Feature Articles

December 11, 2000

Round Up The Usual Suspects 1

By John William Tuohy

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

compiled by John William Tuohy

New York: According to the New York Daily News, imprisoned mobster John Gotti's throat cancer has returned and spread aggressively.
     Gotti is serving a life sentence for racketeering and murder. He was moved from the maximum-security federal prison in Marion, Ill., to a prison hospital in Springfield, Mo., on Sept. 13, the US Bureau of Prisons said.
     Nearly two years ago, doctors at the prison hospital performed surgery on Gotti to remove a cancerous tumor from his neck. Gotti returned to the hospital for a routine checkup and tests showed his cancer was no longer in remission, the Daily News reported.

Fort Lauderdale: Nine alleged members of the Gambino crime family were indicted here on charges ranging from extortion and bank fraud to the murder prosecutors say.
     Six suspects have been arrested, including Anthony "Tony Pep" Trentacosta of Atlanta, whom prosecutors called the leader of the Gambino operation in south Florida.
     The indictment alleged that defendant Frederick Massaro operated the Beachside Mario's restaurant, in Sunny Isles northeast of Miami, and that the group used it as a meeting ground to commit crimes involving bank fraud, dealing in stolen property, loansharking and planning a murder.
     It alleged that another defendant, Julius Bruce Chiusano, ran a nearby check cashing store that used its customers' financial information to commit bank fraud by creating and cashing counterfeit checks at businesses throughout the area.
     The indictment also alleged that Massaro and Ariel Hernandez were responsible for the March 1999 murder of Jeanette Smith, whose body was stuffed into a stereo box and found by fishermen in the Everglades.
     Hernandez was arrested on murder charges shortly after her death and remains jailed. He allegedly picked up Smith at an exotic dance club and told police she died accidentally during rough sex.
     The indictment charges that Massaro and three associates helped Hernandez dispose of the body and evidence connected with Smith's death. It also alleged that Massaro then solicited another associate in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Hernandez.
     Trentacosta, Massaro, Chiusano and Hernandez were jailed, as were defendants Charles Patrick Monico and Anthony Raymond Banks. Also charged were Francis Ruggiero, Adam Todd Silverman and Carlos Garcia.

Albania: Niko Veizi, Socialist Party candidate for mayor in the southern city of Vlore, announced on television he would permit brothels to open for the first time in some 60 years if he won the mayoral election Oct. 1. Prostitution is illegal in Albania.

London: A British court has ordered a 64-year-old woman who admitted running brothels in North London to hand over nearly $3 million of her ill-gotten gains.
     A judge at Harrow Crown Court also fined Josie Daly, whose ads for "saunas" appeared in the British Transport Police magazine and a trade paper for the emergency services, $4,400 and ordered her to pay $73,300 in legal costs, the BBC reported.
     British newspapers reported she had amassed an estimated fortune of some $10.2 million, lived in a $1 million house, owned a white Rolls Royce and six other properties, including a rundown hotel and a hostel where prostitutes lived in between shifts at her saunas.

Washington: The President today announced his intent to nominate Steven Clayton Stafford to serve as United States Marshal for the Southern District of California.
     Stafford of San Diego, California, has served in various positions with the United States Marshals Service since 1981.
     He was a Supervisory Deputy United States Marshal in the District of Massachusetts. During this period, Mr. Stafford also served as Acting Regional Coordinator of the New England Organized Crime Enforcement Task Force.

Istanbul: Turkish police arrested Murat Demirel, nephew of former President Suleyman Demirel, on charges that he embezzled funds from a bank he owned and set up an organized crime family.
     The former owner of Egebank, which was seized by the government last December, was arrested in Istanbul and flown to the capital Ankara for questioning. Demirel's yacht was fueled for a long-distance journey yesterday as he prepared to escape to Greece, the reports said.
     Murat Demirel is charged with embezzling $80 million from Egebank by providing loans to companies that exist only on paper. He's also accused of setting up a swindling ring to embezzle the funds. Police said they were likely to enlarge their bank-related investigations in coming days.

Mr. Tuohy can be reached at

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