The escort business business paid off big time this week for Michael Rizzi, a former NYPD officer connected to the Gambino family. The judge sentenced him to a mere fifteen months in prison. Rizzi took control of Pure Platinum Models when the former owner, Marc J. Shulman, pleaded guilty to money laundering back in 2015. The prosecution claimed they had links between Mr. Shulman's holding companies and Michael Rizzi’s BJM company. BJM catered to big money clients staying at the nicer hotels in Manhattan. BJM had a dozen drivers to shuttle the girls to clients.
They charged hourly rates between $400-$2000 an hour and offered package deals, for example, $7,200 for twelve hours or $8,400 for fourteen hours. BJM had over two million dollars in credit card charges while in business. This was Rizzi’s second brush with the law since he retired from the NYPD due to a back injury. He was arrested in a gambling sting and was said to be a super agent by the NYPD Organized Crime Investigation Division. He was able to plead that case out to misdemeanor gambling.
In other court news, the Colombo boss Carmine Persico, now 83 years old and supposedly, “old and feeble,” had his appeal of his 100 year sentence denied. Persico had appealed under the old Rule 35, because he was convicted over two decades ago in the Mafia Commission case. He claimed that his sentence was unfair because he was not given all the evidence, such as Greg Scarpa being an informant. Scarpa had supplied a lot of the information the government used in Persico’s sentencing. Persico claimed that Scarpa gave them information on murders he was involved in. Scarpa also gave the FBI different accounts of who was boss of the family at the time as did a number of other informants. Persico claimed he did not have the power to order a hit. He also fought back against the use of information given to the court by Donnie Brasco aka Joe Pistone.
He cited new information that came to light after Joey Massino flipped to Team USA about the murder of Carmine Galante. The Government had always claimed the Galante murder was ordered by the Commission, which Persico was a member of at the time. Massino claims it was never Commission business, just Bonanno family business that they conducted.
Carmine Galante made himself the boss of the Bonanno family while the real boss Philip Rusty Rastelli was locked up. Galante also tried to control the Sicilian heroin traffickers whom he had around him.
The Appeals court did not see that any of the evidence was explosive enough to grant him a resentencing. He is 32 years into a 100 year sentence and he now is the only remaining person incarcerated who was convicted in the Commission case.
Considering the half a century of mayhem that the whole Persico clan has created in Brooklyn, many would say that Carmine Persico is where he belongs.
The Carmine Galante murder took place shortly after he had finished eating lunch and was enjoying a cigar. A picture taken shortly after he was shot dead in the courtyard of a Brooklyn restaurant shows him with a cigar still clenched in his mouth.
One of the men who was with Galante, but not shot at the time was then 27 year old Baldassare Amato aka Baldo. Baldo was supposed to be one of Galante's bodyguards. Baldo was convicted in 2006 of racketeering, which included the murders of Sebastiano Di Falco and Robert Perrino. The murder of DiFalco was carried out because he didn't agree to give up his restaurant. Baldo is said to have pulled the trigger himself in the Perrino murder after he was lured to a social club. The Bonanno family was afraid Perrino was going to help with the investigation of the mafia infiltration of the the New York Post newspaper delivery operation. Perino's body was buried and then reburied, but the FBI still found it.
Baldo was sentenced to a life sentence and he had tried to appeal claiming that his lawyer did not represent him because he had formerly represented Bonanno boss Joey Massino who later became a witness against him.
The judge recently rejected his appeal and let his sentence stand.
If you read much about guys in the life all this is pretty normal. Others will take their places and life on the streets will continue moving forward.