Japanese mafia turns to internet to Recruit new Members

TOKYO, JAPAN – Always wanted to be a triggerman? Now is your chance.
In Japan, Yakuza’s making the dream easier than ever. According to police, mafia memberships hit an all-time low last year getting whacked below $60,000.
So, now the Yamaguchi-Gumi sector’s looking for new blood. They launched a website boasting a lighter side of the business. The website title translates to drug expulsion and land purification alliance?
Shouldn’t that say loan shark and protection rackets available?
The site includes shrine visits, several charity events and best of all, a new family theme song. Besides the outdated look and attempt to make Yakuza look more neighborly and inviting; they’re not really masking their identity and there’s no reason to. Yakuza mafia’s not exactly illegal in Japan.
Shooting for a career change? A new direction in life? Or a chance to win humanitarian awards… just join Yakuza…once you’re family…you’re family for life

L.A. ‘Godfather’ house, former William Randolph Hearst abode, on sale for $135 million


There’s 36 bathrooms, a dining room that can accommodate 400 people, and the decapitated horse head has thankfully been removed from the master bedroom.
The Los Angeles mansion where the unforgettable scene in “The Godfather” was shot is now on the market for $135 million.
Built in the 1920s by banker Milton Getz, the sprawling five-building estate boasts its own nightclub, an eight-car garage, three pools and a 50-foot long entry hall.
Situated on nearly four acres atop a private knoll near Sunset Boulevard, the home — known as the Beverly House — is no stranger to celebrities.
Silent screen star Marion Davies bought the estate in 1946 for her lover, William Randolph Hearst, who lived there until his death five years later.
It was once visited by John F. Kennedy and his new bride Jackie, who spent part of their honeymoon there.
The current owner is attorney and investor Leonard M. Ross.

Rodney Dangerfield, Al Sharpton Knew Same Mobster

Comedian and actor Rodney Dangerfield had ties to the same Genovese family soldier as Al Sharpton.
According to FBI records obtained by The Smoking Gun, Sharpton knew Joseph Pagano through his sports promotion work, and Pagano was also very close to Dangerfield.
Pagano told a story to Sharpton that Dangerfield would often share — the comedian owned a nightclub that a mobster was pressuring Dangerfield to get a cut of, and the mobster asked him what crime family he was "with."
"What do you mean? I'm here with my brother," Dangerfield told him, according to The Smoking Gun.
"No, I mean who's your 'rabbi'?" the mobster said.
"Rabbi Horowitz!" Dangerfield replied.
The comic claimed that he was punched in the face by the mobster for making the joke.
Prior to becoming a successful comedian and actor, the report said, Dangerfield was caught in 1955 by the FBI for taking out illegal federal loans by using the names of customers he had obtained through his work as a door-to-door aluminum-siding salesman.
Dangerfield died in 2004 at the age of 82.
It was revealed Monday by The Smoking Gun that Sharpton had worked as a paid FBI informant and helped federal investigators take down powerful members of the New York Mafia. 

Bonanno mobster gets 18 years in prison for 1992 murder of Brooklyn man and dog


A reputed Bonanno crime associate was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the home-invasion murder of a Brooklyn man and his beloved dog — nearly twice the term he thought he’d get under a plea deal with the government.
Neil Messina, 52, found out Friday that Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto may have gone easy on some Mafia oldfellas, but is more than ready to severely punish violent mobsters.
Messina was convicted of the 1992 fatal shooting of Joseph Pistone and his German shepherd named King. Messina said he served as a getaway driver when two cohorts went inside looking for drug money and killed Pistone.
But the judge believed a 10-year sentence approved by the government was too light, considering there was also compelling proof that Messina had ordered the fatal shooting of another man in 1989.
In federal court, a judge can consider evidence of uncharged crimes in a sentencing decision.
“I'm a changed man today,” Messina insisted.
But Matsumoto had already viewed a video in court provided by Pistone’s family showing photos of the victim, the dog and his tombstone.
Defense lawyer Gerald McMahon said he would appeal the sentence.

Sharpton secretly worked as FBI mob informant: report

By Carl Campanile and Kate Sheehy

Meet Al Sharpton, “Confidential Informant No. 7.”
The longtime agitator, civil-rights activist and TV host was exposed Monday as an alleged former key FBI informant whose tips helped take down some of the biggest names in New York Mafia history.
The Rev. Al launched his sensational secret life as a paid mob snitch in the mid-1980s, pressured to cooperate after being ensnared in a developing drug sting, according to a bombshell report by thesmokinggun.com.
As “CI-7,” the then-portly Harlem leader would tote a customized Hartmann briefcase equipped with an FBI bug to hobnob with members of some of the city’s most notorious crime families, the site said.
Sharpton’s main job was to dig dirt on the Genovese crime family, according to sources and court documents.
He was so good at “playing dumb’’ that he wound up helping to bring down such names as Venero “Benny Eggs’’ Mangano, Dominick “Baldy Dom’’ Canterino and even the muttering “oddfather” of Greenwich Village, family boss Vincent “Chin’’ Gigante, the site said.
He was a “very reliable informant, and his information ‘has never been found to be false or inaccurate,’ ” the report said, quoting a 1986 court document.
While it was known that Sharpton had spied for the FBI on music- and sports-promotion figures, the new data said he also extracted juicy information from wiseguys.
The feds later used the dirt to obtain warrants to bug key Genovese spots.
Because of Sharpton’s undercover work, listening devices were surreptitiously installed in two crime-family social clubs, including Gigante’s Village headquarters, three cars used by Mafiosi and more than a dozen phone lines, the site said.
Information gleaned from those bugs then helped nail the mobsters.
One of Sharpton’s main unsuspecting founts of useful information was Joseph “Joe Bana’’ Buonanno.
During 10 face-to-face chats between the pair, “Joe Bana just gave him a whole insight into how ‘Chin’ and [music-industry honcho] Morris [Levy] operated,’’ said an NYPD source with the joint FBI-Police Department “Genovese Squad.”
Before his rapt audience of one, Buonanno expounded on the mob’s past extortions and death threats.
He even allegedly revealed to Sharpton a few not-so-flattering details about his boss, Gigante, who for years pretended he was crazy by shuffling around the West Village in a bathrobe to escape prosecution by the feds.
Buonanno told Sharpton of the godfather’s purported illiteracy and the fact that he “hates everyone not Italian,” the site said.
The mob soldier even detailed how Gigante “was present” at the hit of Genovese captain Thomas “Tommy Ryan’’ Eboli, to “make sure it was done right,” the site said.
Still, while Sharpton had the gift of gab and got Buonanno to unwittingly spill his guts, the mob soldier snottily referred to the preacher as “a nose picker’’ behind his back, an associate told the site.
The revelation of Sharpton’s involvement with the feds couldn’t have come at a more embarrassing time.
Sharpton is set to convene the annual convention of his National Action Network in New York this week — with Mayor Bill de Blasio cutting the opening-ceremony ribbon Wednesday and President Obama flying in to give the keynote address Friday.
Sharpton, in an interview with The Post on Monday, didn’t deny that he cooperated with the FBI — but said the thesmokinggun.com report was the equivalent of a mob hit.
“It’s crazy. If I provided all the information they claimed I provided, I should be given a ticker-tape parade,” said Sharpton, 59, who now regularly rubs elbows with Obama and his wife, Michelle, Attorney General Eric Holder, congressmen and other national leaders.
“What did Al Sharpton do wrong? Eliot Spitzer did do something wrong, and he got a TV show,” said the Rev. Al, referring to the hooker-loving former governor.
Sharpton is currently the host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation.’’ He regularly wraps up one segment by pointing a finger at the camera and yelling, “Nice try, but we gotcha!”
He denied being paid to snitch and said he never carried a briefcase with a listening device.
He insisted that if he did cooperate with the feds, it was because he’d been threatened by a mobster while working with black concert promoters.
“The article is embellished. The real story is I told the FBI about being threatened because I was a civil-rights leader helping black concert promoters,” Sharpton said.
He griped that the report was simply an attempt to “muddy’’ him before this week’s NAN convention.
A Sharpton confidante who’s known him for decades was caught off guard by the extent of the activist’s alleged dealings with the FBI.
“Holy s--t,’’ the source said. This comes out of left for me. Im actually driving off the road.’’
But veteran Democratic political consultant George Arzt said the report is more likely to boost Sharpton’s standing with the public rather than hurt it.
“This is just going to add to his luster of being a character,” Arzt said. “It does raise questions about an anti-establishment guy cooperating with the FBI. But now he is establishment.”
Sharpton was considered prime fodder as a mole for the FBI’s Mafia unit because of his already-existing connections to the underworld, the site said.
For example, he knew Genovese soldier Joseph Pagano, who was involved in entertainment-industry schemes for decades, allegedly controlled “Rat Pack’’ singer Sammy Davis Jr. and once even “lost a big roll [of money] to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra,’’ FBI sources said.
Sharpton allegedly told the feds he had an in with Pagano because he’d introduced him to boxer Muhammad Ali and his reps.
In trying to nail the Genovese Mafiosi with Sharpton’s help, the feds embarked on their bugging scheme — sometimes producing hilarious results, the report said.
At one point, the Genovese Squad tried to wire mobster Dominick Canterino’s Cadillac in front of his Gravesend, Brooklyn, home.
An agent broke into and hot-wired the car to briefly drive it off to plant the bug before returning it.
“Piece of cake,’’ he radioed to fellow agents down the block.
“You’re burned!” an NYPD detective shouted back a minute later, as he spotted Canterino watching the agent drive away with his car.
“In retrospect, it was like a Keystone comedy,’’ chuckled a former FBI agent who was there that day. “But it wasn’t so funny when it occurred.”
Canterino has since died.

Gambino pal cleared in final Gotti-ordered hit

By Rich Calder

A reputed Gambino crime-family associate was cleared Thursday of taking part in the last rubout believed ordered by the late mob boss John Gotti.
The feds dropped their witness-tampering case against ex-con Daniel Fama, 49, telling a Manhattan federal judge they didn’t have enough evidence that Fama was part of the plot to silence demolition contractor Edward Garofalo in August 1990 by gunning him down outside his home in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.
Garofalo, known as “Eddie the Chink,” was killed to keep him from cooperating with authorities and Fama drove hit men Frank “Frankie Fapp” Fappiano and Joseph “Little Joey” D’Angelo to and from the crime scene, the feds had claimed.
“There was not enough to show that Mr. Fama” tried to “obstruct a grand jury investigation,” federal prosecutor Jason Masimore told Judge John Keenan.
A stone-faced Fama remained silent in court upon hearing the good news and declined comment afterwards.
Fama, of Manhattan, was busted in April 2013 on the charges of killing an informant to obstruct justice. He had previously spent 17 years in the slammer for racketeering before being sprung in 2009.
Fama had been out on bail since November after his lawyers showed the judge testimony from former Gotti underboss-turned-rat Sammy “The Bull” Gravano. The lawyers claimed it refuted any allegations that Fama knew the murder plan was to rub out a government snitch.
Federal statute of limitations had passed for the government to charge Fama with conventional murder that doesn’t involve witness tampering.
“Gravano is prepared to testify that John Gotti  ordered him to kill Garofalo for a variety of reasons,” the lawyers wrote in the bail application. “Moreover, Gravano will testify that he assembled a team to carry out the murder but he never told any of the participants the motive for the murder.”
Fama’s lawyer Charles Carnesi on Thursday said the case should have never gone forward because the FBI agent who made the bust relied on the same “evidence” that Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bhahara’s office also reviewed before opting to drop the charges.
“It was a difficult decision for the US Attorney’s office to make, but I have the greatest admiration for them,” said Carnesi.
Carnesi also said he doubted his client would have to face similar charges someday in state court where the statute of limitations don’t apply.
“Mr. Fama spent 17 years incarcerated,” he said. “He’s  been a productive citizen ever since.”

Ex-Berlusconi government official arrested for mafia collusion

Amalia De Simone and Steve SchererReuters

NAPLES (Reuters) - Italian police arrested a former member of Silvio Berlusconi's government, accusing him of colluding with the mafia to quash competition against his family's petrol distributorship near Naples, officials said on Thursday.

Nicola Cosentino, an undersecretary in the Economy Ministry from 2008-2010 and the ex-boss of Berlusconi's party in the region around Naples, was arrested along with 12 others on suspicion of extortion and unfair competitive practices.

The Italian mob has always sought alliances with business and political leaders. Seven-time Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti was acquitted of mafia charges but found to have ties to the Sicilian Mafia's top bosses before 1980. Berlusconi himself has been investigated, though never tried, for ties to organized crime.

Naples anti-mafia prosecutors say Cosentino, his brothers Giovanni and Antonio, and two brothers of mob boss Antonio Zagaria set up a "criminal system" to control local petrol distribution.

Cosentino used his political sway in local administrative offices to favor his family business and create bureaucratic obstacles for the competition, while the mob intimidated and extorted petrol distributors not owned or supplied by Cosentino's company, prosecutors said.

Cosentino had a "stable relationship based on common interests" with members of the local mafia, known as the Casalesi clan, prosecutors said in a statement released after the arrests.

Two Cosentino lawyers did not respond to repeated calls for comment.
Among those arrested on Thursday were two employees of the Italian unit of Kuwait Petroleum International (known by its trademark, Q8), which refines and distributes petroleum products around the world for the state of Kuwait.

The employees were complicit in favoring the Cosentino family business, prosecutors say.

In a statement, the company denied any knowledge of the situation described by prosecutors and that it was "disconcerted" by the arrest its employees, while expressing hope that they would ultimately be cleared of any crime.

This is Cosentino's second arrest on mafia-related charges in a year. After losing parliamentary immunity, he turned himself in on separate charges in March of 2013. He was later put under house arrest and then released in November. That trial continues. Cosentino has denied any wrongdoing.

Mafia groups in the southern regions of Campania, Calabria, Apulia and Sicily continue to use violence and threats to control their local economies, and they do not hesitate to threaten officials who refuse to cooperate.

Threats against local government officials have risen 66 percent since 2010, when the figures were first collected, according to a report published last month.

(Writing by Steve Scherer; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, Larry King)