Italian authorities have seized assets worth 50 million euros ($70 million) from construction and hotel businessman Giuseppe Amodeo who is suspected of ties to two Cosa Nostra bosses in the western Sicilian city of Trapani as reported by ANSA.
Renato Vallanzasca once ruled the Milan underworld, and although long-since imprisoned the 63-year-old was using his wife Antonella D'Agostino to launch a mozzarella business with the Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia according to Italian police as reported by ANSA: "Vallanzasca became a rebel figure for some in the politically turbulent 1970s and a film accused of glamourising him sparked debate at the 2010 Venice Film Festival, with director Michele Placido criticised for a sympathetic portrait of a ruthless criminal who committed seven murders, three kidnappings and scores of armed robberies." D'Agostino was arrested with seventeen others across Italy in connection with a probe into the Neapolitan Mafia's protection racket.
Reputed Gambino associate Battista "Benny" Geritano was sentenced to twelve years in prison after getting convicted for slicing up some hapless soul who accidentally bumped him in a Brooklyn bar last December as reported by Josh Saul for the New York Post.
During his sentencing hearing the presiding judge had to shush the reputed mobster after an outburst in which Geritano proclaimed "I never stabbed this man, Your Honor" notwithstanding surveillance footage introduced as evidence at trial which "showed Geritano brandishing the blade before plunging it" into the victim's gut.
Who are you going to believe, the reputed mobster or your lying eyes?
Geritano once served 71 months in prison for a string of bank burglaries with the Gambino-linked Night Drop Crew.
At a 2011 federal probation hearing for Geritano an FBI agent testified that he was suspected of committing "at least four" murders.
Bonanno-associate-turned-government-witness Anthony Aponick testified this week at the racketeering trial against reputed Philadelphia Mafia boss Joseph Ligambi and his nephew George Borgesi, and instructed a defense lawyer during cross-examination that in the mob world there's really no such thing as "legitimate business" because "if we do it . . . those businesses act as a front for the illegal businesses" as reported by the Daily News.
Italian authorities have seized assets worth 51 million euros ($70 million) from Mario Niceta and some other family members for their suspected ties to imprisoned bosses from the Brancaccio clan of Cosa Nostra or the Sicilian Mafia as reported by ANSA: "prosecutors with Palermo's anti-Mafia investigative unit (DDA) believe their company, which is reportedly one of Sicily's leading clothing and jewellery retailers, was linked since the 1980s to two Mafia dons, brothers Giuseppe and Filippo Guttadauro, with joint enterprises in the areas of Palermo and Trapani." Filippo Guttadauro is the brother-in-law of fugitive "boss of bosses" Matteo Messina Denaro.
Earlier this year celebrity chef Natale Giunta reported to police four suspected mobsters from Cosa Nostra or the Sicilian Mafia who allegedly were shaking him down for protection payments known as "pizzo," and he encourages other Palermo businesses to stand up to the extortionate bullies as reported by ANSA: "'I call on everyone to say no to extortion,' he added. 'If there are a lot of us, it will have to stop.'"
An increasing number of Sicilian businesses no longer are willing to pay protection money to Cosa Nostra clans, and have banded together through Addio Pizzo to end the extortion practice.
In a recent episode of his CNN series Parts Unknown Anthony Bourdain visited Sicily, and aptly characterized the island's Mafia as "a gigantic parasitical organization" whose members "generally speaking are a bunch of spectacularly uneducated lazy ass sociopaths who have no problem stealing from their own harder working neighbors."
Apparently the restaurant business in New York also was a prime target for the wise guys at least during Bourdain's years as a working chef, and he claims the mob tax "was built in to all your basic services": "you got taxed with every laundry order every time they took your trash away."
In the early 1990s the Sicilian Mafia launched stragismo -- strategy of terror -- against law enforcement which included the 1992 murders of anti-Mafia judges Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone in separate bomb attacks, and now Interior Minister Angelino Alfano is warning of the possibility for a renewed terror campaign as reported by UPI: "Alfano declared his determination to protect crime-fighting jurists and prosecutors in the wake of death threats issued by imprisoned former top crime boss Toto Riina against a number of justice officials, including Nino Di Matteo, the deputy prosecutor of Palermo."
The Charbonneau Commission is investigating claims that the Montreal Mafia and dirty politicians took cuts from government contracts to construction companies in a massive bid rigging scheme, and Garry Clement, a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, queries whether the racket can ever be stopped as reported by Linda Gyulai for The Gazette: "One of the assessments of organized crime is their ability to corrupt. So organized crime groups will continue to co-opt people and bring them into their fold. And we'll see this again. This isn't going to be wiped out, this thing."