Abramoff Henchman Fingers Dead Guy for Gus Boulis’ Hit
The MadCowMorningNews has learned new details about revelations from “Bagel Boy” Adam Kidan, convicted of fraud in the takeover of SunCruz Casino’s gambling ships alongside former Republican Party bagman & uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff in March.
Little had been heard recently from the two men. But that changed last week with the news that Adam Kidan told investigators recently that he knew who had murdered the gambling cruise line’s founder, Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, a crime which could reach all the way to the Oval Office, if only there were an opposition party in America to investigate it thoroughly.
Currently three men from New York with connections to the Gambino Family, Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, 68; Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, 49; and James "Pudgy" Fiorello, 28, are charged with first-degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Kidan has now stepped forward to say that none of the three men pulled the trigger. Instead, Kidan is bravely pointing a finger directly at…a dead guy.
"Dead guys can't turn state's evidence, right?"
According to Kidan, it was a man named John Gurino who murdered Boulis shortly after the gambling czar left his Fort Lauderdale office on Feb. 6, 2001.
Kidan previously had denied knowing anything about Boulis' slaying when police interviewed him a month after the murder.
Examining Kidan’s claim offers some insight into how the scandal is being played out. In last week’s stories about him, for example, Adam Kidan was described, as he always is in major media accounts, as a “Long Island businessman.”
In reality Kidan is nothing of the kind. He doesn’t live on Long Island, and he is anything but a businessman, a fact made clear when he wrote checks to the three Mob figures currently in jail awaiting trial for the hit totaling over $200,000 in the weeks before Boulis’ gangland-style slaying.
While much remains unknown about the dead man, John Gurino, here's one thing which will prove absolutely certain: Kidan didn't write any unexplained checks to Gurino, who has one other useful distinction as well…
Intimidating Witnesses: A Primer for Dunsky's
John Gurino was charged with murder once, while he was still alive, in New York.
His lawyer was Bruce Cutler. Yep… That Bruce Cutler… Gurino was acquitted of murder charges stemming from a drive-by shooting in which the victim identified Gurino as his shooter before he died.
A mortally wounded John Vulcano, the victim of the drive-by shooting, told detectives just before he died, "John Gurino shot me because he hates me."
Queens County prosecutor James Quinn told reporters for the New York Times he has spent a lot of time thinking about Gurino. Quinn watched his murder case against Gurino fall apart as the courtroom filled with tough-looking men brought in by defense attorney Bruce Cutler.
The prosecutor said he still remembers Lincoln Town Cars with Florida license tags pulling up to the courthouse, bearing license plates trumpeting Boca Raton.
Quinn said: "By the end of the trial, there was 25 to 30 people sitting in the courtroom on Gurino's side, all looking very intimidating."
The trial launched mob defense attorney Cutler's career. It persuaded Gotti, about to become the head of the Gambino crime family, to make Cutler his top lawyer, the New York Times said.
An early lesson which came in useful later
Several years later, when John Gotti himself was finally convicted, Gurino led a crowd of 1,000 Gotti supporters in a riot at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
The crowd tore apart police barricades and threw pieces at the police, egged on by Gurino using a bullhorns. Gurino was charged with multiple felonies.
Idle thought: did the GOPMOB find Gurino's "skills" useful in Dade County in the 2000 Presidential election during the Republican riot that forced election officials to stop counting the votes?
Gurino’s father, John Gurino Sr., owned the Ragtime Newsstand Dairy in Howard Beach, a popular meeting place for Gotti associates, according to a 1998 New York Times article.
Gurino's cousin, Anthony J. Gurino, a childhood friend of Gotti’s, went to prison for conspiracy to hide the assets of a multi-million-dollar heroin ring headed by Gotti's brother, and a fugitive named Salvatore Ruggiero, who died in a Lear jet crash in Georgia in 1982.
David Bogenshutz: the busiest lawyer in Florida
That’s the same major heroin trafficking trial where “Big Tony” Moscatiello, immortalized forever when John Gotti called him a "fucking dunsky" while the FBI was listening, was a defendant. Afterwards Big Tony supposedly became a government informant.
Ruggiero’s brother, Angelo Ruggiero, died of cancer while awaiting trial as a defendant in the drug case. From books about the Mob, we knew that John Gotti had waited, out of respect, until his mentor Ruggiero died before killing the Gambino Mob Boss "Big Paul" Castellano.
Kidan told investigators he learned the details of the killing from “Big Tony” Moscatiello but was not told the triggerman's name. Moscatiello told him the killer was dead. Kidan said he pieced together who it was after learning that Gurino was killed in a Florida deli by his business partner in 2003.
The man convicted of killing Gurino is Ralph Liotta, 49, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Liotta's defense attorney was David Bogenschutz.
David Bogenschutz is now defending “Big Tony” Moscatiello. Small world…
It gets even smaller.
"The wages of sin make for a pretty fat roll"
The Associated Press identified the man who supplied the information about Kidan’s statement to police as an investigator with the Broward State’s Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes the cases of the Broward County Sheriff, Ken Jenne.
The Miami Herald earlier this month revealed that Jenne had taken an unexplained loan from a certain Philip Procacci. Amid calls for his resignation, Jenne is currently being investigated by the FBI.
Jenne’s lawyer? You guessed it… the ubiquitous David Bogenschutz.
Moreover Sheriff Jenne has been in trouble over gambling-related murders in South Florida before, just last year, in fact.
But wait a minute… Gus Boulis’ murder was gambling-related.
An April 8, 2005 Miami Herald story headlined JENNE'S ROLE IN TRIBAL CASE PROBED reported, “State prosecutors are investigating possible public corruption that grew out of a criminal case involving the shooting of a Seminole tribal lawyer, focusing on whether the Broward Sheriff's Office interfered with the Hollywood police probe.”
“Prosecutors issued subpoenas Thursday to two Hollywood detectives assigned to investigate the January 2002 shooting of Jim Shore at his Hollywood home. The detectives were questioned about Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne and his agency's involvement in the case.”
Those Seminal Seminoles & Casino Jack Abramoff
Jim Shore was a top executive of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the state’s preeminent casino operators. Alert readers of the MadCowMorningNews will recall the name Jim Shore from several
The Seminole Tribe of Florida led the way in parlaying mom-and-pop bingo parlors into today’s $19 billion a year Indian casino industry. Along with legendary Chief James Billie (Wrestles with Alligators) Rob Tiller was a seminal figure in this growth.
A week before Gus Boulis was murdered, Tiller was called to take a meeting with him. Tiller says Boulis was scared. Boulis hadn’t wanted to sell.
Instead, Boulis was worried he’d be whacked.
“He called me to a meeting at the Ocean Reef Club. Very snooty. You cant even land there without permission. I flew my airplane down to meet him,” Tiller recalled.
“He said, ‘I want out. People think I make a lot more money than I really do. I don’t need the headache anymore. I want to sell my casino boats to the Seminoles.’”
”A couple days later, I hear he’s been blown apart dead. See, Gus wanted to muscle his way into the casino business in a real bad way. His Miami subs were everywhere. He was using them to launder money, big-time, for somebody.”
Working for the Bush Family has never been a picnic
He pointedly referred us to the manner of the Boulis hit, stating, “Boulis was murdered in the exact same way as Don Aronow, Bush’s other partner.”
Bush’s other partner? We didn't even have to ask it. The question hung in the air. Who might that be? Even asking the question brings a shiver.
“Something is really going down bad here,” Tiller stated.
“Don Aronow. Gus. Jim Shore… All tied in to Bush.”
The dead guy Kidan picked to lay the hit off on has—or rather had—an interesting past.
“At least one defense attorney said he is now looking into the background of Gurino, a Gotti associate, killed in October 2003,” reported the Miami Herald.
That wouldn’t be Bogenschutz. Presumably, he already knows…
Kill shots to the gluteus maximus
So… Who was John Gurino, the man shot and killed in a deli in Boca Raton?
John Gurino, a longtime John Gotti associate and Gambino Mob figure from Howard’s Beach in Queens, was murdered in 2003 by Ralph Liotta, who owed him 60 large. So Liotta capped Gurino seven times, including three in the butt.
It was every loan shark’s worst nightmare.
Apparently Gurino was no real sweetheart either… Liotta testified Gurino had threatened to cut Liotta's throat and have men rape him in front of his family.
That’s pretty icky.
Gurino and Liotta had been having a ‘sit-down’ over the debt, after having been brought together by three other men, each of whom soon felt the need, after shots rang out, to step quickly over Gurino’s body in their haste to leave the premises, even though one of them was on crutches.
Witnesses said they heard two to four loud pops and then saw Gurino fall through the front glass door. Seconds later, they said, three older men walked out casually, stepping over Gurino's body as they made their way to the parking lot.
The "boys" are big in Boca
Gurino had a knife in his pocket. But he’d left his gun in his car, presumably as an earnest of his good intentions.
His brother, Anthony Gurino, said he was with investigators when they found the gun in the car. "If my brother was going into the store to hurt him, wouldn't he have had a gun with him?"
"It was an ambush," said Vincent Sorena, a longtime Gurino family friend who lives in Boca Raton.
Vincent Sorena, Gurino’s Boca buddy, was an officer of a New York-based contractor secretly controlled by the Mob. He agreed to pay $ 250,000 in penalties to settle fraud charges with the SEC.
His company did business totaling $18.1 million with New York City’s Housing Authority. When this was revealed, the Authority’s chairwoman, Laura D. Blackburne, resigned, after disclosures that she authorized hundreds of thousands of dollars to be spent on office furnishings, including a $3,000 pink leather couch.
The new chairwoman canceled the contracts. An $884,777 contract with the Sanitation Department was also canceled.
Blackburne was then elected a Supreme Court justice in Queens and served on both the civil and criminal benches, before being assigned this year to the treatment court in Queens, which handles drug cases.
And so it goes…
You're a very nosy fellow, kitty cat
We checked out one of the men who’d so easily stepped over their fallen comrade.
“It was determined with the FBI's help that the 1987 Camry was registered to the girlfriend of the man with the crutches, who is identified in the search warrant as a Patrick Pata. The two tried to conceal the car by putting North Carolina license plates on it, the warrant said. Pata refused to cooperate with investigators,” The Miami Herald reported.
Patrick Pata lives in Lawrenceville, Ga. He is listed as the vice-president of a company called Jinny Corporation, which bills itself as the nation's largest ethnic beauty supply company.
Both he and his wife gave $2000 each to the 2004 George W Bush Presidential campaign. Strangely, he also gave a $1000 campaign contribution in 2003 to Green Bay mayoral candidate Jim Schmitt, in Wally Hilliard’s hometown.
You know what happens to nosy fellows? Wanna guess?
Kidan, who has known Moscatiello for more than a decade, brought him down to Florida from Howard Beach, N.Y., in late 2000 because he wanted Moscatiello to determine if Boulis was "connected" to the Mafia.
Within a few weeks, Boulis was dead, apparently before Kidan’s diligent efforts had determined his status with organized crime.
Even though Kidan ended up paying $240,000 to companies connected with Big Tony Moscatiello and Little Tony Ferrari, Kidan said Moscatiello had ordered Boulis' murder.
Big Tony ordered the hit? Why? He didn’t even know Gus Boulis. He wasn’t in business with Gus Boulis. Kidan and Abramoff were. What's that old expression?
For his part, Big Tony Moscatiello, who was involved in a major heroin trafficking trial of Gotti’s brothers in the late 1980’s, told police after his Sept. 26 arrest that he had no role in the killing and Tony Ferrari and Pudgy Fiorillo carried it out.
Moscatiello claimed Ferrari told him that Adam Kidan had ordered the hit.
If a dead guy killed Boulis, it was certainly news to Pudgy Fiorillo, who’d bragged about making his bones by killing Boulis all over New York City.
In testimony, Dwayne Nicholson, Little Tony’s one-time bodyguard who went to the police immediately after Boulis was murdered, told of a confrontation between Pudgy and “Little Tony” over Pudgy’s big mouth.
He said to Pudgy, ‘What the fuck, man,'" testified Dwayne Nicholson. "'What do you think you’re doing? Why have you been running your mouth off up in New York?'
"And Pudgy replied, 'You got paid! Everybody got paid. Except me! And I’m the one that did it! You’re all fucking me out of my money!'”
"Little Tony pointed to me, and said, 'What, do you think he’s dumb? I ought to bust you right here! He’s standing right there and he heard every word!'”
For being such a blabbermouth, Moscatiello was even supposedly contemplating about having Pudgy whacked.
Huh? No? Okay. They lose their noses.
Like Kidan, accused killer Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari isn’t your average rent-a-thug… According to the June 9, 2004 Washington Post, Ferrari checked into Washington's posh Madison Hotel for President Ronald Reagan's funeral, along with his family and a "five-car entourage of aides."
He told the Post he even met Reagan once:
"Miami Beach business consultant Anthony Ferrari, his wife, Jessie, their young daughter and a five-car entourage of aides already were encamped at the Madison Hotel yesterday. Ferrari hoped to see the horse-drawn procession to the Capitol tonight and perhaps see Reagan's coffin in the Capitol Rotunda tomorrow."
"I'm a big fan of President Reagan," Little Tony is quoted as saying. "I met him once. The man had a big impact on America. He really loved this country and it showed."
It happened… where else? In Florida
Opinions vary on whether Kidan is himself a suspect in the murder of Gus Boulis.
At the time of Boulis' slaying, Kidan and Abramoff were locked in a contentious fight with Boulis over Sun Cruz’s 12 unregulated gambling ships in Florida, a prize so precious Abramoff and Kidan admitted committing major felonies to make it their own.
But… did they stop at murder?
In a better world, this would be what is known as a rhetorical question, like asking if the Pope is Catholic.
In a better world, law enforcement authorities would already be Johnny-on-the-spot.
Alas, the Boulis murder didn’t occur in a better world…
It happened in Florida.
The saw awful truth is pretty awfully sad
Kidan was sentenced to 70 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $21.7 million in restitution after pleading guilty to bank fraud charges tied to the purchase of SunCruz from Boulis.
His plea agreement with prosecutors in the SunCruz case stated that his assistance to investigators might reduce his sentence. For confidentially informing on a dead guy, we figure he should now be facing the chair.
But not in South Florida…
In South Florida hope for justice, like hope for honest elections, wilt like John Kerry in the final days of a Presidential campaign.
Its a primordial soup which grows ever-thicker, as the web of connections grows tighter between the Mob and the National Republican Party.
All of this can only have been designed to provide a fig leaf of cover to allow law enforcement authorities to avoid charging two men who did have something to gain from Boulis’ murder…
Jack Abramoff and Adam Kidan… Kidan has never even been named as a suspect. The reason? Prosecutors would have a hard time convincing a jury that the buck stopped with him. This is the man, after all, who wrote checks for the hit.
Adam Kidan is walking proof that, in America, “being connected means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Abramoff? Dangling slowly slowly in the wind? Never happen.
It apparently pays to be an Abramoff flunky. Nobody in a position to affect the outcome of the case apparently wants to leave Casino Jack Abramoff totally without recourse, facing life behind without parole… dangling slowly, slowly, in the wind.
Because under those circumstances, who can tell who he might drop a dime on?
That's when the Abramoff Scandal might go rogue.
While the headline “ABRAMOFF HENCHMAN FINGER DEAD GUY” may be technically accurate on this story, to adequately describe what’s transpired requires something broader and more nebulous.
What first came to mind was the old hippie saying: "Everything is Everything.” But that phrase is virtually meaningless without the recent ingestion of substances no longer freely available, even in the vast SuperWalmart of illegal drugs where so much of this story takes place.
And while the subhead, “Heroin Trafficking, A Pink Leather Coach & the Busiest Lawyer in South Florida” touches on a few highlights from what follows, it doesn’t really capture the broad sweep and immense implications of what follows, either.
Here’s the best we can offer:
“John Gotti’s Last Laugh: Why Mob Guys Don’t Stand Around on Street Corners Anymore.”
Actually, the word which comes to mind on learned of the implications of Kidan’s bogus statement was one we heard uttered by an old girlfriend of ours when she first laid eyes on Death Valley National Monument in California’s Mojave Desert.
“It’s vasty,” she said. And so it was.
And so it is.
And so it goes.