The Chicago Syndicate: William Cutolo
Showing posts with label William Cutolo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label William Cutolo. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Salvatore Vitale Offers List of Mob Commandments and Chain of Command at Thomas Gioeli Trial

It was summer 1999, and a meeting between the leadership of the Bonanno and Colombo crime families was under way in an apartment off Third Avenue, in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn. But something was amiss: the seat that should have been taken by William Cutolo Sr., a Colombo underboss, was empty, a former Bonanno underboss testified on Tuesday.

The absence was noted, and then cryptically explained by another Colombo mobster: “You can’t take in this life what’s not yours,” the witness, Salvatore Vitale, recalled the man as saying.

Mr. Vitale, then the underboss of the Bonanno crime family, said he immediately knew what that meant. “I realized then that Wild Bill was dead,” said Mr. Vitale, invoking the nickname of Mr. Cutolo, one of six people whose killings are at the heart of the prosecution of Thomas Gioeli, who prosecutors believe is a former acting boss of the Colombo crime family, and Dino Saracino, who they allege was one of his hit men. The trial of the two men, charged with murder and racketeering, began on Monday.

Mr. Vitale, once known as Good Looking Sal, is admittedly no innocent bystander, nor is he a stranger to the witness stand. Following his arrest in 2003, he quickly began working with the authorities, and his testimony on Tuesday was the seventh time he had taken the stand in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on behalf of the government.

Currently under witness protection, Mr. Vitale has been credited by prosecutors with identifying more than 500 organized crime members and associates. Dozens of them, including Joseph C. Massino, a former Bonanno boss and Mr. Vitale’s brother-in-law, have been imprisoned as a result.

Most of Mr. Vitale’s testimony, under questioning by Christina M. Posa, an assistant United States attorney, amounted to a colorful primer on mob life, as he spoke casually of his nearly 30-year association with the Bonanno family.

At one point, Mr. Vitale was invited off the witness stand to outline the organizational structure of a typical crime family, presented on a large poster board as if it were a boardroom breakdown of a white-collar company. But Mr. Vitale spoke of a criminal hierarchy: the robberies, the loan-sharking, the “hijacking” of trucks carrying “tuna fish, lobster, clothes,” and the homicides.

He offered what amounted to a list of commandments for anyone hoping to succeed and survive in organized crime. “The dos are, ‘Do what you’re told, and you’ll be fine,’ ” he said, underscoring the vital importance of the chain of command in the Bonanno and other crime families.

The chain of command, he emphasized, was essential, especially when murder was involved. “We’re all supposed to be tough guys, we’re all supposed to be shooters,” he said. “But you have to get permission to do something like that.”

Mr. Cutolo disappeared on May 26, 1999; Alphonse Persico, then the boss of the Colombo family, and John DeRoss have been convicted in the killing.

In Mr. Vitale’s four hours on the stand, which included a cross-examination by Carl J. Herman, a lawyer for Mr. Gioeli, he only began to establish Mr. Gioeli’s connection to organized crime.

Mr. Vitale told the court that he had first met Mr. Gioeli, also known as Tommy Shots, when Joel Cacace Sr. — whom prosecutors have called a consigliere, or top mob adviser in the Colombo family — said he wanted Mr. Gioeli to act as a go-between.

“Joe Waverly,” Mr. Vitale said, using a nickname for Mr. Cacace, “had a lot of heat on him — the F.B.I. was all over him,” so he wanted Mr. Gioeli to, in a sense, be his public face.

Several meetings between Mr. Vitale and Mr. Gioeli followed. At some of those meetings, in the mid-1990s, Mr. Vitale said, Mr. Gioeli requested the Bonanno family’s approval, as was customary, of new members the Colombo family was considering. But at the time, the Colombo family’s internal struggle had been raging, and a commission of the top leadership from New York’s main crime families had to halt the Colombo family’s growth.

“When it’s all over the news, all over the newspapers,” Mr. Vitale said of the Colombo power struggle, “it’s bad for business.”

Thanks to Noah Rosenberg

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mob Month Panel & Book Signing: Son of a Gun: How to Diss Your Hitman Dad and Keep Friends

Mob Month: Son of a Gun: How to Diss Your Hitman Dad and Keep Friends

1/17/2012 • 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.


Clark County Library
1401 E. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Room: Main Theater

Childhood friends Billy Cutolo, Jr. and Andrew DiDonato will discuss growing up in opposing mob families and how Andrew survived the hit put out on him by Billy’s father, “Wild” Bill Cutolo. Moderated by Surviving The Mob and The Battle For Las Vegas author Dennis Griffin.

Book sales/signing will be available at each event. All seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Entry wristbands will be issued starting at 6 p.m. from the Theater box office on day of event only. For more information about any of our Mob Month events, please call 702-507-3458.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Does Carmine "Junior" Persico Run Local 6A of the New York Cement and Concrete Workers from Prison?

Twenty-five years after the historic Commission case exposed the Colombo crime family's stranglehold over the union representing workers on all major New York construction projects, Local 6A of the New York Cement and Concrete Workers is still a family affair - in more ways than one.

Today, the grandson of a mobster who was convicted of racketeering at the Commission trial is Local 6A's key official. And the crime family's boss who was found guilty at the same trial, Carmine (Junior) Persico, is still the ultimate power behind the union, according to the special counsel for the Laborers' International Union of North America.

The imprisoned-for-life Persico has controlled the union through several underlings over the years, says LIUNA special counsel Robert Luskin. They include onetime "street boss" Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli and capo Dino (Big Dino) Calabro - two longtime Persico loyalists who allegedly whacked Junior's longtime nemesis William (Wild Bill) Cutolo in 1999.

Tommy Shots has remained loyal since his 2008 indictment for Cutolo's murder. But Big Dino has been cooperating with the feds for some time. And one of the many subjects Calabro spilled his guts about, says Luskin, was the large cast of characters - including his brothers, Vincenzo and Giuseppe - who helped him run the union for the Colombos and reap the benefits as well.

Numerous Colombo wiseguys, their relatives, friends, and cohorts affiliated with other crime families were handed no-show and seldom-show jobs, says Luskin.

They also shared in payoffs from contractors and a variety of other schemes, including a "coffee boy" scam, according to Luskin. In that rip-off, which occurred at every job site, all workers were forced to buy any food and drink they wanted - whether at lunch or during any breaks - from a mob-selected vendor who kicked back $250 a week to the Colombos.

In a complaint filed two weeks ago, Luskin asked LIUNA's Independent Hearing Officer to oust all the current officials of the Flushing, Queens based local and replace them with a trustee to "eradicate the corrupt influence of organized crime."

The complaint states that the day-to-day mob front man at Local 6A is business manager Ralph Scopo III, whose grandfather, Colombo soldier Ralph Scopo Sr. ran the union in the 1980s. Scopo III, 40, earned $160,600 in 2009 as the key official of the 1047 member union. Scopo's brother, Joseph, 35, is the union's recording secretary.

Back in 1986, Ralph Scopo Sr. and Persico were found guilty of racketeering and sentenced to 100 years. Scopo's sons, Ralph Jr. and Joseph, followed him into the crime family and took over his union - with Ralph Jr. serving as president and Joseph as vice president - until both were bounced from their union posts a year later.

Joseph Scopo's stock in the crime family rose until he was killed during the bloody Colombo war in 1993 - the same year his dad died in prison. But Ralph Scopo Jr. and the Colombo crime family still run the union, and steal from its members regularly, through Ralph Scopo III, and a host of puppets they control, according to Luskin. And like their father and late grandfather before them, Scopo III is controlled lock, stock and cement mixer by the still imprisoned Mafia boss, Junior Persico, according to Luskin.

Luskin painted Scopo III, his father, and a host of other Local 6A officials as lying, money-hungry leeches who have been stealing money from hardworking laborers for at least nine years - the same way the late Scopo Sr. did in the 1980s.

Since the Local 6A probe moved into high gear two years ago, nine union officials and members, including Calabro's brothers, have been ousted or resigned rather than answer questions about their mob connections from LIUNA's lead investigator, former FBI mob buster Bruce Mouw.

In 2002, when Big Dino first met Scopo Jr., the longtime labor racketeer praised his abilities as a moneymaker, and set the stage for the way things would operate for the next six years, until Calabro was arrested and detained without bail, according to the complaint. "I'm in charge of Local 6A and control everything that happens in that local," he told Big Dino. "My son is a delegate and he runs the Local. If anybody need a job, just let me know and I'll take care of it through my son."

Calabro met Scopo III two years later, when his father brought him to a regular monthly get-together that Scopo Jr. had with Big Dino at a "bagel store on Route 109 in West Babylon" to talk business and split the money they brought in that month.

"During this meeting, Scopo Jr. gave Calabro $10,000 as his monthly share from the shakedown" of one contractor, the complaint said. "Calabro kept $1,000 for himself; Scopo Jr. took $1,500 for himself, and the remaining $7,500 went to the Colombo Family Administration."

A few years later, according to the complaint, Big Dino and the father and son Scopos attended a sitdown to settle a dispute at a World Trade Center jobsite with a union foreman who had been "criticizing the Scopos." The elder Scopo "told Calabro that his son Ralph was there in case he decided that (the union worker) needed to be physically assaulted," the complaint said.

When Ralph Scopo learned about Calabro's cooperation, and LIUNA's investigation, he and his fellow union officials assumed they would eventually be bounced as corrupt, according to the complaint. So they decided to grab as much union cash as they could, and took vacation time checks - as many as eight weeks worth - before they were due, let alone earned.

Questioned about this last year, Scopo admitted that the LIUNA probe "was in the back of his mind," the complaint said. "Why save vacation time if the Local is placed into trusteeship?" he added.

Scopo did not return a request for comment that Gang Land placed to his union office.

Thanks to Jerry Capeci

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Former Mob Kingpin and Underling Get Life in Prison

Two coldblooded Colombo mob bigs convicted of rubbing out an intra-family rival in 1999 were sentenced to life in prison yesterday.

Former Colombo kingpin Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico, 55, and underling John "Jackie" DeRoss, 71, were found guilty in 2007 of orchestrating the hit on William "Wild Bill" Cutolo.

Prosecutors said at trial in federal court in Central Islip, LI, that Cutolo had been dumped at sea. But his corpse eventually was discovered last fall in a Farmingdale, LI, industrial park after several days of digging by federal authorities.

Persico ordered Cutolo's hit after growing nervous about his position as acting family don in 1999 as he prepared to go to prison, prosecutors said. He feared Cutolo, then second in command, was planning a coup with Persico behind bars.

Persico had set up a meeting with Cutolo near 92nd Street and Shore Road in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the day he vanished in May 1999.

Thanks to Selim Agar

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reputed Mobster Charged in Cop Assassination

A reputed mobster was charged Thursday with ordering a hit on an off-duty New York Police Department officer who at the time was married to his ex-wife _ a slaying that had gone unsolved for more than a decade.

An indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn also brought new charges in three other gangland killings dating to 1994. They included that of William "Wild Bill" Cutolo, an underboss with the Colombo organized crime family whose body was discovered in October buried in a wooded area of Long Island.

The case demonstrates investigators' determination to catch mob killers "no matter how much time passes," U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell at a news conference.

The indictment charged Joel Cacace, 67, the former acting Colombo boss, and two other men in the shooting death of Officer Ralph Dols on Aug. 25, 1997. Cacace already is behind bars after pleading guilty in 2004 in a mistaken mob hit on a 78-year-old judge whose son, a former prosecutor, was the intended target.

Dols was killed "merely because he was married to Cacace's ex-wife," said David Cardona, head of the criminal division in the FBI's New York office.

Authorities refused to discuss how the cases were solved. But in recent years, mob turncoats have identified killers _ and sometimes pinpointed the remains of their victims _ in other cases that had gone cold.

Dols, 28, was ambushed around midnight as he arrived home from a shift as a uniformed housing police officer. While parking his car, a man jumped out of a dark-colored Chevrolet, fired seven shots, then fled.

The killing touched off an intense, wide-ranging investigation involving federal and local authorities. It also drew attention to the officer's wife and her alleged links to the Mafia through three other men from her past: a brother and reputed Colombo soldier who was convicted of murder in 1981, a husband found shot to death in 1987 in an apparent mob hit and Cacace.

In the Cutolo slaying, prosecutors say the victim was targeted in May 1999 because the Colombo boss believed he was trying to take over the family. He was gunned down in a basement apartment, then buried in Farmingdale, Long Island, court papers said.

Thanks to Tom Hays

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Reputed Colombo Mob Figures Indicted in Murder of Police Officer

Eleven years after an off-duty police officer was assassinated by gunmen lying in wait outside his home in Sheepshead Bay, federal prosecutors charged three accused mob figures on Thursday in the shooting, removing a high-profile murder from the ranks of unsolved cases while painting the motive as one of simple romantic jealousy.

The charges were announced with the unsealing of a murder and racketeering indictment brought by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, seeming to begin the process of closing the book on the Aug. 25, 1997, murder of the officer, Ralph C. Dols, 28. The indictment also charges a fourth accused mob figure in the murders of two other mobsters.

Prosecutors said that a Colombo crime family consigliere who has long been suspected in the slaying, Joel Cacace, 67, ordered the murder. Mr. Cacace, also known as Joe Waverly, had once been married to the officer’s wife, Kim T. Kennaugh, an investigator said. He is in prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to racketeering charges. The other three defendants are also in custody on other charges from an earlier version of the indictment. All four men are expected to be arraigned on Friday in federal court in Brooklyn.

In addition to Mr. Cacace, the indictment charges Dino Calabro, 42, identified as a captain and also known as Big Dino, and Dino Saracino, 36, who prosecutors say is a soldier known as Little Dino.

“Big Dino Calabro and Little Dino Saracino ambushed Officer Dols and shot him repeatedly outside his Brooklyn home, leaving him to die in the street,” said David Cardona, the special agent in charge of the criminal division in the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, speaking at a news conference on Thursday. “The murder was ordered by Colombo consigliere Joe Waverly Cacace merely because Dols was married to Cacace’s ex-wife.”

One investigator said the motive for the officer’s slaying came down to Mr. Cacace’s image. “From an organized crime perspective, this was insulting to Joel that she had married a cop,” the investigator said, adding, “and because he had a high-ranking position in the Colombo family, it looked bad for him.”

An earlier husband of Ms. Kennaugh’s, a Colombo hit man, also was murdered, in 1987. A woman answering the door of Ms. Kennaugh’s home in Staten Island, heavily festooned with Christmas decorations, said, “No, no,” and shut the door on a reporter inquiring about the case on Thursday.

The indictment, which is largely based on evidence provided by a new cooperating witness from the Colombo family, law enforcement officials said, also charges Mr. Calabro and Mr. Saracino with the 1999 murder of William Cutolo Sr. Mr. Cutolo was a Colombo family acting underboss and union official whose body was finally found on Long Island this year after an informant tipped off the authorities.

The fourth defendant, Thomas Gioeli, 56, who was an acting boss in the family and is known as Tommy Shots, is also charged in the killing of Mr. Cutolo.

Mr. Cardona said the murders led to promotions in the crime family. “That’s why mobsters commit murder,” he said. “Our intelligence revealed that Calabro became a made member of the Colombo family after the murder of Ralph Dols, and he became a capo after the Cutolo murder. Saracino was inducted into the family because of his participation in both murders.”

Officer Dols had driven home after finishing his shift at a Coney Island housing project and was parking his car at 11:38 p.m. when three men drove up in a dark Chevrolet Caprice and opened fire. He was wounded three times in the abdomen and twice in the arm before he could step from behind the wheel or pull his gun. He died in surgery at Coney Island Hospital the next morning. He had been on the force for four and a half years.

He and Ms. Kennaugh, who was 38 at the time of the slaying, had been married for two years and had had a daughter three months earlier. Ms. Kennaugh’s brother, August, was convicted in the 1981 murder of a Queens restaurant owner and had also been identified as a Colombo soldier.

The shooting rattled the already embattled Police Department, which was facing accusations in the brutality case of Abner Louima, who was sodomized with a broomstick in the restroom of the 70th Precinct station house earlier that month, on Aug. 9, 1997. As Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani eulogized Officer Dols at the crowded funeral Mass, thousands of demonstrators gathered at Grand Army Plaza for a march to City Hall to protest the Louima case.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly called for capital punishment. “The murder of a police officer is an attack on society at large and merits the death penalty,” he said in a statement.

The indictment also charges Mr. Calabro with the 1994 murder of Carmine Gargano and charges Mr. Gioeli, Mr. Calabro and Mr. Saracino with the 1995 murder of Richard Greaves. The bodies have not been found.

Thanks to Michael Wilson and William K. Rashbaum

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mistrial in Alphonse 'Allie Boy' Persico Crime Boss Murder Trial?

Convicted Colombo crime boss Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico may get a new murder trial because of allegations a key witness lied when she said the feds let her keep $1.6 million in mob money.

The widow of the murder victim, gangster William (Wild Bill) Cutolo, testified the feds let her keep - tax-free - stacks of cash the slain mob underboss left stashed in their Staten Island mansion.

The testimony from Marguerite (Peggy) Cutolo not only shocked defense lawyers, but caught the current prosecutors off guard, too.

Peggy Cutolo claimed she told a prosecutor in 2001 about the money and an NYPD detective even saw the money in a suitcase in her home. But notes from her debriefing contain no mention of the $1.6 million and, while a former prosecutor in the case said she was allowed to keep the money, the feds have not produced a document backing up the claim.

If prosecutors fail to correct false testimony from their witness, a mistrial could be declared.

Thanks to John Marzulli

Saturday, January 05, 2008

COLOMBO CRIME FAMILY BOSS ALPHONSE PERSICO & ADMINISTRATION MEMBER JOHN DEROSS CONVICTED OF MURDER IN AID OF RACKETEERING AND WITNESS TAMPERING

Following eight weeks of trial, a federal jury in Central Islip, New York, returned a verdict convicting Colombo organized crime family acting boss Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico and administration member John "Jackie" DeRoss of murder in aid of racketeering and witness tampering. Specifically, Persico and DeRoss were found guilty of orchestrating the May 26, 1999, murder of Colombo family underboss William Cutolo, Sr.

The evidence at trial established that Persico and DeRoss murdered Cutolo because they believed he was about to take control of the Colombo family from Persico, and to serve as retribution for Cutolo's actions during the bloody Colombo family war in the early 1990s. During the war, Cutolo, on behalf of the faction loyal to Vic Orena, tried to wrest control of the Colombo family from Alphonse Persico and his father, the family's official boss, Carmine "The Snake" Persico. As part of the murder plot, Persico summoned Cutolo to a meeting on the afternoon of May 26, 1999. That afternoon, an auto mechanic dropped Cutolo off at a park near 92nd Street and Shore Road in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the designated place for the meeting with Persico. Cutolo was never seen or heard from again, and the government's evidence indicated that Cutolo's body most likely was dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. That evening, DeRoss kept watch over Cutolo's crew at the Friendly Bocce Social Club in Brooklyn, where the crew was awaiting Cutolo's arrival for their traditional Wednesday evening dinner. When Cutolo failed to show up, DeRoss feigned surprise and directed Cutolo's son, William Cutolo, Jr., to telephone his father. Early the next morning, May 27, DeRoss, on Persico's orders, arrived at Cutolo's home and began questioning Cutolo's widow, Marguerite Cutolo, about the location The United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of New York United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of New York

Persico and DeRoss were also found guilty of tampering with witnesses Marguerite Cutolo (Cutolo's widow), Barbara Jean Cutolo (one of Cutolo's daughters), and William Cutolo, Jr. The trial evidence included a recording William Cutolo, Jr., secretly made of DeRoss threatening the Cutolo family in March 2000, several months after it was publicly disclosed that Persico was a target of the FBI's investigation of the Cutolo murder. During the meeting, DeRoss ordered the Cutolo family to provide false, exculpatory information to a private investigator hired by Persico. DeRoss told the Cutolo family that, if they did not assist Persico, Marguerite Cutolo could be "hurt," as could the "little . . . kids," referring to Barbara Jean Cutolo's seven and five-year-old daughters. Marguerite and Barbara Jean Cutolo both testified at trial that, as a result of DeRoss's threats, the Cutolos withheld information about the murder from law enforcement authorities for years, including Cutolo, Sr.'s statement to Marguerite Cutolo on May 26, 1999, that he was going to a meeting with Persico.

Persico was the second acting boss of an LCN crime family convicted in 2007 of murder charges in the Eastern District of New York. On July 31st, Bonnano organized crime family acting boss Vincent Basciano was convicted of racketeering murder and is awaiting sentencing. "Law enforcement's campaign against organized crime will continue until our communities are free from its corrupting influence," stated United States Attorney Benton J. Campbell. Mr. Campbell praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the agency that led the government's investigation.

When sentenced by United States District Judge Joanne Seybert, each defendant faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. The government's case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John Buretta, Deborah Mayer, and Jeffrey Goldberg.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Lin DeVecchio to Return to Court?

Former G-man Lindley DeVecchio may return to court as a defense witness for Colombo crime boss Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico, the Daily News has learned.

DeVecchio, 67, was cleared last month of orchestrating four gangland murders with informer Gregory Scarpa after a key witness was snared in a web of lies.

Defense lawyer Sarita Kedia wants to call the retired agent as an organized crime expert Monday to testify about the bloody Colombo war of the early 1990s. Scarpa was aligned with Colombo boss Carmine (The Snake) Persico - Allie Boy's father - against a rival faction.

Alphonse Persico is charged with ordering the 1999 murder of underboss William (Wild Bill) Cutolo as payback for backing the other faction.

In a letter to prosecutors, Kedia said she will question DeVecchio about "the identities, positions and affiliations of certain individuals involved in the war."

It's unclear if prosecutors will try to keep DeVecchio off the stand. "If he's subpoenaed and the government permits him to testify, he will testify truthfully," DeVecchio's lawyer Douglas Grover said.

Thanks to John Marzulli

Charles Tyrwhitt

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wiseguy Widow Fingers Crime Boss

The widow of wiseguy William (Wild Bill) Cutolo did Tuesday what prosecutors wanted her to do - she placed Colombo crime boss Alphonse Persico at the center of the crime.

Then things started unraveling for Marguerite (Peggy) Cutolo when defense lawyers suggested her husband was still alive and that she had stashed away up to $2.7 million in loanshark profits.

"I'm not lying," a visibly upset Cutolo said in Federal Court in Central Islip, L.I. "I've been distressed and depressed for eight years because I don't know where my husband was. My husband would have never run away."

She left witness protection to testify against (Allie Boy) Persico and former underboss John (Jackie) DeRoss, who are charged with her husband's murder - and whose first trial ended in a mistrial. Prosecutors say the gangsters orchestrated the murder because they believed Wild Bill was trying to take over the Colombo family.

Under questioning from prosecutors, Peggy Cutolo insisted her husband kept nothing from her. On the day he vanished, she said, "I knew he was meeting Allie Boy."

She said Cutolo's meeting with Persico in Bay Ridge on May 26, 1999, was unusual because on Wednesdays he usually visited his union office in Manhattan, got his weekly haircut at Bruno's in Bensonhurst, and dined with his crew at the Friendly Bocce Club in Brooklyn.

Cutolo was DeRoss' best man at his wedding. After he disappeared, DeRoss was more concerned about finding the piles of cash Cutolo stashed in their Staten Island mansion than finding her husband, the widow testified.

Peggy Cutolo admitted she hid $1.65 million in an air conditioning vent and moved it when the AC went on the fritz and the repairman - DeRoss' nephew - came to fix it. She said she took the money with her when she went into witness protection in February 2001. "My husband told me, 'If anything happened to me, you give them nothing,'" she testified.

When DeRoss' lawyer, Robert LaRusso, produced ledgers indicating Cutolo had $2.7 million at the time of his disappearance, the flustered widow explained her husband kept two sets of books - one for Colombo money, one for his money. "I just know what I counted," she said.

Asked what happened to the cash, Peggy Cutolo said, "The government let me have the money. I had to take care of the kids."

Thanks to John Marzulli and Corky Siemaszko

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Persico/DeRoss Trial Ends in Mistrial

Friends of ours: Colombo Crime Family, Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico, Carmine Persico, John DeRoss

After a five-week trial, a Brooklyn federal judge ordered a mistrial Friday in the racketeering case against reputed Colombo crime family mobsters Alphonse Persico and John DeRoss when the jury indicated it was deadlocked.

Judge Sterling Johnson terminated the trial after the panel, in its fifth day of deliberations, sent out a note about 2:30 p.m. saying it could not reach a verdict despite a final try at unanimity. "The jury is deadlocked on all counts. We take the opportunity to apologize to the court," jurors said in the note to Johnson.

Three women on the jury dabbed at their eyes with handkerchiefs as Johnson thanked all of them for their service. "Some matters can't be resolved," Johnson said in an apparent attempt to console those who were upset.

Sarita Kedia, Persico's attorney, said, "I had hoped for an acquittal given the evidence in this case, but it seems better than the alternative."

Persico, 52, who is known as "Allie Boy" and is the son of imprisoned legendary mobster Carmine Persico, once was considered by law enforcement officials to be the acting boss of the Colombo family. Since late September, he and DeRoss, 69, had been on trial on charges they were involved in the disappearance and presumed slaying of cohort William Cutolo in 1999. Cutolo was considered a rising star in the crime family when he vanished.

Persico and DeRoss also faced other charges involving crime family rackets. Both defendants remained in custody, as they already are serving sentences in other federal cases.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Seigel said he plans to pursue a retrial, which would not occur until 2007.

Strong indications of a mistrial emerged Thursday when a flurry of notes from the jury showed at least one juror didn't believe the various cooperating witnesses called by the government. Another note suggested three jurors were voting as a bloc, but it wasn't clear if they were for acquittal or conviction.

The mistrial was the second time recently that federal prosecutors in the city have been stymied in getting a conviction in a high-profile mob case. Last month, in federal court in Manhattan, a mistrial was declared in the racketeering trial of John A. Gotti, the son of the late Gambino crime boss John J. Gotti. It was the third mistrial in that case. The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said it would not seek another trial.

Thanks to Anthony M. DeStefano

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dapper Don Instigated Bloody Mob War

Friends of ours: John "Dapper Don" Gotti, Gambino Crime Family, Colombo Crime Family, Carmine "The Snake" Persico, Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo, Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico, Vic Orena, John "Junior" Gotti, William "Wild Bill" Cutolo

The late Gambino boss John Gotti instigated the bloody civil war within the Colombo crime family in a diabolical scheme to consolidate his power on the Mafia Commission, a turncoat witness testified yesterday. Gotti falsely branded jailed Colombo boss Carmine (The Snake) Persico "a rat" in an attempt to get him replaced by another Colombo gangster who was close to Gotti, according to former Gambino capo Michael (Mikey Scars) DiLeonardo.

DiLeonardo, testifying at the racketeering trial of Persico's son and acting boss Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico, surprised Brooklyn Federal Judge Sterling Johnson when he matter-of-factly said that Gotti was behind the conflict that left a dozen gangsters dead and an innocent bystander slain outside a Brooklyn bagel shop in the early 1990s.

"John Sr. instigated it?" the judge asked the witness.

"Oh, yeah," DiLeonardo replied.

DiLeonardo explained Gotti's strategy this way: "John was close to Vic Orena and figured if he could get him in, and Allie out, he [Gotti] would have a majority vote on The Commission," DiLeonardo said. "He [Gotti] owned Vic Orena."

During the war, DiLeonardo said he accompanied John A. [Junior] Gotti to Rockaway Beach for secret late-night meetings with members of the Orena faction to try to iron out a settlement.

DiLeonardo said he thought that it was wrong that the Dapper Don had slurred the elder Persico's name. "Allie found out about it and wasn't happy," he recalled. "I told him it wasn't right and I set out to try and make things right."

Alphonse Persico is charged with ordering the 1999 murder of Colombo underboss - and Orena loyalist - William (Wild Bill) Cutolo.

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