“Are you listening? I’m going to tie you to a chair and make you watch while I rape your wife. Then I’m going to slit her throat.” – John Alite
“I’ve got the highest regard and respect for how he’s comported himself since he’s been out of jail.” – Former FBI Agent Dave Gentile, on deranged mob rat John Alite.
The following story is a longer version of The Witsec Mafia, a piece by John A. Gotti in the February, 2018 issue of Men’s Journal.
But, what is The Witsec Mafia? In the voice of John A. Gotti:
THE WITSEC MAFIA is a confederacy of criminals turned government witnesses who have committed heinous crimes, often murder, that after selling out their cohorts are being released from prison and presented to the public as “changed men,” while at the same time? They’re being supported by corrupt journalists, lawyers and other enablers including rogue federal agents as they game the witness protection program and commit new crimes against innocent civilians, in many cases with other career criminals turned government informants who they’ve reunited with, all under the watchful eyes and protection of the federal government.
It is also the title of an upcoming book I’m writing. Separately, I’m producing a docu-series of the same name exposing this corruption with Chris Kasparoza, but, not just about the former members and associates of Italian organized crime who were released back into society as “changed men” only to commit new crimes together. Witsec Mafia is investigating over a dozen cases from “former” white supremacists to “former” Mexican mobsters to “former” Islamic terrorists and this document is a preview of what we’re working on.
If you’re asking who I am, though? What motivates/qualifies me to write this? According to the FBI, after my father John Gotti, the convicted boss of the Gambino crime family was sentenced to life in prison in 1992 they accused – but, never convicted me – of succeeding him as the “acting boss.” I was indicted eight times between 1987–2009 on everything from assault to ordering murders for which I was death penalty eligible. I stood trial six times, five between 2005–2009 as the government exhausted over 17 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and more than 100 cooperating witnesses against me, many of them violent felons who all together took part in over 100 murders and untold assaults, robberies and drug deals.
After testifying these criminals “earned” their freedom and many were released from prison with the support of their government handlers, in some cases relocated back to the old neighborhoods where they committed their initial crimes. Other witnesses from the past even rejoined their fellow turncoats to form new, more lethal criminal groups with the protection of certain government overseers, in some cases brought together by these overseers who turned a blind eye to the new crimes they committed as they formed what we now call The Witsec Mafia.
WitSec is the Federal Witness Protection Program. Founded in 1971, the U.S. Marshals reported last March that it has had approximately 18,750 participants including “innocent victim-witnesses and cooperating defendants and their dependent family members.” But while it has been called “Team America,” the way I see it, it is anything but patriotic.
Yes, the program provides a much needed service to society. However, it has also been a boon to career criminals who all too often have magically been reborn as upstanding citizens. In some cases, they even get new identities with clean records and are allowed to keep their ill-gotten fortunes, in addition to government stipends. Sometimes placed in new communities where their criminal pasts are hidden not just from neighbors, but: local law enforcement. And, in too many cases, these “rehabilitated” gentlemen continue their lives of crime.
To be clear: Witsec Mafia is not an indictment of the federal government, or, the Witness Protection Program. Instead we are shining a light on its flaws and abuses with the hope that Congress will correct them.
Take for instance the case of Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, the former Gambino underboss turned star witness at my father’s 1992 trial who testified that he was changing his life and didn’t want kids to follow in his footsteps. The Feds went to bat for him and he was sentenced to just five years in prison even though he admitted to 19 murders (and it’s believed there were more he did not admit to, including one of a police officer, which he might not have received absolution for).
Gravano spent just four years in custody with the last three in cushy witness protection units before he was released and popped up in Arizona. Allowed to keep his millions, he partnered with bestselling author Peter Maas to write Underboss, his version of his life story, published in 1997. Gravano said in it that when he cooperated, “for the first time” in his life he was “finally doing the right thing.” That he was “thinking of” and “worried about” his son who he didn’t want to follow him into the mob life while he was away in prison and wouldn’t be able to stop him. “He’s… a good kid,” Gravano said. “He’s not for the life. I had always sheltered him from it. And if he winds up in the life, he’s sure to end up either being whacked or going to jail himself.”
Maas wrote that Gravano was “determined to create a new life for himself.” Trying to steer kids from the streets, Gravano even declared that the mob life was not about “honor.” That it “was all about greed and power… it was a total joke. At least, my own kids know now what the life really is. I hope other kids will realize it, too, from my experience.”
Less than three years after the book’s publication, however, Gravano was indicted in Arizona state court (and then New York federal court) for running a booming drug ring with a gang of white supremacists, as well as his wife and children, resulting in his son receiving nine years in prison over it. Also: Gravano was wiretapped trying to convince murderous former Gambino soldier turned informant Dominick “Fat Dom” Borghese to join him in what he was calling “The Arizona Mafia.”
Which brings us to the present. A similar situation is now occurring with the star witness of my racketeering-murder trial in 2009, John Alite, 55, who claims he’s a “changed man” and says on his website that, like Gravano, “the Streets are a dead end, and a waste of life. If I can change one kid’s decision to join a gang, to enter ‘the life’, or to throw away his future, then I know everything I’ve been through hasn’t been in vain.”
John Alite is even marketing himself as a “motivational speaker” and “anti-bullying expert.” He claims he’s trying to help at risk kids and has retired FBI Agents vouching for him publicly like Phil Scala, the former head of the C-16 squad in charge of Gambino investigations throughout the country. He supervised my cases, knew Alite’s history – or at least, what his subordinates like FBI Agent Ted Otto told him was Alite’s history. One only knows what’s passed up the food chain. And in 2017, Scala introduced Alite to speak to children at the Hackensack Police Youth Academy, saying: “The John Alite that you’re gonna see here today… what he’s doing right now is, he’s a very busy man, and he does this pro bono… because we respect each and every one of you. Each and every one of you. You’re important to us.”
In one interview John Alite even said that he was “advising for” Protocol Security Partners, a company owned by former FBI Agent Dave Gentile. One of Alite’s handlers when he was a confidential informant during the 1990s, Gentile said on television in 2015: “I feel very, very strongly about that young man, because… he’s turned his life around… John has turned his life around completely, and he needs to be given kudos for what he has done to turn his life around. I’m trying to do whatever I can to… align him with… legitimate businesses… I’ve got the highest regard and respect for how he’s comported himself since he’s been out of jail.”
However: that was after five time Emmy-Award winning journalist Peter Lance sent evidence to Alite’s sentencing judge, Susan C. Bucklew in September, 2015 that he was violating his supervised release by threatening a woman on the internet and consorting with murderer informants including former Bonanno family associate Jimmy Calandra, of the notorious Bath Avenue Crew, who plead guilty to his involvement in the murder of a woman in 1993, and Patsy Andriano, who committed a murder with Alite in 1996 (while Alite was a confidential FBI informant).
Note: Alite says he’s working to help at risk kids, but let’s look at his own history with at risk kids. He was in his 30s and a government informant at the time of the Gebert murder, while Andriano, as well as Mike Malone and David D’Arpino, two others he brought in on it who later became cooperators – they were all teenagers, and he put them on a murder, as well as numerous violent crimes and robberies. He corrupted and ruined their lives.
Regardless, Judge Bucklew did not send him back to prison to protect society. Judge Bucklew left Alite on the streets to hang out with murderers and threaten women while marketing himself as a “changed man” to at risk kids. Something he continues today, over two years later, as former FBI Agents vouch for him even though he’s engaging in crimes as petty as welfare fraud and last year praised an accused pedophile on the radio.
John Alite and Sammy Gravano are not isolated cases. There are over 15 being profiled in Witsec Mafia, and the book will be over 500 pages long. However, the Alite chapter is the one which is completed and segments from it dominate this report.
Some of the other Witsec Mafia notables being investigated:
Mani Chulpayev: A Russian gangster who cooperated, was released, given passes for new crimes, and then indicted for conspiring in the murder of an Atlanta rapper in 2012.
Frazier Glenn Miller: A white supremacist KKK leader who cooperated, was released, and went on an anti-Semitic killing spree in Kansas in 2014.
Gerard Bellafiore: A bank robber who was arrested in 2000, cooperated, was released and then got arrested for bank robbery again in 2009. After which, he was locked back up, released a few years later, and arrested for bank robbery all over again in Florida in 2016.
The Giannini Crew: A former Queens-based organized crime gang, numerous members became informants and then were relocated to Florida by their handler to hook back up again. One of the crimes members of the crew were guilty of was kidnapping and killing two men, and burning at least one alive.
Marion Albert Pruett: A former federal inmate who testified that his cellmate killed someone, then was released into Witness Protection. Where he want on a multi-state killing and robbery spree.
Danny Hernandez: A Nuestra Familia shot caller released from a California state prison in 2000, he became an FBI informant to bring down his gang but then started running unauthorized drug and gun deals, allegedly had someone killed, was locked back up, and might now be your neighbor.
The El Rukn Scandal: A powerful Chicago street gang, after several members became cooperators, in 1993 the L.A. Times reported that “A federal district judge took the rare step… of appointing a former U.S. attorney to question government prosecutors about allegations of drug use and sexual contacts by informants inside government offices.”
Frank Gioia Jr: A former Lucchese soldier turned snitch who according to an October, 2017 expose in the Arizona Republic has been involved in over $60 million in frauds against unassuming civilians via his new identity provided to him by witness protection.
John Veasey: A deranged, drug-addled former “hitman” hooked up with the Philadelphia mob who cooperated, went to prison, was released, and returned to his old Philadelphia neighborhood.
What do all of these and the other cooperators being profiled have in common?
They owe this project to John Alite, who shares the same entertainment lawyer with Sammy Gravano, Douglas Anton, who is trying to put these turncoats in “projects” together. He has even represented that he has a formula to get them around the Son of Sam Law, enabling them to make money off of their crimes/victims who it was designed to protect. Part of which includes whitewashing their history. For instance, Anton has not only stated on the internet that Alite “turned his life around,” but, Anton also misrepresented on a podcast in 2016 that Sammy Gravano was not “a rat… all he did was confirm things that John Gotti Sr. pretty much spoke about on the tapes, so, if anyone was never a rat, it was Sammy the bull.” Something Anton should probably tell to the well over 56 people who were convicted due to Gravano’s testimony.
In August, 2014 I learned that John Alite was coming out with a book with George Anastasia, a New York Times bestselling ‘journalist.’ And: I was flabbergasted. I could not understand how a proven liar like Alite hooked a known author to write his book, especially since Anastasia followed Alite’s disastrous testimony at my 2009 trial. After several years of contemplating writing a memoir, however, I realized that I had to defend my family, knowing that a book of lies was coming and if I didn’t their version would be considered fact.
Determined to beat theirs to print, I told my children to act like I was in jail again and spent all my time away (in my office) writing 600 pages in just over four months, titled, Shadow of My Father. Well aware that if I printed anything inaccurate in it the FBI and New York tabloids would relish taking it apart, unlike the strongly fictionalized books written by cooperators whose stories have been facilitated by their rogue government handlers.
Meaning that to ensure accuracy as it delved into numerous court cases and law enforcement protocol, painstaking research was conducted, during which, I came across instance after instance of informants being released from Witsec only to commit more crimes and began thinking of producing a project on this subject.
My father was John Gotti, the most infamous gangster of his generation, maybe the last century. I grew up surrounded by his friends, many of whom became legends and had books and films written about them. I spent years in the streets and prison, almost 3.5 in solitary confinement. Yet nothing in my life prepared me for a John Alite, and maybe by the end of this you’ll understand why, because, if I just came out and told you what was uncovered about him you probably wouldn’t believe me.
Who is John Alite?
An Albanian from Queens who testified at two trials in 2009, accused Gambino Charles Carneglia’s and then mine that he was my hitman, bodyguard and a major, multi-millionaire mobster. “One of the biggest drug dealers in New York City” with “About 150” men working for him.
Unlike Gravano, however, who was what he said he was – a high ranking gangster – John Alite is a fraud who was exposed in lie after lie under cross-examination and revealed as a low level drug dealer, not a powerful mafia “hitman.” I was vindicated when the judge declared a mistrial as the jury was split on whether I was innocent or guilty, but, even jurors who voted guilty did not believe his testimony. Juror Paul Peragine told the media outside the courthouse: “Almost the entire jury didn’t believe the star witness, he wasn’t credible at all.”
But, somehow, John Alite, who plead guilty to murders, drugs, assaults and home invasions was only sentenced to 120 months in April, 2011. Then: Prosecutors wrote to Judge Bucklew that he “provided additional substantial assistance” since his sentencing resulting “in four additional convictions” when the truth is after he was caught in countless lies he was rendered useless as a trial witness who the government never again called to testify. Not even in the trial of John Burke who was accused of the 1996 murder of John Gebert that Alite said he ordered (while Alite was a confidential FBI informant). Still, Alite had his sentence reduced to 100 months (with five years of supervised release) in January, 2012 and was set free.
Then, with the help of others, but specifically one of his former FBI handlers, Dave Gentile, John Alite somehow convinced George Anastasia to risk his approximately 40-year reputation as a journalist and write a book about his life, published in January, 2015 based on the stories Alite told on the witness stand. While of course, leaving out how they were shredded under cross-examination.
They then went on a media tour to promote it where Anastasia repeated, audaciously, that when writing non-fiction, “you can’t make anything up.”
While their book would fail miserably, however, when asked why he believes Alite’s story, one of Anastasia’s responses is that “the government believes it.” Which is not true. Some background:
After I retired from the streets in 1998, took a plea on a case I could have beat, paid over two million dollars in fines and went to prison for 77 months on the condition that the government would let me walk away after my release they broke their word. They indicted me again in 2004, tried to convince jurors I was an active member of the Gambino family and spent millions in tax dollars to convict me of crimes for which I was not guilty. Yet after they failed at three RICO trials between 2005–2006 and then a tax and parole violation trial in 2007, seeing that I bested their stable of cooperators, they threw a “Hail Mary.” With the urging of FBI Agent Ted Otto, one of Alite’s handlers who was the case agent on my prosecutions and had been dealt a career setback after failing to convict me, he went “venue-shopping” and got me indicted again not in New York but Tampa, a city I had never been to where they thought a Florida jury would convict me on a multiple-murder case in which I was death penalty eligible created around the tales of their new star witness, John Alite.
Thankfully, after I successfully filed a motion for venue change, due to the theory of venue shopping, Judge Steven D. Merryday transferred my case back to New York, stating that “The Florida indictment charges the same RICO conspiracy against which Gotti has defended himself three times in New York.” Judge Merryday said it created “The unmistakable and disquieting impression of forum shopping….” And, thankfully, back in New York where the local Federal prosecutors did not even want to try my case, as they knew I was no longer in the life, a jury of my peers did not convict me, or, believe John Alite.
With the backing of George Anastasia, Dave Gentile and others, John Alite’s book is released and he hits the media circuit full force as unsuspecting readers and interviewers have a reason to believe his story. To believe that John Alite, a deranged lunatic masquerading as a “changed man” should be allowed to speak to at risk kids even though he is simultaneously defaming and threatening individuals who challenged the stories in his book on the internet, because, George Anastasia gave him a platform.
But, why would Anastasia give him a platform? According to Alite’s brother Jimmy Alite, who reached out shortly before their book was published to expose what was really going on, Gentile sold Alite to Anastasia like “a bad stock.” He said that Anastasia didn’t want the story at first, but Gentile kept pushing, and eventually, reassured that their book wouldn’t be challenged, Anastasia bought into it.
For his part, in the Acknowledgements section of their book, Anastasia wrote that “Gentile, a retired FBI agent who helped dismantle the Philadelphia mob, has always been there for me. I appreciate that in so many ways. He was also instrumental in making the connection between John Alite and me and for that I thank him.”
Jimmy Alite also insisted that Dave Gentile promoted and gave John Alite introductions to other media figures. He was Alite’s vehicle into Anastasia’s circle, getting him on TV and in the press.
However, Jimmy said that in the original manuscript, there was a different foreword. One where Anastasia left it up to the reader to decide if the story was true. He said he and his brother, in violation of his supervised release, were hanging out one night with disgraced ex-cop Steve Sergio when his brother showed it to them. But, Jimmy told him if Anastasia didn’t believe it, neither would anyone else, so his brother told Anastasia he had to change it.
No. Witsec Mafia should not be considered “revenge” against John Alite. In truth, I’m grateful for John Alite because due to his disastrous testimony it was easy for jurors to see through his lies, recognizing that I was not guilty. And, if John Alite had not screwed over so many people all the sources that came forward to expose his egregious behavior might not have and this project would not exist.
Forget that his brother and other members of their family came forward as sources who provided over 100 hours of interviews to myself and Chris Kasparoza, giving chapter and verse on their unstable relative. Even John Alite’s mother called my office to apologize for this sorry excuse of human.
Fun Fact: Trying to pass off John Alite as a changed man and give him a platform to speak to at risk kids, George Anastasia repeated in his book and appearances that Alite was going to “therapy” to help change his life. In fact, Alite even appeared on several shows with his “therapist,” Micke Stafford.
What they leave out: John Alite was ordered to get ‘Mental Health Treatment’ by his sentencing judge, the only time I have ever heard of a judge ordering a witness to get therapy after their release, and I’m a guy that has investigated hundreds of witnesses. Not just those on my cases, but my father’s, uncles’, even friends and other relatives. Before I went to prison, when I was in the streets I took night classes at York College, earning four certificates in paralegal studies. While in prison, I used my time to become a certified paralegal and witnesses being ordered to get therapy as a condition of their release, you don’t hear about it. If he needs therapy, why would John Alite who admitted under oath that he assaulted numerous women and even threatened to rape women be released and placed right back into the same communities where he preyed on vulnerable individuals, with his handlers turning a blind eye as he places himself among unsuspecting civilians and at risk youth?
We’ll come back to that.
I don’t want to appear bitter. In my previous life, I was a criminal who deserved to go to prison, and perhaps most of the hardship that came my way. But, that was the past. I’m home with my family, friends and run numerous businesses while many of my former peers are serving life sentences, many for crimes they did not do based on the false testimony of cooperators like John Alite and I often feel guilty that I’m free and they’re not.
However: I am embarking on Witsec Mafia through the eyes of what I now am: Not a criminal, but a civilian. Because of my experience as a street guy, though, I can easily see through the fraud of “changed men” like John Alite while an ordinary citizen might not, and, as part of my effort to give back to the society I committed crimes against I am exposing this corruption.
One case eerily similar to Alite’s is that of John Veasey. A drug addled Philly lowlife who testified against accused members of the Philly mob, saying that he was a hitman who killed two people for the Philadelphia family, one of them Michael Ciancaglini in 1993.
Veasey became an informer, and on the morning he was due to testify against John Stanfa, who the FBI alleged was the boss of Philadelphia in October, 1995, Veasey’s brother Billy was gunned down.
Michael Ciancaglini’s brother John, who the FBI alleged was also a member of the Philadelphia family was later charged with Billy Veasey’s “revenge murder,” but, was acquitted at a 2001 trial. Regardless, Veasey still blames him.
Released in 2004, he went on Fox 29 News in Philadelphia in 2010 and said he was a changed man. But, when Dave Schratwieser asked him if he ever thought “about going back to Philly and settling a score” against John Ciancaglini and the people he thought murdered his brother?
Veasey said, “Uh, till I met my wife that was my only plan. You know I’d thought about it for 12 years. My brain, that’s all I thought about for 12 years.” He specified, however, that while he wasn’t planning on seeking revenge… if he ever “went back there it would only be one reason to go back, that would be to cause mass destruction.”
This, of course, after he had already gone back to Philadelphia multiple times attempting to scare and antagonize John Ciancaglini’s wife Kathy, showing up at her job, sending her anonymous messages and posting vulgar comments about her on Facebook. Similar to John Alite who has posted disgusting rants and sent vulgar Facebook messages to my sister Angel, and even her son Frankie. In one correspondence, showing his liberal side, Alite told him that I was a “blow job jew.”
He also went on to state: “I fucked u r mom in that pigs fat ass and she blew me.”
George Anastasia wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 38 years before penning Alite’s book. Veasey’s, released in 2012, was written by former Inquirer reporter Ralph Cipriano with Dave Schratwieser. Since leaving the Inquirer Anastasia and Cipriano have written for the same website, while Anastasia has been making news videos with Schratwieser for years.
They’re all part of the same network.
Veasey and Alite both went on television, tried to act like movie stars and bragged about murders they committed, trying to sell themselves and profit off their pasts, in violation of the Son of Sam Law.
While promoting his book with Schratweiser and Cipriano in 2012 Veasey said during an interview with Philly.com: “Some of these guys become rats and then they go on to do speaking arrangements to tell people how to fight crime. I enjoy people that commit crime.”
In a 2013 60 Minutes episode Veasey also said that while he was in prison he had plans to kill the people he believed murdered his brother or their families. To even bump into them with a needle and “inject their wives with AIDS.” However, he said that he’d reformed himself: “I’ve changed… I’m definitely not the person I used to be.” He moved to Middle America, got married, a job, a pastor and was even a bus driver for his church. Which is funny, because George Anastasia was also featured in the episode saying: “I don’t believe it.”
But, he believes Alite? At least, it’s profitable for him to say he believes John Alite.
Anastasia said that Veasey “found God ‘cause it’s expedient to find God,” similar to how Alite has found motivational speaking as it’s a ploy for him to get around the Son of Sam Law and make money off of his crimes, which we’ll come back to. Especially since when he was asked in a Denmark TV special, Crime Does Not Pay? if it was fair that he profited off his past, Alite said: “I think it is fair… I should be able to profit off of whatever went on in my life.”
And because Veasey posted on Facebook in 2010: “I think every one wants to tell my story. But… If you know me then you should know I’m not fucking free!!!!!!!”
Kathy Ciancaglini also appeared in the episode and said that Veasey, who would only go back to Philly if he was going “to cause mass destruction” had been making threats towards her for years. A segment from a voicemail “changed man” Veasey left her husband in 2011 was played of him telling John Ciancaglini he was going to show up at his job, and to “play this motherfucking shit to the D.A. in court, ’cause I don’t give a fuck if I get caught. I will get you John… how’s your wife feel about that? Maybe I’ll hit her in the ass too.”
Well, not every word of that appeared on television. Kasparoza got the full audio after contacting Mrs. Ciancaglini, but not because he saw her on 60 Minutes. Because of her comments under an April, 2017 blog post written by Ralph Cipriano on the website he and Anastasia contribute to about a speaking engagement Veasey did at West Chester University.
They were identical – at least in spirit – to the comments being left under articles about Alite, and messages sent to the hosts of shows he was on who were falling for his lies and changed man routine. They were told by numerous people that he was not in fact the changed man he was claiming to be, provided proof of it, yet, in many cases these individuals were ignored by the moderators. Why let something like the truth get in the way of a good story?
After four days, and about 32 comments – 32 that were approved, at least – Ralph Cipriano wrote that he was shutting down the comment section because everyone “had their say.” Maybe he was sincere, or maybe he didn’t want Kathy to keep telling people who believed Veasey’s stories of being a changed man how he wasn’t. Because after all, what Cipriano wrote in the post presented Veasey as a changed man, and Kathy was writing that Veasey kept harassing her, sending her threats, how he showed up to her job, etc.
But, Kathy Ciancaglini, also known as Kathy Chang, with her husband known as Johnny Chang, wasn’t scared. In fact, she was fascinating, in the stories she told Kasparoza. She even mentioned how she was warned by the FBI while Veasey was still in protective custody that he was recorded on a jailhouse phone making threats, saying, he was “gonna kill everything that Chang loves.”
Yet even though Veasey showed up at her news stand and the bar where she worked after he got out — Veasey took pictures there, and posted them on the internet —
He was not sent back to prison. Not even after, Kathy said, the cops stopped Veasey outside her home at 3:30 AM on a Saturday night, when he was fresh out of prison, “methed out of his mind.”
She said the cops told her he was on crystal meth.
While we have not yet reached out to Cipriano for comment, and are looking forward to his side of the story – and we won’t shut down the comment section, either – in fact, he’s welcome to respond in it however he wants, and we’ll publish it here – for now, we’ll just quote what Kathy told Chris. That Cipriano, “who wrote the book with him and I guess needs the money that bad… knows me, and knows the whole story. So, when I went on BigTrial.net and went on as myself, and said all that sh*t that I wrote on there…. Ralph Cipriano had George Anastasia call me… and, say, that, you know, in other words, it had nothing to do with me, I should mind my business, blah, blah, blah… And I told George, you call Ralph right now, or I’ll go on that street and I’ll go find him. And you tell him, every single time this kid rings the bell, I’m gonna answer it. He’s never, ever gonna go around as if he’s a changed man, ‘cause its bullsh*t.”
Good for her.
When someone goes into Witness Protection, the government is supposed to give the individual a polygraph, in part to make sure they’re not planning on being placed in a new community to commit more crimes. But according to what we’ve uncovered, most career criminals turned witnesses fail their polygraphs. Like Joe Massino, who was convicted of numerous murders and being the boss of the Bonanno family. He told the government he wanted to cooperate, failed two lie detector tests, but, was still given a deal and allowed into the program.
The government is also tasked with giving the witness a psychological evaluation so they don’t set loose a maniac. It’s clear, however, by the actions of lunatics like John Veasey and John Alite that those standards are not being upheld. Just take a look at these posts by Veasey. The last was provided by Kathy Ciancaglini. She said it was a response to her refuting his claims on 60 Minutes:
Now look at these similar posts by Alite:
The following messages were shared on Facebook by a Robert Bonovoglia in 2016, who said they were provided to him by a Vincent Anthony. Apparently, Anthony had words with Alite via Facebook message, and this is how the motivational speaker John Alite responded.
Take note, however, of how at the end he said he was in his “neighborhood every day.”
Just what neighborhood was he talking about?
The following was a 2015 message to my nephew Frankie:
The following messages were from an exchange Alite had with a woman, Maureen Elizabeth, who often challenged his lies on Facebook.
Peter Lance reported that after he contacted Alite’s sentencing judge in 2015, he was “contacted by Paul Brennan, The National WITSEC Coordinator in Washington, who confirmed that the Newark headquarters of the U.S. Probation Office had mounted an investigation into” his findings. Later, Lance was told that Alite was no longer in Witsec, and the case was referred to Alite’s handler, Ted Otto.
Yet, nothing happened to Alite. He was not sent back to prison. Similar to when numerous civilians alerted Otto that Alite was up to no good. Including attorney Elio Forcina, a former Marine who sued Alite in separate cases on behalf of his brother Jimmy Alite and a podcaster, Jeff Canarsie (aka Jeff Lowman), telling Otto that Canarsie alleged Alite tried to get him to baseball bat Chris Kasparoza, and that Alite was trying to recruit other cooperators to come after myself.
In the summer of 2015, Peter Lance saw an inaccurate article written by an Ohio reporter covering an event Alite spoke at with Jimmy Calandra, in an apparent violation of his supervised release as Alite was not just forbidden from associating with informant-murderers, but, travelling outside of New Jersey. The reporter, who also appeared in a picture at the beach with Alite, reported that “Alite, who spent 20 years in prison, spoke about committing more than 40 murders.”
Lance politely emailed the reporter to correct her, and asked if she had a recording or transcript of Alite stating this. Soon after, Lance received an email from Alite titled: “Jerk off”
In it, he accused Lance of making a “Passive aggressive threat to a women. I see you fit right in with them. Heroin addict who was chased from his work n television… Besides that I’m curious why your trying to intimidate a women when that’s exactly your reputation trying to sleep with reporters from Daily mail etc.”
What balls. Or should I say, lack of brains, to even think of e-mailing lies like that. This is a rodent who admitted under oath that he assaulted and threatened to rape numerous women, while Peter Lance is not just an extremely decorated, five time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter, screenwriter, producer and novelist, he also has a Masters Degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law with credits going back over 40 years.
What has Alite done?
Lance would later state that he was given “the run around” when trying to find out why Alite wasn’t being sent back to prison for violating his supervised release, similar to what Kathy Ciancaglini said of when she tried to find out why Veasey’s handlers weren’t sending him back.
It’s a fantasy to think that once criminal witnesses get released from prison they’re policed by their handlers. Quite the opposite, they’re often set free to do as they please, enabling deranged cowards like Veasey and Alite to threaten and scam innocent people. Left to their devices, it’s only a matter of time before savages like them kill or maim again. But, it probably won’t be a street guy that they hurt or kill. Knowing their kind, a street guy would be wise to them. What’s more likely is that a punk like Veasey or Alite would hurt an unsuspecting civilian with no knowledge of their past or who believes they’re a “changed man” because a respected journalist or rogue government agent is vouching for them.
“He’s always gonna be a criminal.” — John Veasey on Sammy Gravano, who he said he was in protective custody with.
After Sammy Gravano was arrested in Arizona, numerous people gave interviews about the man they knew as “Jimmy Moran.” Vincent Zajdzinski, a contractor, said he met Gravano when he purchased a house across the street from him in Tempe, a Phoenix suburb. Gravano wanted to turn the property into a mansion for his wife and children and hired Zajdzinski to construct it. Yet Zajdzinski, who had told Moran that he knew he was really Gravano, said when they had a disagreement over some of the work that had to be done, Gravano, in front of his wife and son “charged” him, “stuck a gun” to his head and said: “You’re not gonna make me go back.”
It’s said that Gravano might not have killed him because he was violating his agreement with the government by running a drug operation and didn’t want attention from law enforcement.
I had no desire to read Gravano’s book when it was published but after I was indicted on two cases in 1998 and it was possible Gravano would be called to testify, I had to, and could not believe the lies and hero worship in it. How trying to paint himself in a good light, he took the stories and character traits of my father and others in the life and applied them to himself, while passing his own negative attributes onto others. Just as Alite would later do with myself and others. One source for Witsec Mafia even stated that “he studied Gravano’s book,” in which, Gravano claimed he was nicknamed “Sammy the Bull” after a childhood fight when the truth is it was because he lived in Bulls Head, Staten Island. Similar to John Alite who now alleges he was known as “The Sheriff” because he controlled his neighborhood, when the truth is, he was known by names like “Johnny Bullshit” because he was a pathological liar.
If my memory serves me correct, Gravano would often tell people that if they were subpoenaed, “What you do is tell 40% truth, 40% you bob and weave, and 20% you out and out lie.” Similar to Alite who testified at my trial that he would tell “probably a little bit of truth, a lot of bit of lies… On a regular basis.” He said he was “very good” at “taking a little bit of truth and spinning a lie around it.”
It’s a fair question to ask, however, if John Alite is such a liar then why would a respected author like Anastasia risk his reputation by writing his story?
One answer is that The Witsec Mafia has been around for decades. Organized crime turncoats are released from prison, get authors to write fictionalized versions of their lives to sell more books and are even emboldened to lie in them, to create crimes they never committed to make themselves more important because they’re not going to be prosecuted for them. The government has no interest in announcing their witnesses lied and as for the street guys, they’re usually dead, in prison, or even if they’re free, do not have absolution for their own crimes and could wind up in prison themselves by exposing them.
Then there’s the money. Book deals aren’t being handed out like they used to and Anastasia said in one speech that their book was “an easy sell” to publishers. Jimmy Alite claimed he received a $100,000 advance, and that Anastasia gave his brother “30 or 40” thousand from it under the table – in violation of the Son of Sam Law – and that they thought they would cash in when a movie was made.
When Anastasia was asked in interviews why he believes Alite’s story, however, he said it was because he “read the transcripts” of the trials where he testified. He even said in one presentation that Alite’s testimony “was consistent over two trials.” Which is interesting, because in a June 6th Philly Voice article Anastasia criticized the memoir of former Philadelphia boss turned snitch Ralph Natale for having tall tales in it, asking about one of them: “If that account is true, why wasn’t it part of his court testimony?”
Why are John Alite’s tall tales in his book and interviews different from his court testimony?
After all, he testified in two trials that he was involved in five murders, only pulling the trigger in one. Yet in his appearances he often claims that he killed “15” people and during a February, 2016 episode of Crime Watch Daily, with Anastasia standing next to him, Alite claimed that he “killed dozens of guys” – and, Anastasia did not correct him. Nor did he bring up that members of the jury told reporters outside the courthouse after the trial ended that they did not find him credible. Instead, Anastasia pitched their book which includes stories of murders and shoot outs that Alite never testified about. Stories that are being used to market him to at risk children and other vulnerable people as a “changed man” when he is anything but.
Like how he said in his book that during his days as a criminal he was a “good bad guy.” A dashing, romantic figure who not only “was never a bully,” but, defended an abused woman. His website even presents him as an advocate against domestic violence. What his book and speeches leave out though is that he admitted in two trials to assaulting multiple women. Something he only admitted when he learned his ex-wife Carol was coming forward to testify that he beat her, and more, for years. Jimmy Alite said he would pummel her and another member of their family alleged that he once slammed her leg in a car door.
In 2003, Michael Malatin testified that Alite threatened to rape his wife and slit her throat. At my trial, Alite admitted that he threatened to make Robert Lamendola watch as he raped his wife Lorraine, who testified in 2006 that Alite threatened to hurt their children.
Part of the evidence sent to Alite’s sentencing judge in 2015 included screenshots of him threatening a woman on the internet who was challenging his lies. He said he was going to pass out her “name and address” on television, and this woman presented anonymous messages she received stating that she was going to get her “throat cut out.”
In preparation for my 2009 trial, my attorney and close friend Charles Carnesi interviewed Alite’s ex-wife Carol, who was going to testify regarding Alite’s history of abusing her and other women, and that he was no multi-millionaire like he claimed. However, she and her fiancé Don told Charlie how they received over 20 threatening and harassing phone calls and texts from John Alite when he was released from protective custody on furloughs from unknown numbers, but mostly from one number. Fed up, Don called it back, and it was answered by none other than Ted Otto who was letting John Alite, a sociopath make unmonitored calls from his private cell phone. A major violation of protocol as any call a witness makes from protective custody is subject to cross-examination should they testify at a trial.
Ted Otto doesn’t just appear in the Alite chapter of Witsec Mafia.
While researching his career I learned of his relationship with government witness Gerard Bellafiore, who had been a part of numerous robbery crews and after he was arrested in 2000, cooperated and confessed to hundreds of bank heists. He testified in court, and was released as a “reformed” individual. Then he hooked up with other informants to rob banks in Florida, was arrested again, and in 2009 plead guilty to bank burglary there.
Receiving a 78 month sentence, he contested it, and in 2010 the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals responded: “Bellafiore and his co-conspirators committed larceny of numerous banks as part of the instant offense; (2) Bellafiore had ten prior adult convictions; and (3) a number of these convictions involved conduct that was virtually identical to Bellafiore’s conduct in the instant offense. As the district court correctly found, these facts suggest that Bellafiore had little respect for the law, as he kept committing similar offenses over and over again, even after going through repeated prosecutions for these offenses. Moreover, in this case, Bellafiore did not commit larceny of a single bank, but multiple banks, which further demonstrates his disrespect for the law.”
Proven by the fact that after he was released and given yet another chance he was caught robbing another bank in Florida in July, 2016 and shot by a Sheriff’s Deputy as he tried to flee the scene, jumped in his car and crashed it into a tree.
How long before Bellafiore’s released again and robs another bank? Possibly shoots an honest, hardworking police officer this time, and not the other way around? No one knows, but, I was shocked to learn that he was talking on the phone with Agent Otto all the time, sometimes multiple times a day, including while he was casing banks he was planning to rob. And then, stunned when told Bellafiore was friends with Alite on Facebook at the time of his 2016 arrest.
Perhaps Bellafiore wasn’t worried about getting caught because he believed Ted Otto, his rabbi could get him out of trouble, or at least, any significant prison time. Which is probably similar to how John Alite feels. The significance here is that Otto sponsored and was the handler for both of them. He helped each get released from federal prison and then protected them from prosecution while on the streets.
In 2003 Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, the chair of a House committee looking into the FBI’s use of criminals as informants said in a statement that the FBI was “in the process of doing a complete review of the way they handle informants.”
This was after Operation Black Widow. An FBI-led investigation launched in 1997 targeting the California based Nuestra Familia which 60 Minutes described as “the largest and most expensive investigation of a prison gang in U.S. history.” One of their members recruited to dismantle the N.F. was Danny Hernandez, in 2000, while he was in one of California’s maximum security state prisons. Facing racketeering-murder charges that might have left him with a life sentence in a secure housing unit, he opted to become a paid FBI informant.
Released on parole in December, 2000, the N.F. allegedly promoted him to “General” in charge of all regiments in Northern California. According to reports, however, he grew out of control over the next seven months, facilitating drug and gun deals unapproved by the FBI in addition to violent robberies and extortions, illegally pocketing thousands in the process that he was supposed to turn over to the government (while getting paid $52,000 by the government). And, like Alite, he made unmonitored phone calls in violation of his cooperation agreement. According to informants, Hernandez also had someone killed.
The FBI and Hernandez denied he ordered the murder but records show he was making unmonitored calls with the regiment leader in charge of the shooter in the days and hours leading up to it. In the documentary Nuestra Familia, Our Family, former N.F. General turned informant Fidel de la Riva said, “I think he was playing both sides, working for the Feds and… operating… still as a member.”
Reports show that the FBI stopped working with Hernandez that July. His handlers wrote in a November, 2001 report that he “participated in unauthorized criminal activity while under the direction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” But, even though he was arrested on “a parole violation,” and seriously violated the terms of his cooperation agreement which sheltered him from prosecution in a murder-racketeering case by making unmonitored phone calls, taking unapproved trips out of town and facilitating unauthorized violent crimes while he ran a major criminal syndicate, sources said Hernandez would still be released from custody again.
And: He might be your neighbor.
ABC News quoted Steven Cohen, former chief of the Violent Gangs Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York saying about the case: “It is extremely difficult to supervise the informant. You can’t be with him 24 hours a day. He is duplicitous by nature. If he is going to betray one group – the gang – what’s going to stop him from betraying the second – the government?”
END OF PART 1