The Chicago Syndicate: Frank Cali
Showing posts with label Frank Cali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frank Cali. Show all posts

Thursday, April 04, 2019

After Murder of Frank Cali, Who is Boss of the Gambino Crime Family?

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Following the death of Gambino crime boss Frank (Franky Boy) Cali, experts say his successor will have 21st Century issues to deal with.

“Whoever takes over right now is a media magnet,” said Louis Ferrante, a former mobster with the Gambino family whose crew was investigated at one time for some of the most lucrative heists in U.S. history. “Look, you and I are talking about it ... in today’s world, a lot of (mobsters) don’t wanna be bothered with that."

He said it’s possible that whoever is in line for the promotion taps someone else to be the face, while they continue to pull in money from their rackets and influence the family’s operations from the proverbial shadows.

“If I were the underboss I would probably put someone there as a front for me. I would pick someone who’s in my crew that’s close to me,” said Ferrante.

In the days following Cali’s death, a convicted Genovese mobster and a former Gambino hitman -- both turned-informants -- expressed shock over Cali’s murder considering he was known as a non-violent mob boss who ran his crime family like a corporation, according to a USA TODAY report.

Experts say the “to-do” list for whoever takes over could include dealing with Cali’s suspected killer.

Police said Anthony Comello, 24, of Eltingville, smashed into Cali’s car outside the Hilltop Terrace home, then, shot him while the reputed mobster’s wife and children were inside the house. The motive remains unclear, but every theory at this point indicates Cali was targeted by his killer.

Mob experts and law enforcement sources say it’s unlikely the murder was related to organized crime, based on the fact there was no backup car to potentially finish the job in what would have been an ill-conceived plan. And if months or years from now it turns out it was a planned hit, “It was the most brilliant mob hit in the world," said Ferrante.

Sources have described Comello as a “mob-obsessed” conspiracy theorist, while former classmates have described him as aloof in class, but at times a hot-head who got into fights. A New York Times report quoted friends who claimed he wrestled with drug addiction.

Defense attorney Robert Gottlieb has pointed to right-wing hate speech as playing a factor in the incident, while stopping short of saying his client committed the murder.

One name tossed around by law enforcement experts and Mafia historians as a possible successor to Cali is Lorenzo Mannino, a Gambino capo and member of the family’s Sicilian faction. “Mannino is a Brooklyn crew boss who is Sicilian and was heavy in to drug (trade) with Franky Boy,” said Mafia historian Scott Burnstein.

Other names mentioned include Gene Gotti, the brother of John who recently was released from prison after doing 29 years on drug charges. “If I was a member of organized crime today, Gene Gotti would be the greatest boss I could have,” said Ferrante. “He’s a man of men, within the context of that life.”

Experts say the business of La Cosa Nostra has seen better days.

In terms of the drug-trade, New York City’s streets are now dominated by Dominican gangs paying lower prices to Mexican cartels who are able to ship the drugs by land rather than by sea, said James Hunt, formerly of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who worked as an undercover agent in the famous “Pizza Connection” drug case.

That being said, Cali had deep ties with the Sicilian Mafia, which along with Colombian cartels maintain a profitable heroin trade in Europe, said Hunt, which in turn could be a selling point for Cali’s successor.

Stateside, it can get messy when it comes to drugs, said Ferrante. “If you want to get in to that game, your playing with Asians, Russians, Albanians, Colombians,” he said. “There’s only so many pieces to that pie."

A drug trade still exists for mobsters, but more so on a local level -- unlike the 80s when they’d ship in the drugs from Turkey and Sicily, then sell in bulk to mid-level dealers in Harlem, experts said. And while the days of controlling unions and waste companies are all but over, loansharking and extortion continue to provide a steady stream of income.

“They’ll never stop trying to sneak their way back in,” said Hunt. “It’s harder for them to make a living than they used to, but they’re not going to get jobs.” And where there’s reward, there remains risk.

In the months leading up to Cali’s death, an associate of the Bonanno crime family was gunned down in a McDonald’s parking lot by shooters allegedly hired by an Albanian crime outfit.

Days prior to the murder, a reputed mob enforcer in Rhode Island was shot dead in a case with ties to the Gambino family, according to multiple reports.

Thanks to Kyle Lawson.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Anthony Comello, Suspect in Murder of Mafia Boss Frank Cali, Looking at Death Penalty from the Mob

It’s Mob Justice 101, and there are no appeals: The unsanctioned killing of a Mafia boss carries the death penalty.

The longstanding organized crime maxim is bad news for the life expectancy of Anthony Comello, the suspect jailed in the Staten Island shooting death of Gambino family head Frank (Frankie Boy) Cali.

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“He must know his life is worth nothing,” said one-time Bonanno family associate Joe Barone. “He doesn’t have a chance in hell. It’s a matter of time. Even if the wiseguys don’t get him, he’ll get whacked by somebody looking to make a name.”

Comello, 24, remains in protective custody in a Jersey Shore jail, held without bail in the March 13 slaying of Cali outside his Staten Island home. Cali was shot 10 times in what initially appeared to be the first hit of a sitting New York mob boss since the execution of his long-ago Gambino predecessor Paul Castellano.

Veteran mob chronicler Selwyn Raab, author of the seminal Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires,” said retribution might not occur instantly. But Comello’s best-case scenario is a life spent looking over his shoulder. “Very simply, the old rules in the Mafia are you don’t let somebody get away with something like this," said Raab. “As long as the Mafia exists, he’s in danger. And it’s not just the Gambinos — anybody from any of the other families could go after him. If they get an opportunity to knock him off, they will."

Even the Cali family’s initial refusal to share security video with the NYPD was consistent with the mob’s approach to crime family business.

“That’s a big message: We’ll take care of this ourselves,” said Barone, who became an FBI informant.

The Castellano murder, orchestrated by his Gambino family successor John Gotti in December 1985, led to a trio of retaliatory killings sanctioned by Genovese family boss Vincent (The Chin) Gigante.

The Greenwich Village-based Gigante was outraged that Gotti ordered the hit without his approval. The murders were spread across five years and meant to culminate with the killing of Gotti, who instead died behind bars after his underlings were picked off.


  • Victim No. 1, dispatched by a Brooklyn car bomb, was Gambino underboss Frank DeCicco in April 1987.
  • Castellano shooter Eddie Lino became Victim No. 2 after a November 1990 traffic stop on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn. Unfortunately for him, the officers involved were the infamous “Mafia Cops” — who killed the mob gunman for a $75,000 fee.
  • And finally, Victim No. 3: Bobby Borriello, the driver and bodyguard for the Dapper Don, murdered April 13, 1991, in the driveway of his Brooklyn home.


The mob doesn’t always get its man. Notorious informants like Gotti’s right-hand man Sammy (The Bull) Gravano and Henry Hill of “Goodfellas” fame bolted from the Witness Protection Program and survived for decades.



Gravano, whose testimony convicted Gotti and 36 other gangsters, walked out of an Arizona prison one year ago after serving nearly 20 years for overseeing an ecstasy ring. Hill died of natural causes in June 2012 at the age of 69, although not all are as fortunate.

Lucchese family associate Bruno Facciola was executed in August 1990, with a dead canary stuffed in his mouth as a sign that he was an informer — and a warning to other mobsters.

Thanks to Larry McShane.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Mob Boss Killer Anthony Comello Shows Love of Trump with Pen Markings of #MAGA Forever and Additional Patriot Slogans

The man charged with killing the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family wrote pro-Donald Trump slogans on his hand and flashed them to journalists before a court hearing Monday.

Anthony Comello, 24, was arrested Saturday in New Jersey in the death of Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali last week in front of his Staten Island home.

While waiting for a court hearing to begin in Toms River, New Jersey, in which he agreed to be extradited to New York, Comello held up his left hand.

On it were scrawled pro-Trump slogans including "MAGA Forever," an abbreviation of Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again." It also read "United We Stand MAGA" and "Patriots In Charge." In the center of his palm he had drawn a large circle. It was not immediately clear why he had done so.

Anthony Comello MAGA Forever.jpg


Comello's lawyer, Brian Neary, would not discuss the writing on his client's hand, nor would he say whether Comello maintains his innocence. Asked by reporters after the hearing what was on Comello's hand, Neary replied, "Handcuffs."

He referred all other questions to Comello's Manhattan lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, who said in an emailed statement his client has been placed in protective custody due to "serious threats" that had been made against him, but gave no details of them. Ocean County officials could not immediately be reached after hours on Monday.

"Mr. Comello's family and friends simply cannot believe what they have been told," Gottlieb said. "There is something very wrong here and we will get to the truth about what happened as quickly as possible."

The statement did not address the writing on Comello's hand, and a lawyer from Gottlieb's firm declined to comment further Monday evening.

Comello sat with a slight smile in the jury box of the courtroom Monday afternoon as dozens of reporters and photographers filed into the room. When they were in place, Comello held up his left hand to display the writings as the click and whirr of camera lenses filled the room with sound.

During the hearing, Comello did not speak other than to say, "Yes, sir" to the judge to respond to several procedural questions.

Cali, 53, was shot to death last Wednesday by a gunman who may have crashed his truck into Cali's car to lure him outside. Police said Cali was shot 10 times.

Federal prosecutors referred to Cali in court filings in 2014 as the underboss of the Mafia's Gambino family, once one of the country's most powerful crime organizations. News accounts since 2015 said Cali had ascended to the top spot, though he was never charged with leading the gang. His only mob-related conviction came a decade ago, when he was sentenced to 16 months in prison in an extortion scheme involving a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island. He was released in 2009 and hasn't been in legal trouble since then.

Police have not yet said whether they believe Cali's murder was a mob hit or whether he was killed for some other motive.

The last Mafia boss to be rubbed out in New York City was Gambino don "Big Paul" Castellano, who was assassinated in 1985.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Anthony Comello Arrested in Murder of Frank Cali, Mafia Hit May Have Been Domestic Violence Beef Instead

The mafia didn’t kill Gambino boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali — a twentysomething Staten Island hothead with a personal beef did, police and sources said Saturday.

Anthony ComelloAnthony Comello, 24, a non-mobster who works odd construction jobs, was named as the suspect who blasted at least ten slugs into Cali, 53, on the street outside the boss’s brick mansion.

It was the first assassination of a New York City mob boss since an upstart John Gotti had Gambino boss Paul Castellano whacked outside Sparks Steak House in 1985.

Investigators quickly feared a mob war in the making.But they now believe a personal dispute was to blame — over a woman in Cali’s family, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

The nature of the dispute was not immediately clear. But sources said Cali — who helmed a family notorious for gambling, loan sharking, and its deadly trade in heroin and oxycodone — thought Comello was trouble, sources said.

Cali didn’t think Comello was worthy of associating with a woman in his family, the sources added.

At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea announced Comello’s arrest, but said such issues as motive and possible accomplices were still under investigation.

“Everything is on the table at this point,” he said. “The investigation continues.”

Thanks to Larry Celona and Amanda Woods.

Potential Hit Man in Police Custody in the Shooting of Frank Cali, Reputed Godfather of the Gambino Crime Family #Breaking

New York City detectives have a 24-year-old man in custody related to the shooting death this week of reputed crime boss Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali.

"The investigation is still in progress and an arrest has not yet been made," NYPD Assistant Chief Patrick Conry wrote in an email.

Conry said the 24-year-old was taken into custody early Saturday, but he did not say where. More information is expected to be released Saturday afternoon.

Citing "sources familiar with the investigation," NBC 4 New York reported the 24-year-old was arrested in Brick, New Jersey.

Cali, 53, died at a hospital after being shot multiple times in the torso in front of his home at 25 Hilltop Terrace in Staten Island. Police found Cali wounded after receiving a 911 call reporting an assault in progress about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors have referred to Cali in court filings as the underboss of the Gambino family, saying he was connected through marriage to the Inzerillo clan in the Sicilian Mafia.

Multiple press accounts since 2015 said Cali had ascended to the top spot in the gang, although he never faced a criminal charge saying so.

His death marks the first killing of a New York City boss in more than 30 years, according to reports. Former Gambino head Paul Castellano was famously killed in 1985 outside a midtown Manhattan steakhouse in a hit ordered by John Gotti, who seized control of the family.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Frank Cali, Reputed Gambino Crime Boss, Shook Hands with Mafia Hit Man before Getting Whacked

Details continue to emerge as the investigation advances in the murder of a reputed Gambino family mob boss outside his Staten Island home, the first such incident in New York in three decades.

Multiple police sources say that whoever shot Francesco "Frankie Boy" Cali drove up to the mobster's Hilltop Terrace home in the Todt Hill section, came to a stop, and then gunned the engine in reverse, crashing into Cali's parked Cadillac SUV.

The force of the impact knocked the license plate off the SUV and seemed to investigators to have been done intentionally in order to get Cali's attention.

Once Cali came outside the home, sources said, video showed the two men talking and then shaking hands. Apparently Cali sensed no danger, because he turned his back on his killer to put the license plate inside the rear of the SUV.

That's when the gunman took out a 9mm handgun, held it with two hands -- as if he was trained, the sources said -- and opened fire.

The video is said to be grainy and has not been released because the suspect's face cannot be seen. The NYPD is continuing to canvass the neighborhood in search of clearer video.

Cali's wife and child were in the home at the time, which sources say is a highly unusual circumstance in the lore of organized crime -- which, in its heyday, followed certain rules that kept targets from getting whacked in front of their families.

Eyewitness News obtained Cali's mugshot from 2008, when he pleaded guilty in an extortion scheme involving a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island. He was sentenced to 16 months behind bars and was released in 2009. It is believed he took the reins of the notorious Gambino crime family in 2015.

Mob experts have been wary about possible conflicts erupting in the crime family, particularly after the brother of former Gambino boss John Gotti recently was released from prison. Gene Gotti is a reputed captain.

They say the type of hit -- at his home, with no real attempt to hide what happened -- suggests that it was a message killing. The question for detectives is what type of message was being sent.

This is the first time a reputed mob boss has been killed in New York City in more than 30 years.

The last Mafia boss to be shot to death in New York City was Gambino don Paul Castellano, assassinated outside a Manhattan steakhouse in 1985 at the direction of Gotti, who then took over.

Cali kept a much lower profile than Gotti.

With his expensive double-breasted suits and overcoats and silvery swept-back hair, Gotti became known as the Dapper Don, his smiling face all over the tabloids. As prosecutors tried and failed to bring him down, he came to be called the Teflon Don.

In 1992, Gotti was convicted in Castellano's murder and a multitude of other crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison and died of cancer in 2002.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Francesco "Frank" Cali, Reputed Gambino Crime Family Boss, Shot to Death Outside His Home

A reputed New York crime boss was shot and killed outside his home Wednesday night.

Francesco "Frank" Cali, 53, was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso in the borough of Staten Island, the NYPD said.

A law enforcement official confirmed that Cali was a high-ranking member of the Gambino organized crime family and is believed to be the acting boss.

Police are searching for a pickup truck that fled the scene, NY Police Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea said. No one has been arrested and the investigation is ongoing.

Cali was home with family members when the truck hit a car outside the residence, Shea said. It's "quite possible" that the incident was staged to draw Cali outside and into a confrontation with the suspected shooter, he said.

About a minute into the confrontation, the suspect pulled out a gun and began shooting at Cali, Shea said. When Cali tried to take cover behind his car, the pickup truck drove into it and "rocked" it significantly, possibly damaging the truck, Shea said.

Medics arrived at the scene and transported Cali to Staten Island University Hospital North, where he was pronounced dead.

Cali had been considered a unifying figure in the years after then-Gambino boss John Gotti, "Dapper Don," was convicted of murder and racketeering in 1992 and sent to prison for life. Unlike the well-dressed Gotti, Cali kept a low profile.

Cali was the first New York crime family boss shot in 34 years, according to WPIX. In 1985, Paul Castellano was shot dead as he arrived at Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan -- a killing organized by Gotti, authorities said. Gotti, who then assumed control of the family, reportedly watched the action from nearby with his eventual underboss, Sammy "Bull" Gravano. But Gravano would eventually testify against Gotti, leading to Gotti's 1992 conviction in five murders -- one of several major convictions that thinned the Mafia ranks in the 1980s and '90s.

Cali was an associate in the Gambino family, according to court documents, when he was indicted in 2008 with more than two dozen other Gambino members for a range of alleged crimes.

Later that year, he pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy related to the planned construction of a NASCAR speedway on Staten Island -- a plan that eventually was scrapped.

Authorities alleged Cali and others arranged, through force and threat of force, to receive cash payments from someone who had worked on the project.

Cali was sentenced to 16 months in prison and was released in 2009.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mobster Turns Lemons into Lemonade

It's too bad for Joey Vallaro that so many people want him killed. Otherwise he could make a killing himself on the speakers' circuit with his story of how even in adversity there is opportunity.

In Vallaro's case it would be about how he turned a jail stretch for extortion into a career as a Staten Island trucking magnate.

Always a step ahead, so far at least, Vallaro is the Mafia "rat" at the centre of a 170-page indictment against 62 mobsters and crooks, including the bosses of New York's Gambino family, which resulted in 57 arrests last week. It was a crippling blow to one of the city's notorious Five Families.

Twelve years and a lifetime ago, Vallaro became pals with the Gambino captain Nicholas "Little Nicky" Corozzo while they were in the can. Not long before he was jailed Vallaro and a partner had started a trucking company.

Court documents, referring to Vallaro as "John Doe #4", show that on the outside another Gambino captain, Thomas "Tommy Sneakers" Cacciopoli, recovered a debt owed to Vallaro's company "and, in return, demanded monthly extortion payments from that point forward". After his release from prison in 1999 Vallaro made the payments directly to Cacciopoli, 58, and to stay in business he has since handed over more than $US160,000.

In return, the Gambinos sponsored his business: ushering him into exclusive rights at development sites and granting him permission to start a cement company. When Vallaro wanted to sell after a buyer approached him, he first had to obtain permission from the family.

"In keeping with instructions from Gambino family captains Nicholas Corozzo and Leonard DiMaria to consult them before making any decisions concerning his business, John Doe #4 informed DiMaria of the [buyer's] offer. DiMaria later informed John Doe #4 that the family had agreed to allow him to make the sale, provided he pay $100,000 to the Gambino family," court documents show.

Vallaro's partner did not fare so well: "In early January 2008, Gambino family soldier Joseph Scopo approached John Doe #4 on behalf of Gambino family captain Thomas Cacciopoli and instructed him that when the sale of his cement company took place, John Doe #4 should not provide his partner with the more than $300,000 in sale proceeds due to him, and that Cacciopoli would collect the money himself when he was released from prison."

Long before he OKed selling Vallaro's business, Lenny "Fatso" DiMaria, a family member since the 1970s, had unwittingly given investigators an insight into corporate techniques Gambino-style when he was captured on a surveillance audio tape.

"You have to go bother these people for your money," he was heard telling a subordinate. "Rough them up a little. Tell them 'You're a f---ing stiff' … Crack a face. F--- them up. Don't you do it, send a f---ing kid to rough them up, a f---ing joke."

The most senior of those charged is John "Jackie the Nose" D'Amico, who rose from the rank of soldier to acting boss of the Gambinos. Seventy-three years old and facing racketeering and extortion charges, he may well die in prison like an earlier Gambino boss, John Gotti.

Also indicted are D'Amico's underboss, Dominic "the Greaseball" Cefalu, 61, and Joseph "Miserable" Corozzo, 66, the family's counsellor or consigliere. This trio was the Gambino "administration".

"The Gambino family operated through groups of individuals headed by captains, who were also referred to as skippers, caporegimes and capodecinas. These groups, which were referred to as crews, regimes and decinas, consisted of 'made' members of the Gambino family, also referred to as 'soldiers', 'friends of ours', 'good fellows' and 'buttons' as well as associates of the Gambino family," the indictment reads.

"With the assistance of the underboss and consigliere, the boss was responsible for setting policy, resolving disputes between members and associates of the Gambino family and members and associates of other criminal organisations."

Corozzo's brother, Nicholas "Little Nicky" Corozzo, is charged with the 1996 murder of the Lucchese crime family associate Robert Arena who refused to return marijuana he stole from a drug dealer. Arena was already suspected of killing one of Corozzo's crew - Anthony "Tough Tony" Placido - when Corozzo ordered his killing. A friend of Arena's who happened to be with him when he was shot was also murdered. Of the shooter, Little Nicky is alleged to have said he "did good work".

One longtime soldier who was spared the indignity of a physically demeaning nickname - and possibly with good reason - was Charles "Charlie Canig" Carneglia.

Grey-bearded and with an improbable grey ponytail, Carneglia has allegedly been killing for the Gambinos since the 1970s, and not necessarily always while under instruction.

In 1975 Albert Gelb, 25, intervened when he saw a young woman being harassed in a diner by a man who produced a gun before Gelb disarmed him. The man was Carneglia. Gelb was shot dead seated at the wheel of his car shortly before Carneglia's trial.

Carneglia, 61, has been charged with five murders in all and also is suspected of a notorious hit on one John Favara, who disappeared in July 1980. Favara was the unfortunate motorist who struck and killed Gotti's 12-year-old son. The boy rode his bike into the path of Favara's car. Carneglia is suspected of shooting Favara and of disposing of his body in a cement-filled barrel. Favara's body has not been found.

The FBI this week was making a body count of another sort. In the Gambino takedown they counted three family captains, three acting captains and 16 soldiers. "Once ruled by the powerful Carlo Gambino and 'Dapper Don' John Gotti, the Gambino family has been reduced to a shadow of its former criminal self over the years … but it is far from dead, continuing its efforts to infiltrate such industries as trucking and construction," the FBI said. "Still, the investigations and ensuing indictment represent another crippling blow. A total of 25 alleged Gambino mobsters - including each active leader of the family not already in jail - were indicted."

Among those charged are members and associates of the Bonnano and Genovese crime families and figures from the construction industry and unions. The charges span three decades and involve murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion and various scams.

The Labour Department inspector-general, Gordon Heddell, said the scams involved some of New York's biggest building companies. "Many of these construction companies allegedly paid a 'mob tax' in return for 'protection' and permission to operate," he said. "The Gambino organised crime family caused the theft of Teamsters union dues, and of health and pension funds, directly impacting the welfare and future of many workers."

In addition, Carneglia ran marijuana. Other family members dealt cocaine. Corozzo and DiMaria oversaw illegal bookmakers, and acting captain Frank Cali ran illegal poker machines "including approximately four or five machines in Caf Italia in Brooklyn. Cali split a percentage of the gambling profits with the owner of the restaurant, with 10 per cent off the top going to the administration of the Gambino family," court documents reveal.

"In the 1990s, Cali was involved in overseeing the Gambino family interest in the annual Italian Feast on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn. The Gambino family received a percentage of the fees charged for the booths and rides, which generated tens of thousands of dollars each year. Cali split the money with other Gambino family associates, with 10 per cent off the top going to the administration of the Gambino family."

Joey Vallaro was a good earner for the Gambinos. In January 2006 they allowed him to start a new operation, an excavation business. That alone brought in $30,000 in extortion payments.

The New York Post said the crunch came when he was busted with two kilograms of cocaine in 2004. He turned informant rather than face a possible life sentence.

Contrary to expectations, Vallaro apparently did not enter the witness protection program after authorities swooped on the family: some reports claim that Joey stayed around to make a brazen appearance at a sushi bar last Saturday. It was just two days after the arrests, and two doors from the restaurant run by his now-abandoned wife, Trisha.

He is not expected to reappear until his time comes to testify in the looming Gambino trials. That is especially so since Little Nicky Corozzo, the man who ushered him into the fold, was not home when the police came calling. And he is still out there, somewhere.

Thanks to Ian Munro

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Biggest New York Mafia Take Down in 20 Years Hits the Gambino Family

The FBI struck a decapitating blow today to the Gambino crime family, taking out its leaders and the last vestiges of late boss John Gotti, the Daily News has learned.

Up to 60 mobsters are expected to be charged on racketeering, murder and extortion charges, including acting boss John (Jackie Nose) D'Amico who was Dapper Don's longtime sidekick, underboss Dominic Cefalu and consigliere Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo, sources said.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News in 2005, D'Amico denied running the Gambino family. "I'm the boss of my house and my bathroom," he said.

Gotti's brother Vincent and his nephew Richard, will be charged today with the 2003 attempted murder of Howard Beach bagel shop owner Angelo Mugnolo.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell, FBI officials and representatives from the Italian National Police are scheduled to discuss the largest Mafia takedown in more than two decades, at a press conference later this morning.

Another Gotti crony, Charles Carneglia is facing charges for the murders of an armored car driver during a robbery, the 1976 murder of a court officer and the 1990 rubout of gangster Louis DiBono.

Nicholas (Little Nick) Corozzo, a reputed capo believed to be the heir apparent to run the family, will be charged with a 1996 double murder in Brooklyn in which one of the victims was a bystander.

Officials are also expected to discuss the arrests of dozens of Mafioso members in Sicily in coordination with today's raids. The Sicilian wiseguys have ties to the Gambino crime family through reputed New York soldier Franki Cali, sources said.

During the lengthy investigation, the FBI learned that disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy was betting on basketball games with bookies. Donaghy pleaded guilty last summer and is cooperating with authorities.

Thanks to John Marzulli

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Gambino Ambassador to Sicilian Mobsters

Friends of ours: Frank "U Frankie" Cali, Gambino Crime Family, Dominic "Italian Dom" Cefalu

A reputed Gambino crime-family soldier serves as ambassador to Sicilian mobsters trying to pump millions of dollars in illicit drug and extortion proceeds into real estate and other business in New York, officials said yesterday.

Wiretapped conversations picked up by Mafia-hunters in Palermo identified Frank "U Frankie" Cali as the suspected Gambino point man between his crime family and their counterparts in Sicily, Italian authorities said.

Sources said the only Frank Cali listed in the Gambino family in the United States is a 42-year-old Sicilian native living Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He could not be reached for comment last night.

The bombshell disclosure came after Italian police rounded up 14 suspected mobsters in Palermo on an array of charges, including aiding fugitive boss Salvatore Lo Piccolo, one of Palermo's most powerful mob figures and possible successor to Bernardo Provenzano, the undisputed boss of bosses. Provenzano was captured last year after 43 years on the lam.

The probe uncovered evidence that Cali, who has close ties to a once-prominent Mafia family in Italy, the Inzerillos, would likely help the Sicilians launder tens of millions of euros in speculative real-estate deals in Brooklyn and retail businesses in Manhattan. Authorities did not disclose what those investments might be.

Telephone wiretaps and listening devices discovered close relations between the Palermo families and the American Mafia, according to a statement by Palermo police.

The Mafia has already made an agreement with the Italian-Americans in view of shared opportunities, Pietro Grasso, Italy's national anti-Mafia prosecutor, said at a recent news conference. In this new strategy, the American connections are indispensable.

Grasso explained that the Sicilians have a difficult time laundering their money in their homeland and are increasingly turning to the United States and other countries, where they have allies to launder cash.

Last May, The Post reported that the Sicilian mobsters, with their infamous history of violence and drug trafficking, were re-emerging as major powers in the Big Apple, and their ranks were expected to grow with the release of notorious Pizza Connection Mafiosi.

Sources say Cali appears to be a legitimate businessman, but investigators believe he is closely aligned with Dominic "Italian Dom" Cefalu, 60, who is currently considered the underboss of the Gambino crime family.

Thanks to Murray Weis

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