Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Breakfast in OJ trial with Mafioso Anthony fiato

. Anthony Fiato
Breakfast In The Neighborhood: Hearty Food and Toasty Talk (Archive fee)
...hangout for law enforcement officers. Ironically, Anthony (Tony the Animal) Fiato, the reputed mafioso and North End native who testified in the O.J. Simpson trial, also used to favor this place where you can get some killer coffee,the district attorney's office. incredibly...read more.

Boston Globe Archive (Nominal fee required)

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Crime boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano is sick of waiting a month and a half to read the New York Post.

But the convicted Bonanno big will be stuck reading old news for the foreseeable future after a federal judge ruled yesterday he must stay in strict solitary confinement, where his papers come drastically late and visits with his girlfriend and their son are prohibited.

It's the second time the mobster already convicted of one murder and awaiting trial for ordering another has lost a bid to be moved from the notorious Special Housing Unit of Manhattan's Metropolitan Correction Center.

He's been there since July 31, 2006, under the harsh Special Administrative Measures ordered by then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

In his petition to be moved, Basciano noted that the restrictions prohibit him from seeing his grade-school-aged son and the boy's mother, Basciano's longtime girlfriend, Debra Kalb.

Neither minors nor non-family members are allowed in solitary.

Basciano also complained that there was a 40- to 45-day delay in receiving his Post.

"We do not understand why there must be any delay with his receipt of a daily newspaper," his lawyer, Jane Simkin Smith, wrote in a February letter to the court.

The feds argue that Basciano, who allegedly slipped a "hit list" to another inmate in 2006 that included the names of federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis, a prosecutor and cooperating witnesses, remains dangerous

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A rare memory of steak-eating Spilotro

John L Smith review journal

Former mobster Anthony Fiato, who grew up with the Boston mob and became a powerhouse member of the Los Angeles La Cosa Nostra before cooperating with the FBI, read with interest my recent post on the nature of greed whether you’re a gangster like Tony Spilotro or a “financier” of the ilk of Bernard Madoff.

It reminded him of one of the times he came to Las Vegas for a meeting with Spilotro, who had considerable street clout from Chicago
to Las Vegas and out to Los Angeles. His Chicago bosses had tough Tony pegged as that city’s representative on the West Coast.

Fiato, the subject of my book “The Animal in Hollywood,” came to Las Vegas with the infamous Mike Rizzitello to meet with Spilotro regarding the completion of a drug deal at a local steakhouse.

“Tony did love good steak, and cash was his favorite dessert,” Fiato writes on his Hollywood goodfella blog (WordPress.com.) “I chopped up a drug score with Tony over a New York steak dinner in the Flame, a steakhouse in Las Vegas.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gambino family hit man Charles Carneglia found guilty of 4 murders

A feared Gambino family hit man known for dissolving corpses in acid faced life without parole after his Tuesday conviction for racketeering and four murders
. Charles Carneglia, 62, betrayed no emotion as the Brooklyn federal jury returned its verdict at the start of the day. He never looked at the courtroom crowd - including the wife and twin daughters of one murder victim - as he was led away
"I'm happy the animal who murdered my father will be in jail the rest of his life," said Milta Delgado-Wheeler, whose father was killed by Carneglia during a 1990 Kennedy Airport heist."He has no remorse for the victims or families he has hurt."
Jurors apparently reached their verdict late Monday - and then slept on it before coming back. In addition to the murders, Carneglia was convicted of extortion and robbery charges after the jury deliberated for five days.Carneglia - one of John Gotti's most-trusted hitmen - was found guilty of killing armored car guard Jose Delgado Rivera at Kennedy Airport.
The slain guard's widow, retired NYPD detective Ana Delgado, gasped loudly before bursting into tears as the verdict was returned. The defendant faces a June sentencing.
Carneglia was not found guilty in the March 1976 slaying of court officer Albert Gelb. Prosecutors said Carneglia killed Gelb to prevent his testimony in a gun case.
"While we didn't get exactly what we wanted, it's important this guy will sit in a jail cell the rest of his life and wake up every morning and not be able to see the sun," said court officers union head Dennis Quirk.Seven mob turncoats portrayed Carneglia as a murderous Gambino family enforcer and a member of the late mob boss Gotti's inner circle.
Prosecutors said Carneglia became a made man in 1990 after murdering fellow Gambino member Louis DiBono in a garage beneath the World Trade Center. Carneglia was convicted of that murder.The other two victims were a pair of mob associates, both stabbed through the heart: Sal Puma in 1983 and Michael Cotillo in 1977.
Co-conspirator Kevin McMahon, a 5-foot-2 hood known to other mobsters as "The Midget," provided the most damning evidence against Carneglia - including witness accounts of the Rivera and DiBono slayings.McMahon was a homeless teen when he was taken in by Carneglia's brother, John. On the witness stand, he recounting growing up in the mob, spinning tales of jury tampering, body disposal, torture and murder.Carneglia dissolved the bodies of some victims with acid, prosecutors say.
Carneglia's lawyer offered a combination defense, citing his client's heavy boozing and heavy beard as evidence the mobster had turned his back on the Mafia.
Carneglia, employing a strategy used by John A. (Junior) Gotti, claimed he left the Gambino family in 2001 - well beyond the five-year statute of limitations for

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mafia loan sharks making a killing

ROME - When the bills started piling up and the banks wouldn't lend, the white-haired art dealer in the elegant tweed jacket said he drove to the outskirts of Rome and knocked on the rusty steel door of a shipping container
A beefy man named Mauro answered. He wore blue overalls with two big pockets, one stuffed with checks and the other with cash.
The wad of bills he handed over, the art dealer recalled, reeked of the man's cologne and came at 120 percent annual interest.
As banks stop lending amid the global financial crisis, the likes of Mauro are increasingly becoming the face of Italian finance.
The Mafia and its loansharks, nearly everyone agrees, smell blood in the troubled waters.
"It's a fantastic time for the Mafia. They have the cash," said Antonio Roccuzzo, the author of several books on organized crime. "The Mafia has enormous liquidity. It may be the only Italian 'company' without any cash problem."
At a time when businesses most need loans as they struggle with falling sales, rising debt, and impending bankruptcy, banks have tightened their lending to them.
Italian banks, which for years had been widely criticized for lending sparingly to small and medium-size businesses, now have "absolutely closed the purse strings," said Gian Maria Fara, the president of Eurispes, a private research institute.
That is great news for loan sharks. Confesercenti, the national shopkeepers association, estimates that 180,000 businesses recently have turned to them in desperation.
Although some shady lenders are freelancers turning profits on others' hard luck, very often the neighborhood tough offering fat rolls of cash is connected to the Mafia, the group said.
"Office workers, middle-class people, owners of fruit stands, flower stalls are all becoming their victims. . . . We have never seen this happen," said Lino Busa, a top Confesercenti official. "It is as common as it is hidden."
Many analysts say organized crime is already the biggest business in Italy. Now, Fara said, the untaxed underground economy is growing even larger.
"Certainly I am worried," he said. "The banking system doesn't work, and the private one that is operating is often managed by organized crime."
The consequences for Italy and its 58 million people are huge, Fara said. "Stronger organized crime means a weaker state."
Nino Miceli, an adviser to Confesercenti, said the Mafia's goal is to take over the struggling businesses.
When the loans, typically at interest rates in triple digits, are not repaid, the threats of violence begin, and restaurants, grocery stores, and bars become the property of criminal gangs.
"As we sit here in this cafe," he said over an espresso near the Colosseum, "do we really know who owns it?"
With a burgeoning portfolio of properties and businesses, the Mafia becomes more entrenched in the economy and has more outlets to "clean their money," Miceli said.
Confesercenti estimates in a new report that organized crime syndicates - including Camorra in Naples, Cosa Nostra in Sicily, and 'Ndrangheta in Calabria - collect about 250 million euros, or $315 million, from retailers every day.
Some of that money is the classic "pizzo," or protection money demanded of business owners. Miceli said his auto dealership was burned down when he refused to pay. But the mob's booming business, he and others agreed, is loan-sharking.
In Vigevano, a northern city of 60,000 near Milan, a group called Free Vigevano has helped nearly 100 people who had become entangled with the mob.
One of them, a 40-year-old salesman, said he got his desperately needed $15,000 - but at 30 percent monthly interest.
The salesman said he blames banks for pushing people like him into the arms of the Mafia.
"If they would be a bit more open with their credit, many people wouldn't fall into this trap," he said. "They only give money to those who already have it." Mafia

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Prosecution rests rebuttal case in Simpson trial

Prosecution rests rebuttal case in Simpson trial
September 19, 1995
Web posted at 12:38 a.m. EDT

From Correspondent Jim Hill

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The prosecution in the O.J. Simpson double murder trial ended its rebuttal case on Monday. But prosecutor Marcia Clark reserved the right to call more witnesses if the defense raises new issues with its remaining witnesses.

O.J. Simpson's lead trial attorney read a list of witnesses he intends to call, including a most unlikely figure -- a confessed mob-world hitman named Tony Fiato, who goes by the nickname Tony the Animal.
( 75K AIFF

Defense sources say Fiato and possibly several other people heard Detective Philip Vannatter say police considered Simpson a suspect almost from the start -- before they entered Simpson's home without a warrant.

Vannatter had testified police were only concerned with the safety of people in the house, and did not think Simpson was a suspect at that time.

"I think that the testimony will cause the trier of fact to question some of the central and primary themes the prosecution has offered," said Simpson attorney Carl Douglas.

Prosecution sources say Vannatter does not recall making the comments in question.

The first defense witness of the week was a blood expert who did an experiment reportedly showing blood-stained gloves don't shrink much.

Herbert MacDonell testified that he could detect "no shrinkage or change or shift" in a pair of gloves identical to the ones allegedly worn by the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.(85K AIFF or 190K WAV sound)

Prosecutors have argued the crime scene gloves didn't appear to fit Simpson because they'd shrunk.

Meanwhile, a hearing will determine if FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst can testify for the defense. Whitehurst believes the FBI crime lab is often biased toward prosecutors.

"We interviewed him over the weekend," said Deputy District Attorney Brian Kelberg. "The question is whether his testimony is relevant."

Prosecutors say the weekend interviews revealed Whitehurst has no information about the Simpson case, and they expect the judge to bar his testimony.

Defense attorneys say they want to wrap up their case this week. And clearly, they're trying to do so with a bang.

Field notes on Monday's proceedings
- Members of the jury looked attentive Monday morning during FBI agent William Bodziak's testimony. Some took notes.

- O.J. Simpson talked frequently with members of the defense team during the morning session. Later, attorney Johnnie Cochran pointedly touched the defendant's hand during testimony about the fit of the gloves.

- Ron Goldman's sister, Kim, and Simpson's sister, Carmelita, were both in the courtroom on Monday.

- Actor Richard Dreyfuss, who is preparing for a role as an attorney in his next film, was a guest of Ito's in the courtroom.

- The jury showed no reaction when Clark announced that the prosecution was conditionally resting its rebuttal case. Many of the jurors were still settling into their seats, getting out pens and pads of paper. 75K AIFF




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