Feature Articles

October 30, 2000

Round Up The Usual Suspects 2

By John William Tuohy

John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washingon, D.C.

compiled by John William Tuohy

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Anthony Corallo, former boss of the Lucchese crime family in known to New York City died August 23, 2000 He was 87 year old.

     Corallo was serving a 100-year sentence when he died at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners.

     Corallo was said to be the oldest living gangster to have risen from the Lucchese family. He was a member of the National Mafia Commission before he was arrested in 1985 and later convicted on federal racketeering charges.

     Corallo earned the nickname "Tony Ducks" for his ability to duck subpoenas and convictions.

     Corallo was born in 1913 and grew up in a tough Italian section o East Harlem. His first arrest came in 1929 for grand larceny. As a member of the Gagliano family, the predecessor of the Lucchese family, Corallo served six months in the city prison on a narcotics rap when he was arrested with $150,000 in cocaine in his car.

     The family moved Corallo into union extortion in the late 1940s where he worked closely with Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa to punch and shot his way into control of the New York service unions for Hoffa. On one secretly recorded conversation, Hoffa is heard telling Corallo that he could loot local 239 treasury provided he didn't get caught doing it.

     When called before the McClellan committee to answer charges of having looted $70,000 from Teamster local 239 by using the names of dead Mafia members on the payroll, Corallo invoked the Fifth Amendment over times in less then two hours of testimony. In 1962 Corallo was given a two year sentence for bribing New York Supreme Court Justice James "Vinny" Keogh and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliot Kahaner in a failed attempt to get a light jail sentence for a member of the Lucchese family. Several years later he was sentenced to four years at hard labor for bribing New York City Water Commissioner James L. Marcus who was said to be in deep financial trouble. Marcus forwarded several large "emergency" contracts to a company owned by the gangster.

     In the 1980s, the FBI successfully placed a bug inside the dashboard of Corallo's car which led to a massive RICO case that brought down most of the leadership of the New York Mafia families. After Gambino boss Paul Castellano was killed, it was widely assumed that Corallo was targeted for murder next, in some part due to allowing the bug in his car to go undetected.

     In 1986, Corallo was sentenced to 100 years for being a member of the national Mafia Commission.

     The Lucchese family, believed t be 600 strong, has fallen under hard times recently. In 1987, the organization fell into a decade of civil war and is thought to have lost considerable ground in the garbage hauling and construction industries where they once ruled supreme.

     Recently the family was stabilized by the alleged reign of Joey DeFede who is currently facing prosection for racketeering in the New York garment industry.

SAPPORO: Hokkaido prefectural police said that a confidential list containing the names of 4,500 people classified as gangsters has been leaked and that they suspect inside involvement.

     The 1,250-page document lists gangsters' names, addresses and arrest histories and includes charts of crime syndicates, their sources of revenue, and pictures of senior gangster group members.

     Copies of the list are distributed to every police station in Hokkaido. Police officers are allowed free access to the copies during the daytime but they are locked away at night. Investigators are permitted to photocopy the list but cannot take copies out of the police station.

     The lists' contents are updated once every several years and related documents containing information no longer considered necessary are collected by officers at Hokkaido police headquarters and then burned.

TORONTO: Canada's top securities watchdog and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they will crack down on the exploitation of the country's stock markets by organized crime with a special Securities Fraud Unit.

     The unit will actively pursue criminal and regulatory investigations into market manipulation or abuse of the market through money laundering, fraud or insider trading, said Popovic. Currently, securities regulators have investigative tools available to them that could not be used in criminal investigations.

     The Canadian Security Intelligence Service estimates that as much as C$17 billion ($11.6 billion) from criminal activities is laundered through Canada annually.

     A recent report by the Canadian intelligence service charged that the 1998 collapse of YBM Magnex International Corp. was a prime example of how organized crime can infiltrate public corporations.

     YBM's market capitalization soared to more than C$1 billion on the Toronto Stock Exchange before the FBI raided its Philadelphia-area offices alleging it was controlled by Russian mobsters as an international money-laundering front.

     Nicaso said Canada's stock markets are prime targets for criminals because provincial regulators are not co-ordinated on a national level and there is a lack of enforcement efforts.

WASHINGTON: James "Little Waddle" Hoffa has announced that he will seek a second term as president of the Teamsters union. Hoffa's father "Big Jimmy" Hoffa who started the Hoffa gang, was closely alligned with members of the Mafia and organized crime. He is believed to have been murdered by the mob and grinded into bits of lake front property in Michigan.

MEXICO CITY: A group of alleged kidnappers arrested is being linked a well-armed mafia accused of some of Mexico's most spectacular abductions.

     Eight people were arrested Sunday in the central Pacific coast state of Nayarit.

     Prosecutors have linked the group to the 1996 kidnapping of Japanese businessman Mamuro Konno in Tijuana and to the abduction of ranchero music singer Vicente Fernandez's son.

     Konno, president of Sanyo Video Components U.S.A., was kidnapped in Tijuana in 1996 and freed after eight days for $2 million ransom.

     Vicente Fernandez Jr. was kidnapped in May 1998 and released four months later after payment of a reported $3.2 million ransom - and after his abductors cut off two of his fingers.

     The arrests came after one of the suspects visited a hospital in the Nayarit state capital of Tepic for treatment of a bullet wound. He admitted he had been shot during a dispute over division of a ransom.

Mr. Tuohy can be reached at

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