One of the biggest moneymakers for the Mafia families has been through loansharking, and in February 1965 the FBI's New York Field Office prepared an 87-page report for Director J. Edgar Hoover on so-called shylocking which details the racket and identifies its players:
The following is list of prominent shylocks in the Greater New York area. The list is by no means complete, inasmuch as virtually every member of "La Cosa Nostra" at one time or another engages in shylocking. However, it is felt that those listed below should be considered the most prominent.
Each day Friends of Ours is republishing two entries from this list.
Harry Raymond Fontana
Fontana, who has no known FBI number, was born in Sicily, Italy, on September 16, 1899. He was indicted in June, 1920, on a charge of robbery, which resulted in a directed verdict of not guilty. He was arrested on January 7, 1938, for violation of banking laws which charge was dismissed.
Fontana is a close associate of known hoodlums Joseph Colombo, Nicholas Forlano, John Franzese, John Oddo and others.
Confidential Source 4 advised in December, 1962, that Harry Fontana was a "captain" in what is now the Joseph Colombo "family" of "Cosa Nostra."
Fontana is a policy banker in South Brooklyn, New York, and is actively engaged in shylocking and gambling in this area.
Nicholas Forlano, also known as, Jiggs
Nicholas Forlano has FBI # 886909 and resides at 33-42 28th Street, Astoria, New York. Forlano has a lengthy criminal record dating from 1930 reflecting arrests for petit larceny, narcotics, bookmaking policies, felonious assault, second degree. He was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 15, 1964 on charge of failure to register as ex-felon. He was arrested in December, 1964 in New York City on a charge of felonious assault.
Forlano who has been described by Joseph Valachi as a member of the Joseph Colombo "family" is closely associated with top ranking New York hoodlums including Charles "Ruby" Stein, John Franzese, Vincent Aloi, et al.
Confidential source 2 and confidential source 5 have advised that Forlano and his partner Charles "Ruby" Stein are considered to be the biggest shylocks in the Manhattan area. Confidential source 5 advised on January 7, 1965 that his inquiry of the Forlano-Stein operation reflects that each of them has an annual net income of over $150,000.00.00 from their shylocking operations. Forlano and Stein are considered to be shylocks shylocks and rarely make loans less than in the amount of $1,000.00.