The New York Mob

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vinny nip

vinny nip

Posts : 124
Join date : 2009-01-31




Published: November 20, 1986

All eight defendants in a dramatic 10-week racketeering trial were convicted yesterday of operating a ''commission'' that ruled the Mafia throughout the United States.

The Federal trial in Manhattan attained national significance as the first case to focus on the commission of top crime leaders, portrayed by the prosecution as ''the board of directors'' of the Mafia, or La Cosa Nostra.

''The verdict reached today has resulted in dismantling the ruling council of La Cosa Nostra,'' the United States Attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said in a statement issued by his office in Manhattan.

Law-enforcement authorities said the verdicts would make it easier to fight racketeering. The Government has recently been making a major assault on the mob, and since last year has brought Mafia cases in Kansas City, Boston, New Jersey and Philadelphia, among other places. [ Page B8. ] A Juror in Tears At 12:20 P.M. in a crowded, tensely quiet courtroom of Federal District Court, the jury announced its verdict on the sixth day of deliberations, convicting all the defendants of all the charges against them.

Three defendants convicted as the bosses of crime families were Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno of the Genovese group, Anthony (Tony Ducks) Corallo of the Lucchese group and Carmine (Junior) Persico of the Colombo group. Mr. Persico acted as his own lawyer. According to the 22-count indictment, the defendants conducted the affairs of ''the commission of La Cosa Nostra'' in a racketeering pattern that included murders, loan-sharking, labor payoffs and extensive extortion in the concrete industry in New York City.

As the guilty verdict was being announced, the defendants seemed stoic. But the jury's foreman brushed tears from her eyes after reading the long verdict, which took 20 minutes. Defense lawyers said the convictions would be appealed.

Judge Richard Owen set sentencing for Jan. 6, when each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison on the main racketeering charge and additional terms on related charges. Theoretically, for most of the defendants, the maximum sentence would be more than 300 years. 'Vicious Criminal Business'

After the verdict, the trial's chief prosecutor, Michael Chertoff, told the judge that the defendants were ''directing the largest and most vicious criminal business in the history of the United States.''

Two defendants, Salvatore (Tom Mix) Santoro and Christopher (Christie Tick) Furnari, were convicted as the Lucchese underboss and counselor, respectively.

Two men cited as Colombo figures were Gennaro (Gerry Lang) Langella, an acting boss or underboss, and Ralph Scopo, a member who was president of the District Council of Cement and Concrete Workers. The defense conceded that Mr. Scopo accepted labor payoffs, but denied that he extorted payments for the commission. A Mafia Murder

The only defendant named in murders ''authorized'' by the commission was Anthony (Bruno) Indelicato, a member of the Bonanno crime family. The jury found that he took part in the 1979 slayings of the family's boss, Carmine Galante, and two associates.

A palm print discovered in the getaway car used in the murders was identified as Mr. Indelicato's. Other evidence was a videotape of him meeting leaders of the Bonanno and Gambino groups in front of a mob headquarters, less than an hour after the killings.

All the defendants except Mr. Indelicato were charged with operating a ''club'' that allocated concrete contracts and extorted 2 percent of the proceeds. Numerous payments were cited as racketeering activities of the commission.

Mr. Indelicato and Mr. Scopo carried out orders for the commission leaders, according to the prosecution. #100 Taped Conversations The prosecution team of Mr. Chertoff, John F. Savarese and John Gilmore Childers presented scores of witnesses, more than 100 secretly taped conversations and hundreds of surveillance photographs as evidence.

Displaying charts to bolster tapes and testimony, the prosecutors sought to prove that the commission supervised relations and settled disputes among the Mafia families throughout the country, relying on ''threats, violence and murder.''

Testimony by two informers and an undercover agent described the commission as a governing body of the Mafia, composed primarily of the bosses of the city's five crime families.

Besides the three convicted as bosses, two others were originally charged in the case. They were Paul Castellano, the Gambino boss who was killed last year, and Philip Rastelli, the Bonanno boss who was recently convicted in a separate case. 'They Gotta Be Killed'

John Gotti, accused of being the new boss of the Gambino group, is now a defendant in a separate racketeering trial in Brooklyn.

The key evidence in the commission trial came from taped discussions of defendants talking in their cars and social clubs, which were under electronic surveillance.

On one tape, Mr. Salerno said, ''Tell him the commission from New York -tell him he's dealing with the big boys now.'' Mr. Corallo criticized mob drug dealers on another tape, saying, ''They gotta be killed.''

Mr. Corallo and Mr. Santoro were convicted of a loan-sharking conspiracy, based on their taped discussions. Payoffs Described

The only defendant not seen or heard on any of the tapes was Mr. Persico, although others were heard referring to him. The prosecution said he ran the Colombo group through trusted aides while he was in prison for several years.

Focusing on the central extortion charges, the owners of two concrete companies testified about joining a club that required them to deliver payoffs to Mr. Scopo to obtain contracts for large buildings. Many taped conversations were played to support their testimony.

In summations, defense lawyers argued that the company owners were not extortion victims, but greedy ''insiders'' who engaged in bid-rigging and price fixing to make millions of dollars.

Mr. Chertoff argued in the prosecution's rebuttal summation that the owners paid hundreds of thousands of dollars because of fear. He said ''the power of the Mafia'' was behind the racketeering activities.

The defense, which conceded the Mafia's existence, contended that the prosecution's evidence about the Mafia was irrelevant and prejudicial.

None of the defendants testified, although the jury heard a great deal from the 53-year-old Mr. Persico.

The oldest defendant was Mr. Salerno, 75, and the youngest was Mr. Indelicato, 38. The others were Mr. Langella, 47; Mr. Scopo, 58; Mr. Furnari, 62; Mr. Santoro, who observed his 72d birthday on Tuesday, and Mr. Corallo, 73.

The defense lawyers were Anthony M. Cardinale for Mr. Salerno, Albert A. Gaudelli for Mr. Corallo, Frank A. Lopez for Mr. Langella, Samuel H. Dawson for Mr. Santoro, James M. LaRossa for Mr. Furnari, John H. Jacobs for Mr. Scopo and Robert Blossner for Mr. Indelicato. Another lawyer, Stanley Meyer, assisted Mr. Persico.

It was Mr. Persico, acting as his own behalf, who provided some of the trial's most memorable moments, using a sardonic, streetwise humor to address the jury and question witnesses. His summation ridiculed the prosecution's case as a ''bus tour'' of ''tinsel town.'' Standing Room Only

On Friday afternoon, the jury of five men and seven women began deliberating after Judge Owen delivered his instructions on the law. He said the ''mere fact'' that someone belonged to the Mafia was not enough for a conviction.

Judge Owen explained that convicting a defendant required the jury to find that the Mafia commission existed and that the defendant conducted its affairs in a pattern consisting of at least two racketeering acts.

When the jury sent out a note that it had reached a verdict, all the available seats in the courtroom were quickly filled by Federal agents, lawyers and spectators, with several standing in the back.

The jury convicted the defendants of all 17 racketeering acts, which were in both a conspiracy and a substantive charge, and 20 related charges of extortion, labor payoffs and loan-sharking. 'True Ministers of Justice'

Judge Owen told the jurors, ''You have acted as the true ministers of justice in this case.''

The jurors were selected in September on an anonymous basis. They were identified by numbers and their names were kept secret to protect them from intimidation or interference.

After dismissing the jury, the judge revoked the bail of those defendants who had been free during the trial. He ruled that all of them must be held for sentencing because they ''pose a danger to the community.''

''Nothing stops them,'' the judge said, adding that they had continued their criminal activities ''even in jail.'' THE CONVICTED MOB MEMBERS Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno: Boss of Genovese family, with 200 members and hundreds of associates based in Greenwich Village, East Harlem and on Brooklyn and Jersey waterfronts . . . 75 years old . . . considered senior member of commission . . . held other top family posts of consigliore and underboss . . . had risen through ranks to become an influential captain . . . previously convicted on Federal tax and gambling charges . . . lives on estate in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Anthony (Tony Ducks) Corallo: Boss of Lucchese family, with 110 members and unspecified number of associates based in Brooklyn and Bronx . . . 73 . . . considered most powerful crime boss on Long Island . . . longtime leader of his family . . . reportedly began gangland career on Upper East Side as member of old East 107th Street gang . . . previously convicted on charges of bribery of New York political figures during Lindsay administration and of extortion and narcotics . . . lives in Oyster Bay Cove, L.I. Carmine (Junior) Persico: Boss of Colombo family, with 115 members and at least 500 associates based in Brooklyn and Staten Island . . . 53 . . . sentenced Monday to 39 years in prison on earlier racketeering conviction . . . accused of carrying out first murder when 17 years old and of later committing or ordering several others . . . spent many years in prison for hijacking, bribe conspiracy, extortion, labor racketeering, labor corruption, embezzlement, business shakedowns, loansharking, numbers running and narcotics . . . lives in Brooklyn and has farm in Saugerties, N.Y. Gennaro (Gerry Lang) Langella: Acting boss and underboss of the Colombo family . . . 47 . . . long a close associate of Persico, he helped run family while Persico was in prison . . . sentenced Monday in other trial along with Persico, but to longer prison term - 65 years . . . also previously convicted on charges of robbery, obstruction of justice and racketeering . . . lives in Brooklyn. Anthony (Bruno) Indelicato: Captain in Bonanno family, with 195 members and 500 associates in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida and California . . . 38 . . . said to have been promoted to either ''made'' member or captain for participating in 1979 slaying of Bonanno boss, Carmine Galante . . . father, Alphonse (Sonny Red) Indelicato, was Bonanno captain killed in power struggle in 1981 after taking part in Galante plot . . . Bruno Indelicato also said to have been targeted for killing . . . previously convicted on weapons charge . . . lives in lower Manhattan. Ralph Scopo: Member, or soldier, of Colombo family. . . 58 . . . president of Cement Workers District Council from 1977 to 1984 . . . because of ill health, severed from racketeering trial that led to sentencing Monday of his superiors, Persico and Langella . . . described as family's ''principal operative'' in extorting payoffs from companies in New York's concrete industry . . . previously convicted of grand larceny and assault . . . lives in Queens. Salvatore (Tom Mix) Santoro: Underboss of Lucchese family . . . 72 . . . as member of gang said to be responsible for crimes on Brooklyn waterfront, charged but not convicted of murder of shipyard foreman in 1945 . . . like his boss, Corallo, alumnus of old East 107th Street gang and associate in narcotics operations of Charles (Lucky) Luciano . . . previously convicted on narcotics charges and sentenced to four years in prison in 1952 . . . lives in Bronx. Christopher (Christie Tick) Furnari: Consigliore, or counselor, of the Lucchese family . . . 62 . . . previously convicted on sodomy and assault charges . . . lives on Staten Island.
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