Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Genovese Family and “Operation Fistful”

It is a crime group that people claim is “dead,” yet law enforcement keeps taking down different crews that still pull down cash. The latest bust went down in New Jersey, called “Operation Fistful.”  It was a joint investigation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, conducted with assistance from the New York and Queens County District Attorneys’ Offices and other law enforcement agencies.

The operation targeted a group of associates that were part of a New Jersey crew operating under the supervision and control of two alleged “made” members of the Genovese crime family: Charles “Chuckie” Tuzzo, 82, of Bayside, N.Y., (“capo”), and Vito Alberti, 57, of Morristown NJ, a Genovese “soldier.”

The investigation centered on the check cashing businesses of Genovese associate Domenick Pucillo. He ran both legal and illegal check cashing business that he used to launder and shylock money through. The shylock operation was a simple but profitable enterprise.  Pucillo would make loans to those close to him for 1 point or 1% a week which comes to 52% a year.  The other shylocks would add a half point or much more, and then put it to work by loaning it out.  The business took in 4.7 million dollars in interest alone while the investigation had them under surveillance.

The operation was mainly based out of Tri-State Check Cashing, Inc., with headquarters at 17 Avenue A in Newark, NJ which was owned by Pucillo.  Vito Alberti got a piece of the whole shylock business and loans that he handled he took 2 points off the top.  They would have people who got the loans give them checks which they would cash weekly at the check cashing business so it looked like a legitimate transaction.

Vincent Coppola, the son of Genovese Capo Michael Coppola, ran a sports betting operation that took in 1.7 million and generated 400k in profits that he shared with Alberti and Capo Chuckie Tuzzo at the same time.

They also had a very lucrative side business which they named Viriato Corp. Viriato was used for their illegal check cashing business that was run out of a neighborhood bar.  They cashed over 400 million in checks and took in 9 million in tax free fees, which they all split.  People would write them large checks to cover under the table payroll or whatever they wanted to get cash for that was not traceable.  They did not have to file a CTR aka Currency Transaction Report like you do at a bank for anything over or totaling 10k.  

Viriato Corp got the cash from Tri-State Check Cashing and cashed checks, which they deposited and then wrote big checks to Tri-State which they filed CTRs on.

They then gained control of GTS Auto Carriers which transported cars from the docks to other locations.  They looted the company and used it to launder more checks through while the task force was watching.

The whole operation was a cash machine.  They took in almost 700k in cash from a drug dealer who paid them a fee to launder it, and then they used that cash to cash checks.  

It's a circle of undeclared cash kept in play by mixing it up with their legitimate businesses.  So much for a dying crime industry. The mafia is alive and well in New York and New Jersey.  This was just one small part of a crew that involved one made guy in the family and his capo. Imagine what the rest of the family has going on.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Chicago Outfit: Still Chugging Along in 2016

The Chicago Outfit is most famous for Al Capone, who was only boss for about seven years. The FBI used to called it the Capone Mob.  They thought it died when he went to prison and when they found out it was still active, they called the unit tasked with looking into the Chicago Outfit “the reactivation of the Capone Mob.”

The fact is the Outfit ran smoothly under the watchful eye of Tony Accardo aka Joe Batters for decades without the press of Capone.

Today the Outfit continues to move along just below the surface of respectable business.  The days of controling the city are over, but they still have power and influence.  People hear about some cartel or some gangbangers and they talk about the mafia losing control.  The mafia was never in the same low level businesses as the fly-by-night crime groups.  The mafia is about making money.  Unions, Trucking, Carting, Gambling and Shylock are what they specialize in handling.

Ideal Motors Dealership was what R.J. Serpico and his father called the used car business they opened in Melrose Park, Illinois. The business was started with a 300k loan from Michael "Mickey" Davis.  Mickey Davis was a longtime associate of Outfit Bosses Peter and John DiFronzo so the Serpico’s knew this was no ordinary business loan. They agreed to payback the principle in 3 years and pay 300 dollars a car they sold as interest for the loan.

The problem with the whole car lot was the senior Serpico was a bad gambler.  He owed Outfit Bookies thousands of dollars and he dipped into the car lot money to finance his losing streak.

Micky finally had enough, so he went to speak to R.J. Serpico and he showed him how much his father owed the bookies.  He then asked him to pay the loan back because it was not the deal he lent them the money for when the asked.  

R.J. Serpico fired his father and made Mickey his partner after the meeting.  

R.J. Serpico came up with 60k in cash and a car that he gave Mickey but that was not enough.
One day R.J. Serpico could not take it and he just walked away from the car lot, giving it to Mickey.  Mickey still wanted his cash because that was the deal.

Mickey reached out for some leg breakers and another associate recommended Paul Carparelli who wanted to move up in the Outfit ranks.

The only problem in this whole deal was George Brown, a 300lbs MMA fighter and Union bodyguard who had flipped and was wearing a wire against Paul Carparelli.

The FBI knew when Carparelli met with Mickey.  They had him on tape planning to have George Brown stage a fender bender with R.J. Serpico so he could break his legs.

The FBI stopped the whole thing before they could finish the job.

Paul Carparelli would get 3 ½ years.  Mickey would get 4 ½ years and George Brown the informant that started the investigation got just under 2 years last week.

These were all associates but Mickey Davis was a heavily connected guy.  The Outfit is still alive.