Wednesday, June 9, 2010

'Ndrangheta laundering money in Germany

Berlin – Italian mafia organisations are investing billions of euros into Germany to hide their profits from the Italian authorities, organized crime experts said in Berlin on Friday.

“Germany is one of the most important sanctuaries, if not the most important,” Italy’s top anti-mafia lawyer Alberto Cisterna told German Press Agency dpa.

Since German reunification 20 years ago, he said former East Germany had become a key area for Italian mafia organizations to launder their profits.

Cisterna was part of an Italian delegation meeting German investigators in Berlin for a conference on ways of tackling organised crime.

Laura Garavini, a mafia expert in Italy’s Democratic Party, said eastern Germany was particular popular with the ‘Ndrangheta organisation from Italy’s southern Calabria region.

“In the first few years, when the east drew capital from all sorts of directions and nobody paid too much attention where it was coming from, the mafia channelled investments into real estate, tourism and the restaurant business,” Garavini said.

German investigators have also traced ‘Ndrangheta money to the Frankfurt stock exchange.

Cisterna said the mafia bosses presented themselves in Germany as serious businessmen, when in fact they were laundering money.

“If they pay 700,000 euros (860,000 dollars) into the bank each day, nobody suspects a thing if they own, say, a supermarket – even if it does not sell anything,” the lawyer said, adding that Germany’s prosperity made the country ideal.

“The best place to hide a grain of corn is in a corn shed,” Cisterna added.

Garavini said the mafia felt safe in Germany, in the assumption that it would be harder to confiscate their assets outside of Italy. She appealed for lawmakers to make use of a new EU regulation which enabled investments to be seized abroad.

Doing so had helped to fight the mafia in Italy, Garavini told,italian-mafia-laundering-profits-in-germany-finds-conference.html

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mob Money special on CNBC

It’s the world’s most secretive business, an old school operation that generates billions…tax free.

On Wednesday, June 23rd at 9PM ET, CNBC presents “Mob Money,” a special presentation of “American Greed,” narrated by Stacy Keach that takes viewers inside the inner-workings of a mob family. From loan-sharking and labor racketeering to illegal gambling and murder for hire to its recent invasion into Wall Street it’s all part of the life and death business of organized crime.

The one-hour program chronicles the rise and fall of the DeCavalcante Family—a smaller family operating quietly west of the Hudson River and based in Elizabeth, NJ. Growing in the shadows of the powerful “Five Families” of New York City, the DeCavalcante’s were known by the derogatory term “Farmers” because of their Garden State roots, but they were just as deadly as their New York cousins. This Family’s story bears many similarities to the HBO hit series, “The Sopranos.” Viewers will see how this Family matures, becomes successful…and then eventually, bows to its weakness, bringing the Family down, crumbling to its knees.

The way the mob does business isn’t all that different than any other big corporation. There’s a corporate structure. And there are investments and returns on those investments. In 2002, the FBI estimated the mob’s annual earnings at between $50 and $90 billion dollars a year. Mob bosses take their business as serious as any CEO with one major exception…the way organized crime deals with the competition--making them some of the most violent criminals around. Nothing and no one stands in their way.

The hour profiles Vincent “Vinny Ocean” Palermo, a soldier who, after a struggle for power, takes over the DeCavalcante Family. Under Palermo’s leadership, viewers will see how the Family makes money, where investments are made, who gets promoted and just how bad rats are for business.

But, it will be a mob heist orchestrated by wanna-be wiseguy Ralph Guarino that ultimately brings this mafia family to its knees and forces Guarino to make the ultimate betrayal—lead a double-life as a wiseguy and informant. He wears a recording device so everything that happens to the DeCavalcantes—the murders, the extortions, the beat-downs—all goes right into the fed’s ear. The program uncovers how the old ways of Omerta, the vow of loyalty and silence, has passed as the threat of longer prison times loosens tongues as gangsters scramble to save themselves. No family and no boss is safe anymore… even Palermo turns on his own family eventually becoming an FBI informant and ultimately going into the witness protection program.

For more information and special web exclusives, logon to

CNBC’s “Mob Money” is produced exclusively for CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, by Kurtis Productions.

Sharon Barrett is the executive producer for Kurtis Productions and Bernie Dudek is the producer from Kurtis Productions. Charles Schaeffer is the Executive Producer for CNBC. Ray Borelli is the Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming.

Mafia Boss Angelo Bruno Home up for sale -Mobsters

The South Philly house where mob boss Angelo Bruno was shot and killed 30 years ago is up for sale.

Bruno’s former home at 934 Snyder Avenue is on the market for $250,000. His daughter, Jean, said she’s planning to move to New Jersey.

Known as the “Gentle Don,” Bruno was killed by a shotgun blast to the head in March 1980 as he sat in a car in front of the three-bedroom rowhouse. His driver, John Stanfa, was also injured.

Angelo Bruno helped the Philadelphia mob rise in prominence during the 60s and 70s. His death sparked years of infighting with dozens of slayings.

Jean Bruno said Stanfa did the house’s brickwork. He’s now serving five consecutive life sentences for racketeering

Thursday, June 3, 2010

body found was Genovese boss Bingy Arillotta's brother-in-law Gary D. Westerman

William M. Bennett confirmed Wednesday that federal and state investigators uncovered the remains of organized crime associate Gary D. Westerman in a wooded area in Agawam in April.
Westerman, missing since 2003, had long been believed a victim of a mob hit, according to investigators. The search for his body unfolded in earnest in the wake of speculation this spring that alleged Mafia boss Anthony J. Arillotta apparently turned government informant.

Westerman, 48, had spent years in prison for drug and armed robbery convictions; he also was Arillotta’s brother-in-law.

Arillotta, 41, was charged with the 2003 murder of his predecessor, Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, in an indictment in federal court in Manhattan on Dec. 29. The charges were not unsealed until February, however, and Arillotta virtually disappeared from the federal prison where he was being held without bail in late March.

Investigators steadfastly refused to discuss his status as a potential informant, but a horde of FBI agents and state police soon appeared at a residential plot at 160 Springfield St. and dug at a site in the woods behind the home for days. It concluded abruptly after a medical examiner’s truck pulled away after midnight on April 9.

An old friend of Arillotta’s rented the home, investigators said, but was not believed to be complicit in Westerman’s disappearance.

“I can confirm it’s Gary Westerman and that it was a homicide,” Bennett said.

The district attorney refused to provide further details about a cause of death or motive.

Sources familiar with the investigation have said previously that Westerman was shot twice in the head.

Since the Bruno murder investigation was transferred from here to New York, it is expected that charges linked to Westerman’s slaying will originate there also. Several men have been charged in a sweeping racketeering indictment there that includes the alleged murder-for-hire plot and other accusations of organized crime conspiracies that straddled Western Massachusetts and that state.