The Chicago Syndicate: Leo Weintraub
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Showing posts with label Leo Weintraub. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leo Weintraub. Show all posts

Friday, October 07, 1988

Suspected Mob Porn Boss Dies in His Apartment

Michael Glitta, 68, known to law enforcement officials as local overseer of pornography rackets, has died in his apartment at 1221 N. Dearborn St., his attorney, Adam Bourgeois, said Thursday. Glitta, who had a history of heart ailments, suffered a fatal heart attack Wednesday night, according to Bourgeois. Glitta, who operated a magazine sales firm at 1112 N. Milwaukee Ave., had syndicate ties going back nearly 30 years, according to Chicago and federal law enforcement officials.

In 1982, the Chicago Crime Commission said he supervised pornography operations for the mob in an area that ranged from the Near North Side to the Wisconsin state line. Crime Commission records say he got his start in vice rackets by running B-girl strip joints in Chicago and later branched out to embrace X-rated films and cassette tapes. Mob watchers said Glitta reported directly to Vincent Solano, a labor union leader and reputed rackets boss for the North Side and the northern suburbs.

Police and federal officials speculated Thursday that the list of likely successors to Glitta`s porn interests includes Johnny Matassa, a Solano protege, as well as Orlando Catanese and Leo Weintraub, two men described as manufacturers and sellers of books, magazines, films and sexual paraphernalia, and business associates of mob figures. Matassa, 37, recently has been observed regularly accompanying Glitta to meetings with Solano, according to federal investigators. Solano oversees Local 1 of the Laborers Union, and Matassa is a $75,000-a-year executive with Laborers Union Local 2, whose members include sewer and tunnel workers.

Although Glitta was regarded by authorities as the mob`s top man in the distribution of pornography, there have been recent indications his power was waning. A recently disclosed FBI investigation, described in a court affidavit, contended that reputed mob terrorist Frankie Schweihs had moved in on one North Wells Street pornography shop and was planning to take over another. Both would normally have been in Glitta`s territory, police said.

With federal court approval, the FBI secretly taped conversations between Schweihs and a former porn dealer from whom he was collecting protection money on behalf of the mob, the affidavit said. On one tape, the dealer, concerned about being caught in a mob territorial dispute, asked Schweihs to talk to Glitta. Schweihs told him that he didn`t talk to Glitta, but to Glitta`s boss, who was not named in the conversation. As a result of the tapes, Schweihs was charged with extortion.

At the time of his death, Glitta was awaiting trial in Chicago on federal charges of illegally possessing two .38 caliber revolvers. Glitta`s family said a funeral was planned for Monday.

Reported by John O'Brien


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