During the Casino Skimming investigation known as Strawman, Kansas City Mob boss,  Nick Civella and Carl “Tuffy” DeLuna (Artie Piscano played by Vinny Vella) were discussing where or not Nick could call Lefty Rosenthal (Ace Rothstein played by Robert DeNiro) without asking permission from the Chicago Mob boss, Joseph “Joey Doves” Aiuppa (Remo Gaggi played by Pasquale Cajano) . In this clip, you can hear a little of the actual discussion.

The rest of this tape and many more will be in my new Kindle book soon.

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Skimming from the Casino

I am working on a book about the Las Vegas Casino skim investigation. With the new Kindle format being so popular, I have the idea that I would put a link to the actual audio when I use part of the actual transcript in the book. I am looking for feedback. Does this work or not? Read down this post and click on the hyperlinked words, WDM-38 PAY TELEPHONE. Please be critical, this is a lot of work and I don’t want to do it for nothing.

Segment from book


By August 4, 1978, the deal for the Tropicana owners to purchase the Stardust was off. Agosto called Deluna. He reported that Transmission (Jack Ulrich), Hunter (Diel Gustafason) and La Femmena (Mitzi Stauffer Briggs) had backed out of any effort to buy the Stardust. Tuffy asked why and Agosto replied, “Because of the Aladdin.” Tuffy said that bothered him and he did not understand why they would have been “shook up” over the incident.  Agosto replied that people getting arrested is not just every little thing. DeLuna wonders if Agosto would fall apart if something happened in his house. Agosto reports that Transmission and Hunter are relieved the deal is off, but the La Femmena is disappointed.

The Aladdin hotel/casino, famous for hosting the wedding of Elvis and Priscilla Presely in 1967, had long been of interest to the F.B.I.. In 1968, a consortium of veteran Las Vegas casino investors purchased the Aladdin. Casino executive Sam Diamond, St. Louis politician Peter Webbe, Sorkis Webbe, and Richard Daly paid $5 million. Using Teamster’s pension money, they gave the Aladdin a $60 million facelift including the addition of a 19-story tower, and the new 7,500 seat Performing Arts Center. F.B.I. agents began looking into the casino affairs at that time.

Apparently the Tropicana owners backed out of purchasing the Stardust because two days before this conversation, on August 2, 1978, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Aladdin Casino executives James Tamer, James Abraham, Edward Monassum and Charles Goldfarb. They were  charged for  participating in a scheme of unlawful control and management, or hidden ownership, of the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. The press reported that the real targets of this hidden ownership investigation were Detroit Mob figures, Anthony Giacalone, Vito Giacalone and Anthony Zerilli.


August 4, 1978



AUGUST 4. 1978

1:56 P.M.


Exhibit 186


DELUNA: What do you say?

AGOSTO:       Well, the only thing I want to tell you that I talk to my people and I told the deal is off.

DELUNA: Uh huh.

AGOSTO:       And ah, ah, Transmission, ah, and Hunter were kind of relieved.

DE LUNA: Kind of what?

AGOSTO: Relieved.

DELUNA: I can’t hear you.

AGOSTO:       (overlapped) relieved.

DE LUNA: Relieved?


DE LUNA: Well okay. Why though?

AGOSTO: On account of this deal in ah, Aladdin, they’re really shook up about it, you know.

DELUNA: Oh yeah?




DELUNA: Something like, something like that

AGOSTO: La femmena (the woman) was really disappointed.

DELUNA: Yeah, well I don’t, I don’t, ah,


DELUNA: It kind of bothers me that, that something like that would bother them two guys.

AGOSTO: Yeah, it did, it did bother them.

DELUNA: Well, Jesus Christ, can’t get shook over every little thing that happens.


DE LUNA: Ah, they shouldn’t get shook up over every little thing.

AGOSTO:       Every little thing. They arrested everybody, what do you mean little thing.

DELUNA: Yeah, but it ain’t got nothing to do with ah, with ah,

AGOSTO: Have you read the paper on the Aladdin?


AGOSTO: You read them all?

DELUNA: Yes. But I mean it I don’t see why Transmission and Hunter should get so terribly

AGOSTO:       Because he feels the situation is hot here right now and if there is ah, you know if there is a, a, a, a cooling off period, you know, they, they, I mean they

DELUNA: I could understand

AGOSTO: Can you understand what I am saying?

DELUNA: Sure I do.


DELUNA: I understand the atmosphere.



Itunes imageI mentioned this last week and it is now a reality. I was not busy and decided to take a look at how to create an interactive map. I have two court dates next week and some other legal business, so this week was the right time.

I created a special page just for the map. I placed a Kansas City Mob Map button at the top of each page. Please go back to the home page and access the Mob Map there.

Aaron, Retired FBI Agent Bill Ouseley and I recorded a 3 part series on the relationship between the Kansas City Mob and the Chicago Outfit. Look for that next week. And, please give me a review on Itunes if you have not done so.

AiuppaJoseph Aiuppa was the Chicago mob boss depicted as Remo Gaggi in the film Casino. In his early years, he was known as Joey O’Brien. In 1962 Chicago mobster Joseph Aiuppa was stopped in the Pittsburg, Kansas area by the local police and F.B.I. agents. He was found to be in possession of 567 frozen mourning doves.  Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 it is illegal to possess more than 24 doves per person outside of hunting season.  Following a series of appeals, Aiuppa was eventually sentenced in August 1966, and received a 3-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. Prior to this conviction Aiuppa was never referred to as “Doves.” After this conviction, he would be forever known as Joey Doves. I found these FBI documents reporting an informant telling the Bureau that Aiuppa was making arrangement to go dove hunting in the Frontenac, Kansas area. The same informant said that Aiuppa had hunted previously in that area with some Kansas City residents who had extensive contacts with the “hoodlum element.”

Aiuppa informant 30001

Aiuppa informants 20003











Al CaponeI have been researching for my next podcast. I have invited FBI (Ret) Agent Bill Ouseley to participate. We will discuss the relationship between and connection between Nick Civella, the Chicago Outfit and the Kansas City Outfit. One thing I learned is the relationship between Chicago and Kansas City started before Nick Civella was of any importance. Al Capone was a frequent visitor to KC.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the Bellerive hotel at 214 E. Armour boasted a parade of famous guests: actress Mary Pickford, silent-film actresses Lillian and Dorothy Gish, contralto Marian Anderson and Scarface Al Capone stayed there. Stars like Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Liberace, Al Capone Bellerive_HotelBob Hope and Jerry Lewis performed at the hotel’s swanky Casbah nightclub. Old Scarface was also known to vacation at the famous Elms Hotel and Resort in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

Al Capone also stayed at the Rieger Hotel, 20th and Main. The Rieger has been preserved and currently contains a upscale bar and grill. the owners have created a special blend whiskey named J. Rieger & Company.

Hank StramWith the Chiefs heading for the playoffs, I think back to the 1969-1970 season. The KC Chiefs were headed to the Super Bowl against the favored Minnesota Vikings. Nationally, the Vikings were getting all the action to win. Locally, the money was going down on the Chiefs. Nick Civella called the tapped North View Social club’s phone. This was the clubhouse known as “The Trap.” The main bookies, Dude Fontanello and Frank Tousa were worried about the “Book” being out of whack. Dude noticed too much local money going down on the Chiefs. They needed to “lay off” the Chief’s action to another city. At another city like Chicago or Minneapolis where there would be more money down on the Vikings.

You see, the Mob does not gamble with the “Book.” They equalize the number of bets on each team in any given contest. The losers pay the losing bet and a 10% “Vig” to the bookie. The winner gets his win while the Mob keeps the “Vig.” Vig is short for vigorsh.

My Oklahoma friend, Richard M. Mullins, has released his true crime book on Oklahoma criminals. What first drew my attention was his chapter on the James S. “Jimmy” Duardi attempt to take over the Grand Lake area and open it up to illegal gambling, prostitution and other criminal behavior.

So, if you want the definitive book about a crew of dangerous Oklahoma criminals,  click hereOklahoma book.










Sonny killingBlack Mass is the type of story that I call, “You can’t write this Sh$t,” this has to be lived. Johnny Depp, as James “Whitey” Bulger, has the dead eyed soulless persona down. I have met two other men in my life like this, and when they looked me in the eye, they were devoid of any human feeling. I can recommend this film for that alone.

The true crime fanatic has another reason to see this narrative film. Screenwriter, Mark Mallouk’s depiction of F.B.I. agent John Connolly as James “Whitey” Bulger’s informant handler was so true to life, it was scary. Australian actor, Joel Edgerton, captured the personality of a man in over his head at work. He became that ego maniac with an inferiority complex whose reach has far exceeded his grasp. As a young policeman, I learned that smart and capable professional criminals often become “informants” and use their handler’s egos to achieve their own criminal goals. It takes a strong personality and self discipline to control them, Connolly had neither. Screenwriters Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth  were able to capture the subtle intricacies of that type of relationship. The one thing that did not ring true (for me, it is important that a true crime story is believable) is the scene where Whitey has an interaction with Connolly’s wife. The only other problem I had with the film was, there is no “good guy.” But, the story was so compelling and well acted, I can forgive them. In the subculture of real cops and real robbers, many times there is no real good guy.

Mark Mallouk is from  Prairie Village, Kansas which means he probably attended Shawnee Mission East High School. Mallouk graduated from the University of Kansas with three degrees; a BA in Economics, a BA in Psychology and a BA in Human Development. He then attended Pepperdine University and obtained a MBA. He was bitten by the film bug in L.A. and completed the Professional Program in Screenwriting at the UCLA Graduate School of Theater, Film and Television.

Mallouk is working on a screenplay about Frank Calabrese Sr and the crime family he ran out of Chicago that was known as The Outfit. Frank Calabrese Sr. was a vicious mob extortionist and killer. I met his son, Frank Calabrese Jr. at the 2013 Las Vegas Mob-Con. He is the co-author of Operation Family Secrets, the true story of how a father pushes his son into the mob and what happened to bring Calabrese Jr. to the point that he wore a wire on his own father. This is another compelling mob story that should be made into a movie. Frank Jr. helped bring down his own father for involvement in 13 gangland murders as well as other crimes.