Allan May's book MOB STORIES
IN THIS ISSUE|
· Mount Bonaventure Erupts
· Boston Update
· Youngstown Update
· Short Takes
Mount Bonaventure Erupts
US District Judge Joseph Bonaventure, the man-mountain jurist from Sin City, let it be known last week that he has put up with enough crap from Sandra Murphy’s defense team.
Herb "Money" Sachs, who represents the former stripper and convicted murderer of Las Vegas millionaire Ted Binion, during a hearing on October 1, demanded that Bonaventure explain to his satisfaction "in open court why he has removed four different defense motions from his calendar without hearing arguments."
Kim Smith of the Las Vegas Suns tells us that in Sachs motion he wrote, "The courts repeated refusal to hear these motions without setting forth its reason or legal authority constitutes a dereliction of duty, an abuse of discretion and an abdication of judicial responsibility."
For maximum effect, "Money" Sachs had his assistant John "Hound of the" Prendeville e-mail "at least" one media outlet to cover the hearing.
Well, Judge Joe gave Sachs and audience what they wanted and more. Bonaventure said the reason the motions were pulled off the calendar were perfectly clear to Sachs. Smith writes, "During hearings on May 10 and May 28 and in letters to Sachs, Bonaventure said he made it known he would not rule on any motions during the appeal process. His law clerk also explained the stay to Sachs during numerous phone calls, Bonaventure said."
Bonaventure told the cement head Sachs that if he didn’t like it his "remedy" was to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.
"That’s your remedy, not go to – you and Prendeville – go to the press and try the case in the press," Judge Joe bellowed. "You’re abdicating your responsibilities as an attorney, and that’s almost criminal contempt of court…willful disobedience of the lawful process or mandate of a court. You should be guilty of a misdemeanor."
An admirer of Murphy has been picking up the tab for her defense work. Bonaventure said he would listen to Sachs’ latest round of motions even though he didn’t believe they contained "collateral issues" as the defense attorney claimed. However, Judge Joe made it clear why he thought "Money" Sachs was filing them.
"It’s taking my time, your time and the state’s time. If you earn a fee that way and you want to do that, I guess I’ll hear it," Bonaventure said.
Don’t you wish Bonaventure would handle some of these cases going on in Boston and New York? Things would move a lot faster with Judge Joe’s no nonsense approach to matters.
There have been a plethora of stories from Boston and Youngstown over the last two weeks – let’s get caught up.
D. J. Still Making News
"Dishonest John" Connolly’s prison bunk is hardly broken in and he’s already back in the news whining to get out.
The disgraced former FBI agent’s attorney, Tracy Miner, filed an "emergency request" with the 1st Circuit US Court of Appeals asking for the release of her client "while they argue his conviction and hefty sentence are unjust," according to J. M. Lawrence of the Boston Herald.
Government prosecutors claim that if Connolly is released he will use his financial holdings to pull a James "Whitey" Bulger and run.
On September 26 the appeals court denied the request stating attorneys should first raise the issue with the trial judge, Joseph L. Tauro, before petitioning a higher court.
Meanwhile, Special Prosecutor John H. Durham continues to stew over the fact that taxpayers are still footing the bill for "Dishonest John" despite the fact that Connolly’s assets are said to be in excess of $1.5 million. When the former rogue agent was sentenced on September 16, a fine of from $15,000 to $150,000 should have been imposed. Tauro waived it, due to an alleged inability on the part of Connolly to pay, and instead imposed a $400 "special assessment."
Prior to the May trial, chief federal Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings gave the go ahead for taxpayers to bear the expense of Connolly’s legal fees. A financial report showing the assets and liabilities of "Dishonest John" was sealed and kept secret from the media.
The Bureau of Prisons placed Connolly at the Lexington Federal Medical Center in Kentucky. He was placed in a medical facility due to a skin cancer condition. A spokesman for the BOP told the Boston Globe that "most former law enforcement officers who are in federal prisons are in the general population."
On October 2 Connolly and his attorneys again filed a motion with Judge Tauro for "Dishonest John’s" release claiming the conviction should be overturned "because Tauro failed to instruct jurors about the use of notes taken outside the courtroom." Last month Judge Tauro denied a motion for Connolly’s release "because Tauro failed to instruct jurors about the use of notes taken outside the courtroom." Next month Judge Tauro will receive another motion for Connolly’s release "because Tauro failed to instruct jurors about the use of notes taken outside the courtroom."
Connolly’s attorneys Tracy "Asia" Miner and John J. Tangney, Jr said the government’s claims that their client will flee if released are "thoroughly disingenuous," which is exactly what the government thinks of the defense lawyer’s motions for "D.J.’s" release.
"Dishonest John’s" projected release date, if good behavior is adhered to, is June 28, 2011.
Robert Luisi Convicted
Following a two-week trial in US District Court, Boston wannabe-mobster-turned-Philadelphia-mob capo Robert C. Luisi, Jr. was found guilty by a jury that was unimpressed with his new affiliation with God.
Once aligned with Francis P. "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, Luisi became disgruntled when he was passed over for mob membership. Despite the fact his father, brother and cousin were mowed down during a mid-1990s mob war, Luisi still wanted to be part of "the life."
In the late 1990s Luisi became a member of the Philadelphia mob, under the leadership of Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, and quickly rose to the rank of capo. He led a small crew that handled gambling and loansharking in Boston and kicked back $10,000 a month to Merlino.
Following his father’s murder, Luisi’s mother established the Reaching Higher Church in East Boston and the mob capo became an active member. He claimed he was going through a "religious conversion."
In February 1999 Luisi says he was pulled into the world of drug dealing at Merlino’s insistence.
"Listen, we gotta make money. We gotta pay lawyers," Merlino said at a St. Valentine’s Day party held in Philadelphia, according to Luisi.
Luisi fought an internal moral conflict over selling drugs, but said he conceded due to pressure from Merlino. Ronald Previte, an ex-Philadelphia police officer-turned-mob capo, set up Luisi in the business. Previte was a government informant and witness.
After Luisi was busted in 1999 he agreed to testify against Merlino. However, during a lengthy trial last year in Philadelphia government prosecutors failed to call Luisi as a witness. Some say this was due to Luisi having boasted that he was speaking with God and was preparing to write a book.
Luisi, for some unexplained reason, then withdrew his agreement with the government and decided to have his day in court.
During last month’s trial Luisi took the stand in defense of drug charges of possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy. His strategy was to convince jurors that he was trapped into selling drugs by an elaborate government undercover operation with additional pressure supplied by Merlino.
Assistant US Attorney Ernest DiNisco told the jury that Luisi "was not at odds with the mob boss [Merlino], but in league with him." This despite the fact that Merlino was acquitted of drug charges, even though he was convicted and sent away for 14 years after being convicted of other charges.
On Friday, September 27 a jury, unmoved by Luisi’s religious enlightenment, found the 42 year-old, father of three guilty. Luisi will have to fork over $75,000 in cash to the government and when he is sentenced on January 6, 2003 he will likely face 10 years.
Another Harrington Blunder
New England mob watchers are again shaking their heads over another asinine request by US District Judge Edward F. Harrington.
Harrington has asked fellow US District Judge Nancy Gertner to recuse herself from handling a lawsuit in which Harrington is a defendant.
J. M. Lawrence of the Herald writes, "Harrington’s motion for Gertner’s recusal set off whispers of hypocrisy from court watchers. The senior federal judge was reprimanded last month [August] after sending a letter to US District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro in an attempt to influence the racketeering sentencing of ex-FBI agent John J. Connolly, Jr."
When the foolish request was made public an angry outcry followed and Harrington withdrew it in a letter to Tauro. He then issued an apology once he found he had violated judicial ethics – something he should have known in the first place. Harrington received a letter of reprimand from the chief judge of the appeals court for that blunder.
Judge Gertner is overseeing a few of the lawsuits, which total just under $2.0 billion, that have been filed since the "Disaster in Beantown" revelations involving the local FBI were exposed.
The suit Harrington was addressing was one filed for $375 million in damages and involves Peter J. Limone and the families of Louis Greco and Henry Tameleo. The latter two died in prison and Limone served 33 years due to the perjured testimony of Joseph "the Animal" Barboza. FBI agents knew at the time of the trial, for the 1965 murder of Edward "Teddy" Deegan, that the defendants were innocent but remained mum in order to protect an FBI informant.
In Harrington’s request he wrote, "no judge in this district should be forced to sit in judgement of a colleague on the bench. Federal law requires that judges disqualify themselves if their impartiality might be questioned."
Just why Harrington was questioning the "impartiality" of Judge Gertner he didn’t say.
In light of things AmericanMafia.com questions Harrington’s ability to continue on as a federal judge.
Speaking of Lawsuits
Peter Limone has fired defense attorney John Cavicchi, who spearheaded the $375 million lawsuit for Limone, Greco and Tameleo.
Cavicchi was the original attorney for Louis Greco, a decorated veteran of World War II, who died in prison in 1995 after a 27-year effort on the part of Cavicchi to prove his innocence.
Following Greco’s death, Cavicchi led the effort to get a new trial for Limone. The motion was granted, but after revelations made by Special Prosecutor John Durham became public the charges against Limone were dropped and he was released after 33 years behind bars.
Cavicchi was replaced by local lawyers William T. Koski, Michael Avery and Julianne Balliro, who readily jumped on the Beantown money train. Cavicchi claims they "stole his client."
The trio did throw Cavicchi a bone. They allowed him to maintain the $75 million portion of the suit filed on behalf of Greco’s family.
Cavicchi hired his own attorney, Anthony Maio, to look into the matter. AM.com is guessing that this makes Maio a mob lawyer lawyer. God knows there’s a need for them.
Maio told reporters that pursuing the innocence of Greco, and then Limone, "pretty much consumed" Cavicchi’s life. "This is something he takes very personally and he was able to right a wrong. It just seems now there’s another wrong here."
J. M. Lawrence reports Limone’s reason for axing Cavicchi was "a breakdown in their relationship."
William Koski refused to talk about Cavicchi’s firing offering only that, "What’s important is the case."
AmericanMafia.com figures "what’s important" to Koski is the $300 million and who he has to walk over to get it.
Tack on Another $30 Million
The mother of Debra Davis, the 26 year-old who was strangled to death by Steven "the Rifleman" Flemmi and James "Whitey" Bulger, has filed a $30 million lawsuit against the federal government, eight named FBI agents – including John "Mercury" Morris and "Dishonest John" Connolly – and 50 unnamed FBI agents. According to Olga Davis’ suit all of them contributed to her daughter’s death.
This brings the "Disaster in Beantown" tally to $1,901 billion!
Flemmi began dating Davis when she was 17 years old. In 1981 when Davis tried to break off the relationship the two Winter Hill mobsters murdered Davis inside the South Boston home of Flemmi’s mother. She was then buried in a mob grave.
Following her daughter’s disappearance, Olga Davis claims she was interviewed over a year’s time on numerous occasions by FBI agents who met her in remote places. She contends that they were not interested in finding her daughter but instead were only trying to find out if any information leaked out about Flemmi being an FBI informant.
After the arrest of Winter Hill lieutenant Kevin J. Weeks he revealed the burial site of Davis and several others. Her remains were unearthed in October 2000.
The suit was filed by attorneys Robert S. Sinsheimer and Susan E. Sivacek. However, there have been recent rumors that William Koski has been sniffing around their client. $30 million may be too small for Koski and company to concern themselves with.
Meanwhile, the US Treasury department is auctioning off Flemmi’s seized Back Bay property. The auction takes place on October 18. The real estate is valued at $2.0. That means the government needs just a measly $1,899 billion to pay off the lawsuits pending against them.
The 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the findings of a federal jury in Cleveland and threw out two of five convictions against disgraced former Mahoning County Sheriff Philip Chance.
Convictions for extortion and obstructing law enforcement were tossed by the appeals court judges. In November 1999 Chance, after being found guilty of accepting $65,000 in bribes from Youngstown mob boss Lenine "Lenny" Strollo in "exchange for ignoring or protecting illegal gambling," was given a sentence of one month short of six years.
The key count in Chance’s indictment was a racketeering charge, which the appeals court upheld. The sentence for this conviction carried the most time while the terms on the other counts were to be served concurrently.
Chance was handed a lengthier sentence than what the federal guidelines recommended by US District Judge Kathleen O’Malley. The appeals court upheld the stiffer sentence, but requested that she explain her decision. At the time of the sentencing O’Malley claimed that because Chance was the county’s chief law enforcement officer, and because he had lied on the stand, she was handing down the additional time.
Lawyers for Chance, who has served more than two years of his sentence in Milan, Michigan, hope for some reduction of time when O’Malley reviews the case in the next few months. Assistant US Attorney Craig S. Morford said the decision of the appeals court doesn’t necessarily affect the sentence.
The Champ Piles Up Time
On April 19, 2002 Russell J. "Champ" Saadey was sentenced for his role in a case-fixing conspiracy involving disgraced former Mahoning County Prosecutor James A. Philomena. The jailed prosecutor testified against Saadey, his former investigator, when "Champ" was convicted last fall.
After sentencing Champ to a 55-month term, US District Judge Kathleen O’Malley allowed Saadey to remain free on bond pending the Bureau of Prisons notification to him of where and when to report.
Saadey used the extra time to terrorize his family. On April 21 Austintown police received a report of domestic violence at the Saadey home. When police arrived they found Saadey’s wife, Joy, with a bruise on her face. It was reported that family members had to restrain Saadey after he grabbed a .38 revolver.
Police arrested "Champ" and he was charged with domestic violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The following day US District Judge Lesley Brooks Wells revoked Saadey’s bond and he has been in stir ever since.
Saadey’s wife said she would not testify against her husband so the domestic violence charge was dropped. Saadey was scheduled to go on trial on the firearms charge on September 30. However, he pled guilty ten days earlier before US District Judge Peter C. Economus and will be sentenced October 24.
Saadey faces 10 years and a $250,000 fine. Look for whatever sentence he receives to be served concurrently with his April term.
At Saadey’s April sentencing hearing Youngstown attorney David J. Betras, whose kisser is plastered on billboard advertisements throughout the Mahoning Valley, asked Judge O’Malley for mercy, claiming his client’s conviction had ripped his family apart. Saadey’s sentence proved to be even more devastating to his family.
"Ronnie the Crab" Released
After nearly 25 years as a prisoner of the State of Ohio for the car-bombing murder of Cleveland gangster Daniel J. "Danny" Greene, Ronald D. Carabbia was released on September 24.
While FBI rumors are rampant that the aged mobster will return to the Mahoning Valley as the mob boss, "Ronnie the Crab" at the moment has moved to Columbus where he and his wife Josephine will reside for the time being.
Carabbia’s age, 73, certainly doesn’t mean he’s retirement material. The mob doesn’t have a mandatory retirement age. Just ask the 83 year-old Genovese soldier who shot up a Las Vegas automobile showroom last month.
If Carabbia should do anything to violate his parole it will be without a doubt the last time he tastes freedom. Despite the fact his son, Ronald A. Carabbia, is the subject of an ongoing gambling investigation, there is plenty of strong family support to keep the old man free and clear of a return to crime. Family sources have told AM.com that Carabbia has talked about retiring to Florida where his son has an interest in Sky King Fireworks.
Patricia Meade, crime reporter for the Vindicator, laid out Carabbia’s special restrictions for his supervised parole that continues for the next five years. These are in addition to the standard restrictions such as possession of a firearm as a felon and consorting with known criminals:
One that amused AM.com is "Must have no contact with your victim." Carabbia would have to hold a séance to break that one.
Meade writes that, "By signing the two-page conditions of supervision, Carabbia agreed to allow without a warrant, a search of himself, his vehicle and residence by his parole officer. The searches can take place at any time."
DiBlasio Gets House Arrest
AmericanMafia.com was reaching for the stomach distress bag after the line of bullshit offered at the recent sentencing of longtime Traficant aide Henry DiBlasio.
Claiming his client was "manipulated and bullied" by disgraced former Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr., defense attorney James M. Kersey pleaded with US District Judge Lesley Books Wells to show mercy to his client. DiBlasio, with his wife, son, doctor, accountant, stockbroker, financial adviser and mortician in the gallery, used a cane as he stood and looked as pathetic as possible for Wells.
Wells, who could have sentenced the former congressional aide to 16 months in federal prison, bought Kersey and DiBlasio’s line of crap and now the two-faced, money-grubbing weasel will get four years probation with the first six months in home detention. DiBlasio was fined $20,000, which he will pay with the money he accepted from taxpayers for doing nothing. His attorney probably got twice that amount.
After Traficant’s acquittal in 1983 on bribery charges he ran for congress and was elected. Shortly after taking office the ex-Mahoning County Sheriff was convicted after a second trial, prosecuted by the IRS, for not paying taxes on the bribes he accepted, even though he was found not guilty of taking them. The wily Traficant made DiBlasio his highest paid congressional staffer so he could take kickbacks and cover what the government was taking out of his paycheck to pay off his tax bill, fines and penalties.
DiBlasio accepted government paychecks from 1985 to 1998 and kicked back hundreds a month to Traficant and then pocketed the rest, all the while doing nothing except operating his law practice out of an office he leased to Traficant – another criminal act. When confronted by a grand jury about the kickback allegations, DiBlasio lied and told them that the money was spent on lottery tickets. The bloodsucking former attorney lived the high life on taxpayer's money. He lied at Traficant’s first two trials and then, like a snake discovered hiding under a rock, slithered away invoking his Fifth Amendment right to avoid testifying in this past trial.
Wells told DiBlasio his victims were the residents of Youngstown and Northeast Ohio.
"I do accept responsibility for what I did. I’m not proud of it and I’m sorry," DiBlasio bemoaned in a barely audible voice.
The reality is DiBlasio was only sorry that he got caught. The lying thief pissed on the residents of the Valley, took their money, and now has a nice retirement home in Florida and doesn’t have to spend a day in jail.
Through his mouthpiece, Kersey, the 72 year-old DiBlasio betrayed Traficant, his long time friend and partner in crime, and claimed, "This guy [the bald infidel] has a way to make people feel obligated [to him]. He bullies people around; that’s his nature."
The Warren Tribune Chronicle wrote, "Kersey also said DiBlasio has had severe heart problems and is in need of continual medical care. Since the ordeal began two years ago, Kersey said, DiBlasio lost a considerable amount of weight, needs a cane to walk and has lost much color in his face." We think Kersey left out that his client also may have endured acne, bad breath, loss of hearing, loss of soul, can’t urinate, and suffers from flatulence, crabs and UBI.
In a dramatic finale Kersey claimed, DiBlasio’s "next step may be fatal!"
We can only hope.
Mafia Hall of Fame
Sam Moffie, a Mahoning Valley businessman, is looking to create a Mafia Hall of Fame right in the middle of Crime Town USA. AmericanMafia.com can’t think of a better place for it.
New York City, still the home of five active Mafia families, has enough attractions. Chicago has been trying for decades to live down its past. For a while they had Capone’s Chicago, a cheesy, yet fun, little museum downtown that didn’t draw enough visitors to remain viable, and closed. Both cities have guided tours to "mob sites" around the city.
Youngstown, with its colorful past, would be the perfect spot providing, as Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains stated, "If its accurate and tastefully done and brings people downtown."
Gains told a Warren Tribune Chronicle reporter, "I hope they show the Mafia has been destroyed here, and we actually have honest people in government and won’t be corrupted by them [the Mafia].
That being said, AM.com was told last week that gambling and bookmaking continues to take place in the Valley. While we believe it has been dealt its most serious blow by the Craig Morford-led dismantling of the Strollo operation, it remains to be seen if it’s "been destroyed." Be assured that local FBI boss John "Raising" Kane is going to make sure it stays in check.
Meanwhile, Moffie says the Mafia Hall of Fame "would be an opportunity to get Mahoning County and the Mahoning Valley out of the culture of corruption." He didn’t explain how this would be accomplished. The museum would not "glorify the Mafia lifestyle, but instead, "It would be a hall of fame that plays up crime fighters and education – what the Mafia is, how it operates and how to stop it."
In addition, the Tribune Chronicle reports, Moffie "would like to see a theme bar and restaurant with a gift shop. Sandwiches and drinks would be named after famous mobsters, crime fighters and crooked politicians."
"I’ll even keep a job at the door for Traficant when he gets out of jail," Moffie joked. At AmericanMafia.com we think that Traficant would make the perfect men’s room attendant. With Jimbo’s gift of gab and his love of discussing his bowels this position would be a great fit for him. Then the ex-Congressman could live off the profits from the pay toilets instead of ripping off constituents. Make sure to pay your taxes Jimbo.
New York (1) – Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederic Block severed the case of film producer Julius Nasso and his brother Vincent from that of Peter Gotti and several other racketeers during a preliminary hearing on October 1. Block said he was just simplifying the pending trial after hearing arguments from the Nassos’ attorneys, who pointed out that few, if any, of the racketeering charges involve their clients. Block also indicated he was considering setting bail for Primo Cassarino, who has been held since returning to jail after an operation on his young daughter. Attending the hearing was Gambino Family boss Peter Gotti, fresh from a month and a half in solitary confinement. After the hearing Peter was sent back to the hole. Block has yet to set a trial date.
New York (2) – Chalk up another Bonanno Family bust for the feds. Last Wednesday morning’s indictments and arrests bring to 26 the number of Bonnano-ites indicted this year. Among the 11 nailed on October 2 were "acting underboss" Richard Cantarella and his wife, Lauretta Castelli of Staten Island. Agents yanked the pair and their son, Paul, out of bed during the early morning arrests. The charges against the reputed members include kidnapping, robbery, extortion and gambling. Cantarella is charged with the murder of New York Post delivery superintendent Robert Perrino. The Post employee, an alleged associate of the Bonanno Family, disappeared May 5, 1992 a month after he was indicted on fraud and racketeering charges involving the newspaper. The paperwork filed by the feds states, "Cantarella, among others, feared that if arrested, Perrino was ‘weak’ and that he might cooperate…" Castelli, accused of laundering extortion money through her bank accounts and witness tampering, was released on a $750,000 bond, which was covered by the couples’ million dollar Staten Island mansion. Cantarella’s attorney, Matthew "That’s A" Mari, said his client has "nothing to do with [Perrino’s] disappearance. No one even knows if the guy was murdered. He just disappeared. Who knows where he went?" Mari should know. After all, he represented him at the time he disappeared. Because of that prosecutors will try to remove him from the case. Meanwhile, Cantarella will remain behind bars because the feds consider the "acting underboss" to be a "danger to society." Joe Massino, the boss of the Bonanno Family, going into this year reportedly had the smallest family of the five in New York City. If this keeps up he going to need "acting associates" to fill out his crime family.
In a related story, Supreme Court Justice Joseph J. Maltese refused a motion by lawyers for Steven Seagal to dismiss a $60 million lawsuit filed by Julius Nasso against the actor for breach of contract. Maltese set a date of February 4, 2003 for both sides to return to court.
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