July 24, 2014
This Week in Gang Land
Vic Amuso Begins 24th Year In Federal Custody As Luchese Family Boss
Next Monday marks the 23d anniversary of the day when two young FBI agents standing at a shopping mall outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania made one of the great collars in mob history. The target was Vittorio (Vic) Amuso, the fugitive boss of the Luchese crime family who had been on the lam for more than a year. All agents Stephen Byrne and Cindy Peil had to go on were some old photos. But they also had listened to a recording of Amuso talking on a wiretap. So as soon as they heard the distinctive high-pitched voice of the man wearing shades and a baseball cap speaking on a mall payphone they knew they had their man.
The 79-year-old wiseguy has been behind bars ever since. But while the feds can take a gang land chief out of circulation, they can't take his Mafia crown away from him. And from that day forward, even though he's been in federal custody for nearly a quarter century, Vic Amuso has remained the undisputed boss of his crime family.
That's right, uninterrupted. Despite what you may have read earlier – right here in Gang Land – Amuso's reign has been continuous since he took over in 1986 after his predecessor, Antonio (Tony Ducks) Corallo, was convicted in the historic Commission case, sentenced to 100 years, and ceded his lofty post to Amuso. Despite pressure from some underlings, and the difficulty of running a crime family from cells in the multiple prisons where he's been confined since his 1992 conviction, Amuso has retained his spot atop the battered borghata.
Add acting Bonanno boss Thomas (Tommy D) DiFiore to the long list of Americans greatly aggrieved to learn that the government snoops into their private email correspondence. But unlike most computer email users who have something of an expectation of privacy, DiFiore is typing his emails from inside a federal prison lockup and, as he and all other inmates are warned, the Bureau of Prisons monitors ALL emails sent through the BOP's special program.
It's not true that no one's been criminally convicted in the massive subprime mortgage banking scandal that helped collapse the nation's financial system in 2008. Just this month, feds in New Jersey won conviction of a culprit for massively looting a Texas-based mortgage firm.
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