Monday, July 21, 2014

Casella's Restaurant

1987 was a good year for John Gotti.   He was boss of the Gambino Family and he had been acquitted in a high profile case.  He knew that he was on someone's hit list but he thought it was for the killing of his boss Paul Castellano. He did not know that he had really pissed off the Genovese Family, and not just because Chin Gigante was mad about the Castellano murder.  John Gotti had moved in on the rackets that the Philadelphia Family had run until their family was decimated and their boss Nicky Scarfo was put away for life.  This really made the Genovese in New Jersey mad and the number three man in the family, Louis "Bobby" Manna wanted John Gotti and his brother Gene Gotti dead.  Bobby Mana was the Consigliere of the family and he ran the New Jersey faction of the family from Casella's restaurant in Hoboken. What Bobby did not know is that the FBI had a wire inside Casella's and they picked up these words "Wear a disguise, its an open place."  "A Big Hit John Gotti."  The plan was to shoot John Gotti on the corner when he did a walk talk from his Bergin Hunt and Fish Social Club in Queens. They then planned on gunning down his brother Gene who was on trial for running a Heroin ring. The FBI warned John Gotti and the hit never went down.

The wire at Casella's also picked up the planning of another hit.  This time the target was Irwin Schiff, a 350lb millionaire conman who had crossed Bobby Manna.  Irwin had shylock loans on the street and he had also failed to give back cash that belonged to the Genovese Family. It was believed he was laundering money for the family and had skimmed a lot off the top.  On August 8, 1987, Irwin Schiff was having dinner at Bravo Sergio on the Upper East side of Manhattan with a friend's wife when a gunman walked in the rear door and fired two 38cal slugs into his head and then calmly walked out. The NYPD was at a loss as to why or who killed Irwin and very few of the 20 witnesses came forward with any information. The FBI had a wire up in Casella's in Hoboken and they had picked up some talk. On August 5th the FBI had picked up "You want him hit," and "we will do him good at night." They referred to him as CC because he ran Consolidated Construction and one of the guys who partnered with him was a man named Domenico "Dom" RaBuffo.  Dom knew what was going on but that was to come later. The FBI wire picked up the Mobsters in Casella's talking about the hit two days after the hit on August 10th and it was damming.  They would all go on trial and Bobby Mana would get 80 years!

Dom Rabuffo would become a government protected witness and disappear after the trial.   Dom would move on to Florida where he did not get out of his life of crime.  Dom was convicted just last week of stealing 49.5 million in an elaborate mortgage fraud. Dom and his former wife Mae used two straw holding companies to gain control of a purported housing development in Cashiers, North Carolina that they called Hampton Springs. They then recruited straw buyers to apply for loans on parcels and then construction loans. They used an accountant to forge paperwork to inflate the straw buyers on paper. They had a guy in the mortgage company that helped push the fraudulent loans through banks. These
banks would include Bank Of America, Suntrust, Wachovia and Regions. 33 million dollars of this money was for construction loans and they created a number of shell companies that they funneled this cash through. It all blew up and they now face some major time.

All this fraud began in a small Italian restaurant in Hoboken.

1 comment:

  1. is there still a working outfit crew in l.a.?