 2 Officers' Long Path to Mob Murder Indictments" by Alan Feuer and William K. Rashbaum (March 12, 2005) New York Times (pg.2)
125.^ "Officials Say Mafia Ran Crack Ring In Brooklyn" by Randy Kennedy (October 02, 1996) New York Times
126.^ "George Conte" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
127.^ "Louis Daidone" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
128.^ "Christopher Furnari St" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
129.^ "Officials Say Mafia Ran Crack Ring In Brooklyn" By RANDY KENNEDY New York Times October 02, 1996
130.^ "In Plea Bargain, Two Admit Guilt in Mob Figure's '89 Killing" By JOSEPH P. FRIED New York Times September 18, 1997
131.^ "James Galione" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
132.^ "Massaro, Joseph v. U.S. (04/23/2003)" On the Docket Supreme Court News
133.^ "JOSEPH MASSARO,Petitioner-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" Findlaw
134.^ "Joseph Massaro" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
135.^ Capeci, Jerry. Jerry Capeci's Gang Land Fifteen Years Of Covering The Mafia. (Page 142-143) [4]
136.^ Michael "Perna, Plaintiff v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant"
137.^ "UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v.Michael ESPOSITO, Appellant" US Court of Appeals
138.^ "Michael J. Perna" Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
139.^ a b c "Reputed crime family underboss summoned to court in Newark" BY PETER J. SAMPSON The Record Thursday, December 10, 2009
141.^ William K. Rashbaum. 38 are charged in Mob control of construction in the City. The New York Times. September 7, 2000. [5]
142.^ Alan Feuer. Two More Men are charged in a Mob Killing in 1988. The New York Times. November 29, 2000. [6]
143.^ "Word for Word/Gangland Testimonials; Dear Judge, Joey Whatshisname Was a Well Respectable Guy" By ALAN FEUER New York Times June 24, 2001
144.^ "'Seedy' Mob Boss A Bit Of A Smuggler." By MURRAY WEISS, New York Post Rick Porrello's May 7, 2000
145.^ "United States v. Zappola" AltLaw
146.^ "3 reputed mobsters nabbed in $2.2B gambling ring" by Laura Craven December 18, 2007
147.^ "Tangled Web of Gangsters in The Bronx" By Mike Mcalary. New York Daily News June 23rd 1995
148.^ "Bronx detectives pounce on junkie wanted in shooting slay" New York Daily News September 24, 2007
149.^ "Top Official Has Close Ties to NYC Garment Industry Mobsters" by Carl Horowitz National Legal and Policy Center October 24, 2005
150.^ "U.S. Court Rejects Appeal by Brooklyn Garment Workers" By DIANA B. HENRIQUES New York Times May 25, 2000
151.^ a b "Police Say Their Chinatown Sting Ties Mob to the Garment Industry" By SELWYN RAAB New York Times March 20, 1990
152.^ "Feds Finger Labor Boss Apparel Union Tied to Mafia Shakedown" By William Bastone Village Voice Oct 20 1998
153.^ a b Bruce Shapiro. Shaking the foundations: 200 years of investigative journalism in America. pg.433-436
155.^ "Mafia, Unions, and NYC Newspapers" Mafia Today November 23, 2009
156.^ "Raid Circulation Offices of NYC Newspapers; Seek Evidence in Union Probe" by Carl Horowitz National Legal and Policy Center November 17, 2009
157.^ "Gambino Gained 'Mob Tax' With Fear, Prosecutor " By RONALD SULLIVAN New York Times February 05, 1992
158.^ "The Gambino Family: A Squirrel of a Man" by Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library
160.^ "NEW YORK DAY BY DAY; Seeking Castellano's Killers" By Susan Heller Anderson and David W. Dunlap New York Times December 30, 1985
161.^ "Investigators Detail a New Mob Strategy on Building Trades" By SELWYN RAAB New York Times August 08, 1999
163.^ "FBI Wiseguy Fooled The Mob" 60 Minutes
164.^ "Reputed top N.J. mobster admits running racketeering operation" by Joe Ryan The Star-Ledger January 05, 2010
165.^ Jacobs, James B., Coleen Friel and Robert Radick. Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime. New York: NYU Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8147-4247-5
166.^ "Louis "Lepke" Buchalter" FBI website
167.^ "The Cuban Mafia" By Ron Chepesiuk The New Criminologist
168.^ "JOSÉ MIGUEL BATTLE SR." By David Amoruso Gangsters Inc. August 23, 2008
169.^ The Rudaj Organization aka: The Albanian Mafia. November 2, 2004. The Johnsville [7]
170.^ Anemona Hartocollis. Albanian Gang Portrayed as Aspiring Mafiosi. December 20, 2005. The New York Times. [8]
171.^ Carl Campanile. Albania 'Mafia' Broken. October 27, 2004. New York Post. [9]
172.^ Kareem Fahim and Alan Feuer. Beating Them at Their Own Game; Albanian Groups Are Muscling Into Mob Land, Officials Say. January 3, 2006. The New York Times. [10]
174.^ "Peter (Big Pete) Chiodo sentenced 17 years after arrest" BY JOHN MARZULLI New York Daily News September 11th 2007
175.^ "The Year of the Rat" By JERRY CAPECI New York Sun December 30, 2004
176.^ "Pair Get Life Terms In Murder -Reputed Mobsters Also Serving Time For Drugs" By HENRY FITZGERALD JR. Sun January 23, 1997
177.^ "Man Indicted In Drug Case" By WARREN RICHEY Sun August 03, 1993
178.^ "Goodfella Henry Hill In Drug Bust" The Smoking Gun website
179.^ "Windows Jury Finds 3 Guilty And Acquits 5" By ARNOLD H. LUBASCH New York Times October 19, 1991
180.^ "2 Men Sentenced In 'Windows Trial'" New York Times March 28, 1993
181.^ "Gangster Wars" IMDb website
182.^ "Mobsters" IMDb webssite
183.^ "The Genovese Family: Prologue" by Anthony Bruno TruTV Crime Library

[edit] Further reading
DeVico, Peter J. The Mafia Made Easy: The Anatomy and Culture of La Cosa Nostra. Tate Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-60247-254-8
Rudolph, Robert C. The Boys from New Jersey: How the Mob Beat the Feds. New York: William Morrow and Company Inc., 1992. ISBN 0-8135-2154-8
Capeci, Jerry. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mafia. Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 2002. ISBN 0-02-864225-2
Davis, John H. Mafia Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the Gambino Crime Family. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. ISBN 0-06-016357-7
Jacobs, James B., Christopher Panarella and Jay Worthington. Busting the Mob: The United States Vs. Cosa Nostra. New York: NYU Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8147-4230-0
Maas, Peter. Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997. ISBN 0-06-093096-9
Raab, Selwyn. Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires. New York: St. Martin Press, 2005. ISBN 0-312-30094-8
Volkman, Ernest. Gangbusters: The Destruction of America's Last Great Mafia Dynasty New York, Avon Books, 1998 ISBN 0-380-73235-1
Eppolito, Louis. Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop whose Family Was the Mob. ISBN 1-4165-2399-5
Lawson, Guy and Oldham, William. The Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia. ISBN 978-0-7432-8944-3
Jacobs, James B., Coleen Friel and Robert Radick. Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime. New York: NYU Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8147-4247-5
Re: The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out
Post by sandi66 on May 13, 2011, 11:35am

The Lucchese Family 

Chapter One

By Anthony Bruno

Blood and Gravy

On the night of February 26, 1930, Gaetano "Tom" Reina, the first boss of what would eventually become known as the Lucchese crime family, shrugged into his overcoat in the foyer of his aunt's home. It was a Wednesday, and Reina spent every Wednesday with his aunt. He always looked forward to her home-style Sicilian cooking, and she never disappointed him. This evening was no exception. The aroma of her "gravy," as the newly arrived immigrants called their marinara sauce in English, lingered throughout the house. 

As Reina stood by the door, his aunt touched his cheek and pulled his collar closed around his neck. It was the dead of winter, and she worried about him. The fact that he was forty years old and the leader of a criminal organization that controlled rackets in the Bronx and ice distribution all throughout New York City made no difference to her. He still needed looking after.

She studied his face, looking for signs of illness or worry, but he immediately broke into a big smile and kissed her cheeks, thanking her for dinner and telling her to be well. But he couldn't fool her. She had seen the worry in his expression—it had been there all night—but Reina wasn't about to burden his elderly aunt with his troubles. She was right—something was bothering him, and it had been eating at him for a long time. His boss, Giuseppe Masseria, had become much too demanding. Masseria was the Mafia boss of all of New York, and he ruled with an iron fist, insisted that everyone call him "Joe the Boss." The greedy bastard now wanted an even bigger slice of the pie, and from Reina's point of view it was undeserved. 

Joseph Masseria
For months, Reina had been thinking very seriously about switching his allegiance to Masseria's rival, Salvatore Maranzano, a relative newcomer to New York who had arrived in America from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, just a few years earlier. Maranzano was now gaining strength and giving Masseria a run for his money. Reina hadn't totally made up his mind yet, but with every fat envelope that passed from his hands to Masseria's arrogant emissaries, he came that much closer to making his decision.

Reina's aunt caressed his cheek with the palm of her hand and startled him out of his simmering anger. He flashed a quick smile to assure her that everything was all right as he reached for the doorknob and bid her goodbye.

Charles "Lucky" Luciano
As Reina walked down the front steps toward the sidewalk, he noticed a familiar face. Vito Genovese, then 33, who would later become the namesake of the largest crime family in New York, stood under a streetlight, waiting for him. At the time, Genovese was an associate of Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who was "Joe the Boss" Masseria's top lieutenant. Reina started to wave to Genovese, but "as he did," Carl Sifakis writes in The Mafia Encyclopedia, "Vito blew his head off." Genovese left Reina's body where it fell, in front of his aunt's house on Sheridan Avenue.

Vito Genovese
Tom Reina became the first victim in the bloody struggle for control of the Sicilian Mafia in America called the Castellammarese War, named after the town in Sicily where many of the participants were born. But why kill Reina? many people wondered. Lucky Luciano had been chafing under Masseria's harsh grip himself, and he knew that Reina was thinking about joining forces with the newcomer Maranzano. Why rub out someone who could have been a powerful ally in ousting "Joe the Boss"? 

The ingenious Luciano had his reasons.

Chapter Two

The Two Tommys

Lucky Luciano was always thinking three moves ahead. Lucky's master plan was to set up a national crime commission that would be bigger than the Mafia and include gangsters of all stripes, not just Sicilians. To do that, he knew he would have to eliminate the old-fashioned "Mustache Petes" who had come to America from Sicily and ruled like medieval barons in a land of limitless criminal opportunity. "Joe the Boss" Masseria was naturally at the top of Luciano's hit list, but Lucky was also wary of Masseria's rival, Salvatore Maranzano. Luciano didn't want a new boss; he wanted to be the boss. But he knew he wasn't strong enough to make that move yet. And that's why he ordered the hit on Tom Reina. 

Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano
Luciano worried that if Reina sided with Maranzano, Maranzano would become too powerful and potentially harder to deal with than Masseria. Besides, Luciano already had secret commitments from Reina's right-hand men, Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano and Tommy Lucchese, who saw Luciano's national commission as the future of crime in America. The Castellammarese War was the Young Turks' insidious rebellion against the old-timers. 

Joe Pinzolo 
In the wake of Reina's death, Masseria alienated Reina's Bronx gang by bringing in an outsider to take over as their leader, another "Mustache Pete" named Joe Pinzolo. The two top figures in the gang, Tommy Gagliano and Tommy Lucchese, chafed under Pinzolo's high-handed leadership, and it wasn't long before Lucchese murdered Pinzolo, which Masseria mistakenly attributed to Maranzano. 

Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese
Fed up with "Joe the Boss," Gagliano and Lucchese decided to join forces with Maranzano, but Lucky Luciano, always thinking ahead, convinced them to make the switch secretly so that Masseria wouldn't know. This made the two Tommys much more appealing to Maranzano, who thought he now had two well-placed spies in Masseria's organization, when in fact it was Luciano who had two well-placed spies in Maranzano's organization. Luciano was now ready to make the boldest moves ever committed by an American Mafioso.

Salvatore Maranzano
The murders of Giuseppe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano are Mafia legend and mark the birth of modern organized crime in the United States. 

On April 15, 1931, Luciano lured "Joe the Boss" to a restaurant in Coney Island, where they spent the afternoon playing cards after a big meal. When Luciano excused himself to go to the men's room, four gunmen entered the restaurant and pumped six slugs into Masseria, abruptly ending his draconian reign. Luciano emerged from the men's room to inspect the body, nodding his approval to his hand-picked team of assassins who would eventually become underworld luminaries in their own rights—Albert Anastasia, Vito Genovese, Joe Adonis, and Bugsy Siegel.

Albert Anastasia, young
With Masseria out of the way, Maranzano declared himself the undisputed boss of bosses and initially thought he had Luciano's support. But in private, Marazano was growing wary of Luciano and his growing circle of non-Sicilian gangster friends. It wasn't long before Maranzano came to regard Luciano as "a threat," according to author Ernest Volkman in his book Gangbusters: The Destruction of America's Last Great Mafia Dynasty. Marazano hired notorious Irish hitman Vince "Mad Dog" Coll to rub out Luciano and his close associate Vito Genovese, but Luciano got wind of the plot and beat Marazano to the punch, hiring four Jewish killers from the Meyer Lansky-Bugsy Seigel gang to take out Marazano.

Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll
Maranzano had summoned Luciano to meet him at his real-estate office near Grand Central Station on September 10, 1931. Luciano assumed that this meeting was a setup, so he dispatched his hit team before the scheduled meeting with Marazano. Dressed in treasury-agent uniforms, the four killers went to Maranzano's office, saying they were there to do a spot check on the books. Two of the "agents" subdued Maranzano's body guards in the outer office while the other two went inside to take care of Maranzano. 

Tommy Lucchese was with Maranzano, who never suspected that Lucchese had been aligned with Luciano all along. The assassins didn't know what Maranzano looked like, so Lucchese's job was to make sure that they got the right man, which they certainly did, shooting and stabbing Maranzano to death. 

Ironically, one of these killers ran into "Mad Dog" Coll in the stairwell as he rushed out of the building. Coll was on his way up to gun down Luciano and Genovese, who were supposed to be in a meeting with Maranzano. 

When Coll learned that the boss had just been killed, he turned right around and walked out a happy man. Maranzano had already paid him half of his $50,000 fee up front and was in no position to ask for a refund.

With the "Mustache Petes" either dead or on the run, Luciano and his allies were now free to take over. Luciano assumed the leadership of Masseria's group, while Tommy Gagliano became boss of Reina's gang, with Tommy Lucchese as his underboss. Gagliano held the top slot until his death by natural causes in 1953.

Chapter Three

"Three-Finger Brown"

Tommy Lucchese was an anomaly among his peers. Five-foot-two with a slight build, he was no stranger to violence. As Carl Sifakis points out, he may have been Lucky Luciano's "favorite killer," and may have also been involved in some 30 murders. This would have been high praise coming from Luciano, who at one time had Albert "Lord High Executioner" Anastasia, among other heavy hitters, in his stable. Lucchese lost a finger in 1915, which earned him the nickname "Three-Finger Brown" after a popular baseball player at the time. As a young man, he racked up a long list of arrests, including ones for homicide, but he managed to avoid conviction in every case except for a single grand larceny charge in the early 1920s.

Lucchese had served loyally as underboss to Tom Gagliano for 22 years. Like Gagliano, he set ego aside and concentrated on core Mafia values—making money and not getting caught. Having lived under the tyrannical reigns of the "Mustache Petes," Lucchese showed more care for the welfare of his men when it was his turn to become boss. Popular and well-liked by his soldiers, he took his family into new rackets in Manhattan's garment district and in the related trucking industry. According to mob expert Jerry Capeci, Lucchese's successful infiltration into these businesses would indicate his control over "key Teamsters and Ladies Garment Workers locals as well as trade associations."

Lucchese was a modern gangster in the Luciano mold who branched out into new areas while maintaining the bread-and-butter rackets that have always been the foundation of the Mafia's money-making machine—gambling, construction, loan-sharking, and drugs. Along with Gagliano, he pioneered rackets at the newly opened Idelwild Airport (later renamed Kennedy Airport), corrupting unions there to facilitate trucking monopolies, warehouse theft, and hijacking.

But Lucchese also had a talent for making friends in high places and using those friendships to his advantage. Among his good friends was Armand Chankalian, administrative assistant to the United States Attorney of the Southern District of New York. Chankalian introduced him to U.S. Attorney Myles Lane. In 1945, Lucchese applied to the New York State Parole Board for a certificate of good conduct, and Chankalian served as a character witness for him. The certificate was granted.

Thomas Murphy
Lucchese also counted Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Murphy among his friends. Murphy is best known for prosecuting accused Communist spy Alger Hiss for perjury in 1949. Murphy was named police commissioner of the city of New York when Mayor Vincent Impellitteri won re-election in 1950. Tommy Lucchese was among Impellitteri's staunchest supporters and had been a frequent guest at Murphy's home. The commissioner claimed total ignorance of Lucchese's criminal record until that year. 

As mob bosses go, Lucchese was a worthy namesake for the family he led. He maintained his criminal lifestyle for 44 years without a conviction, a major feat in itself. Toward the end of his life he suffered from heart disease and underwent surgery for a brain tumor, from which he never fully recovered. He died on July 13, 1967. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral, including many high-ranking mobsters who knew that police and FBI surveillance teams would be watching. Tommy Lucchese was so well-respected, nothing would keep them away.

Carmine Trumunti succeeded Lucchese as boss, but his term was relatively short and undistinguished. He was convicted of sanctioning narcotics trafficking and sentenced to life in prison. The next boss followed more closely in the footsteps of "Three-Finger Brown."

Chapter Four

Tony Ducks and the Jaguar

Tony Corallo
Lucchese boss Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo did not get his nickname for his love of waterfowl. It was his luck in "ducking" prosecution early in his career that earned him the name, but unlike Tommy Lucchese who went over four decades without a conviction, Corallo was not totally immune from government scrutiny. As a young member of the Gagliano family, Corallo spent six months in the can for his involvement in a narcotics ring. This experience might have taught him a lesson. After his release, he turned his attention to criminal pursuits that were harder for the law to uncover and prosecute, principally union corruption.

By the 1950s, Corallo was one of several mobsters who had a tight grip over union locals with the tacit sanction of union officials. Corallo's cash cow was Teamsters Local 239 in New York. He was accused of creating dummy employees and pocketing their salaries, which amounted to $69,000 by the time authorities learned of this scam. Corallo and other mobsters worked hand-in-hand with Jimmy Hoffa, international Teamsters president, who had no problem with wiseguys looting union funds as long as they made sure the locals they controlled kept him in power. Corallo was cited by the U.S. Senate Labor Rackets Committee (better known as the McClellan Committee) as a major player in union corruption. Robert Kennedy, the committee's chief counsel, appeared on a nationally broadcast late-night television talk show to denounce Corallo and other mobsters by name. Subpoenaed to testify before the committee, Corallo was unflappable, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights 83 times when questioned about a bugged conversation in which Jimmy Hoffa seemed to be giving his blessings to Corallo's illegal union activities.

Salvatore Avellino Jr.
"Tony Ducks" managed to duck trouble with the union investigations, but he did get snagged for bribing a New York Supreme Court justice and an assistant U.S. attorney and served a two-year stretch as a result. Years later he was convicted on charges of bribing the New York City Water Commissioner, James L. Marcus, in an attempt to get contracts to clean and repair parts of the city's reservoir system. The contracts were worth over $800,000, and Corallo was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Carmine Trumunti
By the time Corallo was released, Tommy Lucchese was on his deathbed and Carmine Trumunti was waiting in the wings. A few years later Trumunti was sent away to prison, and the family was in sore need of a stabilizing force, which Corallo provided for twelve years. Under Corallo's leadership, the Lucchese Family, though smaller in number than the Genovese and Gambino families, prospered and grew. In narcotics trafficking alone, they profited handsomely when a family associate named Matty Madonna became the main supplier for Leroy Nicky Barnes, the heroin king of Harlem. Madonna sold Barnes up to 40 kilos a month in the heady disco days of the early 1970s. The family's rackets ran smoothly and stealthily for many years, until Tony Ducks was bitten by a Jaguar.

Leroy Nicky Barnes
In the early 1980s, investigators placed a bug inside the Jaguar owned by Corallo's bodyguard and chauffeur, Salvatore Avellino. Ironically, Corallo, who was known for being gruff and closemouthed, was caught on tape talking at length and in detail about mob business. The information gleaned from these tapes was used against Corallo in what became known as the Commission Case. Backed up by the RICO statutes, the government went after the heads of the New York families, attempting to prove that these men controlled an ongoing criminal enterprise. In 1986, Corallo was found guilty and sent to prison, where he died in 2000.

Corallo handpicked his own successor, and like other bosses before him, he picked the wrong man. (If Carlo Gambino had chosen his popular underboss, Aniello Dellacroce, to succeed him instead of his brother-in-law, Paul Castellano, John Gotti might never have become the Dapper Don.) Corallo's choice was Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, a man who in a former life might have operated the guillotine during the French Revolution.

Chapter Five

Off With Everyone's Head

Anthony "Gaspipes" Casso
Vic Amuso and his equally bloodthirsty underboss, Anthony "Gaspipes" Casso, ruled with the subtlety of a pair of sledgehammers. Mob expert Jerry Capeci summarized their leadership philosophy succinctly: "Their main idea of management was to kill anyone who displeased them in any way. Their secondary plank was to kill anyone whom they thought might displease them." Mafia rules and tradition went out the window when Amuso and Casso took over.

The bloodletting started when Amuso and Casso were among a slew of mobsters indicted in the "windows case," in which organized crime figures from several families were accused of bribery and extortion , obtaining exclusive contracts to repair buildings for the New York City Housing Authority. These contracts allowed the mob to sell and install hundreds of thousands of windows to the city at inflated prices without fear of competition. Amuso and Casso knew the government had an airtight case against them, so in 1990, they went on the lam and ruled the family from in hiding, barking out long-distance orders to whack anyone whom they suspected might be trouble.

One of their first targets was one of their own hitmen, 400-pound Pete Chiodo, who pleaded guilty to the "windows" charges, knowing that he didn't stand a chance if he went to trial. Amuso and Casso assumed that Chiodo had made a deal with the government to testify against them in exchange for a reduced sentence. They sent word to their acting boss, Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco, to clip "Fat Pete." 

Alphonse "Little Al" DArco 
Short and sinewy, with a signature hard expression, "Little Al" did what he was told and sent a hit team to take care of Chiodo. They ambushed him at a service station on Staten Island near the Verranzano Bridge toll plaza, where he was poking around under the hood of his car, checking the engine. The assassins pumped seven bullets into him, "five bullets passing completely through his body," according to writer Allan May. But none of them hit a vital organ and Chiodo survived.

Vittorio "Vic" Amuso
Ironically, Chiodo was, in fact, a standup guy and had refused all government attempts to get him to flip. But when Amuso sent a pair of wiseguys to Chiodo's lawyer's office with the message that Chiodo's wife would be next, "Fat Pete" began to reconsider his blood oath to the mob. Killing women was strictly forbidden in the Mafia, but apparently Amuso and Casso had lost the rulebook, because their next attempt to deter Chiodo was an attempt on his sister's life. A van pulled up in front of Patricia Capozzalo's home and opened fire on her as she was going inside, having just returned from taking two of her kids to school. She was hit in the neck and back before the van raced off. Like her brother, she survived the attack. Shortly after the Capozzalo shooting, Chiodo's uncle, Frank Signorino, was found dead in the trunk of a car. Chiodo had no doubts about what he was going to do now. Thanks to Amuso and Casso's ham-fisted efforts to silence him, Chiodo went into the witness protection program and became one of the government's most productive witnesses against the Mafia. 

Anthony "Tumac" Accetturo
Amuso and Casso didn't quite get the basics of lying low. While in hiding, they ordered acting boss D'Arco to kill the entire New Jersey faction of the Lucchese family, 30 members in all. Disillusioned with Amuso's haphazard leadership, New Jersey boss Anthony "Tumac" Accetturo had stopped giving the New York leadership a piece of his pie. From Accetturo's point of view, the members of the Jersey faction were hard-working moneymakers who got nothing but trouble from the New York bosses. All this killing and shooting was bringing the heat down on the Lucchese family members and was bad for business. Accetturo tried negotiating with Amuso and Casso, but there was no placating them. The order stood. "Whack New Jersey!"

Chapter Six

Little Als Dilemma

Anthony Casso
At this point, acting boss "Little Al" D'Arco must have thought he'd fallen down the rabbit hole and landed at the Mad Hatter's tea party. Amuso and Casso were getting more unreasonable and making less sense. As author Ernest Volkman writes in his book Gangbusters, at a clandestine meeting, Casso gave D'Arco a list of 49 names -- people Casso had slated for execution. D'Arco scanned down the list and realized that half of these people were Lucchese members. When D'Arco questioned some of Casso's choices, the underboss said they all had to be killed because they were "creeps." According to Volkman, at another meeting Casso promised that he would throw a party when he finally came out of hiding and invite all the "creeps" so he could kill them all in one place. 

John Gotti
Amuso showed his megalomania when he ordered D'Arco to recruit a bomb expert from the Philadelphia Mafia family, who would rig an explosive that would kill Gambino boss John Gotti. D'Arco pointed out that there would most certainly be retaliation from the Gambino family, and the Lucchese family didn't need any more trouble. Amuso told him not to worry about it because "the robe," Genovese boss Vincent Gigante, would support them.

These two were out of control, D'Arco must have thought. If they could order the deaths of their own family members and their loved ones, how safe was he? The writing on the wall came when Amuso demoted him and made him one of a four-man committee appointed to run the family. He knew that Amuso and Casso held him responsible for the botched hit on "Fat Pete" Chiodo. "Little Al" decided he'd better start watching his back more than usual.

On July 29, 1991, FBI agents captured Vic Amuso and his bodyguard at a suburban mall near Scranton, Pennsylvania. They surrendered peacefully, but the news of Amuso's arrest did not put D'Arco's mind at ease. If there was a contract on his head, it was still in effect, and Casso was still at large.

Six weeks later, D'Arco walked into the Hotel Kimberly in midtown Manhattan and took the elevator up to a suite where the acting Lucchese hierarchy had planned to hold a meeting. As soon as he stepped into the suite, he knew instinctively that something was wrong. According to Alan May, "D'Arco noticed one of the men had a bulge under his shirt, a sure sign he was carrying a weapon." Coming armed to a meeting was a clear violation of Mafia protocol. The man with the bulge excused himself and went into the bathroom. When he returned, the bulge was gone. D'Arco's stomach sank. It was a classic setup. The next guy to go into the john would come out with the gun in his hand.

"Little Al" was certain that he was their target. He had to be, he thought. He tried to think of a way he could escape, but he was outnumbered. He'd never even make it to the door. 

When another man went into the bathroom, D'Arco was convinced his number was up. But when the man came out, nothing happened. He probably wasn't the designated shooter, D'Arco figured. Maybe he just had to go pee. The shooter had yet to make his move.

That's when D'Arco decided he had to get the hell out of there. He made a quick excuse and left the suite, hightailing it to the lobby and out onto the street. He scanned the block outside the hotel but couldn't find his driver, a sure sign that he'd been marked for execution that day. He quickly flagged down a cab and went directly to his home, where he gathered up his wife and family. They immediately fled for their lives. 

D'Arco felt betrayed. He had lived his life by the Mafia code and had been 100% loyal to the Lucchese family, but the rules set down by the godfathers of previous generations didn't mean anything anymore. Amuso and Casso had gone off the reservation, not him. It shamed him to be running away, because he hadn't done anything wrong. His first thought wasn't to run into the arms of the law, but with a wife and a big family to protect (particularly his son Joseph, who had been part of the hit team that failed to kill "Fat Pete" Chiodo), and no one in the mob willing to help them, D'Arco had little choice. 

"Little Al" D'Arco became the first Mafia boss in history to turn state's witness and testify against his fellow family members after the government agreed to put him and his extended family in witness protection. He wouldn't be the last.

Chapter Seven

The Gaspipe Backfires

Frank DeCicco
In 1993, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso was finally caught. He'd been on the lam for 30 months, staying with an old girlfriend in central New Jersey. The government couldn't wait to get him into court. Having allegedly participated in 36 murders, including the bombing of Gambino underboss Frank DeCicco in 1986 and a plot to rub out federal Judge Eugene Nickerson, Casso would be easy pickings. In all likelihood, they'd be able to lock him away for the rest of his life. But Casso, unlike his boss Vic Amuso, decided there was nothing to be gained from being a standup guy. Instead, he flipped, offering to testify against the mob. 

Sammy "the Bull" Gravano
It was a surprise move, but not an unwelcome one. Government prosecutors knew he was a treasure chest of inside information, not only about the Lucchese family, but about some of the other families, and they compared him to another valuable turncoat, Gambino underboss Sammy "Bull" Gravano, whose testimony against Gambino boss John Gotti helped put away the elusive Teflon Don. But Casso apparently didn't understand that turncoats are supposed to show that they've turned a corner in their lives and want to leave their criminal ways behind them. If anything, Gaspipe seemed to feel that cooperating with the government gave him license to misbehave.

Incarcerated in a special prison unit for cooperating witnesses, Casso frequently picked fights with other inmates. In one instance, he assaulted a handcuffed prisoner in the shower room. On another occasion, he attacked an inmate twice his size with a rolled-up magazine. The 350-pound prisoner grabbed the 165-pound Casso by the shirtfront and beat him mercilessly until guards tore them apart. Both men were relegated to solitary confinement as a result.

Anthony Casso in jail
Jerry Capeci writes in his article "Gaspipes Gets Gassed" that Casso also sweet-talked a prison secretary into doing favors for him, including giving him use of an unmonitored telephone. Casso also "bribed guards at the Otisville Correctional Facility to supply him with cash, steaks, sushi, turkeys, vodka, wine and other contraband." 

Vincent "the Chin" Gigante
Casso was proving to be a loose cannon, and prosecutors feared what he would do on the stand if he were ever used as a witness. They decided not to use him in the trial against Genovese boss, Vincent "Chin" Gigante, relying instead on the testimonies of Sammy Gravano and "Little Al" D'Arco. Casso was so incensed that he'd been passed over, he wrote a letter to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn after Gigante's conviction and blasted the turncoat witnesses, accusing Gravano and D'Arco of lying on the stand. Prosecutors must have blown a gasket when they received his written temper tantrum, fearing that this document could jeopardize their hard-won conviction.

This time, Casso had gone too far. He was booted out of the program and evicted from the witness-protection unit of the prison. Branded a rat by his former mob cohorts, he had to be housed by himself in solitary confinement for his own protection. Prosecutors then wrote their own letter to the court, recommending that Casso not be given leniency in sentencing for cooperation that never paid off. They asked that Casso be given a life sentence, which is exactly what he got. His sushi and steak days were over.

Chapter Eight

A Revolving Door

Joseph "Little Joe" Defede
In 1993, Vic Amuso, still the boss of the Lucchese family, made his wishes known from behind prison walls. His choice to lead the family as acting boss in his absence was his handball partner from his old Queens neighborhood, Joseph "Little Joe" Defede. After years of turmoil and internal strife, the Lucchese Family seemed to be on an even keel. But then Amuso started checking the books. He found that the family rackets weren't making as much money as they had been, and he suggested that Defede might be skimming off the top of the family's garment district rackets. 

In his article "A Lousy Legacy," Jerry Capeci quotes an unnamed source as saying that Defede, who was never known for being a "tough guy," feared that Amuso would have him "whacked" for stealing from the family. After serving nearly five years as acting boss, he turned himself in to the FBI and pleaded guilty to extorting a small fortune from businesses in the garment district. For "Little Joe," who had started his criminal career running a numbers operation out of a hot-dog truck in Brooklyn, it was an easy choice: better to be alive in prison than dead in the street. While lying in a prison hospital bed in Lexington, Kentucky, Defede took a hard look at his life and decided that there was nothing left for him in the mob. He decided to follow "Little Al" D'Arco's lead and turn government witness.

Steve Crea

Next up in the top slot was underboss Steven Crea, but his term as acting boss didn't last long. He was soon convicted on state racketeering charges involving the construction industry and sent to prison. 

Louis Diadone
Crea's successor met a similar fate. In September 2004, the Lucchese Family's next acting boss, Louis "Louie Crossbay" Daidone, was convicted in federal court on loansharking and murder charges. "Little Al" D'Arco, testifying for the prosecution, claimed that when he had been acting boss of the Lucchese Family, he had ordered Daidone to kill a man he feared would turn government witness. He said he told Daidone to stuff a canary in the corpse's mouth as a warning to any others who might be thinking about spilling their guts to the government. With the aid of a magnifying glass, jurors were able to spot the canary in the victim's mouth in crime scene photographs, and, as a result, voted to convict Daidone.


Video cover: Goodfellas
It should be noted that the Lucchese Family has inspired some of the most notable mob characters on film and television. The Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas is based on Nicholas Pileggi's nonfiction book Wiseguy, which follows the life and crimes of Lucchese associate Henry Hill. In that movie, actor Paul Sorvino plays "Paul Cicero," a character modeled on the real-life Lucchese capo Paul Vario. Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) and Jimmy "the Gent" Burke (played by Robert DiNiro) were both associates in Vario's crew.

Michael Taccetta
Prosecutors and investigators from New Jersey believe that Michael Taccetta, street boss for the Garden State faction of the Lucchese Family, is the likely inspiration for "Tony Soprano" (played by James Gandolfini), the main character of HBO's The Sopranos. They also cite close similarities between Lucchese hitman Tommy Ricciardi and Tony Soprano's consigliere "Silvio Dante" (played by Steven Van Zandt). Both Taccetta and Ricciardi were on Vic Amuso's hit list when he decreed that the Jersey faction of the Lucchese Family should be made extinct.

Chapter Nine


Andy. "The Lucchese Crime Family: The First Century."

Capeci, Jerry. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mafia. Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 2002.

Capeci, Jerry. "Daidone's Bird Is Cooked." (29 January 2004).

Capeci, Jerry. "Fat Pete Sits One Out". (7 April 1997).

Capeci, Jerry. "Fearing Future, Little Joe Sings." (7 March 2002).

Capeci, Jerry. "Gangster Goes Down the Sewer." (24 June 1999).

Capeci, Jerry. "Gaspipe's Follies." (20 January 1997).

Capeci, Jerry. "Gaspipe Gets Gassed." (6 July 1998).

Capeci, Jerry. "Gaspipe's Worst Enemy—Gaspipe." (15 September 1997.)

Capeci, Jerry. "Louie Crossbay In Feds' Crosshairs." (25 September 2003.)

Capeci, Jerry. "A Lousy Legacy." (29 August 2002).

Capeci, Jerry. "31 and Counting." (14 December 1998).

Machi, Mario. "New York-New Jersey." 

May, Allan. "Alphonse "Little At" D'Arco—Revisited (Part 2)." Allan May Mob Report. (11 November 2002).

Sifakis, Carl. The Mafia Encyclopedia. New York: Checkmark Books, 1999.

Volkman, Ernest. Gangbusters: The Destruction of America's Last Great Mafia Dynasty. New York: Avon. 1999.
The Miscreants’ Global Bust-Out Chap 1 - 12
Post by sandi66 on May 19, 2011, 7:46am

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