Tag Archives: mafia

POPE FRANCIS VS. THE MAFIA: WHY REAL-LIFE TONY SOPRANOS MAY HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ‘THE FAMILY’ AND THE CHURCH

For decades, mafia movies and television shows, from The Godfather to The Sopranos, have extensively detailed not only rampant sin but also devout Catholicism. For real-life Tony Sopranos, though, that connection could soon be a thing of the past, leaving them with a straight choice between organized crime and organized religion.

Pope Francis’ campaign against corruption took a step forward Saturday when the Vatican released a statement announcing its intention to set up a legal doctrine targeting those guilty of corruption and mafia association. The statement came following the Vatican’s hosting of the first ever “International Debate on Corruption,” featuring around 50 people, including anti-mafia magistrates, victims and officials from the United Nations and multiple countries.

“We conceived of this meeting to face a phenomenon that leads to the trampling of the dignity of people,” Cardinal Peter Turkson said. “Therefore it is up to us, and this Dicastery, to be able to protect and promote respect for the dignity of the person. And for this reason we seek to attract attention to this matter.”

On the same day as the conference, Turkson’s book on corruption called Corrosion was published. The foreword was written by the Pope, who in 2014 in a mass in Calabria told mobsters they were excommunicated.

“We must all work together, Christians, non-Christians, people of all faiths and non-believers, to combat this form of blasphemy, this cancer that weighs our lives,” Francis wrote in the foreword.

Read Full – http://www.newsweek.com/pope-francis-mafia-corruption-soprano-626976

From the big house to the ‘burbs: Scottsdale ‘Mafia’ family stars in reality show

Check out Monique Griego’s full story on the Cantarella family’s transition from a life of crime to life in the Sonoran Desert TONIGHT on 12 News at 10.

It’s a lifestyle most of us only know about from the movies: The Mafia life.

“It was a great life — there wasn’t anything we couldn’t have,” said Richard Cantarella.

As a former mobster with the Bonanno crime family, Cantarella and his son Paul grew up in the Mafia. But in 2002, their world came crashing down when the FBI came knocking.

“I got arrested in 2002 and I wound up cooperating with the government,” Cantarella told 12 News.

Cantarella faced life in prison for his alleged ties to a string of Mafia hits and Paul was looking at 20 years for racketeering.

Both decided to cooperate with Paul heading into witness protection as his father waited in prison.

“I chose to be loyal to my family rather than my boss,”

Back then, he never imagined he and his wife Lauretta would end up out west, far away from New York.

“My son picked the state. He flew here, found a home and loved it,” Cantarella said.

In 2004, Paul left witness protection for sunny Scottsdale.

“It was like paradise to me,” said Paul, “The palm trees and your pool was open all year.”

Cantarella later followed, leaving the big house for the Phoenix suburbs.

“You know what I notice out here? There’s a lot of money out here,” Cantarella said. “I’ve never seen so many Bentleys, Maseratis … This would actually be a haven for the Mafia.”

Once in Arizona, the Cantarellas traded a life of crime for a legit family business.

Their Valley car washes are also now serving as the backdrop for the family’s latest endeavor: Unprotected, a reality show on the Oxygen network.

Mafia queen pleads guilty to smuggling cocaine through Queens restaurant

The wife of a mob-connected Queens restaurant owner who trafficked drugs admitted on Monday to pushing the narcotics through the eatery’s basement.

Eleonora Gigliotti pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to the top charge of conspiracy to import cocaine.

She faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and also agreed to pay a $1.625 million forfeiture judgement.

Judge Raymond Dearie could sentence Gigliotti to the maximum of 171/2 years behind bars.

Gigliotti, 56, was slated to go to trial at the end of March for smuggling more than 110 pounds of cocaine from Costa Rica in shipments of cassava to her family’s restaurant, Cucino a Modo Mio, in Corona.

If Gigliotti had been convicted at trial, she could have faced life in prison, authorities said.

The Gigliotti family allegedly has ties to the Genovese mob family and served as a connection to the ’Ndrangheta crime group in Italy.

Prosecutors said in 2014 that Gigliotti had traveled to Costa Rica with more than $360,000 in cash that she delivered to cocaine dealers.

Gigliotti also agreed to forfeit the property seized, including $124,874 in cash, seven handguns recovered from the business, ammunition, an automated money counter and brass knuckles, according to a law enforcement source.

Her husband, Gregorio, 60, and 36-year-old son, Angelo, were convicted on drug and guns charges after a jury trial last July.

They face mandatory minimums of 15 and 20 years behind bars, respectively.

At the trial, Dearie concluded that lawyers for Gregorio Gigliotti and his son had tried to stack the jury with women by using all their preemptory challenges to exclude men.

After a panel of 10 women and two men was selected, federal prosecutors Margaret Gandy and Keith Edelman complained that the defense had discriminated against men.

Dearie later ruled that after reviewing the transcript of jury selection, he found “a pattern of attempting to exclude men” and was going to restore two men back on the jury.

At the time, defense lawyers Elizabeth Macedonio and Alan Futerfas had insisted that there was no bias against men — explaining that some of the challenges were based on “gut” feelings.

It didn’t work — and jurors found both men guilty on July 22 after deliberating for just three hours.

This Is What $20 Million Stuffed In A Mattress Looks Like

The idea that people “hide money under the mattress” is typically a joke. The vast majority of responsible adults choose much more responsible methods of storing their physical wealth. For example a bank, the stock market, even a safe. But surely there is still some percentage of the population that stores money in mattress-related locations. It’s probably not a ton of money. Maybe a few hundred dollars in cash for emergencies. Maybe a couple thousand dollars you made at a garage sale that you don’t want the IRS to know about. But not more than that, right? Well…

Recently, Federal Agents in Boston revealed a photo that shows the age old practice of mattress money stuffing is still very much thriving. It’s especially thriving among illegal immigrants who are running a massive telecommunications pyramid scheme!

Late last night in Westborough, Massachusetts, agents served a search warrant to a telecommunications company called TelexFree Inc. Several arrests were made and important documents/computers were seized. At the same time, using information from a cooperator, agents also searched a nondescript one bedroom apartment nearby.

The apartment was pretty normal. One bedroom, one bathroom, living room, small kitchen. Monthly rent is around $1600. So you can imagine the shock when agents searched under the queen-sized mattress and discovered a box spring stuffed with $20 million in illegal cash 🙂

Police arrested the apartment’s resident, a 28 year old Brazilian man named Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

TelexFree first made headlines back in April 2014 when agents swooped in and arrested several former executives of the telecommunications company. According to authorities, TelexFree operated a pyramid scheme that preyed upon Dominican and Brazilian immigrants. TelexFree advertised itself as a substitute to landline phone services through the sale of its VOIP program, 99TelexFREE.

But that’s not all. TelexFree also promised customers big returns on a passive income scheme involved advertising 99TelexFree. Investors paid a $50 fee on top of an additional $300 – $1400 to purchase advertising kits. Customers would then advertise the VOIP services to their friends using these kits. A participant who spent $1400 advertising these VOIP kits could supposedly earn a return of $3675.

In total, this scam helped TelexFree generate just $1.3 million worth of new VOIP revenue while collecting more than $1.1 BILLION in service fees from its participants.

Italian police busted a mafia group trying to smuggle over a billion dollars’ worth of cocaine into Europe

Italian anti-mafia police said they busted an international drug ring and arrested 54 people with ties to notorious mafia group ‘Ndrangheta attempting to smuggle cocaine with a street value of $1.7 billion into Europe.

While the ‘Ndrangheta is based in the southern Calabria region, the 54 people arrested were detained in different parts of Italy, the country’s authorities said, according to Reuters.

The group was allegedly conspiring to import about 8 metric tons, or 17,637 pounds, of cocaine from Colombia into Europe via seaports and airports in Calabria, which is at the southern tip of the Italian mainland.

Read Full Article – http://www.businessinsider.com/italy-cocaine-bust-drug-trafficking-ndrangheta-mafia-2017-1