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What's In A Name
· Agnello Deal Nixed
· When Does This Guy Shut Up
· This Week in Mob History

LAST ISSUE 8-13-01


Saying "Uncle"

     Thursday, August 6 brought a rush of media attention to Springfield, Missouri when John Gotti was taken from the U. S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners to St. John’s Regional Health Center, a local hospital, after doctors discovered an irregular heartbeat.

     The former "Teflon Don" is clearly on his last leg. Since neither Gotti nor the Government is ever going to give in I hereby announce "Uncle" for the ex-Gambino Boss.

     Unless we are being duped, John Gotti is on his deathbed. So let him die with a little dignity. Move him to a hospital closer to home where he can receive proper medical care and have his family by his side in these last days. This is not an unheard of practice for mob figures. Nicholas Civella, the long-time leader of the Kansas City Family, was released so he could die with family members at his side, as was Milton "Maische" Rockman, the financial master of the Cleveland Family and the brother-in-law of both John Scalish and Angelo Lonardo.

     Reports out of Springfield last week were that armed guards were seated in the room wearing bulletproof vests. What is the thinking here? Is the mob is going to kidnap John Gotti and fly him to the Mayo Clinic. Why isn’t the airforce on call? Or do they know, like everyone else, that Gotti hates to fly? What’s next? A full military alert? Tomahawk missiles aimed at the hospital?

     I am not a Gotti-phile – one of those faithful followers that worships this man. He got what he deserved. He had a great run at beating the government and then he got his just deserve. However, that was ten years ago and his life is nearly over. John Gotti is no longer a threat, he’s dying, let him die in peace. With the FBI and the Justice Department getting so much negative press these days, perhaps this would show their detractors that there is some compassion, a small dose of humanity left, on their part.

What’s In A Name     ^TOP

     On Friday, August 10, in what was described as a "thundering condemnation," a New York City assistant district attorney ripped Brooklyn Police Officer Joseph Gray, the inebriated cop who mowed down three people, killing them and an unborn baby, while on his way to work after a 12 hour drinking binge.

     The assistant district attorney that leveled the barrage was Joseph Petrosino. Is this a relative of the famous New York City Detective Joseph Petrosino that gave his life investigating the Black Hand in that city. In 1909 Petrosino’s investigation took him to Palermo, Sicily where an assassin, alleged to be Don Vito Cascio Ferro, murdered him.

     Does anyone out there have any information on this courageous young prosecutor?

     Another possible connection in the news lately came with the sentencing of two brothers, John and Vincent DiCarlo, who were found guilty back in March of a bid-rigging scheme that involved supplying food to the New York City schools. The two were sentenced a couple of weeks ago to home confinement for six months. AM.com wonders if these two are related to Debbie DiCarlo, the ex-bookkeeper and adulteress lover of Carmine Agnello. While some might think the two brothers got off easy with home detention, the way the New York Post described Debbie DiCarlo, being stuck at home with her might have the men wishing soon they were in solitary in Attica.

Agnello Deal Nixed     ^TOP

     Speaking of Carmine, last week AM.com reported that Agnello, the son-in-law of John Gotti, was about to plead guilty to charges of racketeering, arson, extortion and tax evasion. The deal, which was supposed to go down on Friday, August 10, never materialized. Agnello’s lawyers, Scott Leemon and Benjamin Brafman, released a joint statement claiming "we were never able to reach an agreement acceptable to Mr. Agnello..."

     The deal was rumored to have Agnello going to prison for up to nine years and paying an $11 million dollar fine. If he goes to trial and is convicted he faces up to 20 years in prison. The trial for the "junk metal magnate" is scheduled to begin on September 10 and could last as long as two months. Look for Carmine to start dealing again – soon.

     Can you imagine the government sentencing the philandering Agnello to home confinement? Who would want to be in Carmine’s shoes after being caught fooling around and then stuck in the same house with wife, Victoria Gotti, who is feverishly seeking a divorce? Last week I mentioned that Agnello, rumored to be worth $40 million, wouldn’t be worth $40 dollars when Victoria’s lawyers got done with him. Serving home confinement, he wouldn’t be worth that much. He’d probably end up "trunk music" in his own garage.

     And speaking of Benjamin Brafman. Does anyone find it peculiar that Brafman, who was hand picked by John Gotti to represent Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano after Gerald Shargel was declared null and void for him back in 1991, is now representing Carmine Agnello. The "Dapper Don" was never impressed with his son-in-law and on kinder days considers him just a buffoon.

When Does This Guy Shut Up     ^TOP

     Prior to the start of the Gold Club trial, attorney Steve Sadow stood on the steps of the Atlanta Court House and announced, "The government does not have a case and we’re going to beat their lights out." He then proceeded to criticize and belittle the prosecutors on a daily basis. Then in early August Sadow’s client, alleged Gambino Family associate Steve Kaplan, was allowed to plead guilty. How did that happen Mr. Sadow?

     Sadow flapped his gums for months claiming that his client was not guilty. Now his "not guilty" client has lost his $50 million dollar strip club, has to pay a $5.0 million fine, pay $250,000 to victimized patrons of the club, pay $50,000 in restitution to Delta Airlines, and was sentenced to three years in prison. These costs obviously don’t include the hefty bill Kaplan is going to receive from Sadow.

     How does attorney Sadow feel about this turn of events? While drinking free Dom Perignon at a "sayonara party" held at the Gold Club, Sadow claimed victory because the end sentence was less than what the government had originally offered. "In the deal offered before the trial, he would have had to forfeit the club and $7.5 million," Sadow said. This indicates that Sadow knew early on that his client was guilty and allowed the government to ring up a multimillion-dollar price tag to prosecute the case.

     In the original offer Kaplan was to be sentenced to 30 months in prison – without challenge. Sadow is now free to try to negotiate a sentence that is less than the three years US District Judge Willis Hunt handed his client. "I intend to argue for a year and a day," Sadow bragged. Let’s see how many billable hours Sadow racks up arguing for his "not guilty" client.

     In the meantime, not all the defendants in the case pled guilty. The trial continues for two men, one of which is alleged Gambino Family capo Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo. His attorney Craig Gillen, who does not "talk to the media while cases are proceeding," told the media, "Michael DiLeonardo will not plead to one charge, not one page, not one sentence of that indictment. When he was charged, he entered a plea of not guilty, and he really meant it. (Unlike Steve Kaplan obviously) We look forward to getting back to court and concluding the trial."

     Do you believe that DiLeonardo is not taking a plea because, A) He’s not guilty, or B) because John Gotti had a strict rule against Gambino Family members accepting a plea?

This Week in Mob History     ^TOP

August 20, 1970 – Ignazio Denaro, underboss of the Philadelphia Family, died of natural causes in Los Angeles. In the late 1950s Denaro was ordered to kill Angelo Bruno, then a rival of "interim" boss Antonio Pollino. Instead, Denaro warned Bruno, who took up the matter with the "Commission." Bruno was eventually named boss of the family, but because he didn’t have Pollino killed he earned the nickname the "Docile Don."

August 21, 1935 – James "Jimmy Needles" LaCapra, was a one-time lieutenant of Kansas City mob boss Johnny Lazia. In the turmoil after the Kansas City Massacre in 1933 LaCapra turned on Lazia and many considered him responsible for his murder in July 1934. Associates of Lazia set out to kill LaCapra, who turned himself into the FBI and gave them a "fantastic" account of who participated in the Massacre. LaCapra was still in fear for his life in January 1935 and was advised by FBI agents to leave for South America where he had family. LaCapra refused and instead went to New York where his bullet riddled body was found by police on a highway ten miles west of Poughkeepsie.

August 21, 1939 – Hyman Yuram was found in a lime pit near Loch Sheldrake. During the late 1930s Louis "Lepke" Buchalter was a fugitive and ordering the murders of anyone that could tie him to any wrongdoing. Yuram had once operated a dress company with Lepke. The discovery of his body led Allie Tannenbaum to begin cooperating with Abe "Kid Twist" Reles in the infamous Murder, Inc. investigation.

August 21, 1954 – Frank Maritote, alias Frank Diamond, a one-time bodyguard for "Big Al," was related to the Capone family through the marriage of his brother John to Mafalda Capone, the only Capone daughter to survive childhood. In 1943 Maritote was indicted in the famous Hollywood Extortion Case. Convicted and sentenced to ten years in Leavenworth, Maritote served less than half the time. Like Charles "Cherry Nose" Gioe, a codefendant in the case, Maritote tried to move back into the Chicago rackets. On August 18 Gioe was murdered. Three days later the 61 year-old Maritote was gunned down in front of his 4 year-old son after pulling into his driveway and getting out to open the garage door.

August 22, 1935 – Vincenzo Troia, according to Organized Crime: 25 Years After Valachi, was "formerly a close associate of ‘boss of all bosses’ Salvatore Maranzano and himself a nominee for the position following the death of Giuseppe Masseria in 1931. He was shot to death for allegedly plotting to seize control of the Newark, New Jersey, Family." Any AM.com readers ever hear of this guy?

August 22, 1959 – Fred Evans was described as a "financial wizard" of the Chicago mob with ties dating back to Frank Nitti in the early 1940s. The late William F. Roemer claims Evans was one of the first Chicago hoods that he recruited as an informant during the summer of 1959. His stint providing information to the FBI didn’t last long. Three weeks after talking to Roemer and his partner, Evans was shot four times in the head and throat.

August 22, 1974 – Frank Zito, boss of a small family located in Springfield, Illinois, died of natural causes. Anyone out there have any information on this guy?

August 22, 1976 – Leo "Lips" Moceri, underboss to James "Jack White" Licavoli, disappeared after leaving a meeting with Licavoli in the Little Italy section of Cleveland on his way back to Akron, Ohio. The Cleveland Mafia was in the middle of a war against John Nardi, the son-in-law of Anthony Milano, and his muscleman Danny Greene. Moceri was a relative of the Licavoli family and had participated in crimes with them dating back to their Purple Gang days in Detroit and Toledo during the 1920s and 30s. In the 1950s he was associated with James "Jimmy the Weasel" Fratianno and served as a back-up driver during the murders of the "Two Tonys" in Los Angeles. The night Moceri disappeared he was driving his girlfriend’s Lincoln Continental. On September 1 the car was found, with bloodstains in the trunk, in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn outside Akron. His body has never been found.

August 23, 2000 – Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, the boss of the New York Lucchese Family from 1973 to 1986, died of natural causes in the U. S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, where John Gotti is currently receiving treatment. Corallo was convicted during the famous "Commission Trial" and sentenced to 100 years in prison. The mob boss received his colorful nickname because of "his knack for ducking subpoenas and convictions." In 1982 FBI agents planted a listening device in the Jaguar of Salvatore Avellino, Jr., Corallo’s driver, and recorded damaging conversations. Corallo succeeded Carmine Tramunti, who was convicted of federal perjury charges in October 1973.

August 25, 1972 - Louis D. Shoulders was a member of a "hoodlum element" that led a bloody struggle for control of Laborer’s Local 42 in St. Louis during the mid-to-late 1960s. Shoulders was killed in a car bombing.

Contact: AllanMay@AmericanMafia.com


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