Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, who, along with Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, had been accused of having Miami Subs founder Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis rubbed out in a Mob-style hit, was convicted of first-degree murder and murder conspiracy Wednesday in the 2001 killing of Boulis.
Ferrari was found guilty for his part in the murder in 2013.
But prosecutors said that it was Moscatiello, 77, who put together the plot to have Boulis killed on the night of February 6, 2001.
On the night of his death, Boulis, who was also the owner of SunCruz Casinos, pulled out of his Fort Lauderdale office in his car when two cars approached him. His killer appeared in next car facing the opposite direction and shot Boulis before screeching off.
According to investigators, Boulis drove a mile toward Federal Highway and SE 18th Street, where he crashed into a tree on the side of the road and died from his gunshot wounds.
The killing was motivated by a deal between Boulis and a businessman named Adam Kidan that went sour.
Kidan brokered a deal to purchase SunCruz Casinos from Boulis for $147.5 million in 2000. However, the deal eventually proved to be fraudulent. Boulis accused Kidan of falsifying the wire transfer, and things came to a head when the two got into a fistfight in December 2000.
Fearful of Boulis, prosecutors said that Kidan hired "Big Tony" Moscatiello for protection; Moscatiello brought Ferrari along.
During the Ferrari trial, witnesses testified that Little Tony was a captain in the infamous Gambino organized crime family.
Moscatiello saw the earning potential of working for Kidan. And he thus considered Boulis a threat to his money, prosecutors said.
This was the two Tonys' motivation to have Boulis rubbed out.
Ferrari took the stand on his own behalf during his own trial, against his attorney's wishes, and testified that he had nothing to do with the hit on Boulis. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison
As for Big Tony, his original trial ended up in mistrial last year after his attorney came down with an illness. For the retrial, Moscatiello's attorney tried to paint Kidan as the main culprit behind the killing, saying he had more motivation than anyone to see Boulis dead.
Moscatiello, who was also a member of the Gambino crime family, now faces a possible death sentence

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Arrest of Kudo-kai boss for tax evasion must help eliminate crime groups

The Yomiuri ShimbunIt is highly significant that police have investigated the money collected by a crime syndicate from subordinate groups as funds for its management. We hope this will help bring an end to a heinous criminal network.
Fukuoka prefectural police have arrested the top boss of Kudo-kai, an extremely dangerous designated yakuza group based in Kitakyushu, on suspicion of violating the Income Tax Law. The boss is suspected of not reporting to tax authorities ¥227 million in income from money he allegedly collected from subordinates, evading about ¥88 million in taxes.
This is the first time Japanese police have deemed the money collected by a yakuza organization from subordinate groups to be an individual’s income and built a case for tax evasion.
Kudo-kai is a dangerous criminal group that has harmed the general public and engaged in gang wars with other yakuza groups. Its top boss has been arrested before and indicted for his alleged involvement in such cases as the shooting death of a former head of a local fisheries cooperative. That incident occurred after the former cooperative head refused to allow Kudo-kai’s involvement in a port facility expansion project.
To make progress toward defeating Kudo-kai, the prefectural police must meticulously trace the flow of money from subordinate groups to the top boss, so as to cut off the group’s funding sources.
Gang members extort protection money from companies and citizens, which is then taken by higher-ranking groups as operational funds.
It is hard to uncover the workings of such money collection systems. Police and tax authorities have tried to pursue corporate tax evasion charges against financial institutions with deep ties with gangster groups. Such investigations have faced limits, however, because crime organizations are not regarded as corporate bodies.
Smoking guns seized
As part of efforts to disband Kudo-kai, Fukuoka prefectural police launched a crackdown in pursuit of the group’s top boss last September. During the investigation, they seized memos showing money transfers, reportedly finding that part of the funds in question had been transferred monthly to bank accounts of the boss’ relatives and others.
It is also worth noting that the prefectural police, prosecutors and the national taxation authorities cooperated closely in the case. Sharing information, they jointly searched related locations. The securing of gang informants with inside knowledge is also said to have contributed to progress in the investigation.
The approach currently being employed — which treats the money collected by the gang boss from subordinates as personal income — can serve as a reference for other prefectural police headquarters battling crime syndicates.
Ordinances to eliminate criminal syndicates, which were put into force in all 47 prefectures by 2011, ban citizens and businesses from providing remuneration to gang members. The movement to expel gangsters has been gaining greater momentum.
But there has been no end to such incidents as revenge attacks on businesses and drinking and dining establishments that refuse to pay protection money. If they yield to threats and pay such fees, it will be impossible to cut off gangsters’ funding sources.
The police must also make wholehearted efforts to safeguard citizens who are directly confronted by organized crime.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 20, 2015)

Italian mobsters ‘infiltrate Libs, Labor’

Investigative journalists have uncovered evidence the Calabrian Mafia may have corrupted Australian politicians.
A joint investigation conducted by the ABC and Fairfax Media uncovered the alleged infiltration, which could have tainted parts of both the Liberal and Labor parties.
According to confidential police reports, Fairfax reported “loopholes” found in the political donation system which showed the long-running failure by government to reform it, exposing Australian politicians to “potential corruption”.
The investigation revealed a series of contacts between known and suspected criminals and senior politicians.
The Calabrian Mafia, also known as the ‘Ndrangheta, is one of the world’s most powerful criminal groups and is thought to be one of the major players in the world of international drug trafficking.
In Australia it operates using threats and violence in both legitimate businesses, such as fruit and vegetables, and illegitimate businesses, such as drugs,  the ABC reported.
The violent and powerful group extended its networks from Italy and across the world, and gained access to the very highest office bearers in Australia, the report revealed.
The investigation showed donors had lobbied on behalf of a mafia figure to a host of Liberal and Labor MPs over issues related to their businesses.
Four Corners revealed the son of alleged mafia boss did work experience at the Australian embassy in Rome while former Liberal minister Amanda Vanstone was ambassador.
Prior to his placement, Italian authorities were sharing sensitive information about the alleged mafia boss through the embassy.
Ms Vanstone, who is now retired from politics, is also at the centre of another episode uncovered during the investigation.
When she was immigration minister in the Howard government, she granted a visa for a crime boss who was later jailed for drug trafficking and implicated in a murder plot,” the ABC reported.
The man, who is the brother of a well-known Melbourne businessman, has an extensive criminal history in Italy.
He was set to be deported, but his family used its money and influence to conduct a lobbying campaign with some of the country’s most powerful Liberal politicians — including Ms Vanstone.
Eventually in 2005, the man was granted a visa to stay in Australia on humanitarian grounds.
There is no suggestion Ms Vanstone acted improperly in either case, though confidential police assessments suggest it indicates her South Australian Senate office had likely been ingratiated by mafia figures.
Just a couple of years later, the man was implicated in one of Australia’s largest ever drug busts.
A search of hundreds of photos from Liberal fundraisers from the early 2000s captures one of the alleged Mafia crime figures and donors named in police files, Tony Madafferi, meeting John Howard. Melbourne lord mayor and former Victorian state Liberal leader Robert Doyle also appears in photographs with Tony Madafferi, Fairfax reported.
Tony Madafferi denied any wrongdoing, and was never charged with an offence, but was named repeatedly in court proceedings as an alleged organised crime figure with deep ties to Mafia figures and drug traffickers.
He was named as a violent Mafia figure by witnesses in two coronial inquests, but denied the allegations and was not subject to adverse findings.
Neither Mr Doyle nor Mr Howard knew of Tony Madafferi’s links to organised crime.

Uffizi paintings go on display in villa seized from Italian mobster in crime clan stronghold

Associated Press
OME — Eight paintings from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence are going on display in a villa seized from a mobster in a southern Italian town that's a stronghold of organized crime.
The exhibit, entitled "Light conquers shadow," runs June 21-Oct. 21 in Casal di Principe, which has long been a power base for the Casalesi crime clan of the Camorra syndicate in the Naples area.
The exhibit's organizers said Friday that the venue of a villa where a crime boss had lived helps transmit the message that "legality prevails over illegality, culture over ignorance."

The Uffizi paintings include works reflecting the legacy of Caravaggio, who spent some of his last years in Naples and is renowned for his dramatic chiaroscuro technique — partially illuminating figures against a dark background.