Friday, January 29, 2010

Rudy "I'm a Reputed Good Guy" Fratto Heads to Prison and Yells at Blogger

For years, Rudy Fratto has been dubbed a reputed top Chicago mobster. But Fratto sees its differently.

“I’m a reputed good guy,” Fratto said Wednesday, outside a federal courtroom, just moments after a judge sentenced him to prison for a year a day for tax evasion.

Indeed, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly found Fratto “has done an outstanding job of raising a family,” but said Fratto’s crime was too serious to allow him to sentence Fratto to home confinement, as Fratto wanted, rather than prison.

Fratto, 66, of Darien, had avoided paying taxes on more than $800,000 on income over seven years by having various firms, including a gaming technology company, pay him through a bank account of a defunct trucking company that Fratto controlled.

“I was living beyond my means, and I was taking care of my family,” Fratto explained.

Fratto could have been sentenced up to 18 months in prison. By being sentenced to a year and a day, rather than a year, Fratto becomes eligible for good conduct time and could serve as little as 10 months of his sentence.

Fratto’s family tearfully requested that he not be sent to prison, citing him as the family’s role model.

Right after his sentencing, outside the courtroom, tensions ran high as Fratto and his family clashed with a blogger who attended the court hearing and has written negatively about Fratto. Irate family members had to be restrained as Fratto yelled at the blogger, “Get out of here.”

The tax evasion charge, investigated by the IRS, marks the first time Fratto’s been convicted of a crime.

Before his current problems, “I never been arrested for anything,” Fratto explained. “Not traffic. Not a DUI. Nothing.”

But he’s been a target of FBI investigators for years.

Most recently, federal investigators listed him as a top threat to Nick Calabrese, a former mob hitman who had turned into the star witness at the Family Secrets mob trial.

Fratto also allegedly attended a meeting in 2001 to approve the expansion of the video gambling territory of top mobsters James Marcello and his half-brother, Michael.

On Wednesday, Fratto tried to appear unruffled about the proceedings, but as he walked down the hall he shouted, “What a f------ joke!”

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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