Daniel Pagano, also known as Danny, was taken down this week by Rockland County Law Enforcement and the FBI for shylocking and Illegal gambling. Danny has lived the mafia dream, something like the American dream. Danny was born into Mafia royalty because his father Joseph Pagano and his brother Pasquale Pagano were inducted into what would later become the Genovese Family back in the 1940's.
They would be in Anthony Strollo's crew, which at the time was one of the biggest heroin and cocaine crews on the East Coast. They also had a member of the crew that would become famous as the first Mafia turncoat to give up the name of the organization and its structures. That man, Joseph Valachi, gave up everything to the FBI after he committed a prison murder.
Joseph Pagano was not just a Bronx gangster. He branched out as far as England where he worked with the Famous Gangster twin brothers, the Krays, and Joey Pyle. The U.K. had made gambling legal and the US Gangsters were ready to get a piece of that action via junkets from the East Coast to London. One of the Kray brothers traveled to the US where he had dinner with Joseph and a young Danny. Later, the younger Pagano would branch out into the record business where he again worked with London gangsters.
One of the old Genovese gangsters, who is still alive in New York City, once spoke about it over calamari in Columbus Circle. He recalled the Krays and Joey Pyle, the music business and the Paganos. When Danny was away for his part in the Gas Tax scam, the old guy would visit him often. Danny was able to get one penny out of every gallon of gas sold during the years of the gas tax scam and one of the groups he worked with stole at least 77 million dollars. He would stop a hit by other Genovese against a Russian gangster who was involved in the Rasputin Restaurant in Brighton Beach. Danny would get a 9 years sentence for his part in the Gas Tax scam.
Danny is a class guy as many who knew him well have told me. When one of my friends who was away with him in the Hudson Valley Correctional Center got home, there was an envelope with a grand waiting for him from Danny. The Genovese have always had a big hand in the boxing game and Danny was one of those who kept it going. He got close to the Reverend Al Sharpton, who the FBI caught during an investigation they dubbed “Crown Royal.” According to the New York Times, the FBI had an audio tape of Al Sharpton and this convinced him to become an informant. It has been said that he gave the FBI information about meetings in Joe Pagano's basement. He did meet with Danny Pagano, Michael Franzese and an undercover FBI operative in order to get a meeting with Don King. Danny never returned the favor and when he was summoned to a Congressional Hearing on corruption in Boxing he never said a word, so the Feds gave him dose of Bus or Diesel Therapy. This meant that they moved him all over in buses instead of flying him. When he left his hair was dark and when he returned to prison his hair was all gray.
In the latest indictment, which seems thin at a mere 11 pages (maybe there is more to come), they have him running a bookmaking business for the Genovese in Rockland County. The DA first got a wire on him and then went to the FBI which got him paying guys in his crew from their bookmaking business. The racketeering charge also includes some threats by a guy in his crew to an unnamed man because he ripped off a marijuana load. Seems kind of a waste for bookmaking when we have major problems in the US that could use the attention.
The Paganos have the same problem as a lot of infamous gangsters, people use their name to gain. A few weeks ago I wrote about the murder of Irwin Schiff. Irwin was using the Pagano name before he was murdered by another Genovese crew. Out here in California there was a guy I used to write about in Orange County, Pat "Mumbles" Fonderella, who used to drink and snort so much coke he peed on himself, that would drop Danny's name like he owned him. Pat was full of shit, but some of the bad guys he hung around with weren’t. I think those guys saw through Pat’s bullshit because Masterblaster aka Mike and JD are still out there doing their shylocking and bookmaking.
Susan DeSantis Ferritto, real mob widow and author of "Ferritto: An Assassin Scorned knows something about the satisfaction of revenge in its highest form. Her late husband Ray Ferritto was responsible for brutal bombing death if the infamous Danny “The Irishman” Greene and the downfall of the Cleveland regime as the public knew them.