Saturday, October 25, 2008
Several theories tie JFK’s assassination to the Mafia. Jack Ruby, the man who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald (JFK’s accused assassin), was a known mob associate. One theory attributes motive to the Mafia through the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. The Mafia reportedly hated that Cuba was in the hands of Fidel Castro, who had thrown them out of their lucrative Cuban casino businesses when he came to power. The invasion was an utter failure attributed by some to Kennedy’s refusal to approve air support.
Another theory points to JFK’s brother, Robert, whom JFK appointed to the position of attorney general after he was elected president. Once appointed, Robert Kennedy immediately began a Mafia crackdown. Robert also died from an assassin’s bullet.
Another rumor plays on suggestions that JFK kept several mistresses and girlfriends, some of whom were known to associate with mobsters. Some evidence, including federal wiretaps, shows that mobster Sam Giancana may have set JFK up with various women, all the while recording proof of the President’s extra-marital affairs. Conspiracy theorists have speculated that it was hit men sent by Giancana who murdered Marilyn Monroe, one of JFK’s supposed girlfriends. Giancana himself was murdered shortly before he was due to testify on the Mafia/Kennedy connections.
Thanks to Nicks Free Info
"This has effectively dismantled both chapters in Southern Nevada," said Lt. David Logue, head of Metro's intelligence unit. Mongol chapters operated in Las Vegas and Henderson, he said.
Its members and their charges include:
- -- Harold Reynolds, known as "Face," 40, of Las Vegas, charged in federal warrants with racketeering influenced and corrupt organizations (RICO) conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
- -- David Padilla, also known as "Lazy Dave," 36, of Las Vegas, charged in federal warrants with RICO conspiracy, racketeering influenced and corrupt organizations, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
- -- Ismael Padilla, also known as "Milo," 33, of Las Vegas, charged in federal warrants with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
- -- William Ramirez, also known as "Moreno," 38, of Las Vegas, charged in federal warrants with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
- -- Jason Hull, also known as "Big Jay," 33, of Las Vegas, charged in federal warrants with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
- -- John Babcock, also known as "Sinister," 43, of Las Vegas, charged in a state warrant with unlawful transfer of a firearm.
- -- Gary Lawson, also known as "T.C.," 49, of Las Vegas was taken into custody in California as part of the operation.
Metro Police said at least nine motorcycles were confiscated, along with five revolvers, a chrome-plated pistol, three shotguns, numerous rifles and semi-automatic weapons. Some weapons and money were on display at a Tuesday news conference, said Bill Cassel, public information officer for Metro Police.
The federal racketeering indictment unsealed in Los Angeles also alleges the name "Mongols," which was trademarked by the gang, is subject to forfeiture.
The massive law enforcement crackdown against the Mongols, dubbed "Operation Black Rain," began three and a half years ago by various agencies, including local police, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Lt. David Logue, Metro Police intelligence chief.
Four agents outside of Nevada went undercover and earned a patch, becoming Mongol members, Logue said.
Former national Mongol president Ruben Cavazos was arrested at his home near South Hills Country Club in West Covina, authorities said.
Law enforcement officers served a total of 110 federal arrest warrants and 160 search warrants in Southern California, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Washington state and Ohio. Seven of those warrants were served in Las Vegas by members of Metro Police, Henderson and North Las Vegas SWAT teams. No one resisted arrest and there were no injuries, Logue said.
Mongol members have been involved in previous criminal activity in Las Vegas.
Nine men, two of them Mongol members, were named in a federal grand jury indictment unsealed in April 2004 in Las Vegas on 73 counts of murder in connection with a shootout at Harrah's Laughlin casino at a 2002 gathering known as the River Run that left three people dead. Others involved were from the rival Hell's Angels motorcycle gang, authorities said. The shootout killed Salvador Barrera, Robert Tumelty and Jeremy Bell.
About a half dozen people formed the gang in the 1970s because they were banned from joining the notorious Hell's Angels motorcycle group due to their Hispanic heritage. The Mongol gang began attracting members with criminal tendencies as it grew and was then labeled "outlaw" by law enforcement officials.
The Mongols tend to recruit younger, more violent people from street gangs, said Thomas L. Chittum III, resident agent in charge in the Las Vegas branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Thanks to Mary Manning
Cadicamo's defense attorney, Ronald K. Cacciatore, said a key witness against his client will be John Alite, who is awaiting trial on similar charges. Alite was part of a case that went to trial in 2005 against Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio and three others. But Alite was in prison in Brazil after fleeing to Latin America.
Cacciatore and a federal prosecutor agree that John Alite was a dangerous criminal when he was on the streets, but they differ on Cadicamo's relationship with Alite.
Prosecutors described Alite as a crime crew leader who answered to Trucchio and was friends with Gotti.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Trezevant said Alite was thinking about cooperating with the government when he fled the country in 2003 after hearing threats against his life. Trezevant said Cadicamo was in frequent contact with Alite as he traveled in Cuba, South America, Greece and Africa. After he was arrested, Alite called Cadicamo from a prison in Brazil.
Cacciatore said in court papers that Alite extorted and threatened Cadicamo. A witness says Alite said he was going to hurt Cadicamo before Alite went to jail, Cacciatore said. He told the same witness he was going to persuade another witness to turn on Cadicamo and hurt him, Cacciatore said.
"I've counted at least 15 people who Mr. Alite has threatened," Cacciatore said. "Prior to Mr. Alite's arrest, … he threatened a lawyer in New York, threatened to whack him."
Cadicamo, on the other hand, has never been convicted of a violent felony and is "not going to harm anybody," Cacciatore said. "He's not going anyplace" if he is freed on bail.
Trezevant described Cadicamo as a dangerous person who committed crimes while he was on probation. He associated with members of a crew in New York that was called the "Young Guns," Trezevant said, and made plans to harm a federal witness.
Trezevant played a portion of a recorded conversation between Cadicamo and his father, Victor, after Cadicamo was arrested. Cadicamo can be heard telling his father to get rid of items. Trezevant suggested this involved evidence Cadicamo didn't want authorities to find.
"I want you to go in my closet downstairs," Cadicamo says at one point.
"I took care of it already," his father responds.
Asked about the recording after the hearing, Victor Cadicamo said his son was talking about watches he didn't want anyone to steal.
Thanks to Elaine Silvestrini
“The addition of CBP will only strengthen the partnership of the NGIC aimed at combating violent crime and gangs,” said Assistant Director Kenneth W. Kaiser.“ The NGIC provides the law enforcement community with a one-stop-shop mechanism for submitting requests for information and conducting relational analysis of gang information as it pertains to past and present gang investigations.”
“CBP has to be an intelligence driven organization to provide information to frontline officers to protect the nation from criminal gangs,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham. “CBP's Office of Intelligence and Operations Coordination recently announced an Anti-Gang Initiative related to fighting the growth, migration, criminal activity, and affiliation of gangs who pose a threat to our nation's security and to public safety. We welcome the ability to add the resources of NGIC to our ongoing efforts to collaborate with other federal agencies and our state and local partners to combat this unique threat.”
The NGIC is designed to combine the manpower and resources of partner federal agencies responsible for investigating and gathering intelligence on violent street and motorcycle gangs. The center supports law enforcement agencies through timely and accurate information sharing and strategic/tactical analysis of federal, state, and local law enforcement information focusing on the growth, migration, criminal activity, and association of gangs that pose a significant threat to communities throughout the U.S.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Show Days and Times:
- Saturday, November 15th, 2008 - 9:30 am-5:00 pm - $7.00 per person
- Sunday, November 16th, 2008 - 9:30 am-3:00 pm - $7.00 per person
- Friday, November 14th, 2008 is Early Bird Preview Day - $50.00 per person 7:00 am-5:00 pm (Good for admission all 3 days)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI was certainly aware of that confrontation as he prepared this past weekend to visit Pompeii. The southern Italian city, near the ruins of an ancient site buried by a Mount Vesuvius volcanic eruption, lies in the heart of the region controlled by the Camorra. The Naples-based organized crime syndicate has lately tightened its grip on the impoverished region, with more killing sprees and a high-profile death threat against a young writer. But unlike John Paul, Benedict said nothing at all about the Mob in his Sunday homily. Did the Pope back down in the face of one of Italy's most entrenched and destructive evils?
Many were counting on another papal mention about the Mob as violence in the region reaches new heights. Last month, a Camorra death squad unleashed a fury of submachine-gun fire, killing seven immigrants in a single attack. A week ago, reports surfaced of a pointed death threat against Naples writer Roberto Saviano, 28, whose best-selling book Gomorrah, and the movie based on it, reveal the extent of the Camorra's influence and dirty dealings. While the Pope remained silent, more than 100,000 people signed a petition this week in support of Saviano, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, Orhan Pamuk, Günter Grass, Jose Saramago and Jonathan Franzen. "It is intolerable that all this can happen in Europe, and in 2008," reads the petition. "The state must make every effort possible to protect (Saviano) and defeat the Camorra." The movie version of Saviano's book, directed by Matteo Garrone, won second prize at the Cannes film festival this year and is Italy's entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
When reporters asked why the Pope had said nothing on such a burning topic in Pompeii, Vatican spokesman Reverand Ciro Benedettini said Benedict had intentionally avoided referring to the Camorra as a "show of respect for decent people" of the region, who "are the vast majority." The Pope, the spokesman added, had also talked about organized crime in a visit last year to Naples, though admittedly not with the same confrontational tone as John Paul did in Sicily.
Benedict's silence has generated a small rumbling of dissent from both inside and outside the church. "It could seem that there is fear now to confront the Mob, and call it by its name," Don Vitaliano Della Sala, a leftist priest from nearby Avellino, said in a Monday radio interview. He drew a parallel between Benedict's decision not to speak out Sunday and the controversy stirring over Pope Pius XII's alleged silence about the Holocaust during World War II.
That analogy seems a stretch: the Italian authorities' decades-long battle to uproot the Mob bears little comparison to the Nazis' state-run policy of genocide. But the comparison between Benedict and his immediate predecessor is illuminating. John Paul not only possessed a pastoral charisma that made him beloved among his flock, but also he could call on a reserve of public passion in order to confront a problem facing his church or the world at large. That kind of fire is simply not in this Pontiff's arsenal.
Thanks to Jeff Israely
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA )
) No. 02 CR 1050
Judge James B. Zagel
FRANK CALABRESE SR., et al. )
This cause comes before the Court on motion of the United States for imposition of
restitution, pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (“MVRA”), in the above-captioned matter against defendants Frank Calabrese Sr., James Marcello, Joseph Lombardo, Paul Schiro, and Anthony Doyle.1 For the reasons discussed below, these defendants are jointly and severally liable for a total restitution amount of $3,909,166.30.2
Defendants Frank Calabrese Sr., James Marcello, Joseph “The Clown” Lombardo, Paul “The Indian” Schiro, and Anthony “Twan” Doyle were convicted as a result of their criminal participation in a racketeering enterprise known as the Chicago Outfit. The charged conspiracy involved, among other categories of criminal conduct, the murders of 18 individuals. See Doc. #397 at 9-10. There is little dispute that these murders were part of the conspiracy, and were committed to advance the criminal objectives of the Chicago Outfit.
The jury in its Special Verdict forms, moreover, concluded that James Marcello, Joseph Lombardo, and Frank Calabrese Sr. personally participated in Outfit murders;3 the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on Paul Schiro’s involvement in the Vaci homicide. In addition, Doyle, a long-time Chicago Police Officer and member of the conspiracy since the 1960's, knew full well that the Outfit committed homicides. Doyle in fact was taped discussing that the Outfit killed people with Calabrese Sr.,4 and indeed personally attempted to obstruct the investigation of the Outfit homicide of John Fecarotta. It would therefore be frivolous to argue that it was not foreseeable to defendants that the racketeering conspiracy they joined in the 1950's and 60's, and never withdrew from, involved homicides. Because defendants were convicted for their involvement in a the Outfit’s racketeering conspiracy, because the charged murders advanced the Outfit’s illegal objectives, and because such murders were known and/or foreseeable to the defendants, defendants Calabrese Sr., Marcello, Lombardo, Schiro, and Doyle must be held jointly and severally responsible for restitution to the estates of the murder victims.
The MVRA defines a “victim” as:
[A] person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of an offense for which restitution may be ordered including, in the case of an offense that involves as an element a scheme, conspiracy, or pattern of criminal activity, any person directly harmed by the defendant's criminal conduct in the course of the scheme, conspiracy, or pattern.
18 U.S.C. § 3663A(a)(2) (2000) (emphasis added); see also 18 U.S.C. § 3663(a)(1)(A) (authorizing restitution for defendants “convicted of an offense under [Title 18]”). If, as here, the victims of the violent crimes are deceased, the Court must order restitution payable to the victims’ estates. 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(a)(1). Moreover, according to 18 U.S.C. § 3664(h):
If the court finds that more than 1 defendant has contributed to the loss of a victim, the court may make each defendant liable for payment of the full amount of restitution or may apportion liability among the defendants to reflect the level of contribution to the victim's loss and economic circumstances of each defendant. There is substantial case law dealing situations where, as here, murder victims’ estates, the victims’ families, or the victims’ dependents, including widows and children, are entitled to receive restitution payments:
• United States v. Douglas, 525 F.3d 225, 253-54 (2d Cir. 2008) (affirming restitution award
for funeral expenses and lost income under 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(3), (4));
• United States v. Serawop, 505 F.3d 1112, 1125, 1128 (10th Cir. 2007) (defendant convicted
of voluntary manslaughter ordered to pay restitution for lost income to estate of three-month
• United States v. Cienfuegos, 462 F.3d 1160, 1164 (9th Cir. 2006) (finding the victim’s estate
was entitled to restitution);
• United States v. Oslund, 453 F.3d 1048, 1063 (8th Cir. 2006) (affirming restitution order
awarding lost future income under the MVRA and stating that “[w]hen the crime causes the
death of a victim, the representative of that victim’s estate or a family member may assume
the victim’s rights”) (citing 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(a)(2));
• United States v. Pizzichiello, 272 F.3d 1232, 1240-41 (9th Cir. 2001) (victim’s surviving
family members properly awarded lost income, funeral, and travel expenses under the
• United States v. Checora, 175 F.3d 782, 795 (10th Cir. 1999) (defendants convicted of voluntary manslaughter ordered to pay restitution for the support of the victim’s minor children that were directly and proximately harmed as a result of the victim’s death);
• United States v. Razo-Leora, 961 F.2d 1140, 1146 (5th Cir. 1992) (defendants convicted of charges related to a murder-for-hire conspiracy ordered to pay restitution for lost income to the murder victim’s widow);
• United States v. Jackson, 978 F.2d 903, 915 (5th Cir. 1992 )(“[T]he district court has the authority to order the defendants to pay the victims’ estates an amount equal to the victims’ lost income . . . .”);
• United States v. Roach, 2008 WL 163569, at *3-5, 9 (W.D.N.C. Jan. 16, 2008) (restitution awarded for lost income based on reasonable assumptions that murder victim would work 40 hours per week for 50 weeks per year until age 65 at state minimum wage and receive two percent increase per year);
• United States v. Visinaiz, 344 F. Supp.2d 1310, 1312-13 (D. Utah 2004) (MVRA requires restitution for lost income in homicide cases; no ex post facto implication); and
• United States v. Bedonie, 317 F. Supp.2d 1285, 1288-90 (D. Utah 2004), rev’d on other grounds, 413 F.3d 1126 (10th Cir. 2005) (court appointed an expert to calculate lost income who made reasonable and reliable race- and sex-neutral projections of future lost income without any discount for possible “consumption” of income by the victims).
In a conspiracy such as this, co-conspirators must be held jointly and severally liable for the total foreseeable restitution amount. See generally United States v. Rand, 403 F.3d 489, 495 (7th Cir. 2005) (“[Defendant] may be held responsible for losses caused by the foreseeable acts of his co-conspirators. Co-conspirators generally are jointly and severally liable for injuries caused by the conspiracy . . . .”), citing United States v. Martin, 195 F.3d 961, 968-69 (7th Cir. 1999); United States v. Amato, 540 F.3d 153, 163 (2nd Cir. 2008) (holding that it was “within the district court's discretion to make [defendant] jointly and severally liable for entire loss that [victim] suffered as a result of conspiracy even while apportioning liability of some of [defendant's] co-conspirators.”). The evidence at trial established the proposition, understood well by the co-conspirators, that an “authorized”/”okayed” murder was a powerful weapon in the Outfit’s punishment and control arsenal. In addition, the recorded February 11 and 12, 1962, discussions attached hereto as Government Exhibit A graphically highlight the Outfit’s long-standing use of murder to achieve its criminal objectives. During the two surreptitiously recorded Miami, Florida, meetings between Jack Cerone, Dave Yarras, Pete LNU, James Vincent “Turk” Torello, and others, the men discuss various Outfit murders (indeed, the men were assembled in Florida to kill union boss Frank Esposito). The foreseeability prong of the analysis therefore strongly favors a full restitution award.
Turning to what evidence the Court can consider in its effort to determine the total loss, the MVRA specifically provides for restitution to “the victim for income lost by such victim as a result of the offense,” and states that the restitution amount shall represent “the full amount” of the victim’s loss. 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(2)(C); § 3664(f)(1)(A); see also Roach, 2008 WL 163569, at *8-9 (restitution awarded for lost income based on reasonable assumptions that murder victim would work 40 hours per week for 50 weeks per year until age 65 at state minimum wage and receive two percent increase per year). Applied to the present case, the inquiry thus centers on approximating the future income of the above-described murder victims. Cienfuegos, 462 F.3d at 1164 (“Any victim suffering bodily injury or death necessarily incurs the income lost only after the injury, i.e. in the future, as a consequence of the defendant’s violent act.”).5 This income figure must include prejudgment interest through the date of sentencing “to make up for the loss of the funds’ capacity to grow.” United States v. Shepard, 269 F.3d 884, 886 (7th Cir. 2001) (relying on 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(1)(B)(i)(II) and In re Oil Spill by the Amoco Cadiz, 954 F.2d 1279, 1311-35 (7th Cir.1992)).
“The determination of appropriate restitution is by nature an inexact science.” United States v. Williams, 292 F.3d 681, 688 (10th Cir. 2002). Though not required to do so, the government has engaged Financial Forensic Expert and Certified Public Accountant Michael D. Pakter to prepare a report calculating the lost estimated earning capacity of the identified murder victims. See generally Cienfuegos, 462 F.3d at 1169 (requiring non-speculative basis for calculations). Michael D. Pakter’s twenty-two page report is attached hereto as Government Exhibit B.
The calculations set forth in the attached report are based on conservative assumptions,6 see Government Exhibit B at 16-18, and constitute the best available evidence of the proper restitution amount under the MVRA. The government has therefore sustained its burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence the losses sustained by the victims, and has established that Outfit murders were at a minimum reasonably foreseeable to Calabrese Sr., James Marcello, Lombardo, Schiro, and Doyle. See generally 18 U.S.C. § 3664(e) (Court resolves restitution disputes by preponderance of the evidence standard); Razo-Leora, 961 F.2d at 1146 (“The prosecution has the burden of demonstrating the amount of loss sustained by the victim and proving this loss by a preponderance of the evidence.”); see also Doc. #839 (government’s summary of trial evidence presented against each defendant). The government therefore asks this Court to hold defendants Calabrese Sr., James Marcello, Joseph Lombardo, Paul Schiro, and Anthony Doyle jointly and severally liable for restitution in the amount of $3,909,166.30. See Government Exhibit B at 7.
PATRICK J. FITZGERALD
United States Attorney
By: s/ T. Markus Funk
T. MARKUS FUNK
Assistant U.S. Attorney
219 South Dearborn, Room 500
Chicago, Illinois 60604
1 Defendant Nicholas Calabrese at trial admitted his involvement in a number of Outfit murders. That testimony, however, was given pursuant to the Court’s grant of immunity. Tr. 2299-2300. Moreover, with the exception of the murder of John Fecarotta, the information provided by Nicholas Calabrese to law enforcement was at all times proffer-protected. See Tr. 2870. The government is restricting the instant restitution request to victims who were not lifelong associates/members of the Chicago Outfit; the Fecarotta homicide is therefore not part of the government’s calculations, and accordingly no restitution is sought as to Nicholas Calabrese.
2 This restitution amount is separate and distinct from defendants’ forfeiture liability. See United States v. Webber, 536 F.3d 584, 602-03 (7th Cir. 2008) (“Forfeiture and restitution are distinct remedies.”).
3 Frank Calabrese Sr. was found to have participated in the murder of Michael Albergo, William Dauber, Charlotte Dauber, Michael Cagnoni, Richard Ortiz, Arthur Morwawki, and John Fecarotta; James Marcello was found to have participated in the murders of Anthony Spilotro and Michael Spilotro; and Joseph Lombardo was found to have participated in the murder Daniel Seifert.
4 See 2-19-2000 Transcript (Doyle telling Calabrese Sr. how James LaPietra and John “Apes” Monteleone without authorization beat another mob associate and as a result were almost ordered killed by Outfit Boss “Skid” Caruso; Doyle: “Had it been where the Old Man was still alive, they’d of went.”)
5 Indirect loss or consequential damages should not be included in any restitution order; only direct, actual losses may be awarded. United States v. Frith, 461 F.3d 914, 921 (7th Cir. 2006), citing 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(a)(2); United States v. George, 403 F.3d 470, 474 (7th Cir. 2005) (“‘Loss’ means direct injury, not consequential damages.”). On the other hand, no expenses for consumption should be deducted from any potential claim for lost future wages; such deductions are not permissible under the MVRA, which provides only for an award of “income lost,” not net income lost. 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(2)(C). Additionally, restitution must be ordered for necessary funeral and related services. 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(3).
6 The government reserves the right to submit an adjusted report if and when the government receives additional/revised income or other information for the victims.
"It's the same for Boris, whether to stab someone with a knife or shoot them," Lev Stratievsky told a wired-up government informant. But Boris Stratievsky wasn't so tough while he was in the Kankakee County Jail for 30 months while awaiting trial on federal money-laundering charges, according to his latest court filing.
"This was not the serving of time, but a form of torture to which no human being should be subjected," he wrote, begging a judge to give him a break at sentencing, which is scheduled for today.
Prosecutors will argue against such a break, saying the U.S. Marshals Service inspects county jails to make sure they meet standards for the care of inmates awaiting trial in federal court. Stratievsky's conditions weren't "truly egregious," prosecutors said.
The feds have contracts with local governments to house some of their pretrial detainees like Stratievsky in county jails.
Stratievsky said he was placed in the general population with gang members who were awaiting trial for murder, arson and other violent crimes. Because he wasn't a gang member, he says he was struck, pushed around and lived in constant fear.
He complained there was no "yard" to exercise in and that a basketball court with a broken backboard was a haven for gang-bangers and an "open invitation to be attacked."
"After one particular attack, which resulted in a terrible fight, I was finally transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center," Stratievsky said of the federal lockup in downtown Chicago.
Stratievsky, who lived in a Highland Park mansion on Lake Michigan and co-owned a Boeing 707, was arrested with his father in an FBI sting in 2005.
In May, he pleaded guilty, admitting he illegally transferred $80,000 in what he thought were drug proceeds from Moscow to a New Jersey bank. In return, he was to get a 20 percent fee.
Stratievsky believed he was working with an associate of Ukrainian drug traffickers, but the man really was an FBI informant, officials say.
Lev and Boris Stratievsky both were held in the Kankakee County Jail. Boris Stratievsky said he saw his father become gravely ill there and believes a lack of medical attention at the jail hastened his father's death.
Boris Stratievsky wrote that he was only allowed a 15-minute visit with his father at the hospital - and a short visit with his father's body after his death.
Thanks to Frank Main
Sunday, October 19, 2008
However, the Post Times Sun Dispatch has learned for a reliable source that John McCain’s Joe the Plumber is in really Joseph “the plumber” Balducci, a 42-year-old wanted for questioning by Cleveland police in connection with the bombing of a voting machine warehouse on Euclid Avenue, the wiping off of thousands of names from the voting roles in heavily Democratic counties in Ohio, and for intimidation of minority voters. Balducci along with Anthony “Tony the fixer” LaMonica are suspected of carrying out the orders of Mafia boss Leonardo Cardi to fix the election in Ohio in favor of Republican candidates.
“No wonder McCain’s tax plan works for Joe the Plumber and Obama’s doesn’t,” said Senator Joe Biden, “it’s payback for Balducci and gang for unclogging the political pipes for the Republicans, if you know what I mean.”
McCain denied the charge saying Joe “was just an ordinary plumber making $2.8 million a year, or was I supposed to say that Joe?”
Mr. Balducci refused to talk with the Post Times Sun Dispatch but informed the paper by an anonymous call that if the owners of the publication wanted to keep their kneecaps operating properly, they should "forgetaboutit.”
Satire Courtesy of R.J. Shulman
At least that's the assessment of experts who monitor groups like the Russian Mafia in Los Angeles County.
"They take advantage," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Larry Hastings. "The more money that's out there; if there's some type of scam they can get into, they'll go after it. If there's an angle they'll work it."
Hastings heads a squad specifically tasked with taking on organized crime. In recent years the men and women who work for him report a surge in Russian gangsters throughout the region.
"It used to be they were just on the Westside," Hastings said. "Now pretty much we are getting stuff all over. It's spread everywhere."
There's nothing new about gangsters profiting in an economic downturn. During the Great Depression, Al Capone ran rackets in Chicago, while Lucky Luciano ran them in New York and Mickey Cohen took care of business here in Los Angeles.
Those crime families, primarily Italian, are known in law enforcement as La Cosa Nostra or LCN. Their profits derived primarily from vice - bootlegging, prostitution, drugs, gambling and extortion. And, as they gained notoriety, made LCN members were glamorized in Hollywood, lived like celebrities and became huge targets for law enforcement, Hastings said.
A Godfather called the shots and his capos and lieutenants carried out the orders.
Advertisement But the new organized crime groups, while expert in all the old-school tricks, present a problem for law enforcement. Their structure is not well defined. They fly under the radar. There is no Godfather.
"It's really difficult to explain," Hastings said. "They are loosely organized and spread all over. They are not like street gangs or LCN."
Instead of cozying up to Hollywood types, Russian mobsters get close to politicians and successful businessmen, Hastings said. The new rackets are complicated fraud scams that target credit cards, ATM machines, and the fountains of government money intended for health care, welfare and a variety of other social needs.
As more and more money pours out of Washington, experts believe crime groups formed in Soviet prisons under Stalin are ready to put on a full-court press.
There's little doubt the Russian mob will use all the tricks at its disposal, according to Gerald Caiden, a USC professor of public policy, who is an expert in organized crime.
"These guys know how to diddle the system," Caiden said. "They'll figure out a way to get swing loans from (the government) using fake addresses and any other means they can."
Caiden believes Russian scam artists are primarily responsible for the collapse of our Social Security system. "It's awful what these guys have done," Caiden said.
Bottom line: a sagging economy, billions of new government dollars pouring into the system and a ruthless group intent on profiteering can only mean more trouble for already overburdened law enforcement agencies tracking these thugs.
"They are about making money," Hastings said. "What's happening now is not going to hurt them."
Thanks to Frank Giradot
The NMCP invites you, your friends, and family to trick or treat at the museum during Halloween Midnight Madness, on Friday, October 31st from 5:00 p.m. until midnight. Wear a costume and receive $5.00 off the price of admission. Tickets will be available at the door.
Full-price admission guarantees a ticket in advance. Purchase online or by calling (202) 393-1099. Full-price admission is $17.95 for adults (plus tax) and $14.95 for children (plus tax).
Well, the strike force has dodged a bullet, sort of.
Officials of the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday that strike-force prosecutors would be devoted to organized crime - La Cosa Nostra and emerging ethnic groups from Russia, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere. They will not be interchangeable with drug prosecutors, officials said.
The deal was worked out between the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Justice Department in recent days. And it comes not a moment too soon, as dozens of mobsters are returning home from prison.
Last Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fritchey underwent a proper moblike introduction to the cappi di tutti in Washington, D.C.
"This is Dave from Philly. He's a friend of ours," joked Fritchey, about his own introduction as the newly appointed chief of the strike force here.
The Boss of all Bosses, Matthew W. Friedrich, the acting assistant attorney general of the Criminal Division at the Justice Department, blessed Fritchey as chief and preserved the nine-prosecutor unit as part of his special-strike-force duties.
Fritchey, a longtime mob prosecutor, takes over the prestigious strike force, which put scores of mobsters behind bars during the reigns of several mob bosses, from Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo in the '80s to Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino in '01. "I expect to do long-term projects and quick-hitting ones in real time," said Fritchey.
Robert Reed, deputy chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney's Office, said that he hopes for "cross-pollination" between the drug unit and strike force, now located next to each other after a move over the weekend.
"I think highly of Fritchey as a prosecutor. He's a very independent guy," said Louis Pichini, retired strike-force attorney and former chief of the Criminal Division. "But how much independence will he have?"
If strike-force attorneys had to try a tsunami of drug prosecutions as earlier suggested, retired prosecutors and investigators said, they would not have time to attack the most complicated organized-crime cases.
Nor could they monitor nearly 30 mobsters released from prison since the early 1980s, or others who pose threats to society, they said.
Recently, an intelligence analyst who studied organized-crime activities to find links among them was transferred to the terrorism unit.
"I strongly disagree with the dilution of the program," said Joel M. Friedman, strike-force chief for 22 years, now working with retired FBI director Louis J. Freeh's consulting firm, Freeh Group International.
"This is one of the most violent LCN [La Cosa Nostra] families in America," Friedman said. "They swear an oath to protect the family. They are getting out [of prison] and will reconstitute the family."
James T. Maher, retired FBI supervisor of the organized-crime unit, is so concerned that he still keeps track of mobsters coming home.
Last March, Vincent "Big Vince" Filipelli, 54, a bodyguard and enforcer for mob boss John Stanfa in the 1990s, was sent back to prison to serve a 66-month sentence for extortion. The "made" member earlier served a 54-month sentence for racketeering extortion in the Stanfa era.
In 2001, mobster Martin Angelina, 45, was convicted of racketeering with Merlino and served a 54-month prison sentence. Last year, Angelina was caught associating with mobsters and returned to prison for four months. And he may be in trouble again - he has a hearing tomorrow on a related matter.
Tomorrow, Thomas R. Perricone will be named deputy chief of the Criminal Division in charge of drugs and organized crime, and Faith Taylor will be named chief of the narcotics unit.
Thanks to Kitty Caparella