Anyone who has seen the movie Goodfellas will know about what happened on Dec. 11, 1978.
That was when a group of masked men forced their way into the secured cargo building of Lufthansa Airlines and stole 6 million in cash and jewels. One of the men who was part of the conspiracy was Vincent Asaro, the Bonanno family capo in charge of their airport rackets. He received very little of the cash and what he did take home, he lost gambling.
He has taken down some big scores over the years and made money with the family. He has been promoted, demoted and promoted again because of his habits. He involved his son Jerome in the life - they are both capos.
Vincent Asaro took a huge gamble in 2015 and took his case to trial. Despite his cousin Gaspare Valenti wearing a wire and testifying against him, he was acquitted in 2015. He walked free until this week.
Here is one of the crimes Vincent Asaro was charged with this week. In April of 2012, Asaro was in Howard Beach, Queens when another motorist pulled in front of him at a stoplight. This pissed him off so he chased him until he could figure out where he lived. All one has to do is take a look at Asaro’s picture and you can imagine how he drives. Asaro drives an associate of the Bonanno family to where the car is parked in the Broad Channel section of Queens. He then orders the associate to torch the car. The associate then recruits two men to help him, Matthew Rullan aka Fat Mat and none other than John J. Gotti. Can you believe the grandson of the former Gambino family boss, John Gotti, is going to torch a car for an aging Bonanno family capo?
The unnamed associate, whom I suspect as flipped, drove with John Gotti in his Jaguar to a service station where they filled up a container with gasoline. They doused the car and Fat Matt ignited it. The problem was, there was an NYPD officer in an unmarked car who watched them torch the car. The NYPD car chased the Jaguar for a short distance before giving up the chase because it was dangerous.
Asaro then made the associate drive him the next day to the place where the burned out car was taken to confirm the job was done. Imagine that you are a capo in one of the five New York Mafia families, and you are involved in torching a car for cutting you off in traffic.
It gets better. Two weeks after the arson, John Gotti, Fat Matt and a man named Michael Giudici decide to rob the bank where John Gotti’s girlfriend is a teller.
On April 18, 2012 Michael Giudici walks into Maspeth Federal Savings and Loan Association at 5:45pm before they close. He walks up to a teller and hands a note over that says, “I Have A Bomb.” The teller places $5,491 in cash on the counter, which Giudice takes and then flees the bank. John Gotti and Fat Mat are waiting and they all drive away.
These master criminals walked away with only $1830 dollars a piece, that is, unless they also had to kick some of that up to someone above them. They now face up to 20 years for that small payday. John Gotti is already locked up in prison for eight years for being caught selling pills.
Vincent Asaro is facing less time, but I suspect the Feds will be hitting him with more charges soon. A Bonanno capo was unmasked as cooperating, and at this point nobody knows for just how long he’s been cooperating.