The Chicago Syndicate: Lawyer: Cleared mobster may be dead

Magee 1866 Heritage Month

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lawyer: Cleared mobster may be dead

Friends of ours: Lawrence Ricci, Genovese Crime Family
Friends of mine: Harold Daggett, Arthur Coffey

Two executives of the International Longshoremen's Association and a reputed mobster who went missing mid-trial were acquitted Tuesday of charges that they helped the Mafia keep its grip on the New York waterfront. Supporters gasped and burst into tears as a federal jury in Brooklyn found union officials Harold Daggett and Arthur Coffey not guilty of extortion and fraud charges.

The jury also acquitted Lawrence Ricci, an alleged Genovese crime family associate who had been accused of wire and mail fraud. But the victory may turn out to be empty for Ricci, who vanished in the middle of the trial and is suspected to have been slain by the mob. His attorney said after the verdict that he believed Ricci had been killed, but he hoped the verdict gave his family solace. This reminds me of a scene in the movie Casino. All the mob bosses are sitting around discussing the big trial that is coming up and talking about who they can trust. They get to one guy in particular and as they go around the table, everyone agrees that this guy is a good man and can be trusted. Finally one of them goes: "Eh, why take the chance?" Bam, the guy is whacked. Same thing here with Ricci. The guy gets acquitted, but the mob thought, Eh, why take the chance?

Prosecutors had accused Ricci of working to award a lucrative union contract to a mob-tied pharmaceutical company. Daggett and Coffey were charged with conspiring with the Genovese crime family to install Daggett as the mob-controlled puppet president of the ILA.

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