December 25, 2005
Nevada's Online State News Journal
INVESTIGATION OF ORGANIZED CRIME IN INTERSTATE
FRIDAY, JULY 7, 1950
UNITED STATES SENATE,
SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE
ORGANIZED CRIME IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE,
Washington, D. C.
The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 : 25 a. m., in room 457 Senate Office Building, Senator Estes Kefauver, chairman, presiding. Present : Senators Kefauver, Hunt, and Wiley.
Also present : Rudolph Halley, chief counsel ; Alfred Klein, assistant counsel.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
Mr. Peterson, you may resume your statement.
FURTHER TESTIMONY OF VIRGIL W. PETERSON, OPERATING DIRECTOR, CHICAGO CRIME COMMISSION, REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you, Mr. Peterson, have you finished a general description of conditions in the Chicago area and are you passing to another phase of your testimony?
Mr. PETERSON. That is correct. Of course there are a lot of other names in Chicago that are important that I have not touched upon, but I have covered in generally.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, we cannot go into everything pertaining to Chicago in this hearing. We will have other hearings, and we will be in touch with you quite often in the future, Mr. Peterson.
Mr. PETERSON. I will be very glad to help you.
The CHAIRMAN. I did want to ask you one particular question. Will you tell us whether there is any overlapping of Chicago activities into adjacent territory such as northern Indiana? We have had some complaints about crime conditions in some of the northern Indiana cities and towns.
Mr. PETERSON. In Lake County, Ind., there is located a very well known place called the Big House, that is operated by William Gardner and "William J. "Sonny" Sheetz. That is a notorious place in Lake County. Sonny Sheetz, one of the best-known gambling-house operators in that area, has some connections with the Capone syndicate. For example, a relative of Sonny Sheetz was the caretaker on the farm of Little New York Campagna in Indiana when Campagna was spending some time in Federal prison. In 1948 it
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was reported that the Big House took in approximately $9,000,000 that year. So it is a big establishment.
Another individual there, in addition to William Gardner and Sonny Sheetz in Lake County, is a fellow by the name of Harry Hymes, who has controlled the race-horse wire service in that county, and there have been allegations, which we have never proved, that there is a tie-in between him and the Capone syndicate. That is, allegations were particularly prevalent a couple or 3 years ago when there was a killing in Lake County over the wire service.
The CHAIRMAN. Do these people live in Indiana or do they live in Chicago?
Mr. PETERSON. As far as I know, they live in Indiana.
The CHAIRMAN. What towns and cities are they?
Mr. PETERSON. The Big House is at Indiana Harbor. It ties in with Gary, Ind., as well. If my recollection is correct, I think William Gardner is from Gary, Ind. He is tied up with Gary.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any questions at this point, Senator Hunt ?
Senator HUNT. No; I have none.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Peterson, you may carry on.
Mr. PETERSON. Leaving Chicago, I want to discuss very briefly some of the figures in New York City.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you leave Chicago, is Paul Ricca also located in Long Beach, Ind.?
Mr. PETERSON. Paul Ricca has a home at Long Beach, Ind. I mentioned that yesterday. He has a $75,000 home there which was partially destroyed by fire a few years ago.
The CHAIRMAN. Does he operate in Indiana?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't have any information to the effect that he is operating illegally in Indiana, but I wouldn't say that he is not. I don't have any definite information to that effect.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Peterson.
Mr. PETERSON. Frank Costello, the most influential underworld leader in America, has his 79 Wall Street Corp., in New York City, lucrative gambling-house interests in Louisiana, oil properties in Texas, oil and gas leases of the Kingwood Oil Co. in Oklahoma City, Okla., tremendous political power, public relations and publicity men, a personal attorney and enormous wealth—all acquired or made possible through an association of several decades of some of the most notorious criminals in America, namely, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, panderer and narcotics tradesman; Meyer Lansky and Benjamin ‘Bugsy" Siegel, who headed a mob known as the Bug and Meyer mob of executioners; Louis Lepke Buchalter, head of Murder, Inc. ; Dutch Schultz, the racket king who lived and died through violence; John Torrio, who founded the notorious Capone syndicate in Chicago; Abner "Longie" Zwillman, big-time racketeer; Joe Adonis, one of the biggest racketeers in America ; Owney Madden, known as Owney the Killer ; and scores of others who became wealthy and powerful solely through defiance of local, State, and Federal laws. Costello has continued to associate and enter into partnerships with foremost racketeers, ex-convicts, and swindlers. He remains at the top of the list of America's underworld leaders.
George Uffner, 419 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York City, is a close associate of Frank Costello and Frank Erickson, another Cos-
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tello lieutenant. In the 1920's Frank Costello, George Uffner, Waxey Gordon, Philip "Dandy" Kastel, Jack Diamond, Eddie Diamond, and a host of other underworld characters were on the payroll of Arnold Rothstein, often described as the mastermind of the underworld. George Uffner was an associate of Charles "Lucky" Luciano and was once a member of the Diamond gang. When Arnold Rothstein was killed in November 1928 the police arrested George Uffner and Charles "Lucky" Luciano along with Thomas Walsh and questioned them about the Rothstein murder. They were released.
On September 7, 1929, Walsh was killed in the Miami Biltmore Hotel. George Uffner was a dealer in narcotics and received financial backing from time to tune from Arnold Rothstein. Uffner's police record dates back to 1924 when he received a suspended sentence on a bogus-check charge in Federal court. In 1933 Uffner was sentenced in general sessions court, New York City, for a State prison term of 4 to 8 years on a conviction for forgery and grand larceny. Records recovered from Frank Erickson by the district attorney's office in New York City in May 1950 revealed that Frank Erickson, Frank Costello, George Uffner, and Leonard Erickson were partners in valuable oil-lease interests in Wise County, Tex.
Frank Erickson, long known as one of the biggest gambling racketeers and a close associate of Frank Costello, has maintained lavish offices at 487 Park Avenue, New York City. Records seized by the district attorney's office in May 1950, clearly established his illegal activities in collaboration with such big-time gangsters and racketeers as Joe Adonis, Meyer Lansky, Jake Lansky, Vincent "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo, Mert Wertheimer, and others in gambling operations in Broward County, Fla. Frank Costello notes found among the records of the Colonial Inn, Hallandale, Fla., clearly indicated Frank Costello's financial dealings with New York mobsters in connection with their illegal activities in States other than New York or Louisiana where he is in partnership with the convicted swindler, Philip "Dandy Phil" Kastel. Records also established that Frank Costello and Frank Erickson own oil and gas leases of the Kingwood Oil Co., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Joe Adonis is one of the principal members of the Frank Costello organization. He has been closely associated with this group for the past 20 years. With Meyer and Jake Lansky, Frank Erickson, Vincent Alo, alias Jimmy Blue Eyes Alo, and others, he has been active in gambling operations in Broward County, Fla. With William Moretti and Abner "Longie" Zwillman, who are Frank Costello associates, Adonis has been active in the gambling racket in New Jersey. Adonis has also been a close friend of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, the gangster who became a gambling czar in Las Vegas, Nev., before he was killed in 1947. Adonis has also been close to members of the Capone gang in Chicago. He has been active in labor racketeering in New York and New Jersey. He is said to have connections with leading racketeers in virtually every large city of America.
In August 1949 it was revealed that Joe Adonis had muscled into the automobile industry in New York. Associated with him in that venture was Ralph Conti, who had been arrested 12 times on various charges ranging from robbery, homicide with a gun, grand larceny, extortion and policy-racket violations, but never convicted. It was
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brought out in court that Conti had sponsored the sale of 110 cars on the secret list of the Kings County Buick, Inc. Joe Adonis, alias Joe Doto, alias Joe A., is unquestionably one of the top-ranking racketeers of America today.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you leave Joe Adonis, what is the name of that automobile business?
Mr. PETERSON. That is the Kings County Buick, Inc.
The CHAIRMAN. What is it, a distributorship ?
Mr. PETERSON. That is my understanding; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know anything about the size of the business?
Mr. PETERSON. No, but it is a pretty large automobile distributorship. In other words, it was brought out in court at that time that 110 cars on the secret list, the sale had been made and arranged by this fellow Conti.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you mean, 110 cars on the secret list?
Mr. PETERSON. I think it had to do with black-market operations.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Peterson.
Mr. PETERSON. Meyer Lansky, an original member of the Frank Costello group, is one of the big gambling racketeers of the country with operations in several sections of the country. In New York he has been in the juke-box distributing business. There were strong indications that Lansky's juke-box operations in New York had some connection with similar juke-box distributing activities of the Capone gang in Chicago. In fact, one company with which he was connected at one time had the same financial backing as the financial backing of a company operated by Jack Guzik's son-in-law in Chicago.
On June 28, 1949, Meyer Lansky sailed from New York for Italy. It was alleged that the purpose of this trip was to see Charles "Lucky" Luciano who was deported there after his conviction in New York.
Morris Rosen, 118 Riverside Drive, New York City, became a dominant factor in the Flamingo Hotel gambling operations in Las Vegas, Nev., within a few months after Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was killed. It is claimed that Morris Rosen was friendly with Louis Shomberg, alias Dutch Goldberg, one of the biggest racketeers of the country during prohibition. It was also firmly believed in Nevada that Rosen was representing Siegel and the New York mob in Nevada.
Mr. HALLEY. Isn't it a fact that Rosen is the man who was questioned in the formal investigation on gambling that took place in Nevada?
Mr. PETERSON. No. Rosen was the man that they held hearings out in Nevada—I will go into that a little later in my Nevada statement.
Mr. HALLEY. You are going to touch on that.
Mr. PETERSON. I am going to touch on that. That was in connection with the wire service there. Morris Rosen, together with Moe Sedway out in Nevada, had, I believe it was, the Golden Nugget Racing Service, but I will get to that later in my testimony. In fact, there was a Federal suit filed in Nevada. They held hearings there and finally they kicked Rosen out of Nevada.
Mr. HALLEY. Can't you go into that tie-up at this moment? Rosen apparently admitted that he came from New York.
Mr. PETERSON. He came from New York, yes. Very briefly, here is the story
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Mr. HALLEY. If you are going to go into it, save it.
Mr. PETERSON. I will go into it later, but very briefly I will go over it now. It is rather interesting. Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was brought to the west coast by Joe Adonis. Siegel was a part of the New York mob. Siegel became the head of the Flamingo Hotel out in Nevada. Siegel was killed June 20, 1947. After Siegel was killed Sanford Adler had the controlling interest in the Flamingo Hotel. Morris Rosen then went to Nevada. Morris Rosen got into a fight with Sanford Adler. Sanford Adler came screaming into the hotel for help and Sanford Adler decided he didn't want to be the controlling owner of the Flamingo Hotel, and Morris Rosen became, together with Moe Sedway, and I forgot who the other party was now. Moe Sedway, incidentally, was Bugsy Siegel's partner in the operation before.
Mr. HALLEY. Isn't it right that Rosen came from New York as a virtual stranger, from the New York mob?
Mr. PETERSON. That is right.
Mr. HALLEY. And just stepped in there with no investment at all. Is that right ?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't know. He claims to have an investment. He claimed after he got kicked out of Nevada and even as late as last November I know he was questioned in New York in connection with another matter in which he stated then that he still had his interest in the Flamingo Hotel, although he was supposed to have been out of there, you see.
Mr. HALLEY. He made an investment, but was able to pay for it out of the profits ?
Mr. PETERSON. I can't answer that particular question. I have my own ideas of why he was out there and whom he represented. I don't think there is any question.
Mr. HALLEY. Can you state your ideas?
Mr. PETERSON. I think that money originally was the New York mob money. I think that is who Siegel represented up there. You have to bear in mind the original incorporators; that Louis Pokrass was part of that group. He was the one that I think filed the papers in connection with the Nevada Projects Corp. Louis Pokrass was associated with Adonis and with Costello back in New York during prohibition days. So, I think it was New York mob money. When Siegel went out of the picture, Sanford Adler took over; and they didn't want that. So, out of a blue sky here comes Morris Rosen from New York, and he becomes the dominant factor in that operation. So, to me, there is no question whom he represents; but I can't prove that, of course.
Does that answer your question?
Mr. HALLEY. Thank you.
Mr. PETERSON. Another man from New York, who doesn't spend much time there, Anthony Carfano, alias Little Angie Pisano, has been spending much time in Florida in recent years in the association of some of the biggest racketeers of the country. Carfano was an associate of Joe Adonis in New York, and was also a partner of Joe Masseria, alias Joe the Boss, before the latter was killed. It was also claimed that in 1929, after Frankie Uale (Yale) was murdered, Little Angie Pisano succeeded to the Uale enterprises in Brooklyn. These enterprises included bootlegging, industrial rackets, and slot machines.
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One man who is very seldom heard about but who is important for both his New York and Chicago connections is Gaetano Ricci, alias Tony Goebels, 125 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, N. Y. He is an important link between the New York underworld and the Chicago Capone syndicate. As far back as 1928, Ricci was arrested in Chicago in the company of Louis (Little New York) Campagna, one of the leading members of the Capone gang. During the period in which the Capone mobsters were exerting every possible effort to effect the paroles of Paul Ricca, Louis Campagna, Charles Gioe, and Phil D'Andrea from the Federal penitentiary, in 1947 Ricca made numerous telephone calls to Mrs. Campagna and to the homes of Campagna's relatives as well as to Campagna 's farm in Berrien Springs, Mich. He made calls to Francis Curry, an important contact for the Capone mob in Joliet, Ill., and to individuals known as to be close to Frank Nitti before Nitti committed suicide in 1943. He is also understood to have made calls to Owney Madden in Hot Springs, Ark. Madden was a close associate of Frank Costello and other members of that group. He was also in touch with the person who controls the commercialized vice in the near North Side of Chicago. It was also alleged in June of 1949 that Ricci exerted some influence in a reshuffling of the underworld leadership of Chicago's near North Side. Ricci is a native of Italy, having been born at Viesti, Italy, on January 1, 1893. He arrived in the United States in 1898 on the S. S. Trojan Prince and became a naturalized citizen in November 1944. He is New York City Police Department's No. B-261555. He is married but is allegedly separated from his wife.
Another individual known as Joseph Profaci, alias Guiseppe Profaci, 82-15 Fourteenth Avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y., is an important contact for underworld characters. His name and address were found in a confidential address book seized by the Los Angeles police early in 1950 from Giroloma Adamo, alias Mo Mo Adamo, a principal lieutenant for Jack Dragna, one of the most notorious gangsters on the west coast. Included in this list of addresses were some of the most important underworld characters of the Nation, including two leading members of Chicago's Capone gang, Murray Humphreys and Tony Accardo. Profaci was arrested in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 6, 1928, when a raid was conducted on a hotel room in which an alleged meeting of the Mafia Grand Council was taking place. Thirteen guns were found in the hotel room by the Cleveland authorities. Profaci is New York City Police Department's No. 14481, Cleveland Police Department's No. 32776, FBI's No. 4469866, and narcotics international list 11-274. Profaci was born in Italy on October 2, 1897, is married, has six children, and lives with his wife, Unifa, and family at the given address. For many years he has operated the Mamma Mia Importing Co., Inc., 1414 Sixty-fifth Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. His brother Salvatore is also an officer of this company which is engaged in the packing of olive oil and the jobbing of canned tomatoes.
Another New York individual whose name should be borne in mind is Joseph Bonanno, alias Joe Bananas, 114 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. He is tied up with several enterprises, including laundries. Bonanno is also connected with the Colorado Cheese Co., Trinidad, Colo., which is a distributor for Italian cheese. His name was also found in the records seized from Jack Dragna's lieutenant by the
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Los Angeles police along with the other addresses that I have mentioned before.
In many respects the kingpins of rackets in New Jersey are identical with the rulers of the underworld in New York City. Joe Adonis, one of the most important members of the Frank Costello mob in New York, is one of the most influential figures in the rackets in New Jersey. Likewise, Abner (Longie) Zwillman, who has long been considered the top-ranking racketeer of the New Jersey area, was a member of the original Frank Costello gang following the repeal of prohibition. In recent years Zwillman, like his associate Frank Costello, has attempted to create the impression he is no longer connected with the rackets. However, it is known that some of the most powerful gambling racketeers of the Nation keep in touch with him. For example, both Morris Kleinman and Lou Rothkopf, of the powerful Cleveland syndicate, have been in frequent telephone communications with him.
William Moretti, Hasbrouck Heights, N. J., together with Abner (Longie) Zwillman, Joe Adonis, and Anthony Sabio, alias Chicago Fats, make up the ruling mob in New Jersey. In South Plainfield, N. J., an extremely large crap game has been operated by the Joe Adonis crowd, and it appears probable that William Moretti and Zwillman have also had an interest in this operation. William Moretti and Abner (Longie) Zwillman are also allegedly "big shots" in the numbers-game racket as well as crap games in New Jersey. William Moretti has also been close to Frank Costello of New York. In fact, it has been claimed that Costello is the godfather of Moretti's children. The influence of Moretti has been felt on the west coast through Joe Sica, one of the most important underworld leaders in Los Angeles. Sica allegedly received his training from Moretti in New Jersey.
Joe Adonis spends a considerable amount of time in New Jersey and also has legitimate interests in the State. There is good reason to believe, for example, that Joe Adonis is the. principal owner of a company, the name of which I will give you, in Cliffside, N. J., although another man is the owner of record. That again has to do with automobiles. I have a list that I will give you.
Abner Zwillman resides at 32 South Munn Avenue, East Orange. J. James Cerce has operated a large wire room for horse-race betting on the top of the Oakley Building, 211 Market Street, Paterson, N. J. James Cerce is reportedly a lieutenant of Joe Adonis.
Nick Delmore of Elizabeth, N. J., has been a member of a syndicate that has controlled the numbers racket in Union County, N. J., in years gone by. Associated with Nick Delmore in the numbers racket has been Hoboken Joe Stassi. During the prohibition era, William J. Syms and Lee McRitchie were associated together in New Jersey. They were also associated with Joe Stassi. When the Broward County Kennel Club, Inc., Hollywood, Fla., began operations in 1934, two of the principal stockholders were William J. Syms and Joseph Stassi. Later Stassi's name was dropped as a stockholder and in his place appeared the name of Lee McRitchie. William J. Syms continued to be the dominating influence in the operation of the Broward County Kennel Club. It is also claimed that William J. Syms and Nick Delmore own certain companies in Newark at the present time and are connected with a group that operates bowling
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alleys, skating rinks, and other activities in the State. There are also indications that Jake Lansky has been close to William J. Syms in dog-track operations in Broward County, Fla.
In 1947 a killer for one of the mobs gave information which has not been verified, but in view of the names he mentioned it might be well to look into it. He claimed there was the formation--
The CHAIRMAN. Are you going to give that information to counsel for the committee?
Mr. PETERSON. In view of the names, I can mention some of them here and put it on the record. The people aren't apt to be slandered any.
The CHAIRMAN. In that connection, I want it understood that necessarily in this kind of testimony, for some statements which are made you must have substantiating data for everything that you say; but, if anyone feels that they have been misrepresented or if they want to make any statement of correction or explanation, they will of course be given an opportunity to do so.
Mr. PETERSON. This group, it was alleged, had formed a syndicate to control sporting events, racing, and were also engaged in the narcotics racket. That included members of the New York mob, some of the important members of the Capone syndicate, some of the New Jersey representatives, and some from Philadelphia. It covered a lot of territory.
It might be well for you to look into that information which I will give to you, because the names involved are very important.
The CHAIRMAN. Does this syndicate that you are talking about have a name?
Mr. PETERSON. The syndicate did not have a name as such, as far as I know. They were also allegedly controlling juke-box distribution companies, the names of which I will give you. In fact, Meyer Lansky was the treasurer of one of those companies. That is a matter of record.
The CHAIRMAN. What company was that?
Mr. PETERSON. That was the Simplex Distributing Co.
The CHAIRMAN. Of New York?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, Meyer Lansky and Jake Lansky are brothers?
Mr. PETERSON. They are brothers ; that is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Jake is the one who operated in Broward County?
Mr. PETERSON. Both Jake and Meyer.
The CHAIRMAN. The Colonial Inn and Green Acres?
Mr. PETERSON. Both brothers were a matter of record in that operation.
Another individual by the name of Vito Genovese, 75 Bluff Road, Palisades Gardens, Palisades, N. was formerly a gunman for Charles (Lucky) Luciano. He fled to New Jersey when Luciano got in trouble as the head of New York City's commercialized prostitution racket. Genovese has a criminal record reflecting numerous arrests since the year 1917 on charges of various crimes, including that of homicide. He is New York City Police Department's No. B-59993.
Anthony Sabio, alias Chicago Fats, is allegedly the king of the bookmakers in Passaic County, N. J., under William Moretti.
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That covers very briefly some of the principals in New Jersey have one or two other connections here that I will give you without making it a matter of public information.
In New England, very briefly, Harry (Doc) Jasper Sagansky, Boston, was perhaps the principal gambling racketeer in the New England area prior to the time of his conviction a few years ago, in 1943, I believe it was. Records recovered in Boston several years ago established that Harry (Doc) Jasper Sagansky in 1942 called Frank Erickson in New York as often as six times each betting day. Canceled checks seized in raids on Sagansky's apartment reflect that they were made out to "L. Erickson," who is Leonard Erickson, brother of Frank. Leonard Erickson was Frank Erickson's banker. During July 1942 Sagansky made out 14 checks to Erickson totaling $13,520 to settle his obligations to him that month.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, that would indicate that Erickson was the betting commissioner and was handling the lay-off bets.
Mr. PETERSON. That is right, for Sagansky, who was the big racketeer there, but he also was dealing almost on as large a scale with—for example, in July 1942, he had to pay N. N. Kronenberg, of Houston, Tex., a betting commissioner, $12,864.75 in order to balance accounts. In Chicago, he issued three checks amounting to $5,142.25 in the first 20 days of July 1942 to E. M. Dobkin, a man I mentioned yesterday, one of Chicago's large betting commissioners. At that time Sagansky's headquarters was located in the Roughan Hall, 15 City Square, Boston. The extent of Sagansky's business in gambling activities during that period was reflected by bank deposits which totaled $1,114,131.78 in 1941 and $1,374,575.46 in 1942.
Frank Iaconi is head of the gambling racket in Worcester, Mass. Iaconi is closely associated with Raymond Patriarca, the king of rackets in Providence, R. I. Patriarca is also allegedly tied up with members of the Frank Costello mob in New York. Patriarca and Iaconi were associated together during rum-running days. Iaconi worked for the Patriarca gang as a Providence-Worcester agent. Booze was run between the two cities. Iaconi then left the bootlegging racket and began operating beano games, then horse betting, and then numbers. In 1940, when Daniel H. Coakley, a member of the Governor's Council in Massachusetts, was impeached for obtaining the release of Patriarca from the Massachusetts State Penitentiary, Iaconi informed Patriarca, that he should stay out of Worcester. Patriarca then brought Iaconi in line by a series of robberies of Iaconi's gambling places. There were about four robberies in a very few days. One of them involved Tony Santello, who handed over $21,000. Four days later there was a robbery of a Worcester barroom where Iaconi, a high city official and four others were present. After another robbery of an Iaconi gambling joint on Green Street in Worcester of $19,000, Patriarca was invited to come to Worcester and make peace with Iaconi. Since that time the Iaconi-Patriarca alliance has been functioning smoothly. Iaconi's monopoly of gambling in Worcester is an important part of Patriarca's gambling set-up in that particular area.
The CHAIRMAN. That was in the spring of 1940; was it not?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes; it was in 1940. I don't know the time of the year.
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The CHAIRMAN. Do you have the exact date?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes. I have it in our files.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you give it to the committee?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
William H. Ridings, 6 Whipple Street, Pawtucket, R. I., has also been a big lay-off man and betting commissioner there. Telephones are listed to the above address in the names of John Samuel Horton, George Ashcroft, and John Allen. Ridings formerly did business with Harry "Doc" Jasper Sagansky, the chief of New England gambling rackets until he ran afoul of the law in 1943. Frank Iaconi, the gambling king of Worcester, Mass., at one time used Ridings to lay off bets several times a day.
Jumping to Florida, that has long been a stamping ground for some of the most notorious gangsters of the Nation. This has particularly been true of the Miami area and also in Broward County, Fla., directly to the north of Dade County, in which Miami and Miami Beach are located. The Capone syndicate has had a firm foothold in Florida for the last 20 years. Al Capone maintained an estate in Florida which was visited by virtually all of the prominent members of the Chicago Capone gang. Charles Fischetti, who is unquestionably one of the most powerful underworld leaders in America today, has a palatial home located at 6475 Allison Road, Miami, Fla. Charles Fischetti has connections with the leading members of virtually every important mob from the east coast to the west.
Tony Accardo, frequently referred to as the present leader of the Capone syndicate, has maintained a residence at 9199 Collins Avenue, Surf Side, Fla., just north of Miami Beach. His brother, Martin Leo Accardo, a felon, has lived in a palatial home at 1217 Granada Boulevard in Coral Gables. Clarice Accardo is the wife of Tony Accardo. They, together with their children, live in the very fine residential suburb of Chicago, River Forest, Ill. Their home is located at 1431 Ashland Avenue, River Forest. In Florida Tony Accardo has maintained a boat, the Clare-Jo, River Forest, Illinois.
Jack Guzik, the former business manager of the Capone syndicate, has spent a large amount of time in Miami Beach, as has virtually every important member of the gang. Property owners in Miami Beach include Ralph Buglio, Pat Manno, and Peter Tremont. Ralph Niglio has long been known as an associate of prominent members of the Capone syndicate. Buglio has owned a house at 261 North Cocoanut Lane, Palm Island, Miami Beach. Many years ago Buglio was a suspect in some of Chicago's gang killings. On February 2, 1936, Ralph Buglio, Rocco De Stefano, and others were arrested by the Chicago police in connection with alleged holdups of liquor wholesalers in the State of Illinois. It was claimed they had been involved in hijacking merchandise amounting to over $75,000 in 1 year. Bonds in the sum of $90,000 each .were required. Prosecution was later declined. On July 10, Rocco Do Stefano, his father, Michael De Stefano, Ralph Buglio, and others were arrested by the State's attorney's police for failure to pay sales taxes over a period of 15 months.
The CHAIRMAN. In what year was that?
Mr. PETERSON. I have July 10 down here. Apparently I left out the year. I think that was about the same time, about 1936. I think I can find that for you in my notes here.
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The CHAIRMAN. You can supply that?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes. I will supply that.
Buglio's associate, Rocco De Stefano, has also been closely allied with Harry Russell, Charles Fischetti, Jack Guzik, and other big Capone syndicate members, all of whom spend a considerable amount of time in Florida.
Peter G. Tremont, who is a property owner with Buglio in Miami Beach, is a big policy operator on Chicago's South Side. It is also known that Pat Manno, who has been in the policy racket in Chicago for many years, owns a residence at 5812 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach, Fla. Manno also maintains a permanent address at 1439 North Franklin Street, River Forest, Ill.
Harry Russell, who operates a bar at 400 South State Street and who has been associated with Tony Accardo in the operation of gambling places in Chicago, has also spent a large amount of time in Florida. In fact, it was publicly charged several months ago that he had muscled into the S. & G. Gambling Syndicate in Miami Beach. Harry Russell has been an associate of Max Caldwell. I mentioned him yesterday.
On August 21, 1941, the State's attorney's office in Chicago charged that Rocco De Stefano, Harry V. Russell, Peter Tremont, Patrick Manno, Max Caldwell, Milton Schwartz, and others had helped spend $900,000 looted from the treasury of local 1248, Retail Clerks Protective Association union funds. No indictments were returned and no further action was taken. During the time that Caldwell was affiliated with the Retail Clerks International Protective Association, local 1248, in Chicago, he furnished free air transportation, apparently with union funds, for Ralph Buglio, Harry Russell, Rocco De Stefano, Peter Tremont, Pat Manno, and others, from Chicago to Miami. Caldwell has entered into business in the Miami area at the present time. When a suit was filed in 1941 for an accounting of the union funds, a union representative testified he could find only $62 of the $910,000 Caldwell had collected as business manager of the union. Martin Guilfoyle, long a big-time gambler of Chicago and once listed as a public enemy there, divides his attention between the operation of handbooks in Chicago and the Miami area.
Virtually every member of the Capone syndicate has frequented the Miami area and in many instances have engaged in racketeering activities there. During the heyday of Al Capone, the Capone syndicate was in control of dog tracks in virtually every part of the country, including Florida. The Capone syndicate czar of dog racing during that period was Edward J. O'Hare, who was killed in gang warfare in Chicago on November 9, 1939. Just prior to the time O'Hare left his office in Sportsman's Park, Cicero, Ill., he had been holding a conference with William H. Johnston and John Patton in their offices at Sportsman Park. Johnston was then described as a publicity man and Patton was one of the owners of the track along with O'Hare. These individuals were also interested at that time in dog-track operations in Florida. William H. Johnston, 1090 Arbor Lane, Jacksonville, Fla., is presently listed as the president of the Miami Beach Kennel Club, Inc.7 president of the Associated Outdoor Clubs, Inc., Tampa, Fla., president of the Jacksonville Kennel Club, Inc., president of the Orange Park Kennel Club, Inc., all of which are Florida dog tracks. James Patton, the son of John Patton, is listed as the
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vice president of the Miami Beach Kennel Club, Inc. and the Jacksonville Kennel Club, and is assistant treasurer of the Orange Park Kennel Club, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla. With reference to the Miami Beach Kennel Club, John Patton appeared as one of the owners of this track. Until 1941, John Patton 's name appeared as a stockholder in the Miami Beach Kennel Club. Since that date the stock was transferred to his son, James. John Patton has long been associated with members of the Capone gang. Many years ago he was known as the Boy Mayor of Burnham, a suburb of Chicago, which was the center of vice, gambling, and booze for the Capone syndicate. On April 7, 1925, the press in Chicago reported a raid on the Capone gang headquarters. Arrested in the raid were John Patton, Robert Larry McCullough, Joe Fusco, Frank Nitti and others who were considered then important members of the syndicate.
Mr. HALLEY. Is this the same John Patton?
Mr. PETERSON. That is the same John Patton.
Mr. HALLEY. What is the basis upon which you state that William Johnston is allied with the Capone syndicate?
Mr. PETERSON. I do not say that. I say he has been associated with John Patton since in the 1930's.
Mr. HALLEY. In what kind of operation?
Mr. PETERSON. In the operation of dog tracks and also in the operation of Sportsman's Park in Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, did you mention Tropical Park?
Mr. PETERSON. No.
The CHAIRMAN. Were you going to mention it?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't think so.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any information about the ownership of Tropical Park?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes; I have some information, but I didn't include that in this.
The CHAIRMAN. Is John Patton not one of the owners of Tropical Park ?
Mr. PETERSON. I am not sure. I would have to check my records back at the office. Those that I know that Patton has been interested in are those that I have mentioned. Of course, now, he does not hold the stock. The stock is in the name of his son, James Patton. However, John Patton has still been very friendly with William H. Johnston.
Mr. HALLEY. Can you give some more detail on their business relationships, in particular, say, in Sportsman's Park?
Mr. PETERSON. In Sportsman's Park?
Mr. HALLEY. Yes.
Mr. PETERSON. Surely. I think if you would check with some racing people there, you would find that John Patton spends an awful lot of the time in the penthouse there at Sportsman's Park with William H. Johnston in the operation of that track.
Mr. HALLEY. They own the track?
Mr. PETERSON. The track is owned by, I believe it is called the National Jockey Club, of which William H. Johnston is president and in which John Patton at one time held stock, but he no longer appears as a stockholder in that track, either. I think his son, James Patton, is a stockholder in the track.
Mr. HALLEY. Are there any other ventures in the Chicago area in which you find Patton and Johnston together?
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Mr. PETERSON. Only in connection with tracks.
Mr. HALLEY. What tracks?
Mr. PETERSON. I mean in Chicago, just Sportsman's Park, the one track; and then the tracks in Florida.
Mr. HALLEY. Can you give further detail on the Florida situation?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
Mr. HALLEY. With relation specifically to Johnston and Patton and their associations?
Mr. PETERSON. If I may, I will finish this particular portion, and then you may have some other questions. I wanted to bring out again, which I mentioned yesterday, arrested in the raid there were John Patton, Robert Larry McCullough, and others. During that period, John Patton was associated with Edward J. O'Hare, representative of the Capone gang, Jack Guzik, business manager of the Capone outfit, and others, in the operation of a dog track known as the Laramie Kennel Club and the Hawthorne Kennel Club near Chicago. This track was known as a Capone gang dog track. During the dog-track season in Florida until the present time Robert Larry McCullough, who was arrested with John Patton, Frank Nitti, and others in the Capone headquarters late in 1925, has been serving as the chief of police at the Miami Beach Kennel Club, Inc. He also serves in a somewhat comparable police capacity at Sportsman's Park near Cicero, Ill., which is a horse-racing track.
McCullough has been known in times gone by as a Capone gang terrorist and strong-arm man. He was questioned in connection with some of the notorious gang killings in Chicago many years ago. An official program of the Miami Beach Kennel Club dated March 20, 1948, lists L. A. Shumway as the mutuels manager of the Miami Beach Kennel Club. Shumway was an employee in some of the Capone gang's gambling establishments in Cicero several years ago and was called as a witness by the Government in the income-tax cases against Al Capone. It has also been reported that among the present officers, directors, and stockholders, in the Miami Beach Kennel Club is Edward Krumrey, who is also from Burnham, Ill. Krumrey is also listed as a timer at the National Jockey Club which operates Sportsman's Park near Cicero, Ill. The last known address of Edward Krumrey is 14125 Mackinaw Avenue, Burnham, Ill., where John Patton was formerly mayor. Another reported stockholder in the Miami Beach Kennel Club is David Kind. In 1929, an indictment was returned in criminal court, Chicago, charging David Kind, L. A. Shumway, Edward J. O'Hare, and others with conspiracy in offering perjured testimony as to betting at dog tracks in Illinois.
In addition to the infiltration of Capone gangsters in the Miami area, many of the important Cleveland gangsters have also located there. Fred Angersola, known as Fred King, and his brother, John Angersola, alias John King, were formerly big-time gamblers in the Cleveland area. John King is known as the owner of a fine home at 4431 Alton Road, Miami Beach, Fla., and another home at 5440 La Gorce Drive. John Angersola has been arrested in Columbus, Detroit, Cleveland, and Toledo on such charges as robbery, investigation, and suspicion. George Angersola also spends a large amount of time in Florida along with his brothers, and is known in Cleveland as an associate of Moe Davis, alias Moe Dalitz, and the Polizzis.
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Another individual who has been tied up with the Cleveland syndicate, Joe Di Carle, has spent time in Florida, particularly at the Wofford Hotel, Miami Beach. Di Carle has associated there with Joe Massei, formerly of Detroit, Charles Fischetti, and Joe Adonis.
Joe Massei has been a big-time Detroit racketeer and allegedly still has affiliations with such Detroit mobsters as Pete Licovoli, William "Black Bill" Tocco, and Joe Zirilli, who have had the numbers racket in Detroit. Joe Massei has been one of the operators of the Miami Provision Co., 1062 Northwest Thirty-second Street, Miami, Fla. This concern is a wholesale meat and provision company dealing with hotels and restaurants in Miami. At one time Massei owned a home on Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach. He sold this home in the fall of 1947 and moved to the penthouse of the Grand Hotel in Miami Beach, along with other well-known Cleveland hoodlums and big-time gambling operators. The Grand Hotel has served as a congregating place for such individuals as Joe Adonis, Anthony Carfano, alias Little Augie Pisano, Charles Fischetti, Jack Guzik, Ralph Buglio from Chicago, and numerous others.
Joe Massei has been arrested numerous times in Detroit. On May 24, 1920, and August 11, 1921, he was arrested on armed robbery charges and was discharged both times. On August 31, 1925, he was arrested in connection with a murder investigation and was discharged. On February 3, 1933, he was again arrested for murder and was dismissed by the court on May 15, 1934. His record contains 15 notations reflecting various conflicts with the law. However, he apparently never served any time except on one occasion when he was sentenced to serve 60 days in the Wayne County Jail, Detroit, Mich., for contempt of court in September 1933.
The big time racketeers from all over the country have become deeply entrenched in the Miami area and many of them have interests in hotels there. For example, in Minneapolis, Minn., perhaps the outstanding racketeer has been Isadore Blumenfield, alias Kid Cann, who has allegedly been at one time the head of a syndicate which has controlled gambling in Minneapolis for many. years. Kid Cann and members of his family own valuable ocean-front property in Miami Beach, Fla. It has also been reported that Kid Cann has a million-dollar investment in a hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. A former candidate for mayor in Minneapolis a few years ago claimed that he was approached by Kid Cann's group and offered a substantial contribution to his campaign fund. In return this group wanted to name the chief of police of Minneapolis.
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The CHAIRMAN. Who was that ?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't have the name of the candidate here, but the candidate was defeated. He didn't accept the offer. This is a number of years ago.
Kid Cann has also been a suspect in a number of unsolved murders. One of the murder victims was Liggett, who was running a weekly newspaper and had accused Kid Cann and the police department of controlling and protecting gambling. Liggett had threatened to expose those conditions just before he was killed. Kid Cann is also understood to be engaged in the liquor business. There have been charges that he owns night clubs in the vicinity of Minneapolis.
Although this has not been proven in court there is good reason to believe that he has financial interests in some of these night clubs.
Kid Cann's name first appeared in the records of the Minneapolis Police Department in 1920. He has been charged with such crimes as murder, violation of the National Prohibition Act, assault, and as a suspect in the shooting of two police officers. He was once indicted for conspiracy to kidnap Charles Urschel, a wealthy Oklahoma oil man. This indictment was nolle prossed. In recent years it was claimed that he did operate a gambling place next door to 1538 Nicolette Avenue, Minneapolis, Minn. Kid Cann has a brother and a lieutenant whose name is Yiddi Blumenfield, alias Yiddi Bloom. Yiddi Bloom and Harry Mitchlin and Harry Joffa were secretly indicted by a Montana Federal grand jury for conspiracy in a large black market operation in liquor. In December 1943, Yiddi Bloom, Harry Mitchlin, Mrs. Verna Bloom, wife of Yiddi, and Mrs. Ray Schneider, sister of Kid Cann, were indicted for illegal distribution of wine. The tax case was settled for $73,000 and fines on the criminal charges amounted to $30,000.
Harry Blumenfield, alias Harry Bloom, is another brother and lieutenant of Isadore Blumenfield, alias Kid Cann. All of the Blumenfields allegedly are large property owners in the greater Miami area. At least two ocean-front hotels are located on real estate owned by this family.
In recent years, Julius Berman, alias Julius Kramer, alias Harry Kramer, alias Jules Berman, alias Julie Beeman, has operated the horse-book concession at a hotel which is allegedly owned by Isadore Blumenfield, alias Kid Cann. Julius Berman is New York City Police Department No. B99872, and he has a long record going back to 1924. It is reported that he was associated at one time with Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, of Murder, Inc., New York City. Berman has also been arrested twice on narcotics charges.
One of the officers in the corporation holding title to the hotel which is allegedly owned in part by Isadore Blumenfield is one Edward Berman, a notorious Minneapolis racketeer. Edward Berman is FBI No. 613,989. He was sentenced to 5 years in the Federal penitentiary in United States District Court, Oklahoma City, Okla., on October 7, 1933, in connection with the Urschel kidnapping case. He was charged with conspiracy to kidnap. Apparently his offense related to passage of the ransom money.
Another individual who has held leases to hotels in Florida in which the gangster element has been closely identified is Thomas Cassara. Several years ago Thomas Cassara took over the lease of the Grand Hotel, 220 Twenty-third Street, Miami Beach, Fla. In 1940 he took over the lease of the Wofford Hotel, Miami Beach, Fla., which he operated for one season only. In 1947 Cassara reportedly operated the Chanticleer Restaurant, 8572 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, with Monte Prosser and Danny Romano. Prosser is manager of the Copocabana Night Club, New York City, and Danny Romano has a brother by the name of Louis who has been prominently identified with the Capone syndicate in Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know who owns the Copocabana Night Club?
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Mr. PETERSON. I can't prove who owns it. I know whose name has been very prominently identified with it.
The CHAIRMAN. If you do not know, just say so.
Mr. PETERSON. I think it has been printed in the papers as a matter of fact, who supposedly is connected with it, one of the big mobsters. That hasn't been proved.
Cassara has also been manager of the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. This hotel was reportedly built with funds which came from New York and Chicago about 1940. Thomas Cassara incidentally was shot on June 30, 1946, as he was standing in front of the Tradeswinds Restaurant, 865 Rush Street, Chicago, Ill. Cassara was president of the Raleigh Importing Distributors, 600 South Michigan Avenue. Standing beside Cassara when he was shot was a man by the name of Arthur T. McAboy, 7321 South Shore Drive, an official of the J. R B. Liquor Co., Cairo, Ill. Police claimed that McAboy had been negotiating for a 75 percent interest in the Raleigh Importing Distributors. Cassara was to retain a 25 percent interest. Police also reported that Rocco DeStefano, a well known Capone syndicate hoodlum, was a silent partner with Cassara in the Raleigh Distributors. A collector for back checks for the Flamingo Hotel stated in 1947 that there were about 35 individuals that controlled gambling throughout the East here and in New Jersey and Florida, and he mentioned, for example, Dandy Phil Kastel, Julie Podello, Frank Costello, and Tony Carfano alias "Little Angie" Pismo, who also has spent a large amount of time in the Miami area in association with other big time hoodlums. Another important underworld character who has become deeply entrenched in the Miami area is Sam Taran. Sam Taran is the head of the Taran Distributing Co., records and appliance division, Miami, Fla. This individual is an ex-bootlegger with a long record for violations of the internal revenue laws. Chicago police files reflect that in 1934 he served a 2-year term in the United States penitentiary.
In 1932 he was arrested at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago in connection with liberty bonds he sold which had been stolen in a Nebraska bank robbery. He was later released when the State could not prove he had knowledge of the bonds being stolen. Taran at one time was a small time prize fighter in St. Paul, where he was also known as a racketeer. Sam Taran has been reputedly the juke box boss of the mob in Florida. He has been associated there with very important members of the Capone mob as well as hoodlums from other areas.
Directly north of the Miami area is Broward County, Fla. Gambling in this area have long been controlled by members of the Frank Costello mob in New York. As you know, just recently records were uncovered by the district attorney's office in New York which definitely established that the Colonial Inn in Hollandale, Fla., has been owned by Joe Adonis, alias Joe Doto, one of the most powerful gangsters in this country, Frank Erickson, Meyer Lansky, Jake Lansky, Vincent Alo alias "Jimmy Blue Eyes," from the New York mob and Alert Wertheimer, head of the powerful Chesterfield syndicate in Michigan. Notes found in the amount of $50,000 in favor of Frank Costello would indicate the possibility of his connection with the place as well. The gambling racket in this county has attracted the gangster element to settle there.
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In this same county there is also located the Broward County Kennel Club. The vice president and general manager of this club is William J. Syms. Syms has been associated in times gone past with Nick Delmore and Hoboken Joe Stassi from New Jersey. He was also one of the stockholders in this club originally when it was started in 1934. It is reported that Syms is a close friends of Jake Lansky, one of the gambling czars in Broward County, Fla. The accountant for Jake Lansky is also the accountant for the dog track.
On January 10, 1945, in the United States District Court at Miami, Fla., a stockholders' suit was filed by F. Strong, Barbara Roberts, and Lee McRitchie, against the Broward County Kennel Club, Inc., William J. Syms, Gerald McCurrie, and J. E. Gallagher, defendants. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants voted themselves exorbitant salaries—namely, William J. Syms, $1,666.67 per week; McCurrie, $1,163.34 a week; Gallagher, $583.34 per week; and Ben Eisen, $500 per week. The suit prayed for an accounting, et cetera. The suit disclosed that when the dog-track operations began on June 20, 1934, the original stockholders were William J. Syms, Joe Stassi, Florence Strong, Barbara Roberts, and a corporation.
As of January 15, 1945, the court records reflected that the stockholders were William J. Syms, Sr., William J. Syms, Jr., Lee McCurrie, who also was associated with Syms in New Jersey during bootlegging days, Barbara Roberts, Florence Strong, and May K. Pettit. The complaint alleged that William J. Syms, Sr., dominated and controlled the destiny of the club and operated the track in a high-handed manner.
In the defendants answer it was alleged that McRitchie became a stockholder in 1940. It is admitted that the corporation did obtain loans totaling $5,000 as alleged in the complaint and which was paid to George Morton Levy, a New York attorney residing in Mineola, who in turn gave the money to the corporation. When George Morton Levy was questioned concerning the $5,000, he brought into the picture the name of Lauretta Costello, who allegedly is the wife of Frank Costello. Ben Eisen was questioned concerning how he was able to keep books at the Broward County dog track as well as at the Gulf Stream Race Track. Although he refused to answer any other questions, he admitted he was the comptroller of the Gulf Stream Race Track.
When the case went to trial March 21, 1946, depositions were taken from Joseph Stassi, Lee McRitchie, George M. Levy, and others. In a deposition taken from Frank L. Bang he testified that William J. Syms, Joe Stassi, and Lee McRitchie were closely associated together in the operation of dog tracks in Nassau, Rensselaer County, N.Y. in 1935, and the Nassau County Kennel Club, Minneola, Long Island, from 1930 to 1935. Bang also testified in his deposition that one David Dolan was a front man for Syms, Stassi, and McRitchie.
During the prohibition era activities one of Syms' partners was Lee J. McRitchie, of Elizabeth, N. J., whom I mentioned was also connected with this dog track there.
Another associate during that period was Nick Delmore. It is claimed they are still in business together in certain legitimate business enterprises.
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In Tampa, Fla., Salvatore (Red) Italiano is the leader of a group of racketeers in control of "Bolita" and other forms of gambling. The principal lieutenants of Italiano have been Jimmy Lumia, Tony (Nino) Decidue, Tom Decidue, Paul Antinori, Santo Trafficante, and a son by the same name. During 1941 these gangsters allegedly members of the Mafia were in complete control of vice, gambling, and similar activities. During the 1940 elections it is claimed that these racketeers spent huge sums of money for campaign purposes.
About 1947 Jimmy Lumia brought to Tampa a racketeer by the name of Philip Locicero. Lumia and Lucicero opened a night club known as The Chateau, which is located in the Desoto Hotel in Tampa. Locicero remained in the background of the club's transactions. Until early 1949 he spent a large amount of time in the Jockey Club. About two or three weeks before the killing of Jimmy Velasco, Salvatore Italiano, and Philip Locicero made a trip to New Orleans. The place they visited was allegedly the headquarters for the Mafia in the Southern States. In Tampa the meeting place for the Mafia has allegedly been at the homes of Jimmy Lumia or Santo Trafficante.
Santo Trafficante, a lieutenant of Salvatore (Red) Italiano, in Tampa, Fla., has connections on the west coast. Early in 1950, when the Los Angeles police seized the records from Jack Dragna's lieutenant, Giroloma Adama, they found, as I mentioned before, the addresses of some of the most notorious gangsters in the country, including Murray Humphreys and Tony Accardo. In the list was recorded Santo Trafficante, 2821, which apparently is the telephone number, 3010 North Boulevard, Tampa, Fla. Also recorded in the address book recovered from Jack Dragna was James Lumia, M1426, again the telephone number, 3215 Twelfth Street, Tampa, Fla. Jimmy Lumia has been one of the leading racketeers in Tampa until it is my understanding he was killed there just a few weeks ago in a gang killing.
Paul Antinori, who has been associated with the gang that controls Bolita and other illegal activities in Tampa, the Narcotics Bureau has reported, I believe one man testified the other day that Ignazio Antinori of Tampa went to Havana, Cuba, to obtain narcotics for associates in the Middle West. The drugs were unsatisfactory and when Antinori did not make restitution, he was killed in Tampa by shotgun fire in 1940. In 1942 the Narcotics Bureau arrested Antinori 's two sons, Paul and Joseph, and several others. Paul is the man that I just mentioned. They were convicted in a trial in which Carl Carraniusa, a codefendant, appeared as a Government witness. Carraniusa moved to Chicago where he was killed by a shotgun blast in front of his home in 1945. Paul Antinori incidentally is married to Rose Decidue.
Another man engaged in the Cuban lottery "Bolita" with his two brothers and an uncle at the Sea Breeze Cafe is Anthony (Tony) Licata.
In the 1930's, according to J. Richard "Dixie" Davis, who was the lawyer for the slain gangster, Dutch Schultz, a national syndicate was operated from New York by Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, and Meyer Lansky. Dixie Davis, who, of course, was in a position to know what he was talking about, stated that "Moey" Davis became the power in Cleveland, Ohio, and anyone who
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questioned it would have to deal with "Lucky" and Meyer and "Bugsy."
Moe Davis has been closely associated in gambling enterprises in the Cleveland area for many years with Maurice Kleinman, Lou Rothkopf, alias Lou Rody, alias Lou Rhody, Thomas Jefferson McGinty, and others. Rothkopf, Kleinman, and Davis maintained a suite in the Hollenden Hotel, Cleveland, for many years. Members of this group have been in association with some of the biggest racketeers from the east coast to the west. They have maintained contact, for example, with Abner "Longie" Zwillman, of New Jersey, and it is known that Lou Rothkopf was in very close contact with Mickey Cohen and Jack Dragna, notorious west coast gambling racketeers.
In the late 1930's a series of lawsuits was filed against Maurice Kleinman, Moe Davis, Lou Rothkopf, and Thomas Jefferson McGinty, who were named as operators of gambling joints known as the Thomas Club, the Arrow Club, which subsequently became known as the Pettibone Club.
In the early 1930's Kleinman, Rothkopf, and Davis were partners in a front for a gambling operation called the Prospect Advertising Co.
The CHAIRMAN. Where was that located?
Mr. PETERSON. Cleveland.
On February 3, 1931, William E. Potter, a Cleveland city councilman, was slain in one of the most sensational crimes ever committed in Cleveland. The most logical suspect insofar as the murder was concerned was one "Pittsburgh Hymie" Martin. Moe Davis and Lou Rothkopf were with "Pittsburgh Hymie" until a few hours before the slaying. Davis was also with Hymie until an hour prior to the arrest of Hymie who was charged with the murder of Potter. "Pittsburgh Hymie" was tried for this murder and was convicted. He won a retrial, however, and was acquitted. It was alleged that Potter had been killed because it was feared he was about to expose some crooked deals. The police had traced checks written by a city official to the Prospect Advertising Co. operated by Moe Davis and Maurice Kleinman. In recent years Davis, Kleinman, and Rothkopf have been connected with the operation of the Mounds Club, the Pettibone Club, the Jungle Inn, located near Youngstown, Ohio, the Beverly Hills Club, and the Lookout House, near Cincinnati. It is known, of course, that Thomas Jefferson McGinty has been an important figure in the operation of the Mounds Club. Several years ago it was alleged that Moe Davis was then connected with a gang which was known as the Mayfield Road gang. Some of Davis' former associates have included Joe Massei, of Detroit, Mich., Abner Zwillman, of Newark, and certain members of the Capone gang in Chicago.
The Mayfield gang subsequently fell under the leadership of Alfred P. "Big Owl" Polizzi and Frank Milano. In 1945 a large amount of publicity attended the gang murder of Nathan "Nate" Weisenberg, slot-machine king of Cleveland. Following that murder the syndicate composed of Kleinman, Rothkopf, Davis, and others, moved out of the Hollenden. At one time Moe Davis was interested in the River Downs Race Track and the Coney Island Dog Track located in Cleveland. He was also involved in a dog track at Dayton, Ky., together with Alfred P. Polizzi. The dog-track operation, however, lasted only 13 days before it was closed by the Attorney General of Kentucky.
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Moe Davis, alias Moe Dalitz, is now the treasurer, or was as of February 1950, and apparently still is, of the Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nev., one of the most elaborate gambling establishments in America. Davis has resided at 400 Park View Drive, Cleveland, Ohio. He has a number of legitimate interests there, including the Michigan Industrial Laundry Co. in Detroit. The combination of Davis, Kleinman, and Rothkopf are also allegedly interested in the Pioneer Linen Supply Co. in Cleveland. This group has also controlled a slot-machine and gambling resort at Brady Lake, Ohio, and, as I mentioned before, has owned the Pettibone Club, a gambling place located in Geauga County, Ohio. They are interested in a number of other legitimate businesses which I will make available to you. They are listed in this statement that I have here.
Lou Rothkopf, alias Lou Rhody, Fenway Hall Hotel, Euclid Avenue and One Hundred and Seventh Street, Cleveland, Ohio, is FBI No. 1128584. He was born in Cleveland on June 3, 1903. He apparently owns several apartment houses in Cleveland. Lou Rothkopf spends much of his time in Las Vegas, Nev., Miami, Fla.---
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have information about the alleged apartment houses?
Mr. PETERSON. I have some information on that. On February 23, 1937, Rothkopf was arrested by the United States marshal at Cleveland, Ohio, on a charge of violation of the internal-revenue laws. On May 22, 1937, he was sentenced to serve 4 years and fined $5,000. On January 9, 1940, a case was ordered dismissed in the United States district court in Cleveland as to Lou Rothkopf, Max Diamond, Maurice Kleinman, Albert Philip, Morris Phillip, Kulius Kater, alias Doloff, and Tony Scalise. Rothkopf has racketeering connections from the east coast to the west and has been in touch with such gangsters as Mickey Cohen, big-shot gambler in Los Angeles, also Abner Zwillman, 32 South Munn Avenue, East Orange, N. J., on several occasions.
In February 1949 while Rothkopf was in Los Angeles he was in telephone communication with Jack Dragna at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. He was also in touch with Allen Smiley at the same place. Rothkopf also was in constant communication with Mickey Cohen and had also visited Mickey Cohen's home.
Maurice Kleinman, 12701 Shaker Boulevard, suite 802, Cleveland, Ohio, is the vice president of the Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nev., definitely as of February 1950 and I assume that he still is, which is one of the most elaborate gambling establishments in America. Kleinman, together with Moe Davis, alias Moe Dalitz, Lou Rothkopf, and Thomas Jefferson McGinty, unquestionably form one of the most powerful gambling syndicates in the entire country. Kleinman has been, as I said before, in communication with Abner Zwillman, 32 South Munn Avenue, East Orange, N. J. Kleinman was once a pugilist and his friends and associates have included gamblers, bootleggers, and racketeers. Kleinman, Davis, Rathkopf, and McGinty have been associated together in some of the biggest gambling operations in Ohio. Kleinman was released from the United States penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pa., in September 1936 after having served 3 years of a 4-year sentence for income-tax evasion. When he was released he still owed the government $29,345 in taxes. The Cleveland Press, on June 3, 1947, reported that the Federal Government had a lien against Kleinman in the sum of $61,000 and that it had been outstanding since 1933. Three
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days later the lien was vacated, and Kleinman's attorney claimed that the matter was all a mistake and had been settled many years before. Kleinman was once a big bootlegger and had many powerful political friends in Cleveland.
In 1938 a Cleveland Trust Co. teller who had been sentenced to Leavenworth Penitentiary for embezzlement filed a suit against the Ohio Villa, a notorious gambling house in a Cleveland suburb. Named as operators of the Ohio Villa were Morris Kleinman, Sam Tucker, and others. The Ohio Villa is now the Richmond Country Club, Richmond Heights, Ohio, and is owned by Anthony Milano, who is a close friend and adviser of Mickey Cohen on the west coast. Maurice Kleinman, Moe Davis, and Sam Tucker were indicted in February, 1930 by a Federal grand jury in Buffalo, N. Y., which charged them with operating a huge rum-running ring that had a barge line from Canada to Buffalo. This indictment was later nolle prossed.
Sam Tucker, who was indicted there, is presently a director in the Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nev. He also has listed as an address 1347 Biscaya Drive, Surf Side Miami Beach, Fla.
Thomas Jefferson McGinty, is a stockholder in the Desert Inn at Las Vegas. He has been an owner of the Mounds Club located at Cleveland and has long been associated with Moe Davis, Maurice Kleinman, Lou Rothkopf and others in big-scale gambling operations in Ohio.
Cornelius J. Jones, of 638 Lawson Avenue, Steubenville, Ohio, who was also one of the partners of the Mounds Club, near Cleveland, is now a director of the Desert Inn at Las Vegas.
Others who have been closely associated with the Cleveland syndicate mentioned previously include George Angersola, John Angersola, Anthony Milona, Alfred "Big Al" Polizzi, Charles Chuck Polizzi, John Scalise. This group is also believed to have influenced gambling operations in the vicinity of Youngstown, Ohio.
Jack Licovoli, alias Jack White, is one of the most important racketeers in Youngstown, Ohio, and Trumbull County. He is a cousin of Yonnie Licovoli, who is now in the Ohio State Penitentiary, and is also allegedly connected with Pete Licovoli, of Detroit, Mich., one of the principal numbers racketeers in that area.
Allegations have been made that Licovoli has been a part of the powerful gambling combination including Moe Davis, Maurice Kleinman, Lou Rothkopf, and others. The Jungle Inn is located in Trumbull County and is said to be operated by the Licovoli gang. Licovoli has become extremely wealthy, and it is claimed that he has had an interest in such other gambling establishments as the Pettibone Club, Brady Lake, Chesapeake Club, several years ago. He was also at one time in charge of all the slot machines in Lake Geauga and Trumbull Counties, Ohio.
Joe Di Carle, alias Joe Di Carlo, formerly an underworld character from Buffalo is one of the principal lieutenants--
The CHAIRMAN. What was that name?
Mr. PETERSON. Joe Di Carle, alias Joe Di Carlo, was formerly an underworld character from Buffalo. He is one of the principal lieutenants of the Jack Licovoli mob. He is also associated with George Angersola, alias George King. Licovoli originates from St. Louis and visits there a. dozen times a year. Joe Di Carle, Youngstown, Ohio, is also associated with Jack Licovoli, George Angersola, and others in big-time gambling. He has been in contact with Mickey Cohen,
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west coast racketeer. In fact, Mickey Cohen telephoned Joe Di Carle at the Wofford Hotel, Miami Beach, Fla. In Florida it was claimed that Di Carle was associated with Joe Massei, Charles Fischetti, and Joe Adonis. Also associated with Jack Licovoli have been Mike Farrah and John Farrah, both of whom are from Youngstown, Ohio. These individuals are also believed to have connections with the Cleveland gambling combination of Kleinman, Rothkopf, and others.
Another group in Cleveland which is somewhat important also is the one headed by Shondor Birns. Associated with him there also is Charles "Chuck' Amata. Both Birns and Amata called, for example, Mickey Cohen, the west coast racketeer. Shondor Birns also flew down to Miami to see John King and Al Polizzi in behalf of Max Diamond who was in trouble in this black-market case that I mentioned a few moments ago.
In Detroit Pete Licovoli, alias Pete Licavoli—just a difference in spelling—is one of the most important racketeers. Licovoli together with George Zirilli, and William "Black Bill" Tocco, have been in control of the numbers racket. In earlier years Joe Massei who is now in Miami, was associated with Pete Licovoli, "Black Bill" Tocco and Joe Zirilli, and it is believed that Joe Massei still plays some part in the Detroit area.
Sam Buffa, who operates the Sky Club in Battle Creek, Mich., is said once to have worked for Joe Massei. Associated with Sam Buffa is a man by the name of Tony Scalise, who at one time was a part of Pete Licovoli's crowd. In fact, Tony Scalise was once the bodyguard for Pete Licovoli.
Early in 1950 when the Los Angeles police were attempting to locate Jack Dragna, they seized the records that I mentioned before and included in those records were the names and addresses of some of our important members of the Capone syndicate, in Tampa, Fla., and all parts of the country. Included in these records also were the following names and addresses indicating a close association with Jack Dragna, the most notorious gangster on the west coast perhaps : Pete Licovoli, Tuxedo 22077, 1154 Balfore Road, Crosse Point Park, Mich. ; Joe Zirilli, 702 Middlesex, Crosse Point Park, Mich.; William Tocco, 781 Middlesex, Grosse Point Park, Detroit, Mich. ; Vito Tocco, apparently at the same address as William Tocco; and one John Priziola, 1349 Devonshire Road, Grosse Point Park, Mich. Originally the name of Vito Tocco appeared at the top of the list and later it was put down and the address was scratched out and it was put down in the list with the other names. That is not very important but I mention it.
Also associated with Pete Licovoli, Joe Zirilli, and "Black Bill" Tocco in the numbers racket and other activities of that nature were Long Joe Bommarito, Sam Lucido, Bill Bommarito, Phil Cusimano, Angelo Meli, Pete Corrado, Lee Tourneau, and Buster Lucido. It is claimed that Pete Licovoli and Sam Lucido have also operated illegal gambling joints in Canada. In addition to the numbers racket in times gone by Pete Licovoli and Sam Lucido have also run floating crap games in Detroit. The Detroit papers have also alleged that the wire service for bookies has been operated by a mob headed by Pete Licovoli, Sam Lucido, and others.
Sam Lucido lives on Sunningdale Drive, Grosse Point Park, Detroit, Mich. The Government is allegedly trying to collect back
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income taxes from him at the present time. Buster Lucido, a brother of Sam, is a handbook operator. He is also in the numbers racket and owns some legitimate businesses. Pete Licovoli owns a big ranch in Tucson, Ariz. Several months ago the police seized several thousand dream books that are used by numbers-racket suckers at his home. Dominick Licovoli, a brother of Pete, is married to Joe Zirilli's daughter. Pete Licovoli is also reported to be associated with some big-time gamblers in Las Vegas, Nev. The ranch which Licovoli owns in Tucson is known as the Grace Ranch. It is also claimed that he owns another ranch about 11 miles from Tucson. Licovoli is also said to be a friend of Mickey Cohen, one of the biggest gambling racketeers on the west coast, and he also has been friendly with Jimmy Utley, a Los Angeles racketeer.
Another gambling syndicate operated in Michigan is known as the Chesterfield syndicate. It has been operated in Michigan. The head of the Chesterfield syndicate is Mert Wertheimer, who is one of the biggest gamblers in the entire Nation. Wertheimer now has the gambling concession at a hotel in Reno, Nev. Next to Wertheimer in importance in the Chesterfield syndicate was Lincoln Fitzgerald, who is now operating the Nevada Club, Reno, Nev., with Daniel Sullivan, also from Michigan.
Other members of the Chesterfield syndicate in Michigan have included Leftie Clark, Red Gorman, Mike Brunton, and Al Driscoll. Records recently recovered from Frank Erickson by the district attorney in New York definitely established that Wertheimer was a partner in the elaborate gambling casino known as the Colonial Inn, Hallandale, Fla., some time ago.
The CHAIRMAN. Excuse me, Mr. Peterson. Wertheimer operates the gambling casino at Riverside?
Mr. PETERSON. At Reno, Nev.; that is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. Wertheimer operates one at the Mapes Hotel ?
Mr. PETERSON. Lou Wertheimer. They are brothers.
The CHAIRMAN. There is something about the RFC in connection with that; is there not?
Mr. PETERSON. There is supposedly a $907,000 loan.
The CHAIRMAN. How many brothers are there?
Mr. PETERSON. Those are the only two that I know of. There may be more. Mert Wertheimer is the best known of the two.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand they do not get along. Do you know about that ?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't know about that.
The records reflected that Wertheimer was associated in the Colonial Inn with some of the most notorious gangsters in the country, including Joe Adonis
The CHAIRMAN. That is Mert you are talking about?
Mr. PETERSON. That is Mert Wertheimer ; that is right.
Joe Adonis, alias Joe Doto; Vincent Alo, alias Jimmy (Blue Eyes) Alo; Meyer Lansky, Jake Lansky, and Frank Erickson, all of whom were members of the Frank Costello mob of New York.
Mr. HALLEY. To bring that up to date, the Colonial Inn is no longer operated as a gambling place, but the same group with some changes are now in a place called Greenacres.
Mr. PETERSON. There are a large number of places there. A couple of years ago, at least, during the height of the gambling season, it
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was alleged there were 52 more-or-less elaborate—not all elaborate but places operating in Broward County, Fla. There was good reason to believe that a considerable number of those were controlled by the New York mob. For example, you remember when Jack Letendre started to operate from the Club La Boheme down there, opposition was raised apparently by the New York mob. It was also alleged the Chicago mob may have been included, but they objected very strenuously, and finally he was forced out of the place. When he got back to Rhode Island he was bumped off ; he was killed, and every indication was that it had to do with his attempt to get into the gambling business down there in opposition to the mobsters who were running the gambling in Broward County, Fla.
Mr. HALLEY. The murder clarified the financial picture in Broward County.
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
Mr. HALLEY. Isn't it a fact that that group you have mentioned—I am simply trying to bring your testimony into line with certain facts—are the Colonial Inn group now, and the La Boheme and the Greenacres ?
Mr. PETERSON. That is the information that I have. I can't prove that.
Mr. HALLEY. You have been mentioning Joe Massei from time to time as being quite important. Were you informed he had a concession of what is known as the New York crap game down at Greenacres ?
Mr. PETERSON. No.
Mr. HALLEY. A big crap game.
Mr. PETERSON. He may have. I don't have that information, however.
Mr. HALLEY. From your knowledge as an expert, will you give your opinion as to how a concession for a very valuable particular crap game in a gambling establishment would be given to one man in that way ?
Mr. PETERSON. You mean by the mob or by the authorities?
Mr. HALLEY. You answer it your own way. Take them one, two.
Mr. PETERSON. Usually a particular mob is tied up with the authorities of that particular jurisdiction, which gives them more or less a monopoly, so to speak. In other words, a place doesn't operate unless they have the permission of the authorities. Nobody is foolish enough to open a $250,000 establishment with the idea that maybe the authorities might find it the next day. In other words, they don't do that. They divide up the territory. It is a matter of record in Chicago years ago that they even had conferences between the gangsters to divide the territory. When you get into somebody else's territory, then you are in trouble. Take, for example, one particular area in Chicago a few years ago. Here is an accurate description of how a gambler operated in this particular area in Chicago. If you wanted to operate a gambling establishment, you first went to the ward committeeman. However, he did not have the final word in that particular ward. This is a few years ago.
Mr. HALLEY. You are now talking about Chicago.
Mr. PETERSON. I am talking about that as an example. You asked how this thing operates. If you went to him and said, "I want to
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operate a place at such-and-such an address," the ward committeeman would say, "All right; I will think it over." The ward committeeman contacted the syndicate's representative. The syndicate's representative in this particular area said either "He can go at that address" or "He can't go." If he can go, the syndicate gets 60 percent of the total profits. They put their own man in the place to make certain they get the 60 percent of the profits. All of the protection, everything, was handled by the syndicate. That was in this one district where we developed that information several years ago. That is the way it operates.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, before you continue, Senator Hunt has a question.
Senator HUNT. Mr. Peterson, down in Florida among the records we subpenaed were some canceled vouchers, checks, made payable to Mickey Cohen. They were checks written by one Mr. Johnny O'Rourke. The evidence given us was to the effect that these checks went up, I believe, to as much as $5,000 in amount, covered a period of something like 3 months, and there were thirty-some checks. The aggregate amount, I think, was around $8,000. In questioning O'Rourke with reference to these checks, he said they were horse-race bets that Mickey had placed with him in which Cohen had won. It was an unusual incident that every bet made, Cohen won. O'Rourke won no bets. We asked him why that was. He said he thought it was simply because Mr. Cohen knew the horses better than he knew them.
The question I wanted to ask you is : Do you think that those could have been not horse-race bets, but just Los Angeles fashion "muscling in" on the earnings of the Miami group?
Mr. PETERSON. I think that could very well be. One thing is certain. How many checks were there ?
Senator HUNT. I would say about 30.
Mr. HALLEY. About that.
Mr. PETERSON. There is one thing certain, and that is that Mickey Cohen, on the basis of expert knowledge of horses, didn't make 30 bets and win 30 times. That just wouldn't happen—that couldn't happen—unless he also owned the horse that was running and the jockey; I mean, the other horses and jockeys.
Senator HUNT. My statement might have been in error on that particular score to this extent, that there were no checks made by Cohen to O'Rourke. These checks might have been in settlement of half a dozen bets, and there might have been a side bet where Cohen would have lost. But the winnings were always going in one direction, and never did O'Rourke receive money equal to the winnings of Cohen.
Mr. PETERSON. Isn't it possible he was the lay-off man ; that Mickey Cohen was laying off for O'Rourke ? That might be possible.
Senator HUNT. I do not know. It seemed very strange and odd to us that constantly and without exception in the balancing of accounts Cohen was always the winner.
Mr. PETERSON. I think that is something certainly worthy of a very complete investigation. I would be just hazarding a guess.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, are you at a place where you can pause until the afternoon session ?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
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The CHAIRMAN. How much longer do you think your statement will take? We do not want you to hurry, because this is most useful information for the committee.
Mr. PETERSON. I would say maybe not over an hour.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in recess until 2 o'clock this afternoon at the same place.(Whereupon, at 12 : 15 p. m., the committee recessed until 2 p. m. the same day.)