I get interesting emails all the time from blog readers. Some just like to call me names or others like to make threats from behind their keyboard. Some readers ask good questions. One that has been asked a few times is, “Why do you say that the life is bad? That it is a dead end?” One guy said that it is only after a guy in the life gets caught or needs revenge that they say the life is no good. He is right. That does not take away from the fact that these guys are not dying millionaires in their beds with extended family by their side. They think I am lying when I say there are no happy endings. I myself do not know of any happy endings in the mafia. If you just consider having some money but no quality of life a success, then I question your idea of what life is all about.
Lets look at the man who started what today is the American Cosa Nostra as we know it. Charlie “Lucky” Luciano. To be fair, it was already around, but he did a major reconstruction on the whole organization. He was sentenced on July 18, 1936 to 30-50 years of prison time for his part in a prostitution ring. He sat in lock up until he made a deal with the United States Government to work for them. Let's be clear on this. He broke the rules of Cosa Nostra by working for and cooperating with the government. I know a lot of people will say he did it for the war effort, but the bottom line is that he did it for Charlie Lucky. He was a cooperator. He was deported to Italy where he continued to deal in heroin. He married, cheated many times on his wife and never had kids. He was basically broke when he died at the Naples airport where he was selling his story to a movie producer.
Al Capone was sent away for tax evasion and spent his last years drooling on himself in his Florida mansion.
The point I am trying to make is that none of these stories end well. If money is what drives you and all you want is the flash, then yes, the life will most probably give you that. You will go through some tough times, you will have to rob and steal. You may have to kill a friend or two, but you will get some good years. If you are lucky, you will get five years and then its RICO. You will lose everything and so will your family. They got Joey Massino to flip after they took his mother’s and wife’s homes away. He could have done his time, but knowing the two women who stuck by him would suffer was too much for him. So he did what any smart guy would do. He made a deal. They let his wife and mother keep their homes.
RICO is the hammer the Feds use to smash the life out of guys. In the old days, if it was not in your name you would be able to keep it. Today, guys go away and their families live in poverty. When they come home they have nothing and their crews don't help much at all.
A young guy with flash and money, okay I can see that happen. An old guy with cash and assets after a lifetime in the Mafia that might be like a white Buffalo, very rare.
Let's say you beat the odds and you live to be an old man. You did a few years and had the law watching you for years. What kind of life is that? What about your kids and family. A lot of the kids not in the life have substance abuse problems. They have issues and that is brought on by the father.
What about those that bring their kids into the life? I guess the father did not love their child very much. How could any reasonable thinking man think anything good would come out of having your son be a thief and murderer?
So here is my last example. Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., or Nicky Jr, is the son of the man who became the boss of the Philadelphia family. After his father Nicky Scarfo Sr. went away for life, Nicky Jr. was targeted for assassination. He was shot up, but he lived, so Nicky Sr. asked his friend Vic Amuso, the boss of the Lucchese family, to take him into his family. Vic agreed and Nicky Jr. was made into the Lucchese Family. Nicky Jr was smarter than most street guys and he started ahead because his father was boss. He used computers and other sophisticated means to make cash.
He and a few other guys took over a Texas based mortgage company and stole millions without using weapons. Firstplus Financial Group was ripe for them to take over and they did by using a few well placed threats. They also created some dummy corporations and they started bleeding the company dry. They stole over 12 million dollars from the company while the scam was going on.
All that money and Nicky Scarfo Jr was just sentenced to 30 years behind bars at age 50. He could make it because his father is 86 now and still locked up. Nicky Scarfo Sr. has a release date in 2033 which I doubt he will make.
The guys who worked with Nicky Jr. to loot the mortgage company were given 20 and 10 year sentences. Oh yeah and the Government seized all their assets. It may have seemed that age 50 he was a success in terms of money, but the story ended otherwise. As all that I know of do.