Sunday, August 23, 2015

You can't teach a dumb old dog new tricks.

Today I am going way back to the 1990’s in the San Fernando Valley.  I was sitting in the back office of a business known as Mid Valley Trading.  What they really traded I have no idea, but they did have a lot of stuff go through that warehouse. Mid Valley Trading was the home base of Jerry Zimmerman circa 1990’s.  Jerry Zimmerman a larger than life Jewish con man who was around the Colombo family through his friendship with Sonny Franzese.

In mafia circles Sonny Franzese is very well respected, young guys call him “The Rock.”  He is much more respected than John Gotti to those involved in the life.

So here I am, sitting at Jerry's desk when the phone rings, and it's a collect call from a federal institution.  It is Sonny Franzese, and he is looking for Jerry, but Jerry has gone out and left me manning the phones.  Sonny asks me to write down a name and he tells me this guy will be calling Jerry tomorrow.  I wrote the name on a desk blotter calendar and when Jerry came back I told him.  He rolled his eyes because every guy Sonny sent turned out to be some loser.  While I was sitting there the guy called and Jerry made an appointment to see him the next day.

The next day came and the guy showed up, and when he did I left.  I didn't like this guy the first minute I set eyes on him.  One thing, and it may be nothing to some people, but to me it set off alarms.  He wore blue jeans that were pressed with a crease in the front.  Who does that?

I went with him on a collection once, and I pushed in the door when the guy answered it.  This guy just yelled with his tough voice after I went inside.  I didn't like him and I tried to keep my distance.  

He tried to con me out of a grand, but I got him back by reversing it on him.  He made threats but couldn't do a thing.  He called a friend in Florida in Sonny’s crew, and cried to him over it.  The guy in turn asked me not to bust his head open.

Later he was present when we received the counterfeit traveler's checks that helped the FBI put together Operation Thin Crust in Las Vegas.

A week later he suckered Jimmy Caci into taking a ride with him.  He went inside an office and threatened a guy who cracked him in the head with a tape dispenser.  The guy was getting a pistol when Jimmy stopped him.  This loser had to be carried out by a 70 year old man with his head gushing blood.  

Unknown to Jimmy or any of us, the loser had been busted for first stealing some pirate cable boxes from a police evidence warehouse and then agreeing to sell them to federal agents in New Jersey.  He had flipped and began giving information to the FBI.  He went to Frankie's on Melrose and wore a wire on Joe Dente Sr., a Capo in the Genovese family who was a huge shylock.  Joe wanted nothing to do with him and told Jimmy Caci. Jimmy told this guy to stay away from him.

One night we all went to Frankie's on Melrose for dinner and Jimmy decided to stay at this loser's place. This loser went downstairs so the LAPD could come up and arrest Jimmy for the incident where this loser got beat up by the tape dispenser for threatening the guy in his office.  The victim even told them it was not Jimmy, but the LAPD hated Jimmy so they arrested him on that crap charge.

This is how I got a tape he made when he was speaking to the FBI.  He claims that he was not an informant, that instead he was conning the FBI, just using them for money.  Come on!  You do not con the FBI.  They have multiple sources and they know when it's bad information.  He told them he would be made.  The tape of him talking to the FBI is public on YouTube for all who wish to hear it and decide for themselves.  

This was years ago.  Since then, this loser was arrested in a case where he had guys fly into LA and get a rental car for them, then go to a ladies home and beat her and tie her up because they thought it was a drug stash.  It was not.  They all went away but this guy did not get much punishment, and nothing at all happened to his son, who was part of the conspiracy. How do you rent a car in your name for guys who are flying in to rob a woman and the FBI knows it but you do not get in trouble?  This guy gets out of prison and runs around town claiming he is a made guy conning the FBI.

Fast forward to last week.  I get a call from a friend and he tells me a story.

There is a movie being made. Some producers have a falling out and one of them wants some money back from the other producer. The producers with the cash in hand say kick rocks to the LA Producer.

Now enter another person who I hold in very low regard.  An aging “talent agent” who represents stars from years gone by that have seen better days.  This guy likes to go around and brag about his “mafia connections.”  He is the worst kind of person, a big coward that sits behind a desk and scares other cowards in the business with his big talk.  I always disliked guys like this agent - he reminds me of every Italian restaurant owner in every small city in America. They all think they are connected.  They talk big but they have no guts to do a thing themselves.  You cannot buy loyalty, you have to earn it.  Unless you are in a crew doing dirt you are nothing.  You are a cash machine for whatever guy you think you are “with.”

He tells the LA producer that he can get the money back for him, because he knows who to call.  He has the same pressed-jeans loser from the Jimmy Caci days call the producer.  Keep in mind this loser is now 70 years old with diabetes and could not fight his way out of a paper bag, even when he was young. He was no match for a tape dispenser. He was never in the same league as Jimmy Caci.  The loser tells the producer that for a cash payment he will get some guys to fly in from Florida and "get the money back for him."

This LA producer wonders if this might be the answer to his problem. Its a Federal crime, first of all, because he is sending guys across state lines to collect a debt.  Then, if they hurt the people, or worse, and it’s connected to you in any way?  It’s conspiracy, or possibly, murder, if someone dies.   Let’s say, best case scenario, they do get money back, or the other producer has a change of heart and pays what he owes after they have a “talk.” Now, these clowns who got involved will own this LA producer forever, as they can blackmail him on top of what he already paid.

Legitimate people that think they can dabble in the life are a joke. You are either a citizen or you are a gangster. You cannot be both.   People never learn and others keep doing the same thing.   I cannot understand why a 70 year old man would want to leave this world still doing the same stupid stuff he did when he was young.  He never learned from his time away.  He cannot see that he is just wasting his life.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

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