Mobster tries, fails ‘pathetic’ $164 Home Depot heist: Law enforcement source

By John Marzulli  / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Angelo Spata, associate and son-in-law of jailed Colombo boss Carmine Persico, has been arrested while out of jail on bail for alegedly trying to steal $164 worth of Home Depot merchandise. The mob’s Thanksgiving turkey award goes to Angelo “Little Angelo” Spata of the Colombo crime family.

Spata, the son-in-law of Colombo crime boss Carmine “The Snake” Persico, was busted this month for shoplifting lighting equipment valued at $164 from a Home Depot in Brooklyn, the Daily News has learned.

The reputed mob associate was caught Nov. 8 making off with a dimmer switch and LED recessed lights from the Coney Island store without paying, according to a court complaint.

“How pathetic,” said a law enforcement source.

Not so bright idea: Mobster Angelo 'Little Angelo' Spata allegedly tried to steal $164 in lighting equipment from this Home Depot in Coney Island.

Not so bright idea: Mobster Angelo 'Little Angelo' Spata allegedly tried to steal $164 in lighting equipment from this Home Depot in Coney Island.

Spata was charged with petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. Both charges are misdemeanors that carry a maximum jail sentence of one year.

The arrest couldn’t come at a worse time for Spata, who married into mob royalty.

Spata is free on $1 million bail in a separate federal racketeering case and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. Federal prosecutors are expected to seek revocation of his bail because of the shoplifting arrest, sources said.

Defense lawyer Sarita Kedia did not respond to emails and calls seeking comment

Engineer at Brooklyn federal building says he was fired over mob ties


A former chief engineer at a Brooklyn federal building — who happens to have relatives in the Mafia — is claiming he was fired after a co-worker falsely accused him of assisting criminals.

Robert Truocchio, 44, who worked at 271 Cadman Plaza, which houses the offices of federal prosecutors, blamed onetime friend Kevin Smith, 51, for getting him canned in March.

Smith told the FBI that his boss took cell-phone photos of witnesses inside the U.S. Attorney offices and transmitted them to members of organized crime, according to Truocchio’s $4 million lawsuit filed last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

“Each and every one of the defendant’s accusations against plaintiff was completely, knowingly and intentionally false,” court papers said.

Truocchio admitted he has second and third cousins in La Cosa Nostra but claimed he “had no relationship whatsoever with either of these convicted criminals.”

The relatives are Ronald (Ronnie One Arm) Truocchio, who’s serving a life sentence for racketeering, and his son Alphonse Truocchio, a captain with the Gambinos who was sentenced in 2012 to 10 years in prison, sources said.

According to the suit, a seven-month FBI investigation failed to substantiate Smith’s claims but the engineer was fired anyway. The court papers allege that Smith — who’s described as “an angry and jealous man” — was retaliating for a longstanding feud with his former boss. “I’m gonna have his job,” Smith allegedly said, referring to Truocchio, at the end of 2012, weeks before lodging the report.

Joel Cacace acquitted of ordering NYPD cop killed

A high-ranking Colombo gangster has been acquitted of ordering the 1997 killing of an NYPD cop who had married his ex-wife. The federal jury took only four hours to clear Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace of murder in aid of racketeering in the killing of Police Officer Ralph Dols.

Ex-mobster talks of blood, gore

TESTIMONY in the federal racketeering retrial of reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his nephew George Borgesi, an alleged mob captain, had been somewhat dry until yesterday afternoon. 
But that's when star witness Louis "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello, a former associate of Philadelphia's mob family, regaled jurors with past tales of blood and gore. 
There was the time in the mid-1990s when Borgesi's brother, Anthony, was having a bachelor party at a South Philly restaurant. Another mob associate, Angelo Lutz, took care of the room setup, but with 20 to 30 guys, it was crowded, Monacello said. 
Because of that, George Borgesi "bites a chunk of skin out of his [Lutz's] forehead and makes Angelo pick up the check," Monacello told jurors. 
Another time, Borgesi brought Lutz to Monacello's home and in the basement, Borgesi "throws Angelo up against the wall" and yells, "Tell me about the checks you forged!" Monacello recalled. Borgesi then swiped a rod from a fake Christmas tree and "splits Angelo's head open," seriously wounding him. 
Ligambi, 74, and Borgesi, 50, aren't facing any counts of homicide or assault. The indictment against them focuses on sports betting, loan-sharking, extortion and the operation of video-poker machines. The main charge they face is RICO (racketeering) conspiracy. The feds are looking to prove that Ligambi and Borgesi conspired with others to commit crimes. 
Monacello, 47, a South Philly guy, befriended Borgesi when the two were teens. He eventually got into sports betting and became an associate of Borgesi's crew. They were close friends for 30 years until their arrest in 2011 under the current indictment, and Monacello then became a cooperating government witness. 
Monacello said Borgesi had been promoted to captain, and Ligambi "told me on several occasions, 'I'm the boss of the mob.' " 
Under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Han, Monacello focused mostly on Borgesi - how he used violence or the threat of violence to collect money or to get revenge on a rival. 
"He was a feared guy," Monacello said of Borgesi. 
Once, in the late 1990s, the two were riding in a car in South Philly and talking about someone who was recently killed when Borgesi turned the radio volume up high, flashed his hands twice and boasted: "Eleven murders. Me. I did it. I'm responsible. I'm a professional," Monacello said. 
(Borgesi has never been convicted of murder.) 
Monacello also admitted to participating in violence himself, saying it was under Borgesi's orders. Around 1998, Borgesi wanted revenge on a man who had gotten the better of him during a fight. 
Monacello said he and others waited outside the man's South Philly house and surprised him when he was walking his dog. Wearing a ski mask and wielding a baseball bat, Monacello said he "swung all my might and split [the man's] head," injuring him. 
Asked about his nickname, Monacello showed jurors his right hand with its bent index finger. The result of "a fight," he said. 
Monacello resumes his testimony Monday. 
On Twitter: @julieshawphilly
 JULIE SHAWDaily News Staff Writer, 215-854-2592

2 plead guilty in waste-hauling scheme, face prison

James O’Rourke

·         Filed Under
A pair of reputed Genovese crime family associates pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges connecting them to a scheme to control the carting industry in the New York metro area and parts of New Jersey.
Carmine “Papa Smurf” Franco and Anthony Pucciarello were indicted in January along with 30 others believed to have ties to the Genovese, Gambino and Luchese crime families.
Among the group were seven people from Westchester County, two from Rockland County and one from Putnam County. One was a retired 20-year veteran state trooper from the Cortlandt barracks.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Franco, 78, of Ramsey, N.J., and Pucciarello, 78, of Bloomfield, N.J., entered their pleas in federal court in Manhattan before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel, becoming the 15th and 16th members of the group to do so.
As part of the plea, Franco, who had been barred by authorities in New Jersey from participating in the waste-hauling industry, admitted to overbilling customers of a waste transfer station he once controlled in West Nyack, Bharara said, adding that he also intended to transport large quantities of stolen cardboard across state lines. Franco pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to transport stolen goods interstate, Bharara said. He agreed to pay a fine of $2,500 and faces up to 45 years in prison when sentenced March 19.
Pucciarello pleaded guilty to misprision of extortion. He faces up to three years in prison when sentenced on March 21, Bharara said.
The 16-count indictment came after a four-year investigation.
Among the locals charged were Mario Velez, the retired trooper and former school resource officer at Hendrick Hudson High School in Montrose; Pasquale P. Cartalemi Jr. and his son, Pasquale L. Cartalemi of Cortlandt; Dominick “Pepe” Pietranico of Mahopac; Joseph Sarcinella of Greenburgh; Pasquale Carbone Sr. of White Plains; Robert Franco (Carmine Franco’s son) of Hartsdale; Andrew McGuire of Hawthorne; Dominick Rao of Suffern; and Stephen Moscatello of Piermont.
Pietranico and Sarcinella both pleaded guilty to loansharking in August and are to be sentenced Jan. 9.

Ex-mob goon who beat up man

Ex-mob goon who beat up man as favor to ‘Goodfellas’ actor turns rat, gets probation
A mob goon who was convicted of beating a deadbeat as a favor for “Goodfellas” actor Anthony Borgese was sentenced to probation on Friday as a reward for playing a ratfella.
Giovanni Monteleone, 45, operates a custom motorcycle shop in New Jersey but did work on the side for the Gambino crime family in 2009 — roughing up a man to scare him into coughing up money to settle a debt owed to Borgese.
Borgese, who uses the stage name Tony Darrow and is best known for his role as Sonny Bunz, the beleaguered owner of the Bamboo Lounge in the classic mob film, had used underworld contacts in an effort to get an upstate man to settle the ledger with him.
Borgese sought help from Gambino soldier Joseph Orlando, who in turn tasked Monteleone to go have a little talk with the upstate man.
“Tony (Borgese) says he’s got this Jew in New York State that owes him a few dollars,” Orlando said to explain the job, according to a transcript of a recording made by another informant.
Monteleone did more than talk to the man — he broke his jaw and some of his ribs.
But Monteleone got pinched for the pay-up beatdown, and, facing a rap for extortion, he began cooperating with the FBI and spilled his guts about the job done for Borgese.
Orlando and Borgese both eventually pleaded guilty.
“I basically hit an innocent man,” Monteleone said in Brooklyn Federal Court. “If he was in front of me (now) I would apologize to him. It still bothers me ’til this day.”
Judge Eric Vitaliano credited the former mob associate with coming to his senses after a brief foray into organized crime.
“Mr. Monteleone has not only acknowledged the stupidity of his act, but also the reprehensibility of it,” Vitaliano said.
Orlando was previously sentenced to 51 months in prison, and Borgese got six months of house arrest.
Borgese also made a public service announcement discouraging young people from getting involved with the mob. “If you ever break the law and you think you’re a wiseguy, you’re not,” Borgese said in the video.

Alleged mobster' pleads guilty

He'll soon be Up the River Smurf.
An alleged mobster nicknamed “Papa Smurf” is facing two to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty on Friday to racketeering charges.
Carmine Franco, 78, admitted to taking part in a multi-crime-family plot to take control of waste hauling businesses in New York City and New Jersey between 2009 and 2012.
Franco, who had previously been barred from having any involvement in New Jersey’s waste industry, was one of 32 alleged mobsters busted this past January as the FBI dismantled a three-family conspiracy aimed at turning other people’s trash into treasure.
Among the charges to which Franco pleaded guilty was transporting stolen cardboard across state lines. In addition to prison time, Franco has to pay a $2.5 million fine. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in March.

Russian Mafia Gangster: Russian Mafia Graves on Display in London Photo Ex...

Russian Mafia Gangster: Russian Mafia Graves on Display in London Photo Ex...: WASHINGTON, November 23 (RIA Novosti) – A series of photographs of the extravagant and kitsch gravestones of Russian mobsters has gone on ...

Hit gang paid €50,000 to take out crimelord

Evil Gintaras Zelvys was shot dead after he ripped off a senior Irish drugs trafficker based in Amsterdam of €800,000, sources have revealed.
It has now emerged the three man hit-team – including a taxi driver – divided up a bounty of €50,000 after the clinical daylight murder of the Lithuanian gangster.
There has still been no charges in the case of Zelvys (43) who was shot dead in front of his wife in the Greenogue industrial estate in Rathcoole, west Dublin on May 1.
However, the trio who detectives believe were involved in the murder have been arrested and a file on them has been sent to the DPP.
"They were well paid for this job but that won't be much use to them if they are charged in this case and there is a good case against them," a source told the Herald.
The trio are made up of a major 35-year-old criminal who is originally from Clonsilla but now lives in the Clondalkin area as well as two men in their 30s from the Blanchardstown area.
The 35-year-old was previously in a major dispute with Alan Ryan's Real IRA crew.
While two of the suspects have multiple previous convictions for offences such as burglary, criminal damage, theft, and motoring offences, one of the suspects is a taxi driver with barely any criminal convictions.
The taxi man is suspected of driving the killers from the scene when they abandoned the silver Audi A3 at the Aylmer Housing estate in Newcastle, Co Dublin, immediately after the murder of the Lithuanian.
The Audi was in Pace Avenue, Little Pace, between March 19 and April 30 and Newcastle Boulevard or Aylmer Road on April 30 and May 1.
Murder victim Zelvys had "known form" for kidnapping, hijacking, extortion, burglary, and extreme violence including rape and other offences.
The Herald previously revealed the McCarthy-Dundon gang in Limerick were so intent on murdering prosecution witnesses to the Shane Geoghegan murder trial, they attempted to source contract killers through Zelvys' underworld contacts.
The Lithuanian gangster became close to members of the Dundon gang in prison after he was jailed for seven years for extorting money with menaces from fellow eastern Europeans in Co Monaghan.

Vatican downplays mafia threats against pope

ROME - The Vatican downplayed on Friday reported mob threats against Pope Francis, just two days after a high-profile anti-mafia prosecutor said Francis could be a target from the 'Ndrangheta mafia organization in southern Italy.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican's chief spokesman, told reporters recently that the Vatican was "extremely calm" regarding a possible mob threat against the pope.
"There is absolutely no reason for concern, no need to feed alarmism," Lombardi said.
The statement comes a day after Francis traveled the three miles between Vatican City and the Quirinale Palace in Rome with his normal staff and without a police escort or any additional security to visit Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.
Anti-mob prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, who has himself been a target of threats from organized-crime groups, made a series of remarks that Francis' reform-minded agenda is making the 'Ndrangheta "very nervous" and that the pontiff could become a target for the organization.
"For many years, the mafia has laundered money and made investments with the complicity of the church," Gratteri said. "But now the pope is dismantling the poles of economic power in the Vatican, and that is dangerous."
Gratteri said the pope's efforts to confront corruption and to modernize the scandal-scarred Vatican Bank have attracted the mob's ire. The Vatican Bank, which is going through reforms as part of a wider set of changes at the Institute for Religious Works, recently published its first annual report and has closed accounts and made its books more transparent. In addition, the institute published its first report on money laundering - a major mob activity - in May.
Francis has not been shy about blasting corruption wherever he can find it, including organized-crime groups. About the time of the institute's report on money laundering, the pope strongly criticized all of Italy's mob organizations, including the 'Ndrangheta. Earlier in the week, he railed against the evils of corruption, an address that prompted Gratteri's remarks.

Japan’s Losing Battle Against ’Goldman Sachs With Guns’

By William Pesek

Hollywood has long fetishized Japanese gangsters, with their full-body tattoos, missing pinkies and harems of buxom groupies. Ever since Sydney Pollack’s “The Yakuza” in 1974, the colorful mafiosi have provided regular fodder for directors including Ridley Scott and Quentin Tarantino.
Curiously, studios are again abuzz with a flurry of Japanese mob projects. Warner Bros. is developing “The Outsider,” about an American prisoner of war who joins the yakuza after World War II. Robert Whiting’s 1999 book “Tokyo Underworld,” which has gotten nibbles from Martin Scorsese, is being made into a U.S. cable-television series. Perhaps most timely of all, Jake Adelstein’s 2010 memoir, “Tokyo Vice,” is coming to the big screen, starring Daniel Radcliffe of “Harry Potter” fame.
Adelstein’s life story as a crusading Tokyo reporter who exposed the yakuza’s infiltration of Japan’s economy has remarkable echoes in current events. Banking giants such as Mizuho Financial Group Inc. are getting busted for making loans to yakuza-linked figures, amid a broadening investigation. It’s long past time Japan stamped out the well-connected gangs Adelstein likens to “Goldman Sachs with guns.” Their eradication, in fact, should be an important part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to increase competitiveness.

Open Business
“There’s a lot in the book about organized crime’s ties into the political and financial sphere, and as the years have passed, much of it has proven to be prescient,” Adelstein says.
Unlike in the U.S., wise guys operate legally and in plain sight in Japan. The country’s roughly 63,000 organized-crime members hand out business cards, have office buildings and fanzines, control large chunks of the entertainment trade, and enjoy significant political influence. When they aren’t collecting protection money, extorting shop owners, running prostitution rings, trafficking humans or laundering money, the yakuza are dabbling more and more in mainstream finance. They’re buying and selling stocks, flipping real estate, and even acquiring companies.
Oddly, much of the recent pressure to crack down on the gangsters originates with Barack Obama. In a post-Sept. 11 world, the U.S. is concerned that Japan is too lax on cross-border organized crime and the huge, opaque sums of money the yakuza send zooming around the globe. The U.S. Treasury Department estimates that Japan’s biggest crime family, the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi, alone generates “billions of dollars annually.”
Japan’s few enforcement efforts all too often lack teeth. In 2011, the Financial Services Agency enacted ordinances making it harder to do business with the yakuza, but didn’t outlaw such groups outright. Then something unexpected happened: Obama’s White House pounced with an executive order demanding that financial institutions freeze yakuza assets. In 2012, Washington blacklisted the Yamaguchi-gumi.
The Treasury started small, freezing about $55,000 of yakuza holdings, including two American Express cards, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News under the Freedom of Information Act. The move was a clear slap in the face of Japan’s government, though, not to mention the yakuza.
Yamaguchi-gumi is the reason Adelstein, 44, is a household name among the underworld. In 1993, the Missouri native became the first non-Japanese to work as a police reporter for Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, the world’s largest newspaper. His snooping landed him in serious trouble with Goto Tadamasa, the twisted, Yamaguchi-gumi-affiliated crime boss. Adelstein learned that in 2005 Tadamasa and three other yakuza had somehow received lifesaving liver transplants in California, abetted by U.S. authorities. Adelstein has been under police protection ever since.

Gang Equity
If Yamaguchi-gumi were listed on the stock exchange, Temple University’s Jeff Kingston wrote in his 2011 book “Contemporary Japan,” it “would be the Toyota in its sector.” Morgan Stanley economist Robert Feldman once called the gang Japan’s “largest private-equity group.”
In 2007, the last time Abe was prime minister, Feldman wrote a report detailing how the yakuza held Japan back: “The influence of organized crime in both political and corporate/financial circles remains a barrier to an efficient economy and efficient financial markets. The loser has been Japan’s competitiveness. It seems unreasonable to expect foreign companies and investors to expand activity in Japan while the issues with organized crime remain so troubling.” Six years on, the situation is only modestly improved.
Abe should use his second stint as leader to accelerate the crackdown on Japan’s crime syndicates. You can bet the yakuza’s vast and detrimental role in the economy will be a sticking point in Japan’s negotiations to join the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership. A burst of Olympics-related spending between now and 2020 will offer all too many opportunities for graft and extortion. Why not just go ahead and made the mobsters formally illegal now and round them up? Their ranks are thinning -- there were 87,000 gangsters in 2004 -- but not nearly fast enough.
I asked Adelstein a question he gets often these days: How does it feel being played by Harry Potter? The answer was a bit surprising. “I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have be me,” Adelstein said. “If they reissue the book with his picture on the cover, I can fade into obscurity rather nicely, I imagine.” Even if that doesn’t work, Adelstein remains hopeful that his life can one day return to normal. “By 2020, I think their day will be done. That’s not so far away.”
It’s not so close, either. For Japan’s sake -- not just Adelstein’s -- Abe should start hastening the yakuza’s day of reckoning.
(William Pesek is a Bloomberg View columnist.)
To contact the writer of this article: William Pesek in Tokyo at
To contact the editor responsible for this article: Nisid Hajari at nhajari@bloomb

Yakuza gangsters 'forcing homeless people to work on the Fukushima nuclear plant clear-up

•           Authorities are facing a desperate shortage of workers for the clear-up
•           Subcontractors are said to have reached out to crime bosses
•           Undercover reporter claims to have infiltrated the clear-up operation
•           He says he has 'solid evidence' that people are being forced to work

By Daily Mail Reporter

Japan's notorious Yakuza gangsters are forcing homeless people to join the desperate clear-up effort at the Fukushima nuclear plant before simply firing them when they suffer high doses of radiation, it has been claimed.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) which operates the plant have been struggling to recruit workers who are desperately needed to join the hazardous operation dismantling the plant.

As a result Tepco subcontractors reportedly reached out out to the Yakuza for help. The gangsters are said to often provide workers at short notice for large scale construction projects.

Undercover reporter Tomohiko Suzuki claims to have infiltrated the clean-up operation and amassed 'solid evidence' that desperate and homeless men are being brought to Fukushima by the Yakuza.

The workers say they were not made aware of the risks and say they have been treated like 'disposable people'.
Russian news network RT reports one former worker as saying: 'We were given no insurance for health risks, no radiation meters even.

'We were treated like nothing, like disposable people – they promised things and then kicked us out when we received a large radiation doze.

'They promised a lot of money, even signed a long-term contract, but then suddenly terminated it, not even paying me a third of the promised sum.'

Earlier this year, Japanese police arrested alleged Yakuza gangster Yoshinori Arai who is accused of sending workers to the plant without a license and taking a cut of their wages.
Arai is said to have made $60,000 from the scam in over two years. Japanese police say there are up to 50 yakuza gangs with 1,050 members currently operating in Fukushima prefecture.

Some of the forced workers are said to owe Yakuza money from gambling debts, others are understood to have family obligations.

A special task force has been set up in a bid to stop organised crime profiting from the Fukushima clean-up project operation, but the police need people to testify against the gang bosses before they can act.

Mr Suzuki told RT: 'They were given very general information about radiation and most were not even given radiation meters.

'They could have exposed themselves to large doses without even knowing it. Even the so-called Fukushima 50 – the first group of workers sent there immediately after the disaster – at least three of them were recruited by the yakuza.'

Tepco say they need a minimum of 12,000 workers at the plant until 2015 alone, but they currently only have 8,000.

Tepco officials have denied workers are being mistreated or that organised crime have been involved at any level of the clean-up.

A spokesman said: 'We are doing everything to ensure that our workers operate in safe conditions. We also deal harshly with law-violating subcontractors.'

Today Tepco claimed to have completed the removal of the first fuel rods from a cooling pool high up in a badly damaged reactor building.

The batch of 22 unused fuel assemblies, which each contain 50-70 of the fuel rods, was transferred by a trailer to a safer storage pool.

Tepco estimates removing the damaged assemblies from reactor No.4 alone will take a year. Some experts say that timeline is ambitious.

The removal has to be conducted under water. If the rods are exposed to air or if they break, huge amounts of radioactive gases could be released into the atmosphere.

Each assembly weighs around 300 kg (660 pounds) and is 4.5 metres (15 feet) long.

The hazardous removal operation has been likened by Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education, to trying to pull cigarettes from a crushed pack.

Mobsters in the News: The New England Mafia: Ex-New England Mob Associat...

Mobsters in the News: The New England Mafia: Ex-New England Mob Associat...: The New England Mafia: Ex-New England Mob Associate Convicted in Attempte... : (BOSTON) — A former mob associate who spent over a decade pos...

Mobsters on Wiretap Call Ligambi 'Acting Boss'

Federal prosecutors laid out two of the most contentious elements of their racketeering case against the reputed head of the Philadelphia mob. First, Joaquin Garcia, a former undercover FBI agent who once infiltrated New York's Gambino crime family, regaled jurors with tales of Mafia rituals, violence, and the gangsters with whom he once rubbed elbows.Then came a recording of a four-hour 2010 lunch meeting between Ligambi and other mobsters from Philadelphia and New York in which they checked up on imprisoned friends, described a mob initiation ceremony in detail, and hashed out disputes over territory. Twice, Ligambi's lawyer Edwin Jacobs Jr. has tried unsuccessfully to have that recording and Garcia's testimony thrown out - once before his client's first trial on racketeering conspiracy charges last year, and again after a deadlocked jury prompted the retrial that began this month.
Jurors listened raptly Wednesday as the Cuban immigrant detailed his efforts to pass himself off as a low-level Italian crook named Jack Falcone. He eventually became the driver and confidant of Gambino captain Gregory DePalma, who gave the then-agent a jewel-laden pinkie ring to commemorate his welcome to the crew.
Garcia said he observed talk of all manner of crimes, ranging from extortion to insurance fraud, during his nearly three years with DePalma. At one point, the captain directed Garcia and other members of his crew to join a union so they could sign up for health insurance.
Prosecutors maintain that the recording of the May 2010 lunch meeting echoes the violent tendencies Garcia described.Ligambi and other Philadelphia mob associates met that afternoon with several high-ranking members of the Gambino family over pasta and wine at La Griglia, a posh eatery in Kenilworth, N.J.But as they conducted what authorities have described as a Mafia "board of directors" meeting, neither group realized it was being recorded by Nicholas "Nicky Skins" Stefanelli, a North Jersey mobster and FBI cooperator.
Ligambi can be heard throughout the audio played Wednesday. He updated the others on the status of incarcerated associates, including former Philadelphia boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, and cracked jokes about others held in lower regard.
Describing the slim pickings offered by one of the poorer earners in his New Jersey faction, Ligambi cracked: "He's selling cakes out of the trunk of his car."
Later, recalling another associate's initiation ceremony -- a ritual that entailed a knife prick to the finger to symbolize a new member's blood commitment -- Ligambi earned some of his biggest laughs.

"The . . . blood splashed all over my shirt. . . . It splashed all over me," he said. "I still got the shirt at home. I saved it."

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Hit man recalls cop slay

By Selim Algar

A vicious mob killer emptied his gun into an NYPD cop under orders from a Colombo crime family boss, he told jurors in Brooklyn federal court Thursday.Former Colombo consigliere Joel Cacace is on trial for murder for allegedly ordering the 1997 slaying of Police Officer Ralph Dols because he’d married Cacace’s ex-wife.One triggerman, Dino Calabro, told rapt jurors he and a colleague walked up to Dols around midnight in front of his Brooklyn home.The unsuspecting cop said, “What’s up?” before the men opened fire, Calabro said.“I just emptied my gun,” Calabro said, noting that he saw Dols slumped over the hood of his Oldsmobile

Notorious gangster who led Purple Gang found shot to death in car in Bronx

Gangster Michael Meldish’s lifeless body was discovered in the driver’s seat of a rusty Lincoln LS in Throgs Neck — a single gunshot to his head and blood leaking from both ears.The notorious mobster who terrorized the city for two decades was executed gangland-style Friday night in the Bronx, cops said. The murder of the 62-year-old Meldish — who is believed to have carried out more than 10 hits in the 1970s and 1980s — drew cheers from the former NYPD investigators he long tormented.Meldish controlled the drug trade in the Bronx and Harlem as the co-leader of the Purple Gang — a crew originally affiliated with the Luchese, Genovese and Bonanno crime families.His brother and longtime partner in crime, Joseph Meldish, is believed to be responsible for as many as 70 contract killings.Joseph Meldish, 56, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in 2011 for a 1999 slaying. Michael Meldish racked up nearly 10 arrests between 1970 and 1990 on charges ranging from assault to forgery. “They were the lowest of the low ... just ruthless scumbags,” Coffey said.

The Purple Gang, despite its non-threatening name, was long considered one of the city’s most ruthless crews.The gang was known for killing and dismembering rivals as it controlled the heroin trade in Harlem and the Bronx in the 1970s and 1980s. Its members — many of whom were relatives of more established crime figures — often freelanced as “muscle” for the Lucchese, Genovese and Bonanno families.
Taking its name from a group of thugs that terrorized Detroit during Prohibition, the Purple Gang grew so powerful in the late 1970s that authorities feared it might attempt to become the area’s sixth organized crime family — potentially igniting an all-out mob war.
A 1976 federal report cited the gang’s “enormous capacity for violence” and “lack of respect for other members of organized crime.”

Two more arrested in slaying of Mob boss Salvatore Montagna

JOLIETTE, Que. - Two more arrests have been made in the murder of a former New York Mob boss who was gunned down north of Montreal two years ago.Salvatore Montagna was shot in Charlemagne on Nov. 24, 2011.Police believe he was involved in a power struggle in the Mob.Quebec provincial police say two men were arrested late Wednesday and are expected to be arraigned today.Steven Fracas, 29, and Steven D'Addario, 36, both of Montreal, were arrested at their respective homes.They face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.Six other men already face charges stemming from the killing of the former Bonanno crime family boss, dubbed "Sal the Iron Worker" by U.S. authorities.The accused include Raynald Desjardins, a former Rizzuto lieutenant whose name has come up frequently at Quebec's corruption inquiry.Provincial police say the investigation and arrests in the case were conducted in conjunction with the RCMP. The two forces often work together in organized-crime cases. - See more at:


PROVIDENCE _ Frank "Bobo'' Marrapese, one of the state's most notorious and feared mob figures, was sentenced to nine years in state prison on Monday after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of racketeering conspiracy, extortion conspiracy and criminal usury.

Two men charged in Mobster Salvatore Montagna’s 2011 killing

MONTREAL – Two men are to be charged Thursday morning in connection with the 2011 killing of Mobster Salvatore Montagna.
Police believe Montagna was trying to take control of the Mafia in Montreal when he was shot to death on Nov. 24, 2011, as he was leaving his home on Île Vaudry, a small island just east of Montreal.
In December 2011, 6 men were charged with premeditated murder in the case, including high-profile Mobster Raynald Desjardins.
On Wednesday morning, the Sûreté du Québec arrested Steven Fracas, 29, and Steven D’Addario, 36, at their homes in Montreal. The two are to appear at the Joliette courthouse Thursday to face charges of premeditated murder and plotting to commit a murder.

Assisted by the RCMP, SQ officers executed a search warrant at both residences as part of a larger investigation into organized crime.

Mob hit plot at Massapequa Park church

Accused high-ranking Colombo family gangster Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli of Farmingdale plotted the rubout of another mob leader on the grounds of a Catholic church in Massapequa Park, an informant testified in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday.
Dino Calabro, a member of Gioeli's crew who has confessed to eight murders, said Gioeli drove him to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park in early 1999 and pointed to his heart to pass the order for a hit on underboss William "Wild Bill" Cutolo from Colombo boss Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico.
Before trial, prosecutors alleged that he was part of a 1982 mob hit that accidentally killed an ex-nun, and feared going to hell. The evidence was excluded at trial, but Gioeli has angrily denounced the government on a prison blog for trying to poison the jury by portraying him as "an animal."
Calabro's testimony provided new details on two notorious mob killings at the center of the trial -- the 1997 ambush of NYPD Officer Ralph Dols, who had allegedly angered Colombo consigliere Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace by marrying his ex-wife, and the execution of Cutolo, whose body was unearthed from a mob graveyard in Farmingdale in 2008.
Cacace, Calabro testified, ordered Gioeli to have his crew execute Dols without ever disclosing that the target was a cop. But the morning after he and Saracino gunned down Dols, Calabro said, he went out for coffee, and was stunned to see screaming tabloid headlines about a cop shooting.
"That's just a rule in the mob," he testified. "You don't hurt kids, you don't kill cops."
Calabro said he wanted to kill Cacace for blindsiding the crew. Gioeli wouldn't OK it, but in 1999 -- when he took Calabro to the church to escape surveillance while discussing Cutolo -- the Dols killing was still on his mind.
Gioeli had been ordered by Persico to lure Cutolo, whose power the boss feared, to a house where he would be killed by shooters from another crew, Calabro testified. But Gioeli confided that he feared the real plan was to kill him for bringing law enforcement pressure by his role in killing Dols.
Calabro said he and Gioeli came up with an alternative plan at the church, in which Calabro and other killers who worked for Gioeli would handle the Cutolo murder themselves, and eventually presented the idea to Persico in a meeting at a Hempstead car dealership

Alleged mobster Gioeli cleared of murders

In a stunning setback for the government, a Brooklyn federal jury Wednesday convicted alleged Long Island mobster Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, of Farmingdale, of racketeering conspiracy but cleared him on three murders including the execution of a cop.
Despite graphic testimony from three informants who said they participated in killings as part of Gioeli's Colombo family crew, the anonymous jury acquitted him and co-defendant Dino Saracino of the 1995 shooting of associate Richard Greaves, the 1997 murder of NYPD cop Ralph Dols, and the 1999 assassination of underboss William Cutolo.
Gioeli, 59, the alleged one-time acting boss of the Colombo family who portrayed himself as a persecuted suburban grandfather on a prison blog, bear-hugged his lawyer after the verdict. His beaming wife, Maureen, predicted that he won't spend the rest of his life in prison as she left court with Gioeli's daughters and other relatives.
"He's coming home!" she said. "He's very happy."
Defense lawyers said the verdict should send a sobering message to prosecutors and the FBI about over-reliance on informers who agree to testify against their former partners in crime in return for breaks on their own cases. "I think the message is you can't trust somebody who is ultimately untrustworthy," said Samuel Braverman, Saracino's lawyer.
Prosecutors in the seven-week trial claimed that Gioeli headed up a crew that carried out hits for Colombo bosses, buried bodies in a mob graveyard near Gioeli's home, and made money through a string of robberies and other crimes on Long Island and in Brooklyn over two decades.
Soldiers Dino Calabro, Gioeli's one-time best friend, and Joseph Competiello, both of Farmingdale, testified that their ex-boss organized multiple murders -- including the killing of Dols, a rare organized crime hit on a cop allegedly carried out on orders of Colombo consigliere Joel Cacace, whose ex-wife Dols married. Another informant, Sebastian Saracino, testified against his brother.

LI mobster had cop killed over marriage to his ex?

A federal prosecutor in Brooklyn on Tuesday charged that a ponytailed Long Island mobster ordered the notorious 1997 drive-by killing of an NYPD officer because he was jealous the cop had the nerve to marry his ex-wife.
Former Colombo family consigliere Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace, now 72, of Deer Park, who is serving a 20-year racketeering sentence, is accused of arranging for Officer Ralph Dols to be killed in a personal vendetta involving former wife Kim Kennaugh.
"Officer Dols was gunned down for one reason -- because he dared to marry the ex-wife of a powerful member of the Mafia," prosecutor Sam Nitze told jurors Tuesday. "The defendant used the Mafia's twisted code of loyalty to take the life of a 28-year-old officer."
But Cacace's lawyer, Susan Kellman, said in her opening statement that prosecutors were making up a story line based on the word of two hit men who had never spoken to Cacace and had no way of knowing the reasons for the killing.
"There will be nothing but stories," Kellman said. "Fifty percent of American marriages end in divorce. If this theory is true, it seems there are a lot of second husbands in jeopardy. An explanation like that doesn't pass the straight-face test."
Dols and Kennaugh married in 1995 and had a daughter together. He was ambushed while arriving home in Brooklyn on Aug. 25, 1997. Mob experts have long speculated that Cacace didn't like the marriage because Dols was a cop and was Hispanic.
Prosecutors charge that Colombo captain Tommy Gioeli of Farmingdale was ordered by Cacace to kill Dols, and the hit was carried out by three members of his crew -- Dino Calabro, Joseph Competiello and Dino Saracino.

Mobster’s Trial Opens in ’97 Killing of Officer

It is among the strongest tenets of the Mafia code: Never kill a police officer. But a prosecutor told jurors in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday that a former mobster ordered his hit men to do just that.
Without much hesitation, the prosecutor said, the killers trailed the officer, Ralph C. Dols, learning his daily routine, waiting for the right moment. Then one night in 1997, they ambushed him with a hail of bullets when he returned home from his Coney Island shift.
The reason for the special violation of the code: The mobster was jealous. Officer Dols had married the ex-wife of the consigliere of the Colombo crime family.
This was the account that the federal prosecutor, Samuel P. Nitze, gave in opening arguments on Tuesday in the trial of the mobster, Joel Cacace. Mr. Nitze said that three men killed Officer Dols at the orders of Mr. Cacace (pronounced kuh-CASE). Mr. Nitze said Mr. Cacace had “the power to keep his hands clean while others did his dirty work.”
Mr. Nitze laid out a case that promises to have all the markings of a classic mob trial, including testimony from two hit men who have admitted their involvement in the killing. One of them, Joseph Competiello, took the stand on Tuesday. During the opening arguments and early testimony, Mr. Cacace, 72, leaned back calmly in his chair, his belly protruding, his long silver hair swept back into a ponytail.
One of his lawyers, Susan G. Kellman, called the government’s case a “fable” built on the testimony of killers, whom she alternately called animals and poor excuses for human beings. She argued that the government had no evidence that Mr. Cacace gave the orders to kill — other than the accounts of those killers. She asked the jurors: If they will look you in the face and blow your head off, how can you expect them to tell you the truth?

Russian Mafia Gangster: Deals Reached In Russian Gambling Case

Russian Mafia Gangster: Deals Reached In Russian Gambling Case: Poker News Daily By Earl Burton  In stunning news from New York City, two of the alleged masterminds of the gambling ring that supposedly...

Japanese banks vow to clean-up lending practices in light of yakuza scandal

Ida Torres
The Japan Daily Press

Lawmakers have continued their investigation into Japan’s banking industry in light of the discovery that Mizuho Financial Group, the country’s second largest bank, had some loan transactions with members of organized crime. The banks and financial institutions are also vowing to come up with more stringent policies in order to avoid a repeat of incidents like this.
At a hearing at the Diet on Wednesday, bank executives and government officials were grilled by the lawmakers to find out how financial institutions failed to strictly comply with the law that has disallowed any sort of transactions with the local mobsters, known as the yakuza. Yuzuru Takeuchi, a member of the ruling party’s coalition party New Komeito, said that it’s useless to make the rules if they are not carried out. One of those interviewed by the lawmakers was Finance Minister Taro Aso and he had to face many questions as to why the Financial Services Agency and other regulating agencies have not effectively cracked down on these dealings with the gangsters. Aso admits that there is still much-needed to be done to fix the problem. “We must follow-up on this thoroughly or it will just reemerge later,” he added.
Some industry leaders say there really is a difficulty in complying with the law that should have effectively frozen out the yakuza from doing any business with financial institutions. Kazuhiro Omori, head of the Japan Consumer Credit Association, said they are looking into revising their rules on loans and will be immediately closing accounts that violate those. However, he says there are too many cases to be reviewed. Some officials also say that there is also a breakdown in the sharing of information and police data about individuals or companies that have links to criminal groups.
Mizuho Financial Group’s president, Yasuhiro Sato, was also summoned in front of the lawmakers where they criticized the bank’s policy of delegating the “know your customer” responsibilities to their credit affiliates. “I intend to work to ensure a clear break from such anti-social forces. This is my responsibility,” Sato assured them. An investigation into Mizuho showed that more than 200 million yen (US$2 million) worth of loans from their consumer credit affiliates are connected to the yakuza.

Yakuza Loans

  • It remains unclear just how widespread loans to yakuza-related clients have been. The only bank so far to publicly provide any details about the size or scope of the loans has been Mizuho, which said the credit extended totaled a relatively small $2 million, spread over 230 loans through its consumer-credit affiliate.
    But the series of vague disclosures underscores how difficult it has been for Japanese lenders to root out all transactions with criminal elements. It also illustrates that the issue of loans to such people appears to have touched many financial institutions, at least as a small fraction of their portfolios.
    Even if small in size, the loans have gotten outsized attention in Japan, drawing heavy press coverage, as well as criticism from top politicians and regulators, including Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda. “The bank bears a grave responsibility as an organization,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s chief spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said of Mizuho at a mid-October press conference.
    While the question of loans to criminal syndicates has drawn considerable attention, it is unclear that it will cause any significant political or financial problems for any of Japan’s banks.
    One big difference between Mizuho and the other banks is that Mizuho has come under pressure not just for extending loans to criminal elements, but for the fact that executives failed to cut off the credit or report the situation to regulators more than two years after the loans were discovered. Mizuho concedes that it was slow in tackling the problem.
    No other bank has been accused of withholding such information from regulators. As a result, it is unlikely that any other banks will face punishment; the FSA’s main focus has been the way Mizuho handled the issue, not the fact that it made loans to yakuza.
    Even Mizuho has yet to face any sanctions or fines, other than a so-called business-improvement order from the FSA, requiring it to submit a report on how it plans to improve its handling of such matters. While some 50 executives have had their pay docked and two executives in charge of compliance have been fired, there has been no broad management shakeup and the CEO has retained his job. There is no sign that the scandal has affected Mizuho’s business in any way.
    Still, in the wake of the Mizuho revelations, two separate government agencies are looking at whether there is more evidence of lending to yakuza. On Nov. 5, the Financial Services Agency said it started a special probe into the books of the country’s largest banks—including SMFG and Mizuho—to determine whether they had any dealings with organized crime and whether they are making enough efforts to prevent such loans.
    Many of the loans deemed “suspicious” appear to have originated with consumer-loan firms acquired in part, or in full, by the major banks. On Nov. 8, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which regulates the consumer-lending business, asked 18 consumer-loan firms to report any business transactions with crime groups, as well as details on their loan-screening systems.
    At the same time, the fallout from the Mizuho matter is continuing. On Wednesday, Mizuho President Yasuhiro Sato is scheduled to testify before a Parliamentary committee on financial affairs. The FSA is considering whether to take additional action against Mizuho, following the Sept. 27 business-improvement order.
    The SMFG comments Tuesday follow similar remarks made last week by executives of two separate lenders affiliated with Japan’s largest bank—Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, or BTMU—that their companies had also extended loans to members of organized-crime syndicates. The units didn’t specify the size or number of transactions, or say when the loans were made.
    Kojun Sato, an executive at JACCS Co., a consumer-finance company 20% owned by BTMU, said at an earnings news conference Nov. 5 that his firm had made loans to “antisocial forces.” He said his firm had made “less than 10″ such loans, and was now working to cut off the borrowers.
    On Nov. 7, Shigeyoshi Kinoshita, president of Acom Co., a consumer finance company 40% owned by BTMU’s parent company, said his firm had made “several” loans to antisocial forces, declining to specify the total or the timing.
    BTMU spokesman Takafumi Miyamoto declined to comment on the disclosures by the bank’s two affiliates.
    In addition, a mid-sized national lender, Shinsei Bank, has also disclosed loans to borrowers associated with yakuza via an affiliate. On Oct. 31, Shinsei President Shigeki Toma said Shinsei Trust and Banking Co. had made more than 10 such loans through its consumer-credit unit, Aplus Co. Mr. Toma said his bank found the questionable loans through an internal inspection and that they had been rescinded. He didn’t specify the size or timing of the transactions.
    “Our system to screen loans on whether requests came from ‘antisocial forces’ was not sufficient,” Mr. Toma said.
    Even the megabanks, however, say that even with extensive screening systems, it is hard to prevent such loans. Mr. Miyata, SMFG’s president, said it was extremely difficult for his bank or others to completely avoid yakuza-related loans, because in some cases, a regular customer ends up joining the yakuza at a later date. “There are some cases we can’t even identify if they belong to antisocial forces and some take a while to cut off,” he said.
    Obtaining evidence of ties to organized crime can be a slow process, but without such evidence, banks risk lawsuits.
    The spotlight on loans to yakuza is the latest phase of Japan’s attempts to root out organized crime from mainstream commerce, a campaign that has proceeded in fits and starts over the past two decades. For much of the postwar period, particularly in the construction industry during the heavy rebuilding in the late 1940s and 1950s, Japan’s yakuza operated openly in the country’s economy, a quasi-legitimate business in many industries and many cities.
    Japanese authorities began cracking down on yakuza ties to mainstream businesses in the early 1990s and 2000s, with laws against money laundering and rules banning financial ties between companies and gangsters. Officials say the campaign has largely been effective in reducing the effect of criminal syndicates on commerce, but it has been difficult to eliminate their presence.
    In most of the revelations about yakuza loans in recent weeks, Japan’s banks said the contracts didn’t originate with their core lending units, but came instead from affiliated consumer-finance companies.
    Japan’s major banks have historically focused on corporate loans, so a separate consumer-finance sector grew up, particularly after the burst of the financial bubble in the early 1990s, offering consumers unsecured high-interest rate loans. A legal and regulatory crackdown —notably a 2006 Supreme Court ruling declaring high-rate loans illegal, followed by laws capping rates at 20% —put the financial squeeze on many of those firms, leading them to seek backing from Japan’s mainstream banks.
    At the time, the mainstream banks were struggling to generate profits. Rates on conventional secured loans were near zero, and demand for credit was sluggish. Banks saw the consumer lenders as a potential driver for profits. Even with new interest-rate ceilings, those firms can still charge maximum interest rates of between 15% and 20%, much higher than for regular bank loans.
    The controversial Mizuho loans all originated with Orient Corp., a consumer credit firm 26% owned by Mizuho. Orient has confirmed making the loans. BTMU bought an initial stake in Acom in 2004 and acquired part of JACCS in 2008.
    Write to Atsuko Fukase at

Mafia Leaks

A handful of anonymous computer experts who say they can employ their technical skills to wage war on the Mob have made headlines and raised eyebrows in equal measure.

Now one of the founders of the whistle-blowing MafiaLeaks site, which aims to take on Italy's feared Mafia groups, is feeling confident.

The activist, who identified himself as Bobby, added that the site had already received and passed on important evidence to investigators and journalists. "We believe it can work. In fact, I can reveal to you now that it is already working," he said.

MafiaLeaks aimed to significantly expand contacts with law-enforcement agencies and media outlets by December. The central strategy is to shatter the thing that has shielded the Mafia for decades - "omerta", or the code of silence.

MafiaLeaks is supposed to allow witnesses, and particularly victims of the Mob, such as shopkeepers or businessmen forced to pay protection money, to report organised crime and send information to the site, which is accessed through the untraceable Tor anonymity network.

This high-security site protects the identity of both witnesses and MafiaLeaks staff, who are thought to number less than 10.

Organised criminals are depressingly numerous in Italy - but so are the people well placed to stop them, added Bobby.

"We want Mafiosi to understand that in any given moment, even right now, someone's aware of their trade and sooner or later it's going to come out into the open. The Mafia cannot function without doctors to treat them, electricians and builders to make their hideouts and lawyers and accountants to hide their money. All these people have the evidence."

The arrival of MafiaLeaks received a mixed response from people working in traditional roles in the fight against organised crime.

Magistrate Nicola Gratteri told La Repubblica newspaper that in principle he welcomed the site.

"MafiaLeaks could be a good way of spreading a certain type of information and shattering the wall of silence surrounding organised crime", he said. Corrado De Rosa, a psychiatrist who provides expert evidence in mafia trials, was less certain.

"This has been done for noble reasons and I wish them well. But we need to remain aware of the risks," he said. "There's a danger we'll see a reduction in the quality of evidence that emerges. And we should not forget that the Mafia clans are already computer and internet-savvy."

He added the system might be used by people to settle scores and by Mafiosi to harm rival criminals.

Bobby said if rival Mafiosi shopped each other, that might not be a bad thing. And he countered that false or useless evidence "would end up in the trash".

He noted, too, the proliferation of digital equipment could work to the Mafia's disadvantage. "We believe smartphones are a real weapon and every citizen has one in his pocket. With it you can record a call, you can copy messages or emails, and photograph documents. As such, every citizen is a potential whistleblower."

But Amalia De Simone, a journalist who has for many years reported on the Camorra in Naples for Corriere Della Sera newspaper, said: "An initiative such as MafiaLeaks that appears to be done for all the right reasons could easily turn into a boomerang."

- Independent