This past week, on March 19th, a man forgotten by his crime family passed away at the Coleman Federal Penitentiary outside of Orlando, Florida. The man was Pasquale “Patty” Amato; a former Capo in the Colombo Family. Patty had become a Capo in 1988 and his crew pulled down a lot of cash from their Shylocking business. Patty would capitalize his guys with cash and they would kick up a percentage to him every week. Thomas Ocera was a made guy in Patty’s crew, and besides shylocking he also owned a restaurant in Long Island called the Manor Merrick.
In October of 1989 the police raided his restaurant and seized his shylock pay/owe book.
Ocera started drinking heavily and told others that he was going to be killed soon. You have to wonder what else was in that book, but he knew he was living on borrowed time. Vic Orena ordered his murder in November because he was skimming money from the shylock business.
Patty, along with a crew member named Jack Leale, used to have early morning meetings at the Manor with Ocera. After the police seized the shylock book, the meeting stopped. Jack Leale convinced Ocera to meet at Patty’s house and when he walked inside Jack and Patty used a garrott to kill him. They placed Ocera’s body in the trunk of a car Leale borrowed from his brother-in-law and he drove away with other crew members. Leale and his brother-in-law Bonfiglio assisted by others buried Ocera in Forest Park Queens. The next day Leale took over two underground gambling clubs that Ocera had owned as a reward for the murder.
The FBI was led to Ocera’s final resting place by another crew member on October 3, 1991. They quickly issued a warrant for Jack Leale’s arrest. It proved too late because Leale would be found 4 weeks later shot to death in a Long Island parking lot. In January of 1992 the FBI raided Patty’s home where they found a Davis Industries 380 caliber pistol that was from the same lot as others that had been found on Colombo family members.
The Colombos were in the middle of their civil war and Patty had gone with Vic Orena against the Persico Faction. He was acting Underboss for a time while Orena was locked up and then he was back to being a Capo. The FBI had enough evidence by April 1992 to take down Patty and Orena hoping to put a stop to the war. They had nothing on Patty for the war but they had enough to charge both with RICO crimes that covered the war and the crimes committed for the Orena faction.
Patty was able to get his case severed from Orena and the rest of the guys, but he was convicted of racketeering in January of 1993.
The Colombo war had a huge impact on the family and its ability to make money. Most of the normal business that both sides were doing before the war began stopped. My friends in Wild Bill’s crew went from pulling down big money to getting $200 a week. Shylocking stopped and the customers went away.
Patty had loaned his crew members cash to put on the street at 1 percent a week interest and they in turn loaned it out for more. The war stopped all of that and destroyed their bookmaking and gambling clubs.
Patty had lost his appeals and settled into life in Federal Prison when Greg Scarpa Jr. (who was also incarcerated) came forward with a story. The story was that his father, Greg Scarpa Sr., also known as the Grim Reaper, had worked with a rogue FBI Agent and set up Vic Orena and Patty Amato.
Greg Scarpa did work as an informant and how far the FBI Agent went was never proven. Patty’s appeal was denied and he died last week; all but forgotten by the crime family he pledged undying loyalty to when he was inducted.