New York Crime Boss Dies in Prison

Ex-crime boss Anthony “Tony Ducks” Corallo, 87, died Aug. in a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo., while serving a 100-year term for racketeering.  He was convicted on the basis of wiretapped conversations that led to a spectacular series of La Cosa Nostra trials, after the FBI slipped a listening device into the wood-grained dashboard of his chauffeur’s, Salvatore Avellino, black Jaguar in the parking lot of N.Y. banquet hall.

The tapes caught Luchese family members talking about how the Gambino family used Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 813 to control the private garbage carting industry. The tapes also revealed how the boss of the Gambino family gave orders to officials of N.Y’s Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union. “Right now as the association, we control the bosses, right,” Corallo’s driver said on one tape. “Now, when we control the men, we control the bosses even better, now because they’re even more…afraid…This wise guy’ll even make more money with a strong union.”

The tapes also exposed Corallo’s control over rackets at Kennedy Airport and in the construction and garment industries. The mob controlled the construction industry by threatening to cut off cement supplies of disobedient contractors or by causing labor problems. The mob also extorted payoffs from contractors.

Corallo, found to be the head of the Luchese crime family, was one of nine indicted 1985 as leaders of the La Cosa Nostra Commission that controlled organized crime activities including the Long Island garbage carting industry. Leaders of the Genovese and Colombo families were also indicted and convicted.

“This is a great day for law enforcement. This is a bad day for the Mafia,” then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani said on the day Corallo and the others were indicted. Neither Corallo nor any other of the mob leaders indicated any remorse during their trials, and U.S Dist. Court Judge Richard Owen imposed sentences intended to keep most of them in jail for the rest of their lives. Corallo was sentenced on Jan. 14, 1987.  [Newsday 9/2/00]