Friday, October 30, 2009

Bonanno wiseguy Vito Pipitone arrested on honeymoon goes to court with wife

She's got a big rock on her finger, and he's wearing an ankle bracelet

.Reputed wiseguy Vito Pipitone and his new wife, Paula, made their first appearance Thursday in Brooklyn Federal Court since he was arrested on their Hawaiian honeymoon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Junior Gotti mob trial : Joseph Fusaro gripe

There were no hair-raising tales Thursday at the Junior Gotti trial - although the judge and a mob witness both could have used one.
The unlikely pair commiserated in court over their balding domes, providing a light moment in the mob heavyweight's trial.
Joseph Fusaro, called by the defense for John A. (Junior) Gotti, testified that he met the second-generation gangster in a prison barber shop 11 years ago.
Judge Kevin Castel, listening from the bench, eyed the 66-year-old witness' shiny skull and posed a question.
"You use a barber shop frequently?" Castel asked.
"No, not me," replied Fusaro, who turned to take a look at the judge's pate.
"Don't think you do, either," the witness continued.
"Quite right, sir," said Castel.
"I know the feeling," said Fusaro.
The back-and-forth came before Fusaro testified that he wanted to approach Gotti inside the prison at Valhalla about collecting $180,000 in loan-sharking money.
Fusaro testified that when he did meet with the ex-Gambino boss, Gotti quickly turned him down.
"He was done with that," Fusaro testified. "He said, 'If you have any brains, and I think you do ... do your sentence because this is over."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From Godfather to Godfellas, mob rats william Cutalo jr and Joe Campanella

Meet the Godfellas. In previous incarnations, mob rats Joe Campanella and William Cutolo Jr. were entrenched in the Colombo crime family. The son of Murdered Former Colombo Underboss William ' Wild Bill' Cutolo. Now they want deliverance from evil - as "ministers" in a flock of mob misfits known as Goodfellas4God. "There are people who want to get out of that life and they talk to me," said ministry founder Glenn Hovater, a former pest control inspector who runs the operation from donated offices in Painesville, Ohio

. Hovater started the group two years ago; most members are ex-wiseguys from Cleveland and Pennsylvania. A retired NYPD detective introduced him to Campanella; he and Cutolo Jr. are the only New Yorkers. Hovater will send Campanella, a former made man, and Cutolo Jr., son of underboss Wild Bill Cutolo, on speaking tours to rail against "the life."
Neither Mafia rat is in the witness protection program, so special security arrangements will be made to ensure their safety.
Campanella helped convict Colombo boss Alphonse Persico and underboss John DeRoss of ordering Wild Bill's murder in 2001.
Cutolo Jr., 37, is a marked man for wearing a wire to gather damning evidence against DeRoss after his father vanished. The senior Cutolo, whose remains were found last year in an industrial park on Long Island, came home from prison in 1995 a devout Catholic, his son said.

"It took 10 years to find him and I must say I lost my faith at times," Cutolo Jr. wrote on the Goodfellas4God Web site. "When they confirmed indeed it was my dad, I found my faith again. Still asking why, but I now realize it is not our job to ask WHY. It's the Lord's work. He brought my father home to me

. "When my friend Joe (Campy) Campanella told me about this ministry and minister Glenn, right away I thought of my dad. How proud he would be of me for joining this ministry. I would rather preach goodness than to teach someone how to do something bad."
Campanella, 50, seems to be having some misgivings about the God thing. In a message to the Daily News, he said: "As far as the Goodfellas4God and being part of the ministry and all that other B.S., right now, there's nothing written in stone."
Still, Campanella is listed as head of the "Out of the Life Ministries" on Hovater's Web site. The site asks visitors: "Have you committed adultery, fornicated, lied, stole, lusted etc.? Click here to 'Get Connected' and wash away all the sins you have ever committed." The New Yorkers easily qualify.
Campanella did a three-year prison stint for racketeering. As a Colombo soldier, he took part in shootings, beatdowns, extortion and an affair with a woman whose father-in-law was a made man in the Gambino family.
Cutolo Jr. was sentenced in 2006 to four years' probation for extortion, which got him kicked out of witness protection.
DeRoss' lawyer claimed Cutolo's newfound faith is a scam. "Cutolo's son has chosen the ministry for one reason only, to scam unsuspecting members of his new flock as he victimized innocent people when he was a member of organized crime," lawyer Robert LaRusso said.
Hovater - who grew up around wiseguys in Cleveland - is convinced his newest evangelists aren't acting. "I believe in my heart they're really sincere," he said. "Maybe other people don't, but I do."

"Joey has no money and Cutolo ain't got no money either," he said. "I told them there's no money in this."

Monday, October 26, 2009

No sympathy for sick mobster Domenico Cutaia

A once-powerful Lucchese crime capo now suffering from an advanced stage of multiple sclerosis was sentenced on Friday to three years in prison for bank fraud.
Domenico (Danny) Cutaia, 72, hobbled into Brooklyn Federal Court with a walker hoping to get off with a sentence of home confinement.
Federal Judge Brian Cogan noted that the gangster is a “pretty hardened criminal,” but acknowledged that he was looking at a man who was seriously ill and clinically depressed.
“What kind of message are we sending if we allow someone to commit crimes for 40 years, and when they get caught, they say, ‘I’m too old and in poor health’ to go to jail,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Goldberg argued. “He should not be able to use health and age as a sword and a shield.”
Cutaia reportedly had held a position on the Luchese crime family’s ruling panel in the past.
The judge reluctantly agreed.
“He’s a tough guy. … That’s who he is and who I have to sentence,” Cogan said.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three busted building inspectors - all with apparent ties to Lucchese family - had prior raps

Three of the six city building inspectors busted in a recent corruption sweep were hired even though they had rap sheets, a Daily News investigation found.

The issue has become more important in the wake of allegations that corrupt inspectors took cash to overlook violations or speed permits
All Buildings Department job applicants must disclose any previous arrests and submit to background investigations that include fingerprinting and criminal database searches, spokesman Tony Sclafani said Read The Full Story

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thomas Fiore,and other Florida Bonanno crime Family members, admit guilt

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Thomas Fiore-One by one, members of a South Florida crew of the New York-based Bonanno crime family stood before a federal judge Wednesday to plead guilty to racketeering charges, including one enforcer who said it was impossible to escape the Mafia life.
Six of the 11 purported crew members indicted in May pleaded guilty to charges that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. All 11 are charged under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO law, which the FBI has used frequently to break up major criminal enterprises. Read The Full Story

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Federal Prosecutors Portray John Gotti as Killer as Victoria Gotti Enjoys Star Treatment

NEW YORK — As his sister Victoria Gotti began a book tour like a celebrity author, John "Junior" Gotti sat in court, portrayed as a merciless killer by federal prosecutors who want to show he was far different from his entrepreneurial sister.
Last week, the government used its star witness — childhood friend John Alite — to convince a Manhattan jury that Gotti was as lethal a threat to society as anyone else in the Gambino crime family once led by his late father, John Gotti Sr.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Genovese crime boss Carlo Mastrototaro dies

WORCESTER — The man frequently identified as a kingpin of organized crime in the Worcester area for much of the latter half of the past century and a highly decorated World War II combat veteran died yesterday at his city home. Carlo Mastrototaro, 89, of 40 Hancock Hill Drive, died peacefully surrounded by family members, according to his obituary.

In an interview earlier this year, Mr. Mastrototaro would only describe himself as a “retired businessman,” determinedly steering clear of specifying what he did before retiring.“Different things” was all he would say. Reminded that law enforcement officials and other sources had labeled him a powerful figure in the New England mob, he responded, “Not everything said about me is true.”

A Worcester native, Mr. Mastrototaro, for the most part, stayed out of local headlines. He owned several restaurants in the area over the years and occasional stories referred to arrests and convictions for, among other things, racketeering, wire fraud and gambling.

Thomas J. Foley, former superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, said that Mr. Mastrototaro answered in the 1980s and '90s to the Genovese crime family in New York with the tacit approval of Raymond L.S. Patriarca of Providence, regarded as the head of the New England Mafia until his death in 1984.One of his convictions was in 1971 in Baltimore federal court after he was tried for aiding and abetting in the transportation of three stolen U.S. Treasury bills.

The man who stole the treasury bills, Boston and Providence mob figure Vincent “Big Vinnie” Teresa, testified against Mr. Mastrototaro in exchange for a reduced sentence.Two years later, Mr. Teresa wrote a tell-all book called “My Life in the Mafia,” in which he described Mr. Mastrototaro as “the boss of Worcester” and “the fourth most powerful boss in the current New England hierarchy of crime.”

There are numerous references in the book to Mr. Mastrototaro, some linking him to Mafia-backed casinos that operated in Haiti and pre-communist Cuba, as well as to Meyer Lansky, a notorious figure in mob annals who was regarded as a financial genius.Despite his testimony, which helped convict Mr. Mastrototaro, Mr. Teresa, who died in 1990 while in the federal witness protection program, had an obvious admiration for the Worcester resident. “…

He was as honest as they come in the mob when you dealt with him,” Mr. Teresa wrote. “If you had a cent and half coming from him, it didn't make a bit of difference if you didn't show up to collect for six months. When you got there, the money was there waiting for you.”Far less well-known about Mr. Mastrototaro was his distinguished record as a Marine serving in the Pacific during World War II.

That service earned him a Purple Heart and the Silver Star, the military's third-highest award for valor in the face of the enemy.In his later years, Mr. Mastrototaro spent time at the Leatherneck Lounge on Lake Avenue and on rare occasions, friends say, he would open up about his military service from 1939 to 1944.

The Silver Star, he confided, stemmed from fighting in the Mariana Islands in the fierce Battle of Saipan in June and July 1944. On watch late one night while others in his platoon were asleep in foxholes, he detected shadows from behind, yelled a warning to fellow Marines then jumped up and opened fire.He killed eight or nine Japanese on the perimeter of the platoon's camp.Mr. Mastrototaro and several others in his company were badly wounded by mortar fire a few weeks later in the Battle of Tinian, also in the Marianas.

He was evacuated to a hospital ship and later sent home with a medical discharge.His wounds, he told friends, actually saved his life. Much of his company was wiped out when they moved on to the Battle of Iwo Jima.Mr. Mastrototaro helped found the Marine Corps League chapter in Worcester and was a member of several veterans' organizations.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mafia and Movie stars

Posted by John L. Smith review Sunday, Oct. 04, 2009 at 05:00 PM.
John L Smith writes
Tough-guy actor Paul Burke died Sept. 13 at age 83. He was known for a long career in movies and television. His best-known roles came on television in the early 1960s as the star of “Naked City” and “12 0’Clock High.” But Burke kept busy throughout his life, taking smaller parts late in his career after enjoying big-screen star status for a time.
Burke was the son of a New Orleans boxer, Marty Burke, who was best known for having lost to Gene Tunney. The elder Burke was a boxer at a time mob guys were all over the fight game.
So perhaps it’s little surprise that my friend, former mobster Anthony Fiato, would have run into Burke in Boston and Hollywood amid some shadowy company.
Suffice to say that Burke sometimes played cops on television, but he was often seen hanging out with criminals.
Now a relocated witness, Fiato recalled the first time he saw Burke off screen. It was back in the late 1960s in Boston’s North End neighborhood at mob soldier Paulie Intiso’s restaurant. Burke was in the middle of filming “The Thomas Crown Affair” and was chummy with Intiso and members of his crew.
“Jerry Angiulo took Paul to dinner on Hanover Street,” Fiato recalls. “They ate at Paulie Intiso’s restaurant, Giro’s, a lot. He ate dinner many times with Jerry Angiulo.”
Fast forward seven years, and Burke walked in to the Villa Capri for a sitdown with his friend, Mike Rizzitello, who was working with Fiato at the time.
“It was like old home week,” Fiato says. “Burke was talking about Boston, about Joey Gallo, who he knew very well. He lit up like a Christmas tree when he talked about Joey Gallo. He really liked Joey a lot. And we talked boxing because Paul’s father was a fighter. Mike boxed some, too. Mike pinched him on the cheek, hugged and kissed him like a friend, and Burke ate that stuff up.
“Paul was successful, and Mike was hurting at the time. He’d just gotten out of the can and was facing what for him were big tax problems. He had nothing and was afraid to move. At the Villa, Mike and Lefty Castiglione talked to Burke about his movie roles. The IRS was on Mike’s ass, and he was looking to pick up some money to pay the tax man. Burke gave him $5,000 to help pay his tax bill, which he then gave to me. We later walked into the IRS office and I handed the clerk the $5,000 because Mike, of course, couldn’t justify having any income.
“Paul really thought a lot of those guys. He would talk about going to dinner on President Street in Brooklyn with Joey Gallo. He really admired Joey and was torn up when he was murdered. At the Villa he talked about what a warrior Joey was, a man’s man, all that macho stuff. That was Paul Burke.”

Saturday, October 3, 2009

James Caan, Anthony Fiato, Joe Pesci

James Caan once ordered a Mafia-type investigation on fellow actor Joe Pesci after the star refused to pay a hotel bill, according to new reports. Caan called on mobster Anthony Fiato,'The Animal', to "take care" of Joe Pesci after learning about an $8,000 bill that wasn't paid after Pesci stayed with Princess Diana's late lover Dodi Fayed at a pal's Miami, Florida, hotel in 1982..

Caan's spokesman Arnold Robinson has blasted Fiato's claims, made to the tabloid National Enquirer, insisting his client and Pesci are the best of friends, but mobster Anthony Fiato points out that FBI tapes he has given to the publication can't be wrong.

Fiato says, "Jimmy can say he's a friend of Pesci's now. But he can't deny that at one time he tried to hurt him. It's on tape."
In an extract from the tapes, printed in the new issue of the Enquirer, Caan seems delighted when Fiato admits, "We'll get to him (Pesci)," stating, "Good, good." The actor later adds, "We're gonna make him pay."
The FBI tapes, featuring Fiato's conversation with James Caan, were produced a decade ago when the mobster testified during a murder trial.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

'Junior' gleeful when describing murder: witness

A gleeful John "Junior" Gotti, joking and "creeping like the Grinch," described how a murder witness was forced to hang himself, the prosecution’s star witness testified today.
Mob turncoat John Alite said that in 1984, Junior came to visit him in Jamaica Hospital, where he was recovering from serious injuries after a fight.
The scion of Teflon Don John Gotti began talking about the death of John Cennamo, who was found hanging from a broken tree branch after bragging he saw Junior stab a man to death in a vicious bar brawl.
"Junior started joking around by the window, saying, ‘Hey, look he’s hanging from the tree," Alite recalled. "He was creeping like the Grinch, joking around. " ‘Look you can see him hanging. Let's see if we can help him,’" Junior quipped, according to Alite.
Alite said Cennano had been a witness to the killing of Daniel Silva in the Silver Fox bar in Queens on March 12, 1983, and on the orders of John Gotti Sr., a team of three hitmen was sent to rub him out.
"There was more joking how he (Cennamo) got helped to be killed. And he was persuaded to put something on his neck," Alite recalled.
"Junior did the creeping thing. Let’s help put that (a noose) around there and then jump," he quoted the reputed mob boss as saying.
A medical examiner, James Gill, testified yesterday that Cennamo, with a piece of clothing around his neck, was found hanging from a broken branch of a tree behind a Queens laundromat on May 27, 1984.
Cennamo’s knees were on the ground, he said. There were no signs of a struggle.
In testimony yesterday, Alite said he and Junior were directly involved in the murders of George Grosso and Bruce John Gotterup, two drug dealers, and Louis DiBono, a wiseguy who ignored John Gotti Sr.’s orders to meet with him.
Alite said Junior told him he was involved in four other killings, those of Silva, Cennamo, Wilfred "Wille Boy" Johnson, an informant, and an unidentified man who was killed and then crushed in a car chopper at a junkyard owned by Junior’s ex-brother-in-law, Carmine Agnello.