FOREX was an FBI sting set by the Los Angeles FBI office to snare the LA Family guys. It all started when an FBI Special Agent, staying with his wife in Murrieta Hot Springs Hotel, noticed Frank Bompenseiro, Jimmy Frattiano and Louie Dragna going into the hotel’s restaurant.
The FBI Agent and his wife were able to get a booth near their table. He overheard part of their conversation and one thing that was clear from the part he heard was that Jimmy Frattiano wanted a piece of the porno business. Frattiano was acting boss of the family along with Louie Dragna. Frattiano had transferred back from the Chicago outfit in order to help run the family. The real acting boss should have been Louie Dragna, but since he was running a multi million dollar garment center business, he had little interest in taking over the day to day dealings of his Uncle’s former family. The LA Family had another reason for wanting Frattiano back with the family.
Frank Bompenseiro had been one of the heavy guys back in the Jack Dragna days. He had buried a lot of guys. Frattiano had been another one of the workers Jack used to carry out LA Family business. The powers in the LA Family had now grown tired of Bompensiero because even after the busted him down to soldier he kept doing whatever he wanted in San Diego. To make matters worse Bompensiero had been bad mouthing the family to anyone who would listen. The Family now wanted Bompensiero dead and the only guy who could carry out the hit was Frattiano. They knew Frattiano was close to him and they knew he could see it through. This is Cosa Nostra, they always have those that are closest to you take you out.
Frattiano and Dragna came up with a plan to put Bompenseiro at ease. They upped him to the Consigliere position and that made him happy. Bompensiero had been an FBI informant for ten years at this point, but the FBI, like the Cosa Nostra, can be ruthless. They knew that Bompensiero had not been giving them all the information on the family activities. So, the FBI set up the FOREX sting.
They let Bompensiero know that a Porno outfit was operating out of the San Fernando Valley. They told him that FOREX was buying Porno and shipping it to Mexico. Bompensiero then let the LA Family know about them and they sent in some guys. The Crew that the family sent in was a misfit bunch. Anyone interested in knowing more should read The Animal in Hollywood by Anthony Fiato.
The guys running FOREX were FBI Agents and they got the whole thing on tape. The family was soon brought before a Grand Jury and they knew right away that Bompensiero had set them up. Bompensiero was very careful and rarely went out after dark. One habit he had was to leave his Pacific Beach Apartment at night to use a payphone to make calls. He figured that his home phone was bugged by the FBI or the State. Someone would call him at his place and he would tell them he would speak to them later. Bompensiero would then walk to the phone booth and make his calls.
So here is what went down. The LA Family had Frattiano call Bompensiero one night and they just watched him walk to the payphone take the call and walk home. This was just to see what he did. I am sure that they watched him a few other nights. The Cosa Nostra does not like to go off and kill like a cowboy they like to plan it so they get away with it.
So one night Bompenseiro is told that the boss would like to speak with him. He walks from his apartment to the phone booth and while he is there dialing, a car pulls up. Tommy Ricciardi, a Rhode Island transplant, jumps out with 22.cal with a suppressor on it. Tommy walks over and fires into Bompenseiro’s head 4 times and this is where urban legend takes over.
When the police find Bompensiero he has some dimes scattered near him. They say it was because he was dropping a dime on guys but maybe he was carrying them because that is what payphones took at that time. It was not about sending a message "drop a dime" and die.
It is also a wonder that Tommy was able to pull it off without keeling over himself because he had a pacemaker. Tommy fires into Bompenseiro and jumps back into the car driven by Jack LoCicero and they are gone into the night. The pistol would not be tossed but would continue to make its rounds in the LA Family. Read more about it in this book: