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Showing posts with label Mickey Davis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mickey Davis. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Reputed mob debt collector Paul Carparelli's recordings read like low-grade gangster script

Paul Carparelli may have fancied himself a rising star in the Chicago Outfit, but by his own admission he made a pretty lousy firefighter.

In 2012, Carparelli, a reputed debt collector for the mob's Cicero faction, was caught on undercover federal recordings talking about his unsuccessful stint as a firefighter in sleepy west suburban Bloomingdale in the 1990s.

Among his gripes about the job: running into burning buildings for low pay, being forced to do menial tasks like washing firetrucks instead of his beloved Cadillac, and, heaven forbid, going on a late-night call to the nearby nursing home, where "them old (expletive) (expletive)ers are always croakin.'"

"It just wasn't the job for me, you know. You gotta help them (expletive) people," Carparelli told his top muscle guy, George Brown, in a profanity-laced tirade, according to a transcript in court records. "You gotta be a certain kind of person for that. George, I guess you gotta like people. My problem is I hate everybody."

Carparelli's day of reckoning comes Wednesday when he faces sentencing at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse for a series of extortion attempts involving deadbeat businessmen. Federal prosecutors are seeking about 11 years in prison.

At the center of the case are hundreds of hours of conversations between Carparelli and Brown, a 300-pound union bodyguard and mixed martial arts fighter who was secretly cooperating with the FBI. The recordings paint a colorful picture of Carparelli as a callous mid-level mob operative looking to make a name for himself after convictions had sent several Outfit bosses — including Cicero crew leader Mike "The Large Guy" Sarno — to prison.

"This position doesn't happen all the time, George," Carparelli told Brown in a recorded call from 2011. "This is like a once in a lifetime (expletive) thing, if this is what you want to do, if this is the way you want to live your life."

Carparelli's lawyers have asked U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman for as little as probation, saying in a recent court filing that the former pizzeria owner was "nothing but a blowhard" whose constant exaggerations of his mob ties "caused the government to believe he was a connected guy."

"Mr. Carparelli is clearly a 'wanna-be' who has watched 'The Sopranos' and 'Goodfellas' too many times," attorneys Ed Wanderling and Charles Nesbit wrote. He was simply playing a "role," they argued.

If it was just a role, it was one Carparelli, now 47, played to the hilt. Carparelli was caught on surveillance arranging for the beating of suburban car dealership owner R.J. Serpico — he wanted both his legs broken — for failing to pay back a $300,000 loan from Michael "Mickey" Davis. Davis was a longtime partner of reputed mob lieutenant Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis and had Outfit connections that purportedly went all the way to acting boss John DiFronzo, according to testimony at Davis' recent trial.

"We definitely can't (expletive) around with these guys or we're gonna have a big (expletive) headache," Carparelli told Brown in one call that was played at Davis' trial.

Carparelli also played a behind-the-scenes role in a plot to confront a business owner in Appleton, Wis., about a $100,000 debt. In a backroom at a Fuddruckers restaurant, Brown and two other mob toughs threatened the owner, who had offered to hand over a special-edition Ford Mustang as partial payment.

Asked where the car could be found, the victim was "shaking and stuttering" so badly that one of the enforcers grabbed his driver's license and wrote the address down himself, prosecutors said. At a 2014 trial in Chicago, the victim had trouble reading the complaint he had filed with police, telling jurors he was still shaking when he filled it out and that his handwriting was almost illegible.

Carparelli's undercover conversations with Brown certainly seem ripped from the pages of a low-grade gangster script. In call after call, the two talked as casually as office cubicle mates about the depleted state of the mob, the difficult logistics of certain contract beatings and the pain they intended to inflict on those behind in payments.

In one phone call from February 2013, Carparelli was recorded telling Brown to go to the home of a victim to collect a $66,000 juice loan debt with a ridiculously high interest rate, according to Carparelli's plea agreement.

"(Expletive) ring the bell and crack that guy," Carparelli was quoted as telling Brown. "Don't even say nothing to him. ... Go over there, give him a (expletive) crack, and we'll get in contact with him."

And when Brown and Carparelli had a falling out — purportedly over Brown's inability to get certain beatings done on time — Carparelli patched things up by reciting a sort of mob creed.

"As long as you don't steal from me, (expletive) my wife or rat on me, you're my friend 1,000 percent," he was quoted as telling Brown in a transcript of the call. "The thing is, when we say we're gonna do something, we have to get it done 'cause we look like (expletive) idiots. And I'm not in a position to look like an idiot. Because there is a lot of (expletive) goin' on now."

Prosecutors alleged Carparelli's allegiance to the Outfit began at a young age. As a teen, he joined the 12th Street Players, a Cicero-based gang founded in the late 1960s and credited with being the first street gang in the west suburbs, where Carparelli grew up, records show.

He racked up numerous violent arrests in his teens and 20s for bar fights, street beatings and several incidents in which he allegedly pulled a gun during an altercation, according to court records. In 1995, Carparelli was arrested at a Chicago Blackhawks game after he allegedly punched a man in the face "without warning" during a conversation, records show.

After his brief employment as a firefighter, Carparelli went to work for a company owned by Bridgeport trucking boss Michael Tadin — a longtime friend of former Mayor Richard M. Daley — whose firm Marina Cartage was once the target of an Outfit-related bombing, records show.

At the same time, Carparelli was establishing himself as a cocaine dealer, a lucrative moneymaker for him for more than 20 years, according to prosecutors.

When Carparelli was arrested in July 2013 as he pulled into his driveway with his son in the car, agents found "distribution amounts of cocaine" on him, prosecutors said. The FBI also recovered two guns, $170,500 and nearly $200,000 in jewelry — including a gold bracelet with the name "Paulie" spelled in diamonds — in a safe hidden in his home's crawlspace, court records show.

While free on bond awaiting trial, Carparelli was accused of threatening the life of a witness against him outside a Chicago-area Wal-Mart, pulling up alongside an employee of the witness and saying, "Tell him he is a (expletive) rat. Tell him he knows what happens to rats," prosecutors said.

Even after Carparelli was jailed for the stunt, he continued to make threats from the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal jail, prosecutors said. In intercepted emails and prison calls, Carparelli allegedly called his business partner a "fink" after he stopped returning calls and accused him of cooperating with the government, prosecutors said. He also claimed the man owed him money.

"Doesn't matter if I get six months or six years, when I'm done were gonna have a talk," Carparelli wrote in all capital letters in an email to the man. "So put your big boy pants on and get ready."

"The 1,500 means nothing," Carparelli wrote. "It's the point that matters!!!!!! ... See you when I get out!!!!!! Partner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

In their court filing asking for probation, Carparelli's attorneys said he is the sole caretaker for his son, who suffers from Tourette syndrome. They also pointed to his work as a firefighter and that his felony extortion conviction prevents him from ever holding a civil service position again.

If the issue comes up in court on Wednesday, prosecutors could play the recording in which Carparelli talks about his firefighting experience, ripping everything from the "ex-military, straight-A guys" who worked with him at the station to the long 24-hour shifts.

He also complained about frequent medical calls to a local nursing home and recalled one early-morning trip there when a resident told him she had been having chest pains since 6:30 or 7 that night.

"I looked at her, I said, 'Lady, it's 2 in the morning. You wait until 2 in the morning and call us. Why didn't you call us at 7? You woke everybody up,'" he said. "She looked at me and got hot."

Thanks to Jason Meisner.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mickey Davis, Longtime Reputed Mob Associate, Convicted of Extortion

A longtime associate of reputed Outfit bosses Peter and John DiFronzo was convicted Monday of extortion for threatening a deadbeat suburban businessman and then hiring a team of goons to break the victim's legs months later when he still wouldn't pay up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

"How are your wife and kids doing? Are you still living in Park Ridge?" prosecutors said Michael "Mickey" Davis asked the victim during a January 2013 confrontation at a Melrose Park used car dealership, according to trial testimony. "Does your wife still own that salon in Schaumburg?"

After two weeks of testimony, a federal jury deliberated about nine hours before convicting Davis, 58, on two extortion-related counts. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.

As the verdict was read, Davis, dressed in a light gray suit with his hair slicked back, raised his eyebrows, turned to whisper something to one of his lawyers, sat back in his chair and shook his head.

Prosecutors sought to immediately jail Davis pending sentencing, but U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan allowed Davis to remain free for now so he can go to a doctor's appointment. Davis could be taken into custody when he is scheduled to return to court next week.

In the lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, Davis' attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, vowed to appeal, telling reporters he was "disappointed that the jury could conclude from nothing but circumstantial evidence that it was proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

Davis' trial featured some of the biggest names in the depleted ranks of the Chicago Outfit, including the DiFronzo brothers and Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis, all reputed leaders of the notorious Elmwood Park crew. While none of the aging bosses was charged with any wrongdoing, their names and photos were shown to jurors as evidence of Davis' purported connections to the highest levels of the mob.

The alleged victim of the extortion plot, R.J. Serpico, testified that he was well aware of Davis' friendship with the DiFronzo brothers and that he often saw Davis and Peter DiFronzo cruising past his Ideal Motors dealership in DiFronzo's black Cadillac Escalade. Serpico, who is a nephew of longtime Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico, said he also had heard that Davis was partnered with DeLaurentis, a feared capo convicted in the 1990s of racketeering conspiracy in connection with a violent gambling crew run by Ernest Rocco Infelice.

Durkin said Davis has known the DiFronzo brothers since childhood and that for years he has maintained a business relationship with them through his landfill in Plainfield, where two DiFronzo-owned construction companies have paid millions to dump asphalt and other construction debris. Davis and Peter DiFronzo were also golfing and fishing buddies, Durkin said.

"As many witnesses testified, growing up in Melrose Park, or growing up in Elmwood Park as Mickey did, you come to know those people," Durkin said Monday. "I don't think at this point Peter DiFronzo is anything but a businessman. I think it's unfortunate that he gets tarred with the same brush, but the government seems hellbent on continuing to put the Outfit out of business, and I don't begrudge them that, but I do begrudge them the means that they go about doing it."

Prosecutors allege that within months of the ominous January 2013 confrontation at Ideal Motors, Davis, infuriated that Serpico had still failed to pay back a $300,000 loan, ordered his brutal beating, enlisting the help of a well-known Italian restaurant owner in Burr Ridge to find the right guys for the job. The restaurateur went to reputed mob associate Paulie Carparelli, who in turn hired a team of bone-cracking goons to carry out the beating for $10,000, according to prosecutors.

Unbeknownst to everyone involved, however, the beefy union bodyguard tasked with coordinating the assault, George Brown, had been nabbed months earlier in an unrelated extortion plot and was secretly cooperating with the FBI. In July 2013, agents swooped in to stop the beating before it was carried out, court records show.

Thanks to Jason Meisner.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mickey Davis and Peter DiFronzo, Fishing Buddies or Mob Associates?

The mob-connected plot to break the legs of a deadbeat suburban businessman started at a dingy used car dealership in Melrose Park, federal prosecutors say.

Michael "Mickey" Davis, a longtime associate of reputed Outfit bosses Peter and John DiFronzo, walked into R.J. Serpico's office, closed the door behind him and threw a piece of paper onto the desk.

On the sheet were scribbled notes from a mob bookie indicating Serpico's father owed thousands of dollars in gambling debts. Serpico, who had taken a $300,000 loan from Davis to start the fledgling Ideal Motors dealership with his father, knew instantly he was in trouble.

"This wasn't our (expletive) agreement," Davis growled, according to Serpico's recent testimony in federal court. "I want my (expletive) money."

He then pulled up a chair, leaned in close and issued what prosecutors allege was a thinly veiled threat.

"How are your wife and kids doing? Are you still living in Park Ridge?" the hefty suburban landfill owner allegedly asked Serpico. "Does your wife still own that salon in Schaumburg?"

Without another word, Davis got up and walked out.

Prosecutors allege that within months of that ominous January 2013 confrontation, Davis, infuriated that Serpico had still failed to pay back the loan, ordered his brutal beating, enlisting the help of a well-known Italian restaurant owner in Burr Ridge to find the right guys for the job. The restaurateur went to reputed mob associate Paulie Carparelli, who in turn hired a team of bone-cracking goons to carry out the beating for $10,000, according to prosecutors.

Unbeknownst to everyone involved, however, the beefy union bodyguard tasked with coordinating the assault had been nabbed months earlier in an unrelated extortion plot and was secretly cooperating with the FBI. In July 2013, agents swooped in to stop the beating before it was carried out, court records show.

For the past two weeks, Davis' trial on extortion charges at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse has featured some of the biggest names in the depleted ranks of the Chicago Outfit, including the DiFronzo brothers and Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis, all reputed leaders of the notorious Elmwood Park crew.

While none of the aging bosses has been charged with any wrongdoing, their names and photos have been shown to jurors as evidence of the 58-year-old Davis' purported connections to the highest levels of the mob.

Serpico testified he was well aware of Davis' friendship with the DiFronzo brothers and that he often saw Davis and Peter DiFronzo cruising past Ideal Motors in DiFronzo's black Cadillac Escalade. He said he also had heard Davis was partnered with DeLaurentis, a feared capo convicted in the 1990s of racketeering conspiracy in connection with a violent gambling crew run by Ernest Rocco Infelice.

Davis' attorneys, meanwhile, have denied he has anything to do with the mob. Davis has known the DiFronzos since childhood and has maintained a longtime business relationship with them through his landfill in suburban Plainfield, where two DiFronzo-owned construction companies have paid millions of dollars to dump asphalt and other construction debris, according to his lawyers.

To bolster their point that he had nothing to hide, Davis' attorneys showed the jury a photo that Davis kept in his office at the E.F. Heil landfill. The undated photo showed a tanned Davis deep-sea fishing off Costa Rica with Peter DiFronzo, the shirtless mob boss appearing to be reeling in a catch with a pole harness strapped around his waist.

Jurors deliberated about seven hours Friday without reaching a verdict. U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan told the panel to return Monday morning to resume discussions.

In his closing argument Thursday, Thomas Anthony Durkin, Davis' attorney, urged jurors not to get swept up in the dramatic talk of gangsters and to focus instead on the evidence that Durkin said failed to connect Davis to the mob or any extortion plot.

"If you want to get swayed by looking at 'murderer's row' here, Pete DiFronzo, John DiFronzo, Solly DeLaurentis, all the boys, then we are in trouble," Durkin told the jury in his closing argument as the mobsters' photos were flashed on an overhead screen.

Durkin also painted Serpico as a liar and called the government's undercover informant, George Brown, "just pathetic."

Both Carparelli and Brown have pleaded guilty to charges unrelated to Davis' case and are awaiting sentencing.

According to court records and testimony at the trial, Davis, who often golfed with Serpico's father, Joe, loaned the father-son team $300,000 in 2012 to purchase used vehicles to sell at Ideal Motors. The agreement called for the loan to be paid back within three years, plus an extra $300 per car sold tacked on as interest. According to prosecutors, Davis expected to more than double his money. But the deal quickly soured as the business floundered and Serpico's father continued to gamble with the borrowed funds, court records show. By the end of that year, Ideal Motors was in trouble, with creditors breathing down the owners' necks and cars being repossessed.

Serpico, 44, who is married with two children, testified he was terrified and sick to his stomach after Davis threatened him and his family at the meeting at Ideal Motors. He kicked his father off the lot to appease Davis, who became co-owner. Serpico also paid Davis nearly $60,000 in cash and a used Chevelle to try to buy some time, according to prosecutors.

Wracked with fear and not knowing what to do, Serpico "literally walked off the lot" that May 2013 and left control of the business to Davis, Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather McShain said in her closing argument. But with Ideal Motors a financial bust, Davis had had enough, McShain said.

"Mickey Davis made a decision to not only continue to collect but to follow up on his threat," McShain said.

Over the next several weeks, FBI agents secretly recorded a series of phone calls and meetings between Carparelli and Brown in which they discussed the logistics of the beating, including concerns over whether they had the proper clearance from the Outfit to carry out such an attack in the DiFronzos' territory.

In a recorded call on July 11, 2013, Carparelli told Brown their plan was safe because Davis had a direct line to the bosses, court records show.

"OK, listen, I met this guy (Davis) yesterday. You know who this guy is?" a transcript of the call quoted Carparelli as saying. "This is Solly D's partner. Ok? ...So, listen, we definitely can't (expletive) around with these guys or we're going to have a big (expletive) headache, a big headache."

But Carparelli also saw the job as a chance to prove themselves to the bosses, saying if the beating was successful it would "put us right on the map, believe me when I tell ya," according to the transcript.

A few days later, Carparelli told Brown his guys should approach Serpico as he left his new job as a salesman at Al Piemonte Ford, stage a fender-bender and attack him when he got out of his car.

"Say we give him a little tap, like an accident. 'Oh man, I'm sorry,'" Carparelli said on the call. "Guy gets out of his car. Boom, boom, boom. That's it."

Thanks to Jason Meisner.


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