The Chicago Syndicate: Michael Yannotti
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Showing posts with label Michael Yannotti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Yannotti. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Gambino Wiseguy Gets 20 Years in Prison

Friends of ours: Michael Yannotti, John "Junior" Gotti, Gambino Crime Family

Curtis Sliwa brushed away tears yesterday as a judge sentenced a Gambino thug he long wanted to see behind bars to 20 years in prison.

Jurors may have cleared Michael Yannotti in the 1992 point-blank shooting of the radio host - but Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin refused to show the Mafia muscle any mercy as she sent him up the river on an unrelated racketeering count.

Sliwa was shot twice as he tried to dive out the window of a stolen yellow cab whose doors had been rigged shut.

Scheindlin made clear she still believes Yannotti was the triggerman. "How Mr. Sliwa survived the attack at all is simply a miracle," Scheindlin said. She said Sliwa, the founder of the city's famed Guardian Angels, "demonstrated superhuman strength and ingenuity to get out of that death car."

After watching crime boss John Gotti Jr. score three mistrials for his alleged role in the shooting, Sliwa said it was the first time he'd felt a measure of justice for the attack he says wrecked his second marriage and left him with intestinal injuries that cause him suffering every day. "This is not Sicily, this is not Baghdad, this is not Gaza," Sliwa said. "When he shot those bullets into me he attempted to stifle my free speech. ... It's a nightmare ... mentally and physically."

Yannotti, 43, shook his head in disbelief each time Scheindlin linked him to the shooting. Prosecutors say Gotti sent Yannotti and another wiseguy to abduct Sliwa on June 19, 1992, following Sliwa's relentless on-air attacks on the Gotti clan.

Yannotti, the feds insist, jumped up from the passenger seat of the cab and, shouting, "Take this, you son of a b----," fired two shots from a .38-caliber gun that hit Sliwa in his leg and abdomen.

The 20-year sentence stunned Yannotti's supporters. "Jesus," one whispered as Yannotti's sobbing sister ran from court.

Jurors at Yannotti's 2005 trial acquitted him of the Sliwa shooting on a vote of seven to five favoring conviction. But prosecutor Victor Hou argued that the judge could factor the shooting into Yannotti's sentence on racketeering charges that included extortion and loansharking counts because of the "ample evidence" of his involvement.

Scheindlin agreed and ignore Yannotti's handwritten plea for mercy. "My parents are older and I don't have much time," Yannotti, 43, wrote. "I would like them to know their only son turned out all right." He asked that she allow him to restart his life with a wife he married in 1999 and two young daughters he called "the little treasures."

Sliwa vows to press ahead with a lawsuit accusing Junior Gotti of his role in his shooting. "The guy I still hold responsible for this is John Gotti Jr.," Sliwa said.

Thanks to Thomas Zambito

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Junior to Face Jury Solo

Friends of ours: John Gotti Jr., Michael Yannotti, John Gotti

When John Gotti Jr. goes on trial again in February, he'll face the jury alone. A federal judge yesterday acquitted Gotti co-defendant Michael Yannotti on charges he participated in a botched kidnapping plot against radio host Curtis Sliwa in 1992. A jury previously acquitted Yannotti of attempted murder for allegedly shooting Sliwa as he and another Gambino posing as a cabby tried to snatch him in a yellow taxi.

In a 26-page written opinion, Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin sided with defense lawyer Diarmuid White, finding that Yannotti could not be retried on the remaining charge based on technical legal grounds stemming from the jury's vote. Yannotti will instead proceed directly to sentencing as the jury convicted him of additional racketeering conspiracy charges that could land him behind bars for 20 years.

Gotti, the 41-year-old son of the late Gambino boss John "Dapper Don" Gotti, still stands accused of ordering and orchestrating the kidnapping of Sliwa after the jury delivered a hung verdict on that charge.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Trial pits 'Angel' Curtis Sliwa against son of 'Dapper Don', Junior Gotti

Curtis Sliwa

For years, radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa routinely denigrated late mob boss John Gotti and his cohorts as murderers, drug dealers, degenerates. His tone was so strident, prosecutors say, that Gotti's son ordered an attack on the motormouthed founder of the Guardian Angels.

Make it personal, the younger Gotti allegedly told his gunsels.

Thirteen years after Sliwa took two bullets in a botched hit, he will finally get face-to-face with John "Junior" Gotti in a courtroom. Sliwa, who's rarely at a loss for words, was expected to testify Monday in Gotti's federal racketeering trial. "I've been waiting 13 years for justice," Sliwa said before the trial started last month. The courtroom showdown was expected to provide the trial's most drama: the head Angel testifying against the ex-head of the Gambino crime family.

Both native New Yorkers, they share an Italian heritage and a penchant for making headlines -- but that's about all they have in common. There's no love lost between the son of the infamous "Dapper Don" and the son of a merchant seaman.

It was Sliwa's on-air slagging of the elder Gotti that allegedly prompted an angry Junior to order the June 19, 1992, attack.

Prosecution witness Joseph "Little Joey" D'Angelo, a mob turncoat, testified that Gotti went as far as taking him on a tour of Sliwa's Manhattan neighborhood to pick out a spot where the attack should occur.

D'Angelo said that Gotti's directions were very specific: "He's getting personal. I want us to get personal." He said Gotti specifically mentioned Sliwa's cracks about his father, who was serving a life term on a racketeering charge.

Gotti allegedly only wanted Sliwa to take a beating when two mobsters inside a stolen cab picked up the radio show host. But the process was botched and mobster Michael "Mikey Y" Yannotti wound up shooting him, said prosecution witness D'Angelo. Yanotti then tossed the wounded Guardian Angel out the cab window.

Gotti has denied any involvement in the Sliwa shooting. D'Angelo testified that Gotti paid him $5,000 for the job.

Gotti, whose father died in prison in 2002, is accused of a conspiracy to kidnap Sliwa as part of racketeering charges that could jail him for 30 years.

While the attack was intended to shut up Sliwa, it's had the exact opposite effect. Sliwa, who co-hosts a morning radio show with liberal lawyer Ron Kuby, only increased his vitriol toward Gotti and the Gambino family after the shooting.

Long before Junior's indictment, Sliwa was publicly putting the blame on the Gambinos. He did stop talking about the case briefly when Gotti was finally charged with the crime.

Sliwa, quite dramatically, then went into hiding over fears that he would be targeted for retaliation by the Gambino family. He wasn't, and was soon back to his old ways on the radio.


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