The Chicago Syndicate: Mob Money Pays for Judge's Wedding

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mob Money Pays for Judge's Wedding

Friends of ours: Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso
Friends of mine: Burton Kaplan

A Manhattan judge's lavish wedding was paid for by Mafia mass murderer Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso as a favor to the mobbed-up father of the bride, according to court papers obtained by the Daily News.

The shocking allegation is the latest embarrassment for acting Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kaplan, whose father, Burton Kaplan, had mob ties and was convicted of drug trafficking.

In a suit filed yesterday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Anthony Casso Jr., the son of the jailed-for-life Luchese underboss, claims Burton Kaplan recently admitted to him that he borrowed $150,000 from the elder Casso to pay for the wedding.

"She has no knowledge of the allegations contained in the suit," said Bob Liff, a spokesman retained by Deborah Kaplan.

The loan was made around the same time as an alleged sham purchase by Kaplan of Casso's home on E. 72nd St. in Brooklyn as part of a "money laundering deal," the suit filed by attorney Bruce Baron contends.

Casso Jr., who still lives in the house with his wife and infant son, is fighting eviction proceedings started by Kaplan. His attorney Bruce Baron also is seeking a stay of the trial in Brooklyn Housing Court.

Kaplan allegedly fessed up about the wedding loan during a secret sitdown he sought with Casso Jr. at a barbecue restaurant in Brooklyn last October, just one month after Kaplan was sprung on bail as a reward for his testimony against the Mafia cops.

Kaplan, 72, guarded by two federal agents at the meeting, allegedly told Casso Jr. that he "partially repaid" the wedding loan, according to the suit.

Deborah Kaplan was elected to Civil Court in 2002 and promoted to the Supreme Court after her father's mob ties became public.

Thanks to John Marzulli

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