The Chicago Syndicate: Salvatore DeLaurentis
Showing posts with label Salvatore DeLaurentis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salvatore DeLaurentis. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Who is the Boss of the Chicago Outfit in 2018?

Now that John "No Nose" DiFronzo is no longer running the Chicago Outfit, who will fill the void left by his death is an open question.

As the ABC7 I-Team first reported, DiFronzo died from complications of Alzheimer's. He was 89.

"This is obviously an organization that promotes from within" said Chicago mob expert John Binder. "They don't take ads in the Wall Street Journal announcing a job search."

Although illicit businesses such as the Outfit don't have open meetings or put out annual reports, there are internal rules and succession plans in place to deal with the death of the boss-whether it occurs naturally or at the end of a gun barrel as was the case with Sam "Momo" Giancana in 1975.

DiFronzo's declining health the past few years may have allowed the mob to restructure its upper crust in anticipation of his death. The top two spots in the Outfit are now thought to be occupied by one infamous gangland name and one less recognized.

Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis is the best known, un-incarcerated Chicago mob figure today-and considered "consigliere" to the Outfit.

DeLaurentis, 79, was released from federal prison in 2006 after serving a long sentence for racketeering, extortion and tax fraud. The north suburban resident is notorious for using the phrase "trunk music." That is the gurgling sound made by a decomposing corpse in a car trunk.

These days ex-con DeLaurentis claims he has gone clean--literally.

"I'm in the carpet cleaning business," DeLaurentis told the I-Team. He laughed off those who said he was the boss or involved in mob rackets at all and said the FBI should know that because the bureau monitors his activities.

DeLaurentis has long been a mob-denier. "The Outfit is like a group that comes in here to paint the walls" he told investigative reporter Chuck Goudie during a 1993 interview. "It's the painting outfit."

During that television interview conducted at the federal lock-up in Chicago, DeLaurentis said he was "a bricklayer by trade" and a part-time gambler. "We gamble" he said "but as far as Mafia, I don't know what that is."

GOUDIE: "So you contend that if there is a Chicago Outfit it's an outfit of gamblers?"
DELAURENTIS: "Yea. Right. An outfit of guys who gamble. If they were any other kind of businessmen they'd be in the chamber of commerce."

The new head of the FBI in Chicago disagrees with statement's that there is no mob-or that it is washed up.

"Are they out there leaving people dead in the streets?" asks FBI special agent in charge Jeffrey Sallet. "No. But just because people aren't killing somebody doesn't mean that they don't represent a threat" Sallet said. "Mob guys or Outfit guys-whatever you want to call them-are resilient. Where there is an opportunity to make money, they will engage. The reason they don't kill people the same way they did 25 years ago is because it's bad for business."

The second in command of the Chicago Outfit, according to some mobwatchers, is convicted enforcer Albert "Albie the Falcon" Vena, 69. The squat Vena did beat a murder charge in 1992 after the killing of a syndicate-connected drug dealer. He is thought to oversee day-to-day operations of the Outfit.

Vena is a protégé of notorious West Side mob boss Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, who is imprisoned for life following conviction in the 2007 Family Secrets mob murder case.

Regardless of what some see as an evolving line-up atop the Chicago mob, defense attorney Joe Lopez, who has represented numerous top hoodlums, says the Outfit is a thing of the past.

"I don't think anybody is ruling the roost. I think the roost was closed" Lopez told the I-Team.

He disputes that DeLaurentis has succeeded John DiFronzo. "He's old too" said Lopez, who proudly carries his own nickname "The Shark." Lopez said that Chicago mob leaders "became obsolete" and were put out of business by the "digital revolution has changed the entire world." Other mob experts differ.

"The outfit is a criminal enterprise, it's still functioning" said John Binder, author of "The Chicago Outfit" book. Binder maintains that the mob has a working relationship with Chicago street gangs. He says the Outfit is "involved in the wholesaling and to some extent importation" of cocaine and heroin that gangs sell on city streets. "Just because it's not the Outfit guys standing on the West Side or South Side selling it doesn't mean they aren't actively involved in making a lot of money off of narcotics themselves."

Thanks to Chuck Goudie, Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner.

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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Bill Jahoda: The Chicago Outfit's "Mister In-Between"

Bill "B.J." Jahoda leans against his black Cadillac Fleetwood in the parking lot of the Hamilton Hotel in Itasca, five miles west of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Athletic and well groomed, the forty-six-year-old Jahoda appears unseasonably sun-tanned for a life-long resident of the Midwest. Dressed casually, he could easily be mistaken for a professional golfer. Six-foot-two and a hundred and ninety pounds, he has medium-length, straight brown hair, and striking blue eyes.

Now pacing by his car, Jahoda lights a Raleigh Filter King with his gold Dunhill cigarette lighter and notices his right hand uncharacteristically trembling just a bit. His long slender fingers taper to impeccably manicured nails. He wears a Cartier wristwatch--which notes that it is 8:10 A.M., Thursday, April 20, 1989. A gold ring that cradles a rare U.S. gold coin is on the small finger of his left hand, and a two-and-a-half carat diamond ring adorns the index finger of his right hand.

Actually, Jahoda is neither a golf pro nor the kind of guy who spends his leisure time at a country club. However, he does have, in certain circles, a feared and respected reputation as a savvy businessman. He is, after all, the chief operating officer of a thriving enterprise with $25 million in annual revenues--all of it in cash. Last year alone, he earned more money than the combined annual salaries of the president and the vice president of the United States.

No ordinary entrepreneur, Jahoda works as the managing partner of the Chicago Mafia's most profitable illegal casino gambling and bookmaking operation. The Chicago Crime Commission, the United States Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Justice have already identified him as a key "soldier" in "The Outfit". But, over the past few years, his demanding though profitable career--arbitraging numbers on sporting events, fielding wagers, and hustling rigged casino games--has degenerated into horrific acts of betrayal and violence. Although federal law enforcement agencies and the media have never identified Jahoda as a "hitter" for the Mafia, they suspect him of participating in two highly-publicized gangland murders. Press coverage and scrutiny from the federal government have made him public property.

Overwrought after being conned into playing unwitting roles in the murders of two men he knew and liked, Jahoda has decided to make his most dramatic move in his long career with the underworld. Willing to jeopardize his personal safety, he is prepared to place his life in the hands of his worst enemy: Thomas Moriarty, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service's famed Criminal Investigations Division, a high-tech version of Eliot Ness's unit when he brought down Chicago's Al Capone.

At this moment, Bill Jahoda intends to flip--to give himself up and become a government witness against his colleagues in the Chicago Outfit. This bold plan is even more remarkable and unique, because Jahoda has not been caught and forced to plea-bargain in return for his cooperation. He wants to volunteer to come in on his own--without talking to an attorney or even asking for any promises or concessions from the federal government, which clearly has the power to take away his freedom.

Regardless of the consequences, Jahoda has made this decision as a matter of conscience. Risking everything, he knows only one thing for sure: the biggest gamble of his entire life lays before him.

Because of the obvious dangers, Jahoda has had to concoct a plausible cover to lure special agent Moriarty into his plan. He knows that it would be unlikely for Moriarty to agree to meet with him anywhere alone--because federal agents usually come to Jahoda and other mob figures in teams of two or more.

To complicate matters, Jahoda has been told by his boss--Rocco Infelise, the ruthless consigliere of the Chicago mob--that the local Outfit "owns" a top federal law enforcement official: code name, "Whiskers." Jahoda realizes that Moriarty would not meet with him without talking to his own supervisor. For all Jahoda knows, Moriarty's boss could be "Whiskers". Jahoda needs an explanation in case he and Moriarty are seen together--or if word leaks to "Whiskers" about the meeting and consequently to Rocky Infelise.

The two-hundred-and-fifty pound Infelise has massive hands and forearms, dark, dead eyes and a starkly menacing presence. A horse racing enthusiast, Infelise has a criminal record going back to 1952 with arrests for murder, burglary, armed robbery, and narcotics trafficking. He has also been convicted for firearms violations and the theft of a million dollars in silver bullion. He has a widely-known reputation as a brutal stone killer.

Since getting out of prison in 1978, Infelise has become the most feared street boss in the Chicago Outfit. Now, as consigliere of the local mob, three of the local mob's five street bosses report directly to him: Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis; Robert "Gahbeet" Bellavia; and Louis Marino.

As a prospective government witness, B.J. knows that federal prosecutors will ask him to take dead aim at Infelise and bring him down. Realizing that is no small task, Jahoda always believed that the intuitive Infelise has had the ability to look into his soul. Although Infelise looks like a thug, he possesses a shrewdness that supersedes intelligence. Simply speaking, Jahoda isn't sure that he can take a shot at Infelise and remain composed--without this pathological killer detecting his hidden objective.

Jahoda will have to double-cross Infelise, the man he has depended on and trusted for the past ten years; the man who has given him the opportunity to become wealthy and powerful beyond his dreams.

Meantime, Jahoda, while taking on Infelise, wants to place DeLaurentis, Bellavia, and Marino on his agenda. Although he has no grudge against either Bellavia, a non-descript gangster who appears to have an ability to blend into walls, or Marino, a seemingly friendly guy who can turn deadly in a heartbeat, Jahoda's antipathy toward DeLaurentis has intensified after Solly D recently took the underworld's sacred blood oath and officially became a "made" member of the Mafia.

DeLaurentis has a reputation as the flashiest guy on Infelise's crew. At five-seven, 160 pounds, and triple-tough, DeLaurentis's only goal in life has been to become a mobster. In fact, he would have promised his first born for the opportunity. A good-looking megalomaniac, Solly also prides himself as a talented amateur singer.

With Infelise's 1988 promotion to consigliere, DeLaurentis's power has grown; he has replaced Infelise as the street boss of Lake County. In effect, he is now Jahoda's crew chief.

DeLaurentis's animosity towards Jahoda peaked in September 1985 after Penny Carson--a dark-haired, fiery brown-eyed beauty-- jilted Solly D after two dates and then began a love affair with Jahoda. After making his bones with the Mafia fours years later, DeLaurentis, flexing his newfound power, has told Jahoda that he now has the muscle to avenge all acts committed against him, real or imagined. Jahoda knows that DeLaurentis possesses the patience and authority to order both him and Penny murdered.

To facilitate his plan to flip, Jahoda--still pacing in the parking lot, waiting for Tom Moriarty--has created a ruse. The previous day, he called Moriarty and claimed that the thirty-two- year-old Penny Carson and her ten-year-old daughter, Stacy, have been receiving a sudden rash of obscene phone calls. Jahoda told Moriarty during their conversation, "You people are listening in on our calls! At least, I hope you are! We've got a problem with a pervert! And I need to talk to you in person!"

In effect, Jahoda has to "qualify" Moriarty, even though from past experience he believes him to be incorruptible and relentless. Jahoda wants to weigh Moriarty's reaction to his fictitious problem. Also, he presumes that Moriarty will give him another pitch to become a federally-protected witness-- because he always has.

After putting out his cigarette, Jahoda walks into the hotel and sees the federal agent alone in the coffee shop. Six-foot- one and with green eyes and dark hair, the thirty-six-year-old Moriarty, a twelve-year veteran of the IRS, has investigated, tailed, wiretapped, and attempted to put Jahoda behind bars for over six years. He doesn't have a clue about Jahoda's intentions. In this little coffee shop, amidst the bustle of mid-morning diners, one of law enforcement's most extraordinary adventures is about to begin.

In the wake of this meeting with Moriarty, Jahoda--who was represented by former U.S. Strike Force attorney David Schippers--offered to wear a wire on his colleagues in the underworld. After months of memorializing these conversations, he became the key witness before a federal grand jury and then at the longest criminal trial in the history of the U.S. District Court in Chicago.

The result? Twenty convictions.

Speaking of Jahoda's contribution, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "In Jahoda, the Internal Revenue Service agents [with whom he worked], found a rare combination: a mob insider with a broad vocabulary and a seemingly steel-trap memory."

At Jahoda's sentencing hearing, federal prosecutor Mitch Mars testified for his star witness, saying: "There is no doubt that the cornerstone of that investigation and the cornerstone of the government's success at trial was Mr. Jahoda's cooperation. . . . Mr. Jahoda's testimony led to a single-handed demise of the entire street crew. . . . In my view, his cooperation is unparalleled."

U.S. District Judge Ann C. Williams agreed, concluding at Jahoda's sentencing hearing: "Let me say one other thing that the Court was persuaded by: The fact that when you came to the government, you didn't ask for any consideration, any favors, and no deals. . . . And you knew that given the nature of the information that you had and the length of time you had been involved in this organization and, indeed, your extraordinary memory and the voluminous records that you kept, that the information that you could present to the government would put you in a tremendous bargaining position with respect to your future. . . . It is for that reason that the Court feels that imposing any kind of sentence which would require you to serve in the custody of the Attorney General is not warranted."

A heroic Mafia mutineer, Bill Jahoda deserves better than to be called "a rat."

Thanks to Dan E. Moldea.

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