Feature Articles

September 2001

The Mayor of Chinatown

By John William Tuohy

     Willie Moy is a big shot in Chicago's enormous, and growing Chinese community, or at least he was until 1991 when federal prosecutors convicted Moy of tax conspiracy. The charges stemmed from a 1986 raid on a Chinese mob casino, run by the so-called On Leong faction, which was netting the gang about two million dollars.

     According to former Chicago lawyer turned mob informant Robert Cooley, Moy and another man gave him $100,000, to pass on to former First Ward Alderman Fred Roti and Pat Marcy. Marcy was the legendary mobbed-up secretary of the First Ward Democratic Organization and made member of the Mafia who came to power under Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana. Moy wanted Marcy to "influence" the outcome of a 1981 murder case in the Cook County Circuit Court.

     The On Leong had been active in Chicago, as long as the Mafia, perhaps even longer. Established in 1880, it was set up as a benevolent association, intended to help Chinese immigrants in Chicago.

     But, by 1900 it was known to be running rigged gambling casinos all over the Windy City's original Chinatown located between Polk Street and Congress. Later on the gang, and large numbers of Chinese flowed down to 22nd Street, the old vice section known as the Levee. When that closed, the group followed Chicago underworld characters to the South Side.

     Today, the On Leong is at an all time high, flush with cash and power, although it still lacks the political and police clout that the Chicago Mafia holds. The gang is active in money laundering, on an international basis and works closely with Chinese gangs in the Asian mainland, mostly in counterfeiting, computer software theft and smuggling illegal goods into the U.S.

     The Asian based traffickers in human cargo, the so-called "snakeheads," work on a $15,000 commission. For that money, they smuggle an illegal alien into the United States with a vague promise of employment waiting them at the end of the journey. Of course, there isn't any and most of these immigrants end up as slave labor in restaurants or brothels.

     Chicago's other oriental gangster of note is a Japanese born gambler whose testimony in a number of other mob cases helped to put a lot of hoods away for life. Eto is currently in the Federal Witness Protection Program. He entered the program after the outfit sent a hitman out to shoot the Bookie dead, but he goofed the job up. Eto lived and now he's telling the Feds everything they want to know.

     One of the men that Eto's testimony helped to send away was Frankie Breeze Calabrese. Eto was into Frankie Breeze for $10,000 in juice loans in 1983, which he was forced to pay back at 5% interest a week.

     In 1981, Ken Eto made a series of monthly $ 1,000 payments to John Monteleone through Infelise and Marino. These payments were to buy police protection from the Vice Control Division of the Chicago Police Department for Eto's monte game.

     At last reports, Eto was in hiding in South America.

Mr. Tuohy can be reached at

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