Joseph F. Abate (July 8, 1902–1994), also known as "Joe", was a capo in the family's New Jersey faction. In the 1920s, Abate served as an enforcer for Al Capone in Chicago before settling in New Jersey. In June 1976, Abate attended Anthony Accetturo induction ceremony into the Lucchese family. In 1979, Abate went into semiretirement and Accetturo succeed him as boss of the New Jersey faction. He moved to Margate, New Jersey and served as a liaison between families in New Jersey until 1989 when he retired from Mafia affairs. In 1992, his daughter Catherine Abate was appointed New York City's new Correction Commissioner. She was confronted about her father's past and denied that he was ever involved in organized crime. In 1994, Joseph Abate died of natural causes. In 1998, his daughter Catherine admitted that she could no longer dismiss allegations that her father belonged to the Lucchese crime family.
Settimo "Big Sam" Accardi (October 23, 1902 in Vita, Sicily – December 3, 1977) he served as capo in the family's New Jersey faction up until his deportation. and was one of the largest heroin traffickers during the 1950s. Accardi emigrated to the U.S. shortly before World War I and associated with mobsters Joseph Sica, Willie Moretti, Joe Adonis and Abner Zwillman. During World War II, Accardi sold counterfeit food ration cards. On January 22, 1945, he became a naturalized US citizen. His naturalization was revoked on July 10, 1953 because he had not disclosed two previous arrests during his naturalization hearing.
In 1955, Accardi was arrested on a federal narcotics charge in Newark, New Jersey. After posting a $92,000 bond, Accardi skipped bail and fled to Turin, Italy, where he continued smuggling heroin into the US and Canada. Accardi later moved to Toronto, Canada, to oversee this operation. In 1960, U.S. authorities finally located Accardi in Turin, Italy and on November 28, 1963, after a long legal fight, Accardi was extradited back to New York. On July 21, 1964, Accardi was convicted on narcotics conspiracy and skipping bail. On August 24, he was sentenced to fifteen years of imprisonment and a $16,000 fine. He died on December 3, 1977.
Robert "Bucky the Boss" Caravaggio (died July 28, 2017) was a soldier and former capo of the New Jersey faction. From 1986 to 1988, Caravaggio was one of the twenty defendants in the 21-month-long trial of Lucchese crime family's New Jersey faction. In August 1997, Caravaggio, along with other members of the Lucchese family's New Jersey faction, was indicted and charged with racketeering, loan-sharking and gambling. In 2004, the New Jersey Commission of Investigation stated that Caravaggio was the head of the Lucchese crime family's North Jersey faction. Caravaggio was overseeing operations in Northern Jersey, especially in Morris County. Caravaggio died on July 28, 2017 from pancreatic cancer.
Alfonso T. "Tic" Cataldo (died August 21, 2013) was a soldier in the New Jersey faction. Cataldo grew up in Newark, New Jersey with his cousins Michael and Martin Taccetta. From 1986 to 1988, Cataldo was one of the twenty defendants in the 21-month-long trial of Lucchese crime family's New Jersey faction. During the trial Cataldo was listed as a member supervising numbers and loansharking operations in New Jersey. In 2002, Cataldo was indicted on illegal gambling and for the October 7, 1981 murder of William Kennedy. In 2004, the New Jersey Commission of Investigation stated that Cataldo was running illegal gambling operations in New Jersey. In December 2007, Cataldo was indicted along with capos Joseph DiNapoli, Matthew Madonna and Ralph V. Perna and others on gambling, money laundering and racketeering charges. On August 21, 2013, Cataldo died of natural causes.
Ettore "Eddie" Coco (July 12, 1908 Palermo, Sicily – December 1991) is a former acting boss in the Lucchese family. In the 1940s, Coco worked with James Plumeri, Frank Palermo, Harry Segal and Felix Bocchicchio for soldier Frankie Carbo, in a group known as "The Combination", an arm of Murder, Inc. which acted as boxing promoters; the group was accused of fixing matches. During this period, Coco met Rocky Graziano, then an amateur boxer fighting in the Lower East Side. He helped Graziano start a professional boxing career and throughout the following years was viewed as a de facto boxing manager. In the late 1940s, Coco was suspected of placing wagers and taking bets on fights while Graziano was accused of taking bribes. These accusations continued until Graziano retired in 1952. In 1953, Coco was arrested in Florida for murdering a Miami car-wash operator in a dispute over a bill. On November 12, 1953, Coco was sentenced to life in prison. During the 1963 McClellan hearings, government witness Joseph Valachi identified Coco as a capo in Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese's crime family. In 1965, Coco was released from prison after serving ten years on his life sentence. He stayed in Florida and was under government surveillance. In July 1967, family boss Thomas Lucchese died and Coco became a candidate to become the new boss. He served as acting boss in 1967. In late 1967, Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo went to Florida and meet with Coco. He later stepped down as acting boss and Carmine Tramunti became the new boss. Coco continued to operate as a capo under Tramunti, with criminal activities in New York and Florida that kept him under strict government watch.
In 1972, Coco, his brother-in-law James Michael Falco, and Louis "Louis Nash" Nakaladski were indicted in Miami on extortion and loansharking charges. During the trial, witness Joel Whitice testified that he borrowed money in the late 1960s from Falco. He made payments to Falco, Coco and Nash, and described Coco as the leader of a loan-sharking ring. Coco was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison on loan-sharking and extortion. By the late 1980s, Coco was considered a semi-retired mobster living in Florida. In 1986, he served as consigliere for the Lucchese family while boss Anthony Corallo, Salvatore Santoro and Christopher Furnari were on trial in the Commission Case. Coco later resigned and continued to operate in New York and Florida. In 1986, Coco created a bingo operation to launder money from criminal rackets. The mobsters used Bingo World, a company operating bingo halls in several states, to launder the money. Coco and Chicago Outfit members Dominic Cortina and Donald Angelini became silent partners in the company. The new owner, Stephen Paskind, served as the front owner of the company; while claiming he controlled 84% he actually only had 42%. Izaak Silber soon joined in the bingo operation. In 1991, Coco and his bingo partners were arrested. In December 1991, Coco died while awaiting trial on money laundering.
Ralph "Raffie" Cuomo (died 2008), also known as "Raffaele", was a soldier who owned Ray's Pizza on Prince Street between Elizabeth and Mott Streets in Little Italy. In 1959, Cuomo opened the first "Ray's Pizza", he later opened another in the Upper East Side. In 1969, he was convicted of drug trafficking after being found with 50 pounds of heroin. In 1998, Cuomo was sentenced to four years in prison for making heroin sales in the pizzeria. He was released from prison on May 24, 2002. Cuomo died in 2008 and his "Ray's Pizza" on Prince Street closed over a rent dispute in October 2011.
Domenico "Danny" Cutaia (born November 22, 1936 East New York Brooklyn – August 14, 2018), was the capo of the Vario Crew operating from Brooklyn. His son Salvatore Cutaia is a member of the crew. His daughter Danielle married John Baudanza, who later became a member of the Lucchese family. Cutaia worked as a loan shark and as a chauffeur for capo Paul Vario. While working for capo Paul Vario, Cutaia also controlled some illegal gambling operations and had control of the carpenters union local in Brooklyn. He later took over as capo of Vario's crew in Brooklyn. During the early 1990s he was a member of a ruling panel along with Steven Crea, Joseph DeFede running the crime family. In 1995, Cutaia was indicted for extortion, loan sharking, and racketeering; in 1996, he pled guilty to extortionate extensions of credit and was sentenced to thirty months in prison. In 2002, Cutaia was indicted on loan sharking charges; he pled guilty and was sentenced to two years and three years of supervised probation upon his release. In August 2005, he was released from prison.
His parole terms banned him from communicating with family members until August 2008. However, in January 2007 it was reported that Cutaia was the primary liaison between jailed boss Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and the three man panel of capos who were running the family. On February 28, 2008, Cutaia, his son Salvatore, his son-in-law John Baudanza, and former acting capo Michael Corcione were indicted on federal racketeering charges that included loansharking, extortionate collection of credit, extortion, marijuana distribution conspiracy, illegal gambling, bank fraud, and mail fraud for activities dating back to the 1980s. On October 25, 2009, Cutaia was sentenced to 39 months in federal prison for bank fraud. At the sentencing, Cutaia's attorney asked the court for home confinement, saying that Cutaia suffered from depression and advanced multiple sclerosis; the request was denied. In October 2012, Cutaia was sentenced to one year in prison for loan sharking. Cutaia was released from prison on October 4, 2013. He died on August 14, 2018.
Paul "Paulie Ham" Correale (April 25, 1911 – died) was a capo in the family. Correale controlled gambling and narcotics in East Harlem. In December 1930, Correale and Carmine Tramunti had charges of robbery dropped and they were released from jail. Correale ran a Lucchese family gambling club between Second Avenue and East 112th Street in East Harlem. In 1952, Joseph Valachi and others murdered Eugenio Giannini near Correale's club.
Anthony "Ham" Delasco (sometimes spelled Dolasco) was a former boxer and capo in New Jersey. In the 1950s, he took over The Jersey Crew after Settimo Accardi was deported. Delasco ran his crew from East Orange, New Jersey, where he controlled jukebox machines, cigarette vending machines, illegal gambling and loan-sharking operation in Newark, New Jersey. In the late 1950s, Delasco took Anthony Accetturo as his protege. Delasco died in the late 1960s, his rackets were taken over by Accetturo.
Anthony DiLapi (February 9, 1936 – February 4, 1990), also known as "Blue Eyes over the Bridges" or "Fat Anthony", was a soldier. His uncle, Salvatore Santoro, was a former underboss in the Lucchese family. DiLapi controlled the Lucchese family's Teamsters union in New York City's Garment District and a bookmaking business, and owned part of a vending machine company in Brooklyn. He also worked with Thomas Gambino, the son of Carlo Gambino and son-in-law of Thomas Lucchese, in extorting businesses in the Garment District. After being released from prison, DiLapi was summoned to a meeting with Anthony Casso, and fled. Casso ordered Burton Kaplan to use two NYPD detectives on his payroll, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, to track down DiLapi. The two detectives found him in Reseda, California. Vic Amuso and Anthony Casso then ordered Joseph "Little Joe" D'Arco to kill DiLapi. On February 4, 1990, D'Arco shot DiLapi to death in his Hollywood, California, apartment building's underground garage. DiLapi was shot five times in the face and four times in the body. On April 6, 2006, Eppolito and Caracappa were convicted of murder for their role in eight mob killings, including that of Anthony DiLapi.
Salvatore "Sally Bo" DiSimone (sometimes spelled DeSimone) (died October 2018), was a soldier and former capo. His son Anthony was a member of the Tanglewood Boys. In 1994, his son Anthony went into hiding after the murder of Louis Balancio. In 1999, his son Anthony turned himself in to the police and was sentenced in 2000 to 25 years to life. In 2005, the FBI revealed that DiSimone and Lucchese soldier Daniel Latella had meetings in doctors' offices with Gambino family capo Greg DePalma. His son Anthony DiSimone served seven years in prison before the conviction was overturned; he later pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2010, and served no additional time. DiSimone's other son Andrew DiSimone became a made member in the Lucchese family. Salvatore DiSimone died in October 2018.
Christopher "Christie Tick" Furnari, Sr. (April 30, 1924 – May 28, 2018) was a former consigliere until his 1986 racketeering conviction. He was sentenced to 100 years in prison before being released in 2014 after serving almost 28 years.
In 1924, Christopher Furnari was born in New York to first-generation Sicilian-Italian emigrants from Furnari, a commune in the Province of Messina in Sicily. By age 15, Furnari was managing his own loanshark operations in Brooklyn and Northern New Jersey. By 1943, the 19-year-old Furnari had already served two prison terms for armed robbery. Furnari was also sentenced to 15 to 30 years after he and several other youths were arrested with 3 girls in a car and charged with rape.
In 1956, Furnari was released from prison on parole. Furnari became an associate of Gaetano "Tommy Three-Finger Brown" Lucchese's crime family through Furnari's connection with mobster Anthony Corallo. During the late 1950s, Furnari became involved in illegal gambling and loansharking. Furnari soon became an influential member of the Brooklyn faction of the family and was earning $25,000 a day. In 1962, at age 38, Furnari became a made man in the Lucchese family. In 1964, Furnari became a caporegime.
The Lucchese powerbase was traditionally in Manhattan and the Bronx, the family's birthplace; the family's first three bosses, Gaetano "Tom" Reina, Tommaso "Tommy" Gagliano, and Thomas Lucchese, were all from this area. In contrast, Furnari belonged to the less influential Brooklyn faction. Furnari operated his crew in Bensonhurst at the 19th Hole, a nondescript bar and mob social club. His crew was involved in illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, burglary, narcotics dealing, occasional murder contracts, & union & construction rackets. At this time, Furnari's criminal record included convictions for assault and sex offenses.
Furnari controlled New York District Council 9, which represented 6,000 workers who painted and decorated hotels, bridges, and subway stations in New York. Furnari managed the Council through the union secretary and treasurer, James Bishop, and Bishop's associate, Frank Arnold. Bishop and Arnold would pick up cash payments from the contractors, who charged a 10 to 15 percent tax on all major commercial painting jobs, and passed the payments to Furnari.
The 19th Hole, Furnari's social club, was the hub of criminal activity in Bensonhurst. Mobsters from every New York crime family conducted business in the club and socialized over food and drink. In the mid 1960s, aspiring mobsters Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso joined Furnari's crew. Furnari saw that both men could make money and were willing to use violence if needed. Furnari put Amuso and Casso in charge of a large bookmaking operation and debt collecting operation.
In 1967, family boss Thomas Lucchese died of a brain tumor, leaving the family to be run by an interim boss, Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti. Lucchese's real successor, Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, was convicted of bribery in 1967 and sentenced in 1968 to prison for two years. Tramunti served as acting boss, even after Corallo was released from prison in 1970. In 1973, with Tramunti's imprisonment, Corallo finally became the official Lucchese boss.
In the early 1970s the Five Families of New York organized crime decided to "open the books', allowing a new generation of mob associates to become made men. Furnari immediately sponsored Amuso and Casso for family membership and then made them overseers of the "Bypass Gang", a highly successful burglary ring. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Bypass Gang reportedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, jewelry, and other merchandise.
In January 1972, Furnari backed and sanctioned the squad of armed robbers who took the famed Pierre Hotel in Manhattan under siege and stole approximately $3 million in jewels and cash. The Pierre Hotel robbery stands as the largest unrecovered hotel robbery in history. None of the perpetrators ever confessed to the heist, and only a diamond necklace valued at $780,000 was recovered. The case was never solved. The eight brazen armed robbers were: Robert Comfort, Sammy Nalo, Donald 'Tony the Greek', Al Green, Ali Ben, Bobby Germain, and Al Visconti.
In 1980, Furnari was promoted to consigliere in the Lucchese family. He wanted Casso to take over as capo of the 19th Hole crew, but Casso declined and endorsed Amuso instead. Casso opted to become Furnari's aide; a consigliere is allowed to have one soldier work directly for him.
Furnari now enjoyed enormous influence both within his own family, the other New York families, and crime families from other US cities. Furnari continued to oversee his criminal interests from the 19th Hole, but spent much of his time providing advise and mediation for family members as well as settling disputes with the other families. Furnari reigned as one of New York's top Mafia bosses throughout the early 1980s until his 1985 racketeering indictment.
On February 25, 1985, Furnari was indicted in the Mafia Commission case, the most comprehensive Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) prosecution brought against the mob at the time. Furnari was indicted as a result of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe that used undercover surveillance and bugging techniques against the mob leaders. The bug that snared Furnari had been placed in Salvatore Avellino's Jaguar car. FBI surveillance recorded Corallo conducting business with Furnari and other family leaders. Pleading not guilty to the charges, Furnari was released on $1.75 million bail pending trial.
In early 1986, while Furnari was awaiting the Commission trial, the Lucchese family uncovered a new, protentially lucrative racket. A Russian-American crime family based in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, run by Ukrainian immigrant Marat Balagula, had started to bootleg gasoline. By collecting gasoline taxes from customers and then not paying them to the government, Balagula was making very large profits. When Colombo crime family capo Michael Franzese started pressing Balagula for extortion payments, Balagula went to Furnari for help. Casso later reported on a meeting at the 19th Hole, in which Furnari told Balagula,
Here there's enough for everybody to be happy... to leave the table satisfied. What we must avoid is trouble between us and the other families. I propose to make a deal with the others so there's no bad blood.... Meanwhile, we will send word out that from now on you and your people are with the Lucchese family. No one will bother you. If anyone does bother you, come to us and Anthony will take care of it.
As a result of the 19th Hole meeting, the Five Families imposed a two cent per gallon "Family tax" on Balagula's bootlegging operation, which became their greatest moneymaker after drug trafficking. According to one former associate,
The LCN reminded Marat of the apparatchiks in the Soviet Union. He thought as long as he gave them something they would be valuable allies. Then all of a sudden he was at risk of being killed if he couldn't pay to the penny.
According to author Philip Carlo,
It didn't take long for word on the street to reach the Russian underworld: Marat Balagula was paying off the Italians; Balagula was a punk; Balagula had no balls. Balagula's days were numbered. This, of course, was the beginning of serious trouble. Balagula did in fact have balls -- he was a ruthless killer when necessary -- but he also was a smart diplomatic administrator and he knew that the combined, concerted force of the Italian crime families would quickly wipe the newly arrived Russian competition off the proverbial map.
On June 12, 1986, one of Balagula's rivals, Russian gangster Vladimir Reznikov, entered Balagula's nightclub in Brighton Beach. Reznikov pushed a 9mm Beretta handgun against Balagula's skull and demanded $600,000 and a percentage of Balagula's rackets. After Balagula acceded to his demands, Reznikov told him, "Fuck with me and you're dead -- you and your whole fucking family; I swear I'll fuck and kill your wife as you watch -- you understand?"
After Reznikov left the nightclub, Balagula suffered a massive heart attack. He insisted, however, on being treated at his home in Brighton Beach, where he felt safer. At home, Balagula asked Casso to come help him. Casso gave these instructions to Balagula, "Send word to Vladimir that you have his money, that he should come to the club tomorrow. We'll take care of the rest." Casso also requested a photograph of Reznikov and a description of his car.
The next day, Reznikov arrived at Balagula's nightclub to pick up his money. Lucchese soldier Joseph Testa confronted Reznikov and fatally shot him. According to Casso, "After that, Marat didn't have any problems with other Russians."
In September 1986, Furnari went on trial in the famous New York Mafia Commission case along with Corallo and underboss Salvatore "Tom Mix" Santoro. The charges included extortion and labor racketeering within the construction industry and murder for hire of former Bonanno crime family boss Carmine "Lilo" Galante. Galante had been gunned down on July 12, 1979 allegedly on the orders of the Commission. Some have argued that Furnari wasn't on the Commission then and had no connection with the Galante hit. However, Furnari could not use this as a defense argument.
By the fall of 1986, Corallo realized that he, Santoro and Furnari would not only be convicted, but were facing sentences that would all but assure they would die in prison. Furnari persuaded Corallo that either Amuso or Casso should become the new boss. At a meeting in Furnari's home, Furnari, Amuso and Casso all agreed that Amuso should succeed Corallo as boss.
On November 19, 1986 Furnari was convicted on all counts, including the Galante murder. On January 13, 1987, Furnari was sentenced to 100 years in prison without parole and fined $240,000.
With the imprisonment of Corallo and Furnari, Amuso became boss, and Casso became consigliere and later underboss. Peter "Fat Pete" Chiodo took over Furnari's Bensonhurst crew.
In 1990, Amuso and Casso became fugitives to avoid prosecution in the famous "Windows Case." In 1992, Amuso was captured and sentenced to life in prison. In 1993, Casso was also captured; however, in 1994 he struck a deal with the government to testify against Furnari and other family leaders.
In 1995, Furnari started challenging the "no parole" stipulation of his sentence in court. The government had previously revoked Casso's witness deal with prosecutors, and in 1996 Casso was sentenced to life in prison. Furnari's lawyers insisted that Casso's court testimony against Furnari was tainted.
In July 2000, the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled that the parole board officials had been denying Furnari's parole eligibility on the tainted assertions of mob turncoat Casso. However, in 2001, the Bureau of Prisons National Appeal Board ruled that Furnari was a multiple murderer and was not eligible for parole, based on what some people considered to be Casso's discredited testimony. On February 15, 2006, Furnari filed a habeas corpus petition in District Court claiming that the United States parole commission improperly had denied him parole. On June 20, 2007, the court denied his petition.
Furnari was imprisoned in the Allenwood Medium Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. His projected release date was November 24, 2044, effectively a life sentence. However, since he was convicted before Congress eliminated parole for federal prisoners, he and his co-defendants became eligible for parole in 1996. Furnari was the only defendant to be granted early release by the U.S. Parole Commission, most likely relating to the weak evidence behind his murder conviction. Furnari was released from a prison hospital in Minnesota on September 19, 2014 after serving 28 years. On May 28, 2018, Furnari died at his home in Staten Island, New York.
Stefano "Steve" LaSalle (real name LaSala) was an early member of the Morello family; he later joined Reina's family. In 1915, East Harlem's Italian lottery "king" Giosue Gallucci was murdered, allowing LaSalle and Tommaso Lomonte to take over the lottery games. LaSalle served as underboss to Thomas Lucchese and later Carmine Tramunti, until he retired in the 1970s.
Anthony Loria Sr.
Anthony "Tony" Loria Sr., also known as "Tony Aboudamita", was a mobster who played a major role in the French Connection heroin scandal. Loria, along with his longtime partner Vincent Papa and his crew, are known as "The Men who Stole The French Connection".
Loria was known to federal agents and the BNDD as a major drug trafficker within the Lucchese Crime Family. He was convicted in 1961 of trafficking heroin but his conviction was overturned on appeal in 1968 because of violations of the Fourth Amendment.
He was implicated along with Papa, Anthony Passero, Virgil Alessi and Frank D'Amato in the New York Police Department scandal, in which over $70 million worth of drugs seized during the French Connection operation was stolen from the police property room. The crew stole 398 pounds of heroin and 120 pounds of cocaine from 1969 to 1972. In October 1973, Loria was indicted, along with the boss of the Lucchese Family Carmine Tramunti and 42 other mobsters, on drug dealing charges.
He died in 1989 from natural causes.
Joseph "Joe Brown" Lucchese was a capo and brother to Tommy Lucchese the boss of the Lucchese crime family. He controlled gambling operation along with Aniello Migliore. In 1963, during the Valachi hearings, Lucchese was identified as a capo in the Lucchese family. He died during the early 1970s.
Anthony "Buddy" Luongo was a former capo. In 1986, Luongo tried to take over the Lucchese crime family after boss Anthony Corallo was imprisoned during the Commission case. In December 1986, Luongo met Vic Amuso, Anthony Casso, Bobby Amuso and Dom Carbucci in Brooklyn, where Bobby Amuso shot Luongo dead.
Mariano "Mac" Macaluso (born June 7, 1912) was a former member. He served as consigliere during the 1960s. In 1986, after the Mafia Commission Trial, Macaluso became the new underboss. In 1989, boss Vic Amuso forced him into retirement. In 1992, he died from natural causes.
Frank Manzo (February 2, 1925 – October 23, 2012), also known as "Francesco Manzo", "Frank Manse", and "Frankie the Wop", was a soldier in the Vario Crew who oversaw the family's interests at John F. Kennedy International Airport ("JFK") in Queens, New York. He served as a union delegate in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, controlled Local 295 and owned two trucking companies: LVF Air Cargo, Inc., and LVF Airport Service Inc. at JFK Airport. Manzo also owned Villa Capra, a restaurant in Cedarhurst, New York, where he conducted illegal activities.
In 1972, Manzo was kidnapped by James McBratney, Eddie Maloney, Tommy Genovese, and Richie Chaisson; they held him for $150,000 in ransom, then released him when it was paid. In 1983, Manzo was overheard in an FBI wiretap, saying, "We rule this airport". In 1985, Manzo along with Local 295 President Frank Calise, Local 851 Vice-President Harry Davidoff, and others were indicted on charges of extorting shipping and trucking companies at JFK Airport. In 1986, Manzo pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to twelve years in prison and fined $325,000. On April 8, 1987, Manzo was banned from New Jersey casinos due to his history of involvement with organized crime.
Manzo was released from prison in 1994. In 1995, Manzo was charged with racketeering for extorting $2 million in payoffs from cement company owner John Quadrozzi over a 13-year period, between 1978 and 1991. However, the charges were dropped when the judge ruled that the crimes were covered under his 1986 plea agreement. On October 23, 2012, Manzo died in his sleep.
Aniello "Neil" Migliore (October 1933 – September 11, 2019) was a made man. He served as a capo, as the consigliere, as the underboss and on a ruling panel in the family. Migliore was a close associate of family bosses Tommy Lucchese and Anthony Corallo. Migliore was born in October 1933 in Queens, New York. He was recruited into Lucchese family by capo Joseph Laratro, who controlled illegal gambling operations in Corona, Queens. By the late 1950s Migliore, a soldier, already was overseeing Laratro's illegal gambling operations from bookmaking, policy operations and large telephone setups. In 1957, it was reported that after paying tribute to his boss, Migliore was making $50,000 a day from running illegal gambling operations in New York City. On November 14, 1957, Migliore was suspected of driving boss Tommy Lucchese and underboss Steve LaSalle to the famous Apalachin Meeting, a national Cosa Nostra summit in Apalachin, New York that was broken up by law enforcement. The next day on November 15, 1957 Migliore was in a car accident while driving through Binghamton, New York leading to more suspicion that he was supposed to attend the Apalachin Meeting.
On October 22, 1974, Migliore was indicted, along with members Frank Altimari, Nicholas Bonina, Anthony Romanello, Frank Ruggiero, Richard Rubino, Thomas DeMaio, brothers Michael Struzzieri and William Struzzieri, and NYPD Police Officer James Maxwell, on bribery charges =][ in order to protect a gambling operation in Queens. Migliore as a capo represented the family's interest in Northberry Concrete, a Brooklyn based contractor and member of the New York City's Concrete club. He also held a salesman position with "Port Dock and Stone" one of the main suppliers of trap rock to the two companies that controlled the production of concrete in New York City.
On March 21, 1986, Migliore was indicted along with Genovese family acting boss Anthony Salerno, Genovese family captains Vincent Cafaro, Vincent DiNapoli and Giuseppe Sabato, Genovese family members Louis DiNapoli, Carmine Della Cava and Thomas Cafaro, and Cleveland family members John Tronolone and Milton Rockman, Gambino family member Alphonse Mosca, and four businessmen, Edward J. Halloran, Nicholas Auletta, Alvin O. Chattin, and Richard Costa, on extortion and bid rigging charges. The charges alleged Migliore and other mobsters had rigged the bidding process for the supplying of concrete to high rise building projects in Manhattan such as the Trump Plaza and sites for Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In November 1986, The New York Times reported Migliore a captain and owner of a Queens marble business who also controlled gambling operations with Joe Lucchese (the brother of former boss Thomas Lucchese) replaced Anthony Corallo as the new boss of the Lucchese family, after Corallo was convicted during the Commission trial. Former Lucchese mobster Alphonse D'Arco revealed that Vic Amuso was chosen as the new family boss and Migliore served as consigliere before being replaced by Anthony Casso, when Migliore went to prison. On May 4, 1988, Migliore was convicted was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined $266,000.
In 1991, Migliore's conviction was overturned and he was released from prison. Migliore held an on-the-book job as a sales representative with a traprock supplier in the concrete business.
On April 3, 1992, Migliore was celebrating the birthday of a friend's granddaughter at Tesoro's Restaurant in Westbury, Long Island. During the party, a shooter in a passing car fired shotgun blasts through the restaurant window. Migliore was struck in the neck and upper body. Despite his wounds, Migliore survived.
On May 14, 1997 Migliore was released from prison.
In 2003, it was reported by author Jerry Capeci that the Lucchese crime family was being run by a three-man ruling committee consisting of Migliore, Matthew Madonna, and Joseph DiNapoli in the absence of an acting boss. Migliore, who served as underboss in the past to Anthony Corallo, was considered the biggest influence on the ruling committee. Migliore died on September 11, 2019.
Richard "Toupe" Pagliarulo (November 30, 1948 – 1999) was a former capo who took over as capo of Peter Chiodo's old Bensonhurst crew. In 1991, Pagliarulo served as a member of a panel that conducted a Lucchese crime family induction ceremony in Howard Beach, Queens. He sponsored both Gregory "Whitey" Cappello and Jody Calabrese for membership during the ceremony. In the late 1990s, Pagliarulo died of natural causes in prison.
Vincent C. Papa (1917 – July 1977) was a former made member in the family who became notorious for masterminding the theft of the French Connection heroin from the New York Police Department (NYPD) property office. Papa grew up in Astoria, Queens and owned a tire-company in the neighborhood. He had been arrested 28 times; two of the arrests were on drug charges. Papa ran his criminal operations from Ditmars Car Service, in Astoria, Queens, and from the Astoria Colts Social Club. He worked closely with mobsters Anthony Loria and Virgil Alessi.
Between 1969 and 1972, New York Police Department detectives James Farley, Joseph Nunziata, Frank King and others were paid by Papa to steal approximately $70 million in confiscated narcotics (heroin) from the New York City Police Property Clerk's office in Lower Manhattan. Papa was arrested on February 3, 1972, in a car parked on Bronxdale Avenue with Joseph DiNapoli in the back seat. There was a suitcase with $967,500 in hundred dollar bills. In 1975, Papa was convicted and sent to the Atlanta Federal Prison in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1977, Papa was stabbed to death in prison. He is buried in St. John's Cemetery in Queens. Papa's infamous theft became famous after the movie French Connection II.
Bonaventura "Joseph" Pinzolo (1887 – September 5, 1930), also known as "Fat Joe", was the boss of the family during 1930. In July 1908, Pinzolo was arrested for trying to bomb 314 East 11th Street in an effort to force owner Francisco Spinelli to pay Black Hand extortion demands. After his arrest Pinzolo, gave up his boss Giuseppe Costabile, a Camorrista who controlled the area south of Houston Street to Canal Street and from East Broadway to the East River. Pinzolo served 2 years and 8 months to 5 years after refusing to testify against Costabile.
In February 1930, Gaetano Reina was murdered and boss Joseph Masseria backed Pinzolo to take control of the Reina family. Pinzolo may have been responsible for Reina's murder, though the most widely suspected culprit for that crime remains Vito Genovese. As boss Pinzolo was unfamiliar with the members of the family and the East Harlem area. His promotion angered Tommaso Gagliano, Tommy Lucchese and Dominick Petrilli, who formed a splinter group within the family and planned his murder. On September 5, 1930, Pinzolo's body was found in the Brokaw building on 1487 Broadway in Suite 1007 occupied by California Dry Fruit Importers. The office was leased by Tommy Lucchese four months earlier. According to Joseph Valachi the killer was Girolamo Santuccio. Valachi also mentioned that after Pinzolo's assassination a meeting was held on Staten Island to uncover who was responsible for the murder.
Vincenzo John Rao (June 21, 1898 Palermo, Sicily – September 25, 1988), also known as Vincent or Vinny, was a former Consigliere in the family. His father was Antonio Rao and his mother Liboria Gagliano. He had a brother Calogero "Charles" and a sister Maria Speciale. On his mother's side, Rao was a distant relative to Tommaso Gagliano. He was a cousin to gangster Joseph Rao. He married Carmelina Alberti and the couple had two daughters, Nina Vento and Liboria Pancaldo. On December 5, 1921, Vincenzo Rao became a naturalized United States citizen in New York City. He began his criminal career working for the Gagliano's in East Harlem. Rao became a powerful mobster in the lathing industry. He became partners in Five Boro Hoisting Company, United Lathing Company, Westchester Lathing Corporation and Ace Lathing Company operating from the Bronx and Westchester. In the 1950s, boss Gaetano Lucchese promoted Rao to Consigliere in the family.
In 1957, Rao was arrested with 60 other mobsters at the abortive Apalachin meeting in rural Apalachin, New York. When asked by investigators why he was at the meeting, Rao said he went there for the luncheon buffet and did not speak to anyone else because he was not "introduced". During the 1963 Valachi hearings, Rao was listed as the Lucchese family's consigliere. In 1965, Rao was convicted on perjury charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. At the same time the longtime boss Thomas Lucchese had become ill and Rao was thought as suitable successor. His chance to become the new boss never came to fruition due to his trials. During the early 1970s, Rao retired. On September 25, 1988, Rao died of natural causes and is buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.
Salvatore T. "Tom Mix" Santoro, Sr. (November 18, 1915 – January 2000) served as underboss in the Lucchese crime family during the 1980s before being convicted in the Mafia Commission Trial and sentenced to 100 years in federal prison.
He was born in Leonia, New Jersey to Antonio and Teresa Bargio. He married Mary Zangaglia but did not father any children. He is the uncle to Lucchese family soldier and union boss Anthony DiLapi. He earned the nickname "Tom Mix" because in his younger years he closely resembled the Dutch-German-American western film actor by that name.
Santoro started working for the Gagliano crime family, forerunner of the Lucchese family, in the early 1930s. He served as an associate of future boss Tommy "Three-Finger Brown" Lucchese's 107th Street gang in operating extortion, loansharking, narcotics and prostitution rings during the 1930s. He was made sometime in the 1940s operating drug trafficking and loansharking rings.
On July 6, 1942, Santoro received six months to two years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to import narcotics from Mexico.
In March 1951, Santoro was indicted on charges of conspiracy to import opium from Mexico and convert it into heroin. Santoro went into hiding and allegedly spent time in Europe before returning to Oyster Bay, New York. On September 24, 1951, he surrendered to federal authorities in New York City. On January 7, 1952, after pleading guilty to narcotics charges, a judge labeled Santoro as a "bad fellow" and sentenced him to four years in prison.
In 1951 or 1953, longtime boss Tommy Gagliano died. Underboss Tommy Lucchese took over what was now called the Lucchese crime family. Lucchese then promoted Santoro to capo of the family's powerful Bronx faction.
As capo Santoro operated out of East Harlem and the Bronx controlling large heroin drug trafficking operations during the 1950s. In 1958 he was arrested and tried for narcotics charges. He was alleged to be a partner and associate of Ellsworth Johnson, although this never was confirmed. Santoro was convicted of all charges in 1959 and was given a twenty-year prison sentence.
When Santoro was released from prison in 1978 he took over as underboss, continuing to oversee the powerful Bronx faction of the family. He left the drug trade alone and instead took over the labor and construction racketeering operations for the family in New York City. Santoro gained a reputation as a labor racketeer and worked with consigliere Christopher Furnari and other top capos in the family. He bought a home on City Island Avenue in City Island, Bronx.
In the early 1980s, Anthony Corallo found a new way to discuss business without ever meeting his top underlings Santoro and Furnari. Corallo used his Jaguar with a phone inside and talked to mostly Santoro on the phone while he was driving around in New York with his chauffeur Aniello Migliore. This succeeded mostly because the noise of the old Jaguar was so loud that it was not possible to hear what Corallo and others were saying. However, after the Jaguar came with a new engine and new filter, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents planted a bug in it, and listened in to Corallo's conversations with Santoro, mostly about the profit from the labor and construction racketeering operations in the Bronx, where they extorted unions and had influence in the construction industry.
As US law enforcement undertook a concerted effort to crush organized crime activities in New York City during the mid-1980s, they put eleven top members of the Five Families, including the entire leadership of the Lucchese crime family, Corallo, Santoro and consigliere Christopher "Christie Tick" Furnari, on trial, called the Mafia Commission Trial or the Commission Case. The defendants were arrested on February 25, 1985 on various charges, including labor racketeering, extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling and murder.
The trial began in September 1986. The charges also involved the execution of Bonanno crime family de facto boss Carmine Galante in 1979, allegedly on the orders of the Commission because they saw Galante as a potential rival who planned to take over all organized crime operations in the New York area.
On November 19, 1986, Santoro and the other defendants were convicted on all counts. On January 13, 1987, Santoro was sentenced to 100 years in prison and fined $250,000.
In January 2000, Santoro died at age 87 of natural causes at a medical center for federal prisoners. Months later Corallo died in August 2000.
Patrick "Patty" Testa is a former soldier. Testa was the younger brother to Joseph Testa. In 1984, he was indicted on fraud and theft charges along with members of the Gambino family's DeMeo crew. Testa was sentenced to two years in prison and after his release joined the Lucchese crime family. On December 2, 1992, Testa was murdered, shot in the back of the head nine times. It was later revealed that Anthony Casso had ordered Frank Lastorino to murder Testa.
Anthony "Torty" Tortorello a former capo of the "Prince Street crew". In 1986, Tortorello was overheard by Genovese mobster asking why Vincent Gigante was upset by drug deals when Gigante himself profited from drug deals. When Gigante heard these statements demand Tortoello's death, but Anthony Casso was able to save his life by planning a phony beating of Tortorello to appeal Gigante demand. In October 1991, Tortorello along with Frank Lastorino, Anthony Baratta, Salvatore Avellino, Richard Pagliarulo, George Conte, Thomas Anzellotto and Frank Papagni inducted (made) Joseph Tortorello, Thomas D'Ambrosia, Frank Gioia Jr., Gregory Cappello and Jody Calabrese into the crime family during a ceremony that was held in a Howard Beach, Queens home. Tortorello sponsored his son Joseph "Torty Jr." during the ceremony. His son Joseph "Torty Jr." later went on to control a drug operation in lower Manhattan. In 1996, Tortorello was arrested and charged with the murder and robbery of a Manhattan designer, he later took a plea deal and was sentenced to ten years in prison. In late 2000, Tortorello died in a Kentucky prison.
Dominic "Crazy Dom" Truscello (April 29, 1934 – July 2018) was the capo of the "Prince Street Crew". In the 1990s, Truscello along with Steven Crea and Joseph Tangorra formed the "Lucchese Construction Group", supervising all the Lucchese family's construction-related rackets. On September 6, 2000, Truscello was indicted along with acting boss Steven Crea, capo Joseph Tangorra, soldiers Joseph Datello, Philip DeSimone, Arthur Zambardi, Anthony Pezzullo, and Joseph Truncale on labor racketeering, extortion, and bid-rigging charges. In September 2002, Truscello and Steven Crea were indicted on information supplied by Joseph Defede, who became a government witness in February. The indictment charged Truscello with extorting "Commercial Brick", a construction company. In October 2003, Truscello pleaded guilty to federal extortion charges. On January 9, 2006, Truscello was released from prison. On May 31, 2017, Truscello along with Street Boss Matthew Madonna, Underboss Steven Crea Sr., Consigliere Joseph DiNapoli and other members of the family were indicted and charged with racketeering, murder, narcotics (cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescribed medication), and firearms offenses. Truscello died during the trial in July 2018.
Guido "the Bull" Penosi a former associate. He lived in Beverly Hills and was a narcotics dealer active in Los Angeles and the West Coast. In the 1980s, Penosi, along with his cousin Frank Piccolo (a member in the Gambino crime family), stopped Genovese family mobsters from extorting his friend Wayne Newton. (Wayne Newton v. NBC).
Abraham "Abe" Telvi (September 12, 1934 – July 28, 1956) was an associate of Johnny Dio. In 1956, Telvi was ordered by Dio to throw acid on New York journalist Victor Riesel for making radio and television appearances about labor union corruption. In the morning of April 5, 1956, Telvi attacked Victor Riesel as he was leaving Lindy's, a Broadway restaurant, throwing sulfuric acid onto his face leaving him permanently blind. In the attack, Telvi had burned himself badly on the right side of his face and neck with some of the acid that splashed on him. He was paid $1,175 in cash and began demanding more money from Dio. On July 28, 1956, Telvi was found dead on Mulberry Street with a bullet in his head.
Vincent Zito (1941 – October 26, 2018) is a former loanshark and associate of the Lucchese family. Zito was found dead in his Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn home on October 26, 2018 after being shot twice in the head. According to police Zito was arrested for loan sharking in the past and has been tied to the Lucchese family. His elder brother Anthony Zito was arrested in 1971 for extortion and has also been linked with the Lucchese family. On March 7, 2019 Anthony Pandrella a Gambino family associate was indicted for the murder of Vincent Zito. The indictment claimed Anthony Pandrella a longtime friend of Zito murdered him and stole his loan sharking business.
Government informants and witnesses
Peter "Fat Pete" Chiodo (1951–2016) was a capo in the Lucchese crime family who later became a government witness. In 1987, Chiodo became a made man in the Lucchese family in a ceremony held in an apartment over a funeral home in Queens. In 1989, Chiodo became a capo in charge of funneling payoffs from Local 580 of the Ironworkers' Union to the Lucchese leadership. He was known as "Fat Pete" because of his enormous girth–400 lb (180 kg) to 500 lb (230 kg), depending on the source.
In 1989, the Lucchese family began worrying about indictments from the Windows case. The Luccheses and three other New York families had participated in a window replacement scheme that stole millions of dollars from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Worried that construction union leader John Morrissey might testify for the prosecution, family leaders ordered Chiodo to lure Morrissey to New Jersey, where he was murdered.
In 1991, Chiodo was charged with violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in the Windows case. Chiodo realized that the government's case was so solid that he would likely die in prison if convicted. He decided to plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence. However, Chiodo did not ask Lucchese official boss Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and official underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso for permission to take a plea. Amuso and Casso were both in hiding due to the Windows case. Suspecting Chiodo was about to turn informer, Amuso and Casso ordered him killed. Casso gave the contract to acting boss Alphonse 'Little Al' D'Arco. The order shocked D'Arco, who knew that Chiodo had been a close confidant of Casso for years.
On May 8, 1991 two shooters ambushed Chiodo at a gas station in Staten Island where he was working on a car. Chiodo received 12 bullet wounds in the arms, legs, and torso, but survived the attack. Doctors credited Chiodo's massive girth for saving his life; none of the slugs penetrated a vital organ or artery. However, he suffered several abdominal wounds and a disabled right arm.
Chiodo had anticipated that he was in Amuso and Casso's bad books; he knew that Amuso and Casso had a habit of "marking guys rats and killing them." Just before the hit, he told D'Arco that he'd gotten word that "you and I are going to be killed and hurt."
Following the unsuccessful assassination attempt, Lucchese mobsters delivered a blunt threat to Chiodo's lawyer that they would kill Chiodo's wife if he testified, a violation of a longstanding Mafia rule against harming women. While Chiodo had turned down several offers to flip, the threat against his wife was the last straw. He opted to break his blood oath and become a government witness, by his own account, to protect his family. The government quickly brought Chiodo's immediate family into the federal Witness Protection Program.
With the failure of his gunmen to murder Chiodo, D'Arco soon became afraid of the wrath of his bosses. After a 1991 meeting during which he feared being murdered, D'Arco went into hiding and soon became a government witness himself.
In September 1991, using a wheelchair due to his wounds, Chiodo testified in the Windows trial. Chiodo stated that he had undergone a "transformation" from a violent criminal to a man with a conscience. When asked what prompted this transformation, Chiodo replied "I was shot 12 times."
Chiodo's remaining family in Brooklyn soon suffered retaliation from the Luccheses. On March 10, 1992, Lucchese associate Michael Spinelli shot Patricia Capozallo, Chiodo's sister, while she was driving in Bensonhurst. Capozallo suffered wounds to the arm, back and neck but survived. On February 2, 1993, the body of Frank Signorino, Chiodo's uncle, was found in the trunk of a car in East New York. The body displayed several gunshot wounds to the head.
Chiodo provided valuable evidence that helped convict both Amuso and Casso as well as many other gangsters. While testifying in different cities, the government had to fly Chiodo in a special plane due to his morbid obesity. In July 1997, Chido testified against Genovese crime family boss Vincent Gigante in another Windows-related racketeering trial.
On September 11, 2007, Chiodo was sentenced to 17 years in prison on racketeering charges. However, due to his testimony, Chiodo was to serve no time in prison and was placed in the Witness Protection Program. Peter Chiodo died in January 2016, aged 65, of natural causes.
Joseph "Little Joe" D'Arco is a former soldier who is currently in witness protection along with his father former acting boss Alphonse D'Arco. In early 1990, Vic Amuso and Anthony Casso ordered D'Arco to kill Anthony DiLapi, a soldier who was in hiding. On February 4, 1990, he shot DiLapi to death in his Hollywood, California apartment building's underground garage. In September 1991, D'Arco's father became a marked man (being targeted for death), and, fearing for his own life, surrendered to the F.B.I. and agreed to become a witness.
Joseph "Little Joe" DeFede (1934 – July 15, 2012) was a former New York City mobster and acting boss of the Lucchese crime family who eventually turned informant. Born in 1934, DeFede grew up in the Queens borough of New York City. In his early days, he operated a hot dog vendor truck in Coney Island, Brooklyn, running numbers rackets on the side. A close friend and handball partner of Lucchese leader Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, DeFede was inducted into the family in 1986 after Amuso became boss.
DeFede's rise and fall in the New York mob can all be attributed to Amuso. In 1994, Amuso was convicted of federal racketeering and murder charges and sent to prison for life. Amuso then named DeFede his acting boss to replace Alphonse D'Arco with a weaker and more controllable man at the top, after D'Arco became a government witness.
On April 28, 1998, DeFede was indicted on nine counts of racketeering stemming from his supervision of the family rackets in New York's Garment District from 1991 to 1996. The prosecution reported that the Lucchese family had been grossing $40,000 per month from Garment District businesses since the mid-1980s. In December 1998, DeFede pleaded guilty to the charges and received five years in prison.
During the late '90s, Amuso's relationship with DeFede began to sour. Suspecting that DeFede was hiding money from the family, Amuso replaced him as acting boss with Steven Crea, head of the family's powerful Bronx faction. Once Crea took over, family profits rose enormously. That was enough to convince Amuso that DeFede had been skimming profits; Amuso reportedly decided to have him murdered.
On February 5, 2002, DeFede was released from a Lexington, Kentucky prison medical center. Having heard of Amuso's plans to kill him, DeFede immediately became a government informant. DeFede provided details concerning the Garment District rackets and the protection rackets in Howard Beach, Queens. He also provided information leading to the convictions of Crea, Louis Daidone, Dominic Truscello, Joseph Tangorra, Anthony Baratta, and a number of family captains, soldiers and associates. While testifying against Gambino crime family boss Peter Gotti, DeFede testified that he only earned $1,014,000, or approximately $250,000 per year, during his tenure as acting boss. DeFede also estimated that a low ranking family soldier would make on average $50,000 per year.
DeFede entered and left the Witness Protection Program, moving to live in Florida under an assumed name. He and his wife reportedly lived on $30,000 a year and a modest annuity provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, their assets having been depleted by legal bills and the cost of creating new identities. On July 15, 2012 DeFede died from a heart attack.
Donald "Tony the Greek" George Frankos, (born November 10, 1938 Hackensack, New Jersey – died March 30, 2011 Dannemora, New York), was a Greek-Italian contract killer and mob associate of the Lucchese family, who later became a government witness. His father George Argiri Frango left his home town of Kardamyla on Chios, Greece in 1905 as a crewman on a ship. George Frango married Irene, an immigrant from Syracuse, Italy and had three children: Georgia (1932), James (1935) and Donald (1938). In 1974, Frankos murdered Lucchese associate Richard Bilello.
In 1992, Frankos claimed to author William Hoffman he took part in the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, with a hit team consisting of himself, and Irish-American mobsters John Sullivan and James Coonan. According to Frankos, Hoffa was lured by his close friend Chuckie O'Brien to a house owned by Detroit mobster Anthony Giacolone. Once there, Hoffa was shot and killed by Coonan and Frankos using suppressed .22 pistols. Hoffa was then dismembered by Coonan, Sullivan, and Frankos. It has been asserted that he sealed the body in an oil drum and buried it underneath Giants Stadium, however no evidence has ever been found to substantiate this claim. Author Jerry Capeci found these claims false because Frankos was in prison during Hoffa's disappearance.
Eugenio Giannini a former soldier who became an informant to the Bureau of Narcotics. In 1942, Giannini was charged with heroin conspiracy and served fifteen months in prison. He moved to Europe in 1950, and began smuggling U.S. medical supplies into Italy. While in Italy he formed a connection to Charles Luciano and began informing on Luciano to the Bureau of Narcotics. Giannini was arrested on counterfeiting charges in Italy but the charges were dropped and he moved back to New York. The Mafia in New York discovered that Giannini was an informer and ordered his murder. Genovese family capo Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo gave the contract to Joseph Valachi. On September 20, 1952, Giannini's body was found on 107th Street shot to death. Valachi later revealed he recruited brothers Joseph and Pasquale Pagano and Fiore Siano to carry out the hit. They murdered Giannini near a gambling club run by Lucchese family soldier Paul Correale between Second Avenue and East 112th Street.
Frank Gioia Jr.
Frank "Spaghetti Man" Gioia Jr. (born August 10, 1967) is a former soldier who is currently in witness protection along with his father, former soldier Frank Gioia Sr. In 1991, Gioia Jr. was inducted into the Lucchese crime family in a ceremony held in Howard Beach, Queens. He was sponsored by George Conte, who was filling in for his real sponsor George Zappola. In June 1992, Gioia Jr. was arrested in Brooklyn on a gun charge. In 1993, Gioia Jr. along with George Zappola and Frank Papagni plotted to have Steven Crea killed. In 1993, Gioia was arrested for trafficking heroin from Manhattan to Boston. In 1994, Gioia found out that Frank Papagni planned to murder his father Frank Gioia Sr., prompting the son to become a government witness. Since becoming a government witness, Gioia Jr. has testified against 60 defendants.
According to investigator Robert Anglen, a Phoenix, Arizona real estate developer, the individual known as Frank Capri is really former mob informant Frank Gioia Jr. Since 2015, Capri and his company have been accused in multiple lawsuits for failing to pay rent and contractors and misappropriating funds meant to pay for construction.
On February 5, 2020 Frank Capri and his mother Debbie Corvo were indicted on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the operation of various branded restaurant locations in Arizona and across the United States. The indictment charged Capri with the financial failure of Toby Keith and Rascal Flatts branded restaurants.
Burton Kaplan was an associate and government informant. During the 1980s Kaplan was the go-between for Lucchese crime family underboss Anthony Casso and NYPD Detectives Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa. In 2006, Kaplan was released from federal custody and his remaining 18-year sentence for marijuana trafficking was dropped in return for cooperating in the case against Eppolito and Caracappa. In July 2009, Kaplan died from prostate cancer.
John Pennisi is a former soldier who is currently in witness protection. In 2013, Pennisi was made into the Lucchese family in a secret initiation ceremony in a basement of a Staten Island home by acting boss Matthew Madonna and capo John Castellucci. Pennisi was a member of the Lucchese family's Brooklyn faction that now operated from Tottenville, Staten Island. In October 2018, Pennisi started cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In May 2019, government witness Pennisi testified in the trial against Eugene Castelle and reveal the current leadership of the crime family. Pennisi testified that in 2017, the Brooklyn faction of the family wrote a letter to imprisoned boss Vic Amuso complaining about how the power had shifted to the Bronx. According to Pennisi's testimony, imprisoned for life boss Vic Amuso sent a letter to Underboss Steven Crea which stated that Brooklyn based mobster Michael "Big Mike" DeSantis would take over as acting boss replacing Bronx based Matthew Madonna. The testimony from Pennisi stated that if the Bronx faction refused to step aside, imprisoned boss Amuso had approved of a hit list that included a captain and several members of the Bronx faction. During Pennisi's testimony, he revealed that the Lucchese family operates with a total of seven crews - two in The Bronx, two on Long Island, one in Manhattan, one in New Jersey, and Castellucci's-Brooklyn crew (formerly Amuso-Casso's old crew) which is now based in Tottenville section of Staten Island.
Dominick "The Gap" Petrilli was a former member. He got the nickname "The Gap" after losing two front teeth in a childhood fight. Petrilli met Joseph Valachi in Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York. In 1928, after Valachi was released from prison Petrilli introduced him to Girolama "Bobby Doyle" Santucci and Tom Gagliano. In 1942, Petrilli was convicted on narcotic charges and was deported to Italy. In November 1953, he reentered the U.S. and it was rumored he was working with the government. On December 9, 1953, he was murdered in a bar on East 183rd Street in the Bronx by three gunmen.
Thomas "Tommy Boy" Ricciardi is a former soldier who is currently in witness protection. Both Thomas and his brother Daniel were associated with the Lucchese family's New Jersey faction before becoming government informants. Ricciardi was a member of Michael Taccetta's inner circle and controlled the group's illegal gambling operations. In August 1988, Ricciardi along with his brother Daniel and twenty other members of the New Jersey faction were acquitted in a 21-month trial. On April 18, 1991, Ricciardi was indicted along with Michael Taccetta, Anthony Accetturo, Michael Perna on corruption charges. On August 13, 1993, they were all convicted of racketeering and both Thomas Ricciardi and Anthony Accetturo agreed to become government witnesses and testified against Taccetta and Perna. On September 6, 2001, Ricciardi was released from prison after serving 10 years, and is now currently in the witness protection program.
Vincent "Vinny Baldy" Salanardi is a former soldier who became a government informant. In 2002, Salanardi was indicted along with consigliere Joseph Caridi, capo John Cerrella and others. The group was charged with extorting the Hudson & McCoy Fish House restaurant in Freeport, Long Island. He began cooperating with the government, and continued to collect money from a loanshark debt and was dropped from the witness protection program. In March 2006, Salanardi was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison. Salanardi was released from prison on October 29, 2012.
Frank "Goo Goo" Suppa is a former soldier who is currently in witness protection. Suppa was a soldier in the Lucchese family's New Jersey faction operating in Florida as Anthony Accetturo's right-hand man. In 1983, Suppa attended a sitdown along with Anthony Accetturo, Michael Taccetta, Thomas Ricciardi and Philadelphia crime family mobsters Jackie "the Nose" DiNorscio and Joseph Alonzo over DiNorscio joining the Lucchese family. In 1993, Suppa was indicted along with others on charges that they conspired to distribute up to 1,650 pounds of cocaine in the United States. In December 1996, Suppa along with his son Anthony Suppa, Joseph Marino, David Deatherage and Steven Cassone testified against Fabio Dicristifaro and Irving Schwartz in the case of the murder of Joseph Martino. In 1997, Dicristifaro and Schwartz received life sentences, based on the testimony of Suppa and other witnesses.