Joe Bruno on the Mob – Anthony Graziano Is Back in Jail

 

December 2, 2012

One thing for sure, if you’re a mobster these days, don’t talk to anyone without first checking if that person is wearing a wire. Or better yet, speak to people naked in a steam bath where they can’t wear a wire (but make sure they aren’t wearing a watch, where transmitters are hidden these days).

http://www.amazon.com/Mobsters-Gangs-Crooks-Creeps-ebook/dp/B0058J44QO/ref=zg_bs_11010_1

Anthony Graziano, whose daughter Renee is one of the four principals in the TV program “Mob Wives,” is back in jail because he allegedly spoke to someone he trusted about collecting a loansharking debt dating back to at least 2005. In 2003, Graziano was sentenced to nine years in prison on tax evasion and racketeering charges. He was released to a halfway house in early summer to serve the end of that sentence, then to home confinement about a month later. But that didn’t stop him from talking to a longtime associate who had recently gone over to Team America.

According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Graziano was heard speaking to an unnamed informant saying things, maybe he shouldn’t have said to anyone.

According to the transcripts of the wired conversation on Aug. 16, Graziano allegedly said, “You remember this guy…? He owed me 150 thousand.”

The informant, a Bonanno soldier with a history of violence, told the 71-year-old Graziano that the debtor was “a panicky mess, worried about threats he had recently received.”

“I went to see the guy, the guy was crying hysterical on the boardwalk. I says, listen, you know Anthony would never do anything to you,” the informant said.

“Never,” Graziano said.

“And I’m not here to do anything to you either,” the informant said.

“Listen to me. Tell him … ‘Listen, Anthony says come to the house,” Graziano said.

On November 9th, Graziano, who is known by nicknames “TG” and “the Little Guy,” was recorded again speaking to the informant about a resolution to the old debt. Graziano allegedly said to the informant, “Let me see what he says. If he got $25k, I’ll take the $25k and call it even. You belong to me, anything you do, let me know, maybe I can make some money with you.”

Graziano’s lawyer Patrick Parrotta denies the recent allegations against his client.

“My client is going to finish serving out the rest of his previous sentence in 2012, and in the interim, we are preparing to fight the allegations by way of a trial shortly thereafter,” Parrotta said.

Sounds like typical lawyer-speak. But the only way Graziano will be able to beat this case is if his lawyer attacks the tapes as idle conversation pertaining to something other than loansharking. Unless there are more tape recordings then the ones mentioned in the Staten Island Advance article below, since there is no mention of “vig,”, or “points,” the conversation could apply to a straight loan given from one friend to another, which the last time I looked, isn’t against the law.

However, once the law gets their teeth into anyone associated with the Mafia, they dig in deep and don’t let go until the accused is in the slammer. But remember, an indictment is not a conviction, and this one could go either way.

It will be interesting to see how this case plays out.

The article below can be seen at:

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/11/mob_wives_dad_a_bonanno_big_is.html

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Anthony Graziano may not approve of his daughter’s “Mob Wives” reality show, but it looks as though he has given its producers fodder for another season of Mafia melodrama.

Graziano, 71, of Huguenot, a reputed one-time consigliere of the Bonanno crime family, has been tossed back in federal prison on extortion charges, just a few months after he was released from a halfway house and placed under house arrest.

He was busted earlier today for attempting to collect a years-old loansharking debt, federal prosecutors allege.

The Staten Island gangster, who has gone by the nicknames “TG” and “the Little Guy,” is the father of Renee Graziano, one of the four stars of VH1’s “Mob Wives,” which returns in January.

Anthony’s arrest comes just a day after Renee’s ex-husband, Hector Pagan Jr., and another Islander were charged with knocking over a mob-run card game in Travis in 2009.

All three arrests were made as part of a probe by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Graziano was caught twice on a wire talking about the old debt with a confidential informant, according to a federal warrant for his arrest, and ultimately agreed to cut the debtor some slack in exchange for a smaller payout and a promise of fealty.

The warrant lays out those conversations:

“You remember this guy…? He owed me 150 thousand,” Graziano said in an Aug. 16 conversation with the informant.

The informant, a Bonanno soldier who “has an extensive criminal history that includes crimes of violence,” was first directed to collect the debt in 2005, upon the informant’s own release from prison, court papers allege.

The informant told the aging mobster that the debtor was a panicky mess, worried about threats he had recently received.

“I went to see the guy, the guy was crying hysterical on the boardwalk. I says, listen, you know Anthony would never do anything to you,” the informant said.

“Never,” Graziano interjected.

“And I’m not here to do anything to you either,” the informant said.

“Listen to me. Tell him … ‘Listen, Anthony says come to the house,” Graziano said.

In a later conversation, with an unnamed co-conspirator, the informant described the loanshark debtor as a “peace officer.”

“He’s big with shackles, yeah?” the co-conspirator asked.

Finally, on Nov. 9, Graziano told the informant to cut the debtor some slack: “Let me see what he says. If he got $25k, I’ll take the $25k and call it even. You belong to me, anything you do, let me know, maybe I can make some money with you.”

Back in 2003, Graziano was sentenced to nine years in prison on tax evasion and racketeering charges that included a plot to kill two reputed Colombo crime family associates who’d shot a man in a former Charleston strip joint called Hipps, which was allegedly controlled by Graziano. The associates were not harmed.

After “Mob Wives” premiered, Graziano and his daughter reportedly stopped talking because he didn’t approve of her involvement with the show.

Graziano’s lawyer, Patrick Parrotta, said his client was released to a halfway house in early summer to serve the end of that sentence, then to home confinement about a month later. Graziano denies the most recent charges against him, Parrotta said.

“My client is going to finish serving out the rest of his previous sentence in 2012, and in the interim, we are preparing to fight the allegations by way of a trial shortly thereafter,” Parrotta said.

The DEA investigation also led to the arrest of Renee’s ex, Pagan Jr., 51, and Matthew Rinaldo, both Islanders. They were arraigned Monday on allegations they were part of a five-man crew that robbed a weekly card game run by the Bonanno crime family in the summer of 2009.

Two members of that crew have since become cooperating witnesses, court papers allege.

The game ran out of an illegal gambling club near the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Travis Avenue, according to law enforcement sources.

They were hoping to find “substantial sums of money” at the game, court papers allege, but the job turned out to be high-risk, low-reward — the take amounted only to about $5,000.

Pagan pointed a gun at one of the victim’s legs, and the robbers demanded the card players empty their pockets, according to the feds. A wall safe in the room turned out to be empty, though, as did an adjoining room, the feds allege.

http://www.josephbrunowriter.com/joe-bruno-books.html

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