Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Los Angeles Brookliers

This November in Los Angeles a man was found dead in his Century City home.  It was an apparent suicide.  The man, born Anthony Philip Brooklier in 1946, was the son of a man born under the name Domenico Brucceleri who would be known as Dominic Brooklier.

Dominic would move to Los Angeles in the 1940’s after some prison time back east.  He called himself Jimmy Regace when he was around bookmaker Mickey Cohen.  Dominic chose to walk away from Mickey Cohen and started working instead with Los Angeles mafia boss Jack Dragna.

He took part in the wounding of Mickey Cohen on the Sunset strip.  He was inducted into the Los Angeles family in a winery along with Jimmy Fratianno.  Dominic would continue to move up the mafia ladder.  He became a capo in the family and he was in charge of Orange County.  In the 1970’s he became underboss of the family and after Boss Nick Licata passed away he moved to the top spot.

He was at odds with Jimmy Fratianno who had transferred to the Chicago Outfit.  

He played Jimmy Fratianno well and asked him to take over as acting boss when he had to go away for a short sentence.  Once out Brooklier demoted Fratianno to soldier and worked to have him murdered.

He long believed capo Frank Bompensiero was an FBI informant and soon he was gunned down outside a San Diego Phone booth.

Anthony Brooklier became a lawyer in 1971 after some time at the US Naval Academy and Loyola Marymount.

He was ready to defend his father.  He was good enough to convince a jury that his father did not take part in the Frank Bompensiero murder.

He also was able to get his father a reduced sentence in another extortion case.

Dominic would die in 1984 at a prison in Arizona while serving his sentence.  

Anthony would go on to have great success as a criminal defence lawyer.

He even defended Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss and a number of high profile celebrity clients.

He died on the one year anniversary of his son’s suicide.

Another piece of Los Angeles Mafia history has gone with him.  He was never in the mafia but he knew the players from the old days.  

I kept hoping he would do a book about his father.  He also represented Mike Rizzi in the shooting of Bill Carroll over the Mustang Ranch Theatre in Santa Ana.

Rest in peace Anthony.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Casino Skim

This is a story about the Mafia in its heyday.  If you have watched the movie Casino then you got a lesson in how the casino skim went down.  This is about the real men behind the skim of the Stardust Casino.

In the 1970’s a clean cut man in his 30’s, Allen R. Glick, first bought the Hacienda Hotel and Casino for somewhere around 5 million dollars.  He did well with it and he showed promise as a casino operator.  

Glick controlled the ARGENT company that soon got a Teamster loan for 140 million dollars to purchase the Stardust, Fremont and the Marina Casino’s.

He then put Lefty Rosenthal in charge of the Stardust, but he was really the point man for the Chicago Outfit, Kansas City and the Milwaukee families. Lefty had one job and that was to increase the skim and keep it coming.

The Outfit was not happy with the skim coming out of Las vegas because they had been hit hard by the Feds and it had become harder to get cash from their own casinos.

When Bugsy had built the Flamingo a casino owner could just walk into the room where they brought all the cash before it hit the count room and grab stacks of cash.

They could go to a table and sign a marker, play and then cash out.  Later they would have the marker disappear.

In the 1970’s a casino owner was not allowed in the count room and all the cash had to be accounted for that came in or went out.  

They could no longer gamble at their own casinos.

They had to come up with a better method.  Where there is a will, there is a way.

They had to go low.  Instead of going for the bills, they went for the coins.

The slots were bringing in so much cash that they could not count it everyday.  So they purchased scales that could weigh them in bulk.  They then recalibrated the scales to under weigh the coins.

They had the coins from the other three casinos brought to the Stardust everyday. They then had a guy to set the scales so they registered 10% less when they were weighed.

They started to do this with the dollar tokens and silver dollars that the dollar slot machines used back then.

So now they had a steady stream of cash coming in.  How did they get it in a form that they could spend?  Coins might be legal tender, but nobody is going to walk around with hundreds of dollars in coins.

The key was the change girls that used to walk around the floor taking customers bills and swapping them out for rolls of coins.

The girls used to get the coins from the cashier's cage, but the Stardust installed coin cabinets along the walls that had coins and a dropbox for the bills.

They also set up a change booth that was not accountable to the gaming control board.  

They filled both places with the 10% skim coins and they got back bills!  

They were able to steal three hundred thousand dollars a week using this system.  It is believed that they had this going for 5 years, with fifteen million dollars a year going to the mob families.
These guys took down seventy five million that they know about.