The Chicago Syndicate: 2 Palm Beach County Men Among Mafia Suspects

Thursday, July 06, 2006

2 Palm Beach County Men Among Mafia Suspects

Friends of ours: Genovese Crime Family, Renaldi "Ray" Ruggiero
Friends of mine: Mitchell Weissman, The "Sopranos "

In the hunt to take down the legendary Genovese organized crime family, investigators nabbed two associates in Palm Beach County.

They found Renaldi "Ray" Ruggiero, a 72-year-old living in a modest suburban home in Palm Beach Gardens. He is described as the "capo" in charge of the family's South Florida operations.

They also found his alleged associate, Mitchell Weissman, 54, in Boca Raton. He is not a made man, but helped the mafia carry out its traditional work of extortion, robbery, money laundering, loan sharking, possession of stolen property and bank fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Both are transplants from New York.

The two men were arrested on Friday after a grand jury indicted them along with five others from Broward and Miami-Dade counties on multiple charges including racketeering.

Until now, Ruggiero had a clean criminal record in Florida. A woman answered the door at his home, but declined comment.

Weissman was arrested once in 1994 by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on a domestic battery complaint by his wife, Sandra Weissman. At the time, she had an injured eye and told the deputy she feared violence would continue. The outcome of the case was not immediately available, but the couple is still married, state records show. Weissman did not return calls for comment.

The mafia's dealings in the indictment reads like a script for the mob drama, The Sopranos, except the scenes are set among South Florida's palm trees instead of northern New Jersey.

The cast of codefendants include those nicknamed "the Baker," "the Old Man," and "the Fat Man."

In one case, Ruggiero lured a victim to a codefendant's Coral Springs office, where a gun was held to the man's head in an effort to extort $1.5 million from him. Ruggiero later feigned that he was going to help the victim, even though he had already cut a deal to split the victim's money with the assailants, according to the indictment.

In another, Ruggiero was part of the conspiracy to rob a Boynton Beach bookie of $39,000, the indictment says.

The government is also trying to take up to $3 million of money and assets the seven men have acquired — including the three-bedroom homesteaded Palm Beach Gardens house Ruggiero bought in the Siena Oaks development in 1990 for $157,900.

Weissman lives at a house in Boca Raton he acquired from Ruggiero in 2003, county property records show.

Thanks to Rochelle Gilken


  1. listen to me...this article is rubbish..who is your source??? dont you think you owe the reader accoracy?? weissman, an associate who carried out the mobs deeds???...what a joke .. mitch or the fat jew as we called him was a pill popping con artist scammer who my brother felt sorry for and made him his errand boy in the end...what a joke

  2. i was incarcerated with wiessman and we became close.........this is all very interesting as the story unfolds he is currently at the federal courthouse?????

  3. i heard your threats fat boy mitch......i live in south florida why dont you come and see me you fucking jew coward