The Chicago Syndicate: Anthony Calabrese
Showing posts with label Anthony Calabrese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anthony Calabrese. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Mob Wives Connected to Bonanno Crime Family Bust

Federal agents busted several high-ranking Bonanno crime family members last week and charged them with racketeering and extortion, authorities said.

Among those arrested in the joint FBI-Drug Enforcement Administration probe were two senior members of the Bonanno ruling administration, Anthony "TG" Graziano and Vinny Badalamenti, law enforcement sources said.

Bonanno captain Nicky Santoro was also charged in the sweep as were soldiers Vito Balsamo and Anthony Calabrese, sources said.

A Gambino crime family associate, James LaForte, was also arrested in the early morning raids, sources said.

The suspects were scheduled to be arraigned in Brooklyn federal court.

Graziano was already facing previous extortion charges in a separate case.

The massive sweep against the Bonanno leadership stems in part from the assistance of former mob associate Hector Pagan, who is the ex-husband of "Mob Wives" star Renee Graziano. Pagan is now a DEA informant.

Renee Graziano is the daughter of Anthony Graziano.

Anthony Graziano, 71, was released recently from prison, but then quickly ensnared in an earlier Drug Enforcement Administration probe that pre-dated today's developments.

In that previous case, Pagan -- a Bonanno associate-turned DEA informant -- reportedly wore a wire and secretly recorded conversations for the feds with his ex-father-in-law while discussing the collection of a loanshark debt.

Anthony Graziano was indicted by Brooklyn federal prosecutors on those earlier charges just last week.

Thanks to Mitchel Maddux

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Chicago Mob Order

Last week's death of an old-line Chicago Outfit boss reveals some changes in the way the crime syndicate does business.

As Chicago organized crime figures die off or go to prison, authorities tell the I-Team they are being replaced by far less flamboyant Outfit bosses, men who conduct mob rackets quietly and collect the proceeds with skilled efficiency.

The new mob order has never been more apparent than at last Wednesday's wake for high-ranking outfit boss Alphonso Tornabene, who died on Sunday at age 86.

It looked just like any other wake for any other man who'd lived a long life. The friends and relatives of Alphonso Tornabene streamed into pay their last respects all day on the northwest side.

A few mourners apparently didn't want to be seen at the wake for a man who recently headed the Chicago Outfit, according to testimony from a top underworld informant.

Mob hitman Nick Calabrese told the FBI that Tornabene administered the sacred oath of the Outfit to new members, a position reserved for only top capos. It's a ceremony that Calabrese described just as Hollywood has depicted over the years with a blood oath and a flaming holy card.

On Wednesday night, at Chicago's Montclair Funeral Home, the ceremony was less fiery. The holy card had Tornabene's name on it.

The attendees included Tracy Klimes, who says Tornabene was a great man who once cared for her family after her own father died, and knew little of his Outfit ties. "People always judge a book by its cover and I know there's things that people say about people but he had a wonderful heart," said Klimes.

The scene on Wednesday was far different than the crowds that turned out at Montclair more than thirty years ago after flashy Outfit boss Sam Giancana was assassinated and where attendance by Giancana's underlings was considered mandatory.

In 1986, mob bosses from other cities and a Hollywood actor showed up for the wake and funeral of Anthony and Michael Spilotro who had also been murdered by their Outfit brethren. But by 1992 at the Montclair wake for godfather Anthony "Joe Batters" Accardo, only a few top hoodlums dared to attend such a public event.

The Accardo funeral and Tornabene's wake on Wednesday are evidence that the new mob order calls for discretion in business and in life.

There was one notable mourner on Wednesday night: suburban nursing home owner Nicholas Vangel.

During the Family Secrets mob trial, Mr. Vangel was shown to be a confidante of one time mob boss Jimmy Marcello. Although Vangel wasn't charged, the government showed undercover video of Vangel visiting with Marcello in prison and discussing the FBI investigation.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Anthony Calabrese, Mob Connected Leader of Robbery Gang, Sentenced to 62 Years in Federal Prison

A 47-year-old man convicted of leading a gang of robbers who beat and hog-tied victims was sentenced Friday to more than 62 years in federal prison, much of the time mandatory because he used a gun.

"It isn't over until God says it's over," Anthony Calabrese said as friends and family waved, some wiping away tears, and marshals led him off to begin what could easily turn out to be the rest of his life behind bars.

Calabrese was convicted by a jury in February as masterminding the robbery of a leather store, a tattoo parlor and a meat market.

On orders from Calabrese, a gang member tried to break the tattoo parlor owner's hands with a hammer because he had tattooed the underage daughter of a Chicago mob boss, prosecutors said in court papers.

A railroad engineer testified that he was having Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" tattooed on his back when three men burst into the parlor, tied him up and hog-tied his girlfriend. Witnesses said hog-tying victims was standard operating procedure when the gang pulled robberies.

Prosecutors said in court papers Calabrese had held himself out to various people as being connected to the Chicago mob. Calabrese is not believed to be related to the Calabrese family that was at the center of one of the biggest mob trials in the city's history last year.

Jurors also heard a tape on which an alleged gang member yelped and pleaded for mercy as Calabrese and another man beat him. Frank had to be taken to a hospital and blood was splattered on the wall when it was over. Calabrese was said to have feared the gang member would squeal.

"He was cold and he was uncaring," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel M. Hammerman told U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve.

St. Eve said federal law required her to sentence Calabrese to a minimum of 57 years for using a gun in multiple offenses and more time for pulling the robberies. She sentenced him to 62 years and seven months.

Calabrese and his attorney pleaded for an even lesser sentence, saying that he has already served six years in prison for an unrelated conviction, rehabilitated himself and started a new life. Calabrese said he wanted to have at least some time at home with his family. "I want to show them the real Tony Calabrese," he said. He waved and blew a kiss to his relatives as marshals led him out and some of them called out: "We love you."

Thanks to Mike Robinson

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Four Chicago Defense Lawyers in A League of Their Own

In a city infamous for crime and corruption, the top criminal defense lawyers are as colorful and cunning as their clients.

They are routinely faced with insurmountable government evidence – wiretaps, surveillance tapes, fingerprints and informants. And they also claim the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are weighted in favor of the government.

On top of this, their cold-blooded clients can make a lawyer's life hell – especially when they lose.

"I think it's very difficult to do what they do," said Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, who has covered many corruption and mob trials in Chicago. "Their clients demand perfection. They're the kind of clients you don't want to anger."

This is a surprisingly small club, with only about 15 lawyers doing criminal defense work in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on a regular basis.

Lawyers USA interviewed four prominent Chicago criminal defense lawyers: Joseph "The Shark" Lopez; Rick Halprin, Edward Genson and Steven R. Hunter. All have recently handled high-profile federal trials.

Whether grilling government witnesses on the stand or trying to convince jurors to spare cold-blooded killers, these lawyers are in a legal league of their own.

Joseph "The Shark" Lopez

Lopez is the only one of the four who actually looks the part of a "wise-guy" lawyer.

Joseph 'The Shark' Lopez has been called a mob layer and a gang lawyer, but he could care less.Wearing a black suit, black shirt, a black tie with bright slashes of color and a diamond ring with enough bling to make a rapper blush, Lopez, 52, could care less if people call him a "mob lawyer."

"I've been called a mob lawyer, gang lawyer. I've represented a lot of mobsters," he said.

He's also been called "Shark" since he was a youth; it's on his license plate and his e-mail address.

Lopez, who represented Frank Calabrese Sr., in last year's "Family Secrets" trial in Chicago, is not exactly media shy. He wrote his own blog (The Chicago Syndicate) about the trial while it was under way – until the judge ordered him to shut it down.

"He's promoted himself in every way possible," said fellow criminal lawyer Halprin, who represented another defendant in the Family Secrets trial. "That blog was outrageous."

Lopez is unrepentant: "The government was mad because I was criticizing them and their witnesses."

He plans to re-launch his blog this summer during the trial of client Gary Kimmel, a Chicago dentist charged with laundering money for a nationwide prostitution ring.

A native Chicagoan of Mexican/Italian heritage, Lopez graduated from the University of Illinois law school. He planned to specialize in divorce law, but was asked to help out in a drug case. "My friends were Colombian/Mexican drug [defendants]," he said. "They sent me over there because I was squeaky clean."

A large swordfish hangs on the wall of his cluttered office. "I tell my clients, 'See how that fish's mouth is open? That's how it got caught,'" he said, laughing loudly.

Sketches on the wall depict Lopez in several of his biggest cases. He represented Rev. Jesse Jackson's brother, Noah, in a money laundering case; and one of the teenage defendants in the infamous Lenard Clark case. Clark, a young black teenager, was savagely beaten by a group of white teenagers in 1997 as he rode his bike home through a predominantly white neighborhood.

Lopez has a trial scheduled for the end of March involving Fernando King, the head of the Latin Kings gang in Chicago, on drug and weapons charges.

Lopez said he's always confident going into the courtroom. "Most lawyers are afraid they're gong to lose, so they talk their clients into pleading guilty," he said. "I always think I'm going to win. Even if there are 300 witnesses, I convince myself I'm going to win."

Rick Halprin

In stark contrast to Lopez, Halprin, 68, looks more like a securities lawyer than a criminal defense attorney. Dressed conservatively in a blue shirt with white collar, red checked tie, suit pants and vest, he said he is careful not to call attention to himself. "The most important thing is never lose your credibility with the jury," he said. "When the trial is about the lawyer, you're dead. When it's an endless cross examination that goes nowhere, you're dead. And when you dress flashy instead of conservative, you're dead."

Thomas A. Durkin, a veteran criminal defense lawyer and partner in Durkin & Roberts in Chicago, described Halprin as "absolutely one of the very best courtroom lawyers in Chicago."

"He's extremely persuasive with juries; he's very smooth," Durkin said. "He can be very low-key when the situation calls for it, and he can be aggressive when that's appropriate."

Halprin bristles at the term "mob lawyer," even though he defended Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, 78, in the Family Secrets trial – the biggest mob trial in Chicago in years.

"I'm not a mob lawyer," he said. "I think it's absurd."

Lombardo, along with Calabrese and mob boss James Marcello, were convicted of a total of 10 murders.

Although Halprin and Lombardo had their "moments" of disagreement in the courtroom, Halprin said Lombardo didn't blame him for the verdict. "I know to the whole world he's a scary guy, but if you explain something to him enough times he gets it," Halprin said. "The trial is about the evidence. You've got to be a good cross-examiner, and I'm very good at it," said Halprin. "You [attack] the lifestyle of the main witness – but if you can't take out the corroborative evidence, in the end, jurors are collectively just too smart to be swayed by that."

According to columnist Kass, "It's difficult to represent the Chicago Outfit – especially when they insist, as Lombardo did, on putting themselves on the stand."

Rick Halprin's client, Joseph Lombardo could not resist a few cracks from the witness stand as 'Joey is JoeyWhile Lombardo "tried hard" to curb his wise-guy comments on the stand, Halprin said, he couldn't resist a few cracks that elicited laughter from the audience, and a rebuke from the judge.

"Joey is Joey," said Halprin. "There's no way you can get someone to change their contentious nature or stop making inappropriate jokes. He is a very funny guy, but there's a time and a place – and this was neither. But he tried hard."

Halprin, who described himself as a wild youth, never graduated from high school. He joined the Marines at 17, and eventually got enough hours of college credit so he could get into law school. He graduated from John Marshall Law School and has been practicing since 1970.

He learned the local legal ropes from Frank Oliver, a renowned Chicago criminal lawyer.

Sitting in his office a block and a half away from the federal courthouse, Halprin – who has a deep voice reminiscent of TV talk show host Larry King – said he has no plans to retire.

"I'm having too much fun. There's nothing like a federal courtroom. Federal trials are so challenging and so difficult to win," he said. "I'm going to die in the courtroom."

Edward Genson

At 66, Genson is the dean of Chicago's criminal lawyers. Just don't call him a "mob lawyer."

Genson detests the term so much that he stopped talking to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin after her description of Genson as a mob lawyer was picked up by Vanity Fair magazine.

"I was angry about it," he said. "At some point in my career I had a number of Italian politicians as clients. That was about 20 years ago, and it was never more than 10 percent of my practice."

In 43 years of practice, Genson has represented scores of well-known clients, including former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's aide Scott Fawell and lobbyist Larry Warner. Even young Hollywood star Shia LaBeouf called on Genson when he was arrested in Chicago last year for refusing to leave a Chicago drugstore. "A lovely young man," Genson said, noting that the charges against LaBeouf were dropped.

In a case that has dragged on for six years, Genson is currently defending rapper R. Kelly on charges of having sex with an underage girl. Kelly's trial will finally take place May 9, according to Genson, who quipped: "It has to take place sometime."

Genson was co-counsel in last year's trial of Canadian newspaper publisher Conrad Black, who was accused of mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

Although Genson was supposed to be second chair on the defense team, he wound up questioning 24 of the 28 witnesses and handling almost the entire closing argument.

On the day in early March that Black was scheduled to be sent to a federal prison in Florida on a six-year sentence, Genson was still critical of Canadian lead lawyer Eddie Greenspan's courtroom performance. "He was a very bright man and an extraordinarily good lawyer in Canada, but they can't work at this speed," he said.

The son of a Chicago bail bondsman, Genson remembers driving his father to police stations at night and sitting in courtrooms, listening to trial lawyers.

After graduating from Northwestern University Law School, he scrambled for clients, handling up to 100 trials a year. He still keeps a grueling pace, despite having suffered for years from dystonia, a neurological disorder that makes walking difficult, especially when he is tired or under stress.

Genson wears an arm sling while recuperating from recent shoulder surgery – the latest in a string of orthopedic surgeries related to his neurological condition. An electric wheelchair sits next to his desk in his office on the 14th floor of the 19th century Monadnock Building, across from the Federal Center.

Still, he has no thought of retiring. "Trial law is an all-encompassing kind of profession," he said. "It's your whole life when you're at trial. There's no such thing as sleeping with any regularity because you're always waking up with ideas. There's no such thing as weekends. When you occasionally go to a movie, you're thinking about what you should be doing the next day.

"A good trial lawyer just doesn't develop a whole lot of interests," he added. "So, what would I do if I retired?"

Despite his protestations, Genson has an obvious interest in art and antiques. The eclectic decorations in his office include: cowboy paintings by an art forger who testified as a government witness in one of his trials; a 19th Century desk he bought in London; a 16th Century Spanish credenza; and a portrait of Clarence Darrow, his idol.

Genson has a murder trial coming up in April, a money laundering trial set for June and a Medicaid fraud trial later this summer.

"I'll retire when they start laughing at me," he said. "So far, that hasn't happened."

Steven R. Hunter

Hunter, 45, knew from a young age he wanted to be a criminal lawyer. He remembers being inspired by the story of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

"Something about defending the underdog just appealed to me," Hunter said.

Originally from Grosse Isle, Mich., Hunter graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 1997 and headed for Chicago. "I knew I wanted to be in Chicago," Hunter said. "To me, Chicago is the greatest city in the world."

But without any connections, it wasn't easy. Hunter worked as an immigration lawyer for Catholic Charities, and then landed a job with the public defenders' office.

He spent eight and a half years defending child abusers, juveniles and street gang members. "I was dealing with people who were whipping their children with extension rods and coat hangers," he recalled.

Overloaded with cases and long hours, Hunter left in 1986 to start his own practice. He qualified for the federal trial bar and was appointed to the federal defenders' panel.

He recently defended Anthony Calabrese (no relation to Frank Calabrese), an alleged mob hit man who was convicted of armed robbery. He also represented Eural Black, a Chicago police officer convicted in January of robbing drug dealers while on duty.

Although many of his cases still come through the panel, Hunter is getting an increasing number of calls from private clients. "It's really a slow, grinding process where you start out small," said Hunter. "If you work hard enough for your clients, if you fight cases, as opposed to pleading everybody out, that snowballs, and eventually you wind up having a pretty good practice."

Thanks to Nora Tooher

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The "Other" Calabrese

He was just convicted in a string of armed robberies, but federal authorities now suspect him of committing several more serious crimes.

He's known as "The *Other* Calabrese."

This is the story of Anthony Calabrese, who carries the same last name as one of Chicago's most notorious mob families.

Anthony is not even related to the bloodthirsty Calabreses, who made news last summer during the operation Family Secrets mob murder trial. But Anthony Calabrese is in the same line of work as his infamous namesakes.

There have been 1,100 mob hits in Chicago since the Roaring Twenties. The last known gangland murder occurred in the entryway of a west suburban restaurant. Mobster Anthony "The Hatchet" Chiarmonti was chased and gunned down in 2001 by an assassin who escaped in a getaway minivan. Two months later, at Tony C's Auto Shop in Alsip, business owner Anthony "Tony C" Calabrese convened a meeting.

**Strip off your clothes," barked a twitchy Calabrese, concerned one of his underlings had turned on him and was wearing a hidden FBI tape recorder, which he was. But they never found it.

"You know to keep your mouth shut. I mean, you understand what'll happen?" asked Calabrese.

"Tony, do I look like I wanna be dead?" answered the associate.

Calabrese threatened to kill the associate if he went to the feds. Investigators believe Calabrese was paranoid that authorities would connect him to the parking lot murder of Chiaramonti two months earlier. At one point, Calabrese and one of his henchmen pounced on the suspected rat.

The tape was played last week by federal prosecutors, who had charged Calabrese in a series of suburban stick-ups. Calabrese's accomplice during the recorded attack, Robert Cooper, testified that it was a "stomping" with "steel-toe boots." Cooper helped convict Calabrese of armed robberies in Morton Grove, Maywood and Lockport. Judge Amy St. Eve allowed the violent tape to be played over Calabrese's objections.

Calabrese's lawyer admits the tape wasn't pretty and did-in the hoodlum in the eyes of the jury.

Cooper has also admitted to police that he was Calabrese's partner in the murder of Tony The Hatch. Cooper is now serving time for driving the getaway vehicle. Calabrese has never been charged with the Chiaramonti hit, although authorities are said to be building a murder case against him. At age 47, he faces a minimum 50 years behind bars just for the stick-ups.

Calabrese's lawyer says that amounts to a life sentence.

Federal agents hope such a bleak existence behind bars might entice Calabrese to cooperate and give up the names of top Chicago Outfit bosses who arranged Chiarmonti's murder.

Mob experts say Calabrese has reported to James "Jimmy I" Inendino. The I stands for ice-pick, which Mr. Inendino has been known to use for eye examinations. "Jimmy I" is considered a leader in the mob's 26th Street crew, a rigid organization where hoodlums like Calabrese are bred to go down with the ship.

Calabrese's lawyer says that Anthony believes he was brought into the world as a man and will go out as a man.

As meticulous as Anthony Calabrese was running his criminal ventures, and as paranoid as he was that someone might turn on him, Calabrese somehow missed the tape recorder that probably did him in. He even strip searched the guy, desperate to find a recorder. It was there somewhere, rolling and recording, even as Calabrese punched and stomped his way to mob infamy.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Alleged Mob Associate: "We Put the Boots to Him..."

The former right-hand man of reputed mob killer Anthony Calabrese had a simple explanation for jurors Tuesday about how the two men roughed up a suspected snitch.

"We both got to stomping," explained Robert Cooper, testifying against his former friend on the second day of Calabrese's trial.

"We put the boots to him. We both had steel-toed boots," Cooper said.

The victim, Edmund Frank, really was an informant and happened to be wearing a secret recording device for the feds while taking the beating. Jurors might hear a recording of the brutal attack today.

Calabrese is the chief suspect in the last known mob hit in the Chicago area, the 2001 shooting death of top mobster Anthony "The Hatch" Chiaramonti, as well as the 1997 attempted murder of a Naperville woman.

Cooper pleaded guilty to helping Calabrese in the 2001 mob hit and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. While Calabrese hasn't been charged with the murder and attempted murder, he's on trial for three armed robberies of suburban businesses, including the 2001 ripoff of a leather jacket store in Morton Grove.

Calabrese faces more than 50 years behind bars if convicted, and investigators hope that long prison sentence can persuade him to reveal who hired him for the mob hit and the attempted murder.

On Tuesday, Cooper told jurors that he and Calabrese took part in the leather goods store robbery.

Cooper began cooperating in 2002, saying he was motivated by threats against his family, not the reduced prison time he eventually received for the murder.

Cooper said he fears Calabrese to this day, even though Cooper is in witness protection while in federal prison.

When asked by Calabrese's attorney whether Calabrese is the only person he's afraid of, Cooper answered, "At the moment, yes, he is."

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Will Robbery Trial Lead to Confession from Suspected Mob Hit Man?

The reputed mob hit man sat at a courtroom table Monday in Chicago looking more corporate than killer, in glasses and a blue suit wrapped around his beefy frame, as federal prosecutors presented their case against him that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Anthony Calabrese, 47, is a suspect but not charged in the last known mob hit in the Chicago area in 2001 and the attempted murder of a Naperville woman in 1997. But on Monday, he faced charges that he orchestrated three brutal armed robberies of businesses in the suburbs. If convicted, he faces more than 50 years in prison, and authorities hope to use that leverage to persuade Calabrese to confess to who hired him for the murder and attempted murder.

His attorney Steven Hunter said Calabrese was the victim of drug-using criminals making up stories about him to save their hides.

"My client rubbed elbows with some pretty tough customers, and he's a pretty tough customer himself, but that doesn't mean he's guilty of these crimes," Hunter told jurors.

The first witness in the case, a 78-year-old woman, described how she was led at gunpoint with her son to the back of his Morton Grove leather goods store in 2001.

The mother, Molly Nudell, and her son were bound with duct tape and told to lay face down on the cement floor. They feared they would be killed.

"We were saying goodbye to each other," Nudell said.

The men didn't wear masks, but Nudell couldn't identify Calabrese as one of the intruders. But one man who pleaded guilty to the robbery said Calabrese called the shots.

Sean Smith said he had qualms about the robbery, even vomiting beforehand, and asked to beg off.

"You're going to go in or you're getting f----- up," Smith recalled Calabrese telling him.

Calabrese's attorney, Hunter, noted Smith attributed the threat to another crew member in his grand jury testimony.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tatto Parlor Order Hit by Mob for Retaliation

A reputed hit man ordered a Chicago-area tattoo shop closed and its owner hurt because the daughter of a mob boss was tattooed there, court records allege.

The revelation came in the case of alleged mob killer Anthony Calabrese, scheduled to go to trial in February on charges he participated in three suburban robberies, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

The recent court filings provided another detail about Calabrese's alleged connections to organized crime, the newspaper said.

An informant told investigators Calabrese not only paid street tax to members of the Outfit mob but also did them criminal favors, a court filing said. One was the July 2001 strong-arm robbery of the Metamorphous Tattoo parlor in Lockport, authorities said.

During the robbery, the tattoo parlor owner was beaten, but his hands were not broken, even though that was part of the plan drawn up because of the unnamed boss's underage daughter's tattoo was inked at the parlor, the court papers said.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Beating by Reputed Mob Killer Caught on Tape

Reputed mob killer Anthony Calabrese was upset with his alleged partner in crime, Edmond Frank. The hulking Calabrese wondered if Frank was ratting him out to the cops.

So Calabrese and another man allegedly began beating Frank. And all of it was captured on a secret audio recording made by the FBI.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Frank pleaded as he was beaten at Calabrese's car detailing shop in the south suburbs, according to a 17-page government transcript of the conversation obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

"C-------er," Calabrese swore at Frank.

"F---ing did everything for you, you're gonna act like that to me," Calabrese said.

"I'm sorry, Tony," Frank replied.

The beating began after Frank enraged Calabrese by refusing to say what hotel he was staying at, according to the transcript of the January 2002 conversation. Frank said he didn't feel safe giving Calabrese that information.

Calabrese had Frank strip-searched but didn't find any hidden recording devices.

"The recording device worn by Frank was in fact secreted elsewhere," a government filing notes, without specifying where the device was.

Calabrese allegedly threatened to kill Frank's wife and child and suggested his wife could be gang-raped, according to the transcript.

Frank walked out of the confrontation alive, but FBI agents took him to a hospital, where he was treated for his injuries from the beating.

Even after Frank left Calabrese's shop, the secret recorder was still running, and Frank could be heard complaining about his injuries.

"My head's killing me," Frank said.

"Are you dizzy?" an FBI agent asked him.

"My head hurts; it's numb over here," Frank complained.

Federal prosecutors T. Markus Funk and Joel Hammerman want to introduce the secretly recorded conversation at Calabrese's trial next month on charges he took part in the armed robberies of three suburban businesses.

The prosecutors argue the beating and intimidation shows Calabrese's guilty state of mind.

Calabrese's attorney, Steven Hunter, is fighting introduction of the tape, saying it has nothing to do with the armed robberies and will prejudice the jury against his client.

Calabrese, 47, is no relation to Frank Calabrese Sr., who was found responsible for seven Outfit murders in the recent Family Secrets mob trial in Chicago.

Still, Anthony Calabrese is a suspected gunman in the Outfit murder of Anthony "The Hatch" Chiaramonti, a top mobster slain in 2001 at a Brown's Chicken & Pasta in south suburban Lyons, according to a federal court filing.

He is also a suspect in the 1997 attempted murder of the ex-wife of his friend, Randall Re, in west suburban Naperville, authorities said. Re is also a suspect in the case, which Naperville police continue to investigate.

Calabrese has not been charged with either crime. But he effectively faces life in prison if convicted on the armed robbery charges under federal sentencing guidelines. Federal authorities hope to use that leverage to find out from Calabrese who allegedly hired him for the Chiaramonti murder and the Re shooting, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Calabrese has ties to the Chicago Outfit and a motorcycle gang, sources said.

"I know him as a businessman," said attorney Joseph Lopez, who represented Calabrese in a case in which Calabrese was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for his role in a baseball-bat attack on a man in Florida.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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