The Chicago Syndicate

Monday, November 09, 2020

Friends of the Family The Inside Story of the Mafia Cops Case #MafiaCops

On March 10, 2005, two highly decorated detectives, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, were indicted for providing information to the Lucchese crime family, a $4,000-a-month deal that resulted in at least eight murders - two of which they committed themselves - as well as an incredible assortment of other crimes. For more than a decade they had gotten away with it - until the day Detective Tommy Dades answered his telephone.

Friends of the Family: The Inside Story of the Mafia Cops Case, is a look deep inside the most notorious case to rock the NYPD: The story of Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, the two police detectives who moonlighted as mob hit men. As told by Tommy Dades and Michael Vecchione—the cop and District Attorney investigator who solved New York’s coldest case—along with co-writer David Fisher, Friends of the Family is shocking true crime in the tradition of Nicolas Pileggi’s Wise Guy: Life in a Mafia Family, and Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia, by Peter Mass—a chilling, in-depth examination of what the New York Daily News calls “the worst betrayal of the badge in the NYPD’s history.”

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Will the Winner of the 2020 Presidential Election Focus on Attacking MS-13 Gangsters who Behead, Dismember, and Bury their Victims in a Shallow Graves?

Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced MS-13 associate Luis Cruz Rodriguez, age 23, of Frederick, Maryland, to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after Cruz Rodriguez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. The guilty plea was entered on November 3, 2020, and Chief Judge Bredar imposed the sentence immediately following the plea.

MS-13 is a national and international gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Frederick County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County, Maryland. Cruz Rodriguez admitted that from at least January 2017, he was an associate of the Fulton clique of MS-13 and agreed with members of MS-13 to conduct and participate in the gang’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, including conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, and drug distribution.

At all times of this conspiracy, members of MS-13 were expected to protect the name, reputation, and status of the gang from rival gang members and other persons. To protect the gang and to enhance its reputation, MS-13 members were expected to use any means necessary to force respect from those who showed disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence. MS-13 had mottos consistent with its rules, beliefs, expectations and reputation including “mata, viola, controla,” which translates as, “kill, rape, control,” and “ver, oir y callar,” which means, “see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.”

MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence both to maintain membership and discipline within the gang, as well as against rival gang members. Participation in criminal activity by a member, particularly in violent acts directed at rival gangs or as directed by gang leadership, increase the respect accorded to that member, resulting in that member maintaining or increasing his position in the gang, and opens the door to a promotion to a leadership position. One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members must attack and kill rivals, often referred to as “chavalas,” whenever possible.

According to his plea agreement, in April 2017, Cruz Rodriguez conspired with MS-13 gang members to murder Victim 14. According to court documents, the MS-13 members believed Victim 14 was a member of a rival gang. Cruz Rodriguez was present when gang members were talking about how to kill Victim 14, and who would participate in the murder. On the day of the murder, Cruz Rodriguez drove other gang members to a secluded area of Frederick, Maryland, where the MS-13 members were going to kill Victim 14. Cruz Rodriguez was aware that he was transporting gang members so that they could participate in a murder. At the spot in Frederick, MS-13 gang members murdered Victim 14, dismembered him, and buried his body. After the murder, Cruz Rodriguez (who was not present during the murder) traveled back to the site of the murder and picked up gang members who had participated in the murder.

In July 2017, investigators recovered Victim 14’s body from a clandestine grave in Frederick, Maryland. The body had suffered from sharp force traumas and had been severed into seven pieces and decapitated.

The murder of Victim 14 was intended to maintain and increase the status of MS-13 and to allow Cruz Rodriguez and other MS-13 members and associates to maintain or increase their status within the gang.

A total of 30 defendants have been charged in this case with participating in a racketeering conspiracy and/or other crimes related to their association with MS-13. A total of 20 defendants, including Cruz Rodriguez, have pleaded guilty to crimes related to their participation in MS-13 gang activities.

Anyone with information about MS-13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement. The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations both have nationwide tiplines that you can call to report what you know. You can reach the FBI at 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), or you can call HSI at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Multimillion Dollar Sports Betting Pyramid Scheme In Las Vegas Busted #OnlyVegas

Two Las Vegas residents made their initial court appearances in U.S. District Court for charges in connection with a multimillion dollar investment fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich of the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI.

A federal grand jury returned a 14 count indictment, charging John Frank Thomas III, 75, and Thomas Joseph Becker, 72, both of Las Vegas, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 13 counts of wire fraud. Thomas is also known as “John Frank,” “Johnathan West,” “John Frank Rodgers,” “John Marshall,” and “John Edwards.” Following their arrests, Thomas and Becker made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe, who scheduled a jury trial for January 4, 2021.

“Nevada has earned a worldwide reputation as the gold standard in gaming integrity,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Our office will continue working with our law enforcement partners and the gaming industry, including the FBI, to maintain Nevada’s reputation — which reflects the efforts of hardworking Nevadans across our state — by investigating and prosecuting violations of the law, and by helping enhance compliance programs.”

According to allegations in the indictment, from September 2010 to August 2019, Thomas and Becker maintained — and advertised to investors as supposed investment funds — the following entities: Sports Psychometrics; Vegas Basketball Club; Vegas Football Club; Einstein Sports Advisory; Quantum Sports Advisory; Wellington Sports Club; and Welscorp, Inc. Thomas and Becker made false representations to investors that they would use their sports betting skills and strategy to make sports bets with the investors’ money:

  • For example, Thomas and Becker told investors that their “‘special insights’ and ahead-of-the-curve strategies… can generate an Average-Profit-Per-Bet of +140% per $100 bet… and possibly as high as +180% or plus $180 per $100 bet. In essence, unlimited riches.” 
  • Similarly, they advertised a “perfect investment opportunity,” offering “quick access to funds – funds that can be withdrawn by wire or transfer in only one day” and “exceptionally high yield – we achieved a +10.75% ROI per betting day during 2014 Football Season.”

Thomas and Becker also allegedly misrepresented to investors that their accounts were multiplying in value due to successful sports betting, when in fact no such betting occurred. And when investors tried to cash out their investments, Thomas and Becker ignored their calls and emails, and made various excuses for why they could not distribute the money, ranging from purported medical reasons to issues with banks and sportsbooks. To the extent any investors were paid out, those payments came from money deposited by other investors, rather than successful sports bets.

Thomas and Becker induced more than 600 individuals to deposit money —from less than $10,000 to over $500,000 — into their purported investment funds, for a total of at least $29 million. The estimated loss amount to investors is alleged to be at least $9 million dollars. Thomas and Becker spent investors’ funds on personal expenses, including dining, housing, home improvement, and transportation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Second City Sinners - True Crime from Historic Chicago's Deadly Streets #BookRecommendation

Countless crimes have riveted Chicago and its surrounding communities throughout history. Second City Sinners offers front-row seats to the Haymarket Riot that exploded across the city in 1886, then bleeds through the historic back alleys, skirting past a murderous butcher, the Black Hand, Tommy O'Connor's jailbreak, and John Dillinger's final flick at the Biograph Theater. In the courtroom, witness Clarence Darrow in 1894 as he defends the man who murdered Chicago's mayor, and then again in 1924 as Darrow attempts to save the young men who tried to plot the perfect crime.

Many of the voices of these historic characters come from the journalists of their era, reporting on life and death in Chicago. Chicago Sun-Times journalist Jon Seidel takes readers back in time to the days when H. H. Holmes lurked in his "Murder Castle" and guys named Al Capone and John Dillinger ruled the underworld. Drawing upon years of reporting, and with special access to the Chicago Daily News and Chicago Sun-Times archives, Jon Seidel explains how men such as Nathan Leopold, Richard Loeb and Richard Speck tried to get away with history's most disturbing crimes.

Second City Sinners: True Crime from Historic Chicago’s Deadly Streets, is published by Lyons Press and is available in hardcover, on Kindle or Nook, or as an audiobook.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Mafia Boss Don Pauly Learns about being #Woke in Crime #BillBurr @SNL

A lot has changed in the organized crime landscape since a mafia don (Bill Burr) spent 20 years in prison, so much so that his loyal crew of capos and consiglieres have to spend their reunion dinner explaining just why, exactly, chastising his mafia family as “a bunch of queers” is grounds for swimmin’ with the fishes. But yeah, shooting people in their skulls is still totally fine and encouraged.

“Representation is very important, even in crime,” he’s advised about embracing a new Wokefather persona. “We got slammed on Twitter for our lack of diversity.” One of the capos, triggered by a comment, even gets so worked up that he leaves to “take a mental health day and work from home.” For his sake, we hope his home is adjacent to the Hudson River.

Thanks to Devon Ivie.

New York Crime Families

Flash Mafia Book Sales!

Al Capone's Vault

Crime Family Index

The Sopranos Library