One cooperator who was scheduled to testify against me after I was indicted (twice) in 1998 was Lucchese soldier turned snitch, Frank Gioia Jr.
An October expose published in the Arizona Republic, written by Robert Anglen, alleged that Gioia was involved in over $60 million in frauds against unsuspecting civilians via Frank Capri, his new name provided to him by the Witness Protection Program.
A quote from the investigation:
Capri’s company, Boomtown Entertainment LLC, opened 20 Toby Keith restaurants and announced deals to build 20 more.
Then Capri’s restaurant chain collapsed. By 2015, all but one was out of business. Capri was accused in lawsuits of orchestrating the failure of the restaurants as part of a cash grab. Judges have ordered Capri and his companies to pay more than $65 million in judgments, according to the latest material obtained from court documents and media accounts.
Frank Gioia Jr. fathered a child with the sister of Frank Smith, a tough kid who was in jail with my father, who my father liked. He told me that it was Smith and “Brian from the Ghost Shadows” who first told him that Sammy Gravano was having a hard time in lock up, not comporting himself right, and a short time later Gravano flipped.
Smith was involved in a series of murders by the time he was 21. One of an administrative law judge in 1987. Which was a mistaken identity killing: the hit team meant to kill his son, a former prosecutor. Smith then received a multi-decade prison sentence for a drug deal he did not commit. About fifteen years after that, he was released from prison after becoming a cooperator after he was charged with some of those previous murders. In his debriefings, however, he described how Frank Gioia tried to get his, Smith’s mother and sister – the mother of Gioia’s child – imprisoned for disposing of a gun used in a murder.
John Alite appeared in multiple pictures with Smith on social media while he was still on supervised release, yet, Alite was not violated over it.
Why? We’ll come back to that.
Sources for Witsec Mafia alleged that John Alite wanted Frank Smith around, because unlike his claims of being a “hitman,” Frank Smith was actually on some hits. Known as a tough kid, and that Alite, when he’d walk through Manhattan was scared and wanted Smith there for protection.
I don’t know the details of what happened, but, if Frank Smith, when he was barely out of his teens was put on the murder of a former prosecutor – real “mob work,” which according to informants was ordered by the upper levels of the Colombo family – someone must have thought very highly of Frank Smith. That he was extremely capable. Whereas John Alite on the other hand testified that he was involved in five “mob murders,” only pulling the trigger in one. Yet three of those were in fact low level drug murders having nothing to do with “the mob.” The other two, of Frank Boccia and Louis DiBono, according to informants actually were “mob murders.” However, other informants that testified they were on them like Sammy Gravano, Kevin McMahon and Anthony Ruggiano, in addition to Michael Finnerty who testified that he had knowledge of the DiBono murder, all said Alite had nothing to do with them. John Alite only testified that he was involved to make himself sound more important. To raise himself out of the gutter and make himself part of “the mob.”
Why else would he put himself on two murders that the actual participants never said he was on?
One source for Witsec Mafia alleged that sometime after DeCavalcante family turncoat Sean Richard brought John Alite into his construction business, Alite asked Smith to intimidate Richard to get more money out of him. This source alleged that when Smith didn’t receive what he was promised from Alite in return, it lead to their falling out, which also had to do with Alite making grandiose promises to Smith regarding money from media projects. Apparently, Alite also told Smith that if he appeared in his “documentary” he would cash in on movie and entertainment deals, but, those deals never materialized.
John Alite never knew these guys when he was on the street. At least, we couldn’t find any records of him associating with Michael Blutrich, Sean Richard, Frank Smith, Jimmy Calandra, etc., because: John Alite was not some player that people gravitated around. John Alite started meeting these witnesses while serving time in Witness Protection – a protected witness unit – and after he was released. They gravitated around him then because Alite was successful in securing financing from Albania for his “documentary.” He began enticing these guys with promises that they could get money as well, telling them that his agent Doug Anton would do what he wanted. Just like John Alite promised his relatives big money if they’d film for him and show the world what a “great” guy he was, Alite promised other witnesses lucrative book and movie deals to tell their own stories if they’d appear on camera in his “documentary” and legitimize his tall tales about his past.
It was all a con.
Whatever the case, after Alite’s federal supervised released ended in 2017 he went on vacation to Florida where he posted pictures with former Colombo acting captain turned informant “Big Anthony” Russo – who there is also no record of Alite knowing prior to becoming a witness – who was still on supervised release himself. Like Alite, Russo was also involved in drug dealing, murders and home invasions. Unlike Alite, however, federal prosecutors noted in their 2013 letter to get Russo out of prison early that he helped cut off the penis of murder victim John Sparacino in 1994 and stuffed it in his mouth.
Will the Feds give Russo a pass for hanging out with John Alite? Or, for posting a picture of himself hanging out with fellow turncoat murderer Tommy McLaughlin, his former crime partner in the Colombo family who was also on supervised release, who he conspired in murders with? After all, the terms of Russo’s supervised release stated that he “shall not associate, directly or indirectly, in person, through mail, electronic mail, or telephone, with any individual with any affiliation to any organized crime groups, gangs, or other criminal enterprise.”
Jeff Lowman’s brother is a Dean at a university where George Anastasia teaches. Lowman posted a voicemail Alite left him on YouTube, where Alite threatened that if Lowman were to “keep it up” – speaking about who Alite really is on the internet, and writing about the experiences Lowman alleged that he had with Alite while living with him – Alite would not only get Lowman a “problem with the police,” but that he would have George Anastasia go talk to his brother. “Your brother will hear from us… your brother’s definitely gonna get a visit….”
Attorney Elio Forcina, a former Marine tried contacting Anastasia about this, but, got no response.
After Jeff Lowman’s defamation lawsuit was served at Alite’s townhouse in Freehold, New Jersey in November, 2016, however, John Alite went around saying that Forcina sent “thugs” to his house who “harassed” his neighbors. This is in a court document. The truth though is that the process server called the local cops to announce his presence before he served it, which was captured on video. Kasparoza brought his camera, but Alite was not home, so the process server simply posted the lawsuit to his door. When, as they were leaving, none other than Sean Richard, pictured below, came outside.
Kasparoza pointed the camera at him, and as Richard covered his face, he asked: “Are you *****?” (His new Witsec name.)
“No,” Sean Richard said as he turned around, and walked back to his door.
Kasparoza followed up: “Are you Sean? Are you Sean Richard!?”
“Nope. No I’m not,” Sean Richard lied, as he walked back inside. But as they walked away, Richard shouted through his window: “I’m on the phone with the FBI!”
So, the Feds knew Alite was living with another mob snitch, a violation of his supervised release, but didn’t send him back to prison? Elio Forcina would later remind Special Agent Ted Otto that they were living next door to each other, but, that didn’t get Alite sent back either.
Note: In a recent email exchange with Chris Kasparoza, when asked about this, Richard, who no longer lives there confirmed that he notified the FBI about the incident, as well as the Freehold Police.
Note: The house numbers in the picture above are redacted, but Alite did publicly film identifying video outside his residence, and also announced that he lived in Freehold on the radio.
When I was on parole in 2007, I had a chance encounter. With my wife, walking into a restaurant on Long Island we ran into my childhood friend Johnny Boy Ruggerio, who was walking out, with his wife. Want to know how close we were? We were in the same playpen together.
Him and his wife, I was even the one who introduced them, when we were 14.
Johnny Boy had tears in his eyes. We hadn’t seen each other since 2004, when he visited me in prison at Ray Brook. But, even though Johnny Boy wasn’t a felon or accused of being a member of the Gambino family at that time, I still had my attorney notify my parole officer just to let them know of the chance occurrence. That we ran into each other, hugged, but just to be safe, I told him I couldn’t stay and hang out with him.
What did the FBI do? Even though I reported the chance encounter myself, they ran a 30 day investigation. They approached the manager of the restaurant, asking for the security tapes. They also went to Johnny Boy’s house, attempting to talk to him and his wife, as well as mine.
They tried to violate my supervised release over a chance encounter that I myself reported.
But here you have groups of murderers, home invaders and bank robbers, a cut off penis and they’re free to travel the country together and terrorize whoever they want on the internet.
Why are all these cooperators getting away with this? Why are all these murderers and con men being allowed to threaten and harass people and click back up, putting innocent, unsuspecting civilians at risk?
We’ll come back to that.
First we remember that the evidence sent by investigative journalist Peter Lance to John Alite’s sentencing judge Susan Bucklew that did not get him violated included pictures of him hanging out with former Bonanno associate turned snitch Jimmy Calandra, who plead guilty to his involvement in the home invasion murder of Judith Shemtov, an innocent woman in 1993. Calandra was once a member of the notorious Bath Avenue Crew in Brooklyn. A group that Gerard ‘Skeevy’ Bellafiore took down scores with before he cooperated. Another member of the Bath Avenue bunch who cooperated was Joey Calco, who admitted his involvement in two homicides. The NY Daily News quoted him telling Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Edward Korman at his 2004 sentencing: “If you give me another chance, Judge, I won’t let the court down and I won’t let you down.”
He was then relocated to Florida as “Joey Milano,” opened Goomba’s Pizza and seemed to be on the straight and narrow. Until 2009, when two customers complained about a calzone order. He hopped over the counter and brutally pistol whipped them both.
There have been numerous cases where witnesses were relocated under new names only to hurt, scam or kill innocent people.
Like that of Mani Chulpayev. A Russian gangster emigre involved in sex trafficking, kidnapping, arson, extortion, Medicaid fraud, and a gamut of other rackets in 1990s Brooklyn. Facing decades in prison, after he was arrested in 1998 he wore a body wire, got on the witness stand, and because he cooperated, avoided deportation. In 2002, prosecutors called him “one of the most important cooperating witnesses in the history of the government’s battle against Russian organized crime.” He was set free.
2005: Chulpayev is arrested again, this time in the state of Georgia for an interstate auto theft ring. Once more he agrees to cooperate against his cohorts. Atlanta prosecutors now stand up for him, writing in an October, 2005 downward departure motion that “Chulpayev has a history of assisting the government. In… New York, Chulpayev cooperated against his co-conspirators and for that received considerable consideration. Of course, this experience did not cleanse Chulpayev of his errant ways.”
He spent less than three years in prison on the new case only to be released, once more avoid deportation and return to scamming unassuming civilians, getting arrested again in Georgia in 2011 for auto fraud.
In 2012, other civilians report Chulpayev to the authorities, claiming he sold them a stolen vehicle… and later said they were told he wasn’t prosecuted because he’s an active FBI informant.
Several months later: Lil’ Phat, a teenage Atlanta rapper who filmed for a reality show with Chulpayev is killed outside a hospital waiting for his child to be born.
In 2013, Chulpayev is indicted for conspiring in his murder.
However, charges would later be dropped against Chulpayev, with local law enforcement saying it was due to interference from his FBI handler, Dante Jackson, who Chulpayev went on to accuse of accepting cash and gifts from him.
District Attorney Paul Howard told reporter Jim Strickland, “Our case against him was essentially gutted. It’s still our feeling that he was involved in the death of this young man… This defendant, Mani Chulpayev, got away with murder.”
And, who knows: He might end up being your neighbor.
In 1978, Marion “Mad Dog” Pruett was an inmate at the federal penitentiary in Atlanta when his cellmate was murdered. Pruett testified against the man he said killed him, “Big Al” Benton, and was released from prison into Witsec under a new name in New Mexico. But in 1981, when his wife was found dead, the cops, who believed Pruett was involved couldn’t hold or properly investigate him as they didn’t have access to his criminal record.
Soon after, a witness came forward and said he was there when Pruett killed his wife and set her body on fire in the desert. The cops got a warrant, but it was too late. Pruett had taken off, and went on a drug-fueled murder, robbery and kidnapping spree across multiple states, leaving at least four people dead.
When he was finally apprehended, he got the death penalty. Before he was executed in 1999, however, Pruett said that it was he who killed his cellmate and lied that Benton did it.
Fun Fact: An Al Benton, who alleged that he was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood before he cooperated was placed on the witness list to testify at my third RICO trial in 2006. He was placed on that list by Special Agent Ted Otto.
More recently, Frazier Glenn Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross was sentenced to death in 2015 after embarking on a killing spree near Kansas City in 2014.
Prior to that, the former U.S. Army-Vietnam War veteran founded two paramilitary KKK groups, the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1980 and then the White Patriot Party. Calling for the overthrow of the U.S. government and sending out a “Declaration of War” in 1987 seeking the assassination of African Americans, Jews, judges and others, he was arrested with his cohorts and a stockpile of weapons and explosives.
Miller then folded, cooperated, was branded a “race traitor” and testified against his comrades in 1988. Receiving a five year sentence, according to reports he was released into witness protection in 1990. Where, he was placed among unsuspecting neighbors, even though it was reported that his testimony was not entirely forthcoming. That he held back to get those he testified against acquitted.
Then, in 2014, when he was dying from emphysema, he decided to go out by launching an anti-Semitic attack. He killed a 14-year-old and his grandfather at a Jewish community center and then a 53-year-old woman at a nearby Jewish retirement community. The Kansas City Star reported that he asked after he was arrested, “How many f—— Jews did I kill?”
After he was sentenced to death, Miller shouted in court: “Heil Hitler!”
Following the proceeding, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe told the media: “This is the most disruptive, evil human being I’ve encountered in my career.”
To quote Sammy Gravano, from his 1999 interview with the Arizona Republic, just months before he was arrested: “Have my values changed? No. You can’t change what you are inside. A leopard doesn’t change his spots.”
How long until the spots of one or more of the cooperators profiled in this story who are roaming free are revealed and they too hurt or kill innocent people?
In an interview with the Kansas City Star in 2014, raising himself to the level of domestic terrorist, Miller said, “Because of what I did, Jews feel less secure. Every Jew in the world knows my name now and what I did.”
The year prior, in 2013, the Office of the Inspector General released an Interim Report on the Department of Justice’s Handling of Known or Suspected Terrorists Admitted into the Federal Witness Security Program. In it, a shocking lack in oversight was revealed. Individuals who were on the no-fly list under their real names were not added to it under their new names after they were relocated. The report even described how the U.S. Marshals Service acknowledged in 2012 “that it was unable to locate two former WITSEC participants identified as known or suspected terrorists, and that through its investigative efforts it has concluded that one individual was and the other individual was believed to be residing outside of the United States.”
One can only wonder what they’re up to, why they felt the need to flee and if their spots will reveal themselves also.
John Alite has revealed himself as a flashy guy. He posted pictures and videos of himself driving his BMW and Nissan convertibles, going out at night, traveling. Even smoking cigars while wearing fur coats.
John Alite also received a $275,000 check in 2009 from Howard Srebnick, a lawyer he sued for ineffective assistance of counsel for not securing him the right deal to testify while he was still in prison in Brazil, which Alite confirmed in a recorded phone call from jail with Special Agent Ted Otto in December, 2007. (Shortly thereafter, as discussed earlier, the recordings of Alite’s calls on jailhouse phones between January-October 2008 simply “vanished.”)
Jimmy Alite alleged that after he received the $275,000 in 2009, his brother gave it to their two sisters to buy real estate in New Jersey. John Alite also testified at my trial that he laundered money through one of them, Denise, and according to property records Alite’s two sisters bought two homes in 2009. These records show one of them, at 116 Chestnut Street in Audubon being purchased by Denise and her husband for $155,100 but then transferring it to John Alite’s sons Matt and John Jr. for just $1 in December, 2014.
Jimmy Alite alleged that when his brother would get money from his media projects, it would be deposited into the accounts of his relatives, usually one in particular to get around the Son of Sam Law as well as forfeitures that he owes.
Members of the Alite family who came forward as sources also alleged that Alite was a partner in a Queens Pizzeria with disgraced ex-cop Steve Sergio. A good friend of government witness Michael Blutrich, Sergio benefitted from his father being a cooperator against me in 1998. Apparently, Sergio received a light sentence in the Scores case after pushing his father into becoming a cooperator.
However, numerous members of Alite’s family alleged that even though he owned real estate, convertibles, a piece of a pizzeria and wore fur coats, Alite is also committing crimes as petty as welfare fraud, in this case receiving government assistance in the form of food stamps and disability payments for his “PTSD.” Specifically, that in February, 2017 he received a payment of $20,672.80, plus, $521.25 a month going forward. What could John Alite have PTSD from, however? No one knows. Especially since his sentencing paperwork is sealed and he has refused to release it.
There are people returning from war who need disability as they can’t hold a job due to real PTSD. There are also people who had real PTSD who fought through and overcame it, who didn’t commit welfare fraud and rob hardworking taxpayers. Like someone very close to me, my good friend John, who served three tours with the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was wounded with shrapnel in the head and suffered for months from PTSD for serving our country bravely. He didn’t go to court and lie about it. Without putting his business out there, I’ll just say that he dealt with it, and I’m proud and happy to say that he is a positive influence on our youth who is now a teacher and a coach for a youth athletic team.
Soldiers aren’t the only heroes. There are also foster mothers who take in children off the streets. Who feed and clothe them. Who protect them. Who could use some help buying food as they’re making our world a better place. And then there are the people who just got a bad hand, who through no fault of their own inherited a life-threatening illness and can’t go to work because they have to fight through their next major surgery. People who are fighting for their lives daily, praying that they’re able to get back on their feet and just need a little boost in the meantime. Who would do anything to get their health back, so they can get a job and be able to pay taxes again.
Which doesn’t mean we should leave healthy, able-bodied people out of this. Let’s not forget, there are taxpayers across this country who work hard for every cent and should not have to help a rodent like John Alite and other rodents like him with their bills.
What gives John Alite the right to ask that anyone help him with his bills?
One of Alite’s relatives alleged that his “therapist,” Micke Stafford, may have helped him file his questionable disability claim. But, when Alite went on Stafford’s radio show in late 2014 he said something that was left out of his testimony, known FBI debriefings, book, and apparently every other media appearance until one recently, where he seemed to be defending himself from a post on JohnAliteFacts.com.
Alite said that as a child, he “grew up in a neighborhood where we were all abused. We were abused by our priest… sexually by him… (and) by other people in our neighborhood.”
Which both John Alite’s brother – and mother – denied. In fact, Jimmy stated that his brother was Muslim, not around priests like that, and that a childhood friend of theirs (name withheld) was instead molested and John adopted their friend’s story to garner sympathy and make an excuse for his heinous behavior.
In 2017, a source provided Witsec Mafia with text messages John Alite allegedly sent his brother Jimmy threatening to tell people he molested him. Specifically: “Go will see jerk me off again like u did when we were kids… I will speak of it all freak”
After Chris Kasparoza asked Jimmy about his brother saying this, Jimmy denied that he molested his brother, but, confirmed that his sick brother really threatened to tell people that, which, is not hard to believe. Remember: In Part 2 of this series we covered how John Alite not only lied that other people were raped and or molested, but, that he even admitted under oath at trial that he lied about his lifelong friends being rapists to discredit them – to his own lawyer.
“I told my mother… can you believe this… this is f*cking sick.
“It’s not sick, it’s beyond sick. There’s so many lies that… anybody at this point that can believe anything he says, has to be a little sick themselves.”
–Jimmy Alite on the texts, 9/25/2017
Which takes us to the first draft of his book. Where his “biography” really came from.
While promoting it in 2015, George Anastasia wrote in a JerseyMan Magazine article that when they met John Alite came to him “with a typed manuscript of more than 300 pages that he and another inmate had put together while they were cellmates in a federal prison. The stories were great. The writing not so good. I used the manuscript as a guide for the next year.”
However: Jimmy Alite identified that cellmate/co-author as none other than government informant Michael Blutrich, former owner of the strip club Scores, which opened in 1991.
Jimmy described how his brother and Blutrich were cellmates. How Blutrich would sometimes be in the visiting room hanging out with his brother when he would visit him in their Witness Protection unit. For his part, Anastasia wrote in their book that “Alite was a friend of Blutrich’s… even before Scores had become famous… Coincidentally, Blutrich and Alite ended up serving time together years later after they had both cut their deals with the government.”
But the thing is, Kasparoza (and others) asked John Alite numerous times on social media if what his brother said was true. That it really was Blutrich who wrote the first draft of his book.
He never answered. Instead, Alite said on The Mike Calta Show in April, 2017 that he “was good friends with Mike Blutrich… they constantly knock him ‘cause he’s my personal friend… this guy’s my personal friend.”
PROBLEM: What John Alite and George Anastasia failed to mention — and, what Michael Blutrich left out of his own “memoir” and his appearances promoting it, where he’s complained that he spent more time in prison than he deserved after he cooperated — is that aside from the massive fraud he took part in, which 60 Minutes described as bilking “nearly 26,000 mostly elderly policyholders out of their life savings. Ultimately, it was a theft of $440 million – one of the biggest white collar crimes in U.S. history.”
Michael Blutrich also admitted to downloading child pornography (and didn’t have to plead guilty to more heinous charges because he was a government cooperator).
Michael Blutrich was labeled a “pedophile” by numerous news outlets, but specifically by a website — which Anastasia is a longtime writer for — which is run by Jerry Capeci, who Anastasia described in their book as “the dean of mob reporters in America.” Who Alite described in his speech at The Mob Museum as “the dean of organized crime, he understands everything in and out.” And, who Alite said in another appearance is one of “the best in the business,” so, they must find his information credible.
In The Pedophile, a 1998 column Capeci wrote that “while prosecutors often use scam artists as witnesses against mobsters, they rarely use pedophiles, especially those who have had problems with the law because of their relations with little boys, like Blutrich.
In 1994, Blutrich pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges stemming from sexual-abuse allegations from a teenage boy who played on a basketball team that Blutrich managed. The boy’s mother said there were other victims, but that they were “scared off by him because he was a powerful lawyer.”
(Blutrich had been a powerful lawyer with attachments to the governor’s office.)
Capeci continued: Eventually, she said, she moved her family away from New York.
The boy alleged that Blutrich took him to Scores, gave him a bracelet and other gifts in return for sexual relations. The allegations fueled a probe by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office that uncovered similar charges from other teenage males. Investigators, for example, learned that Blutrich and a 17-year-old boy had rented a Staten Island apartment in 1992.
In a 1998 expose for Penthouse Magazine, USA Confidential, at the time probably the most in depth journalistic account of Blutrich’s alleged activities former NYPD Detective turned reporter John Connolly described how Blutrich got close to his victims. How he “volunteered to coach a team of 11-to 13-year-old basketball players.” How he would even “invite young boys over to his home” and perform “experiments” on them… and, how he got away with it.
The Penthouse story reported that in a plea bargain, Michael Blutrich agreed to undergo therapy. Similar to John Alite who was also ordered to get therapy — “Mental Health Treatment” — by his sentencing judge in 2011. Making one wonder, what else do they have in common?
For all I know, and hope, Michael Blutrich has rehabilitated himself into an upstanding member of society. One who really gives back and is a man of charity. I would not know, however, because I have never met or spoken to him. In fact, Blutrich himself said during an April, 2017 interview with Curtis Sliwa: “In all the years I owned the club, I never met John Gotti Jr.” and said in a separate interview the month before: “I never met John Jr.”
What I know is that John Alite is not a changed man, nor any kind of man, because if he was he would have found a different writer/cellmate as no man would ever live with an accused pedophile, or, have one write their book. Something he confirmed when after attempting to interview John Alite numerous times online, and when John Alite would not answer his questions after he called into podcasts he was on, Chris Kasparoza took it upon himself to confront Alite on October 24th outside Brooklyn Federal Court where he’s being sued for defamation.
John Alite likes to say that the people challenging his stories hide behind computers, but, Kasparoza went down there by himself and asked Alite about a number of things face to face, including why he’s getting disability and food stamps. Apparently enraged, however, and unable to control himself because Kasparoza never fell for his “hitman” routine, having the nerve to challenge him with questions one on one, when Kasparoza asked: “Why did a pedophile write the first draft of your book?”
John Alite, trying to walk away, was unable to control himself and shouted at him – on video: “Because he knows a lot about John Gotti Jr! He hung out with him! He was in the strip club business with him!”
When, again, Michael Blutrich already said: “I never met John Jr.” and “In all the years I owned the club, I never met John Gotti Jr.”
Prior to that, Kasparoza spoke to numerous people collaborating with Alite including his lawyer and the director of his “documentary,” alerting them that Alite’s stories were fictional and specifically that he had allegedly written a book with an accused pedophile. But, they did not seem to care. They also never asked Kasparoza where the information came from regarding the pedophile accusation, or for more of it. These allegations were ignored as they pursued the almighty dollar and are still being ignored even though these people were notified that Alite has now confirmed it.
In March, 2015 the Office of the Inspector General released a report titled: Audit of the Department of Justice’s Handling of Sex Offenders in the Federal Witness Security Program.
This report touched on sex offenders being released into Witsec from federal prison, where they’ve been relocated to new communities, where just like with the murderers turned rats, local law enforcement and unsuspecting neighbors haven’t always been notified as to who’s moving next door.
This report recommended changes and brought up areas of worry for the Department of Justice to address.
Perhaps they should address the book written by Michael Blutrich, because, Blutrich said on a March, 2017 podcast that it was “vetted by everybody. The FBI took a look at it… the agents took a look… every participant in this has gone over it and, and agreed that I’ve correctly… stated what happened.” Last I heard he also attached major production companies to produce a television series and documentary based on his book. But like John Alite’s, I would never read Blutrich’s book, and someone who skimmed through told me that it made no mention of him admitting in court to downloading child pornography, or all the accusations which were leveled against him in the 1990s… or, that while he mentioned his former handler, FBI Agent Jack Karst in his book, he did not mention that Karst was demoted for shredding notes of meetings he had with Blutrich, which, we’ll come back to.
When it got out that Blutrich would be called as a witness against me, someone brought one of his alleged victims to my attorney’s office. He was interviewed, describing how Blutrich ruined his life. How he ruined the lives of other young men, who he introduced my attorneys to.
In Witsec Mafia, we are not just looking to shine a light on the flaws and abuses of the Witness Protection Program. We are also looking to help the victims of the offenders being profiled in this project by exploring their rights as victims.
A portion of the profits from this endeavor are going to a team of attorneys to examine the income the subjects being profiled are making when they give “motivational speeches.” When they appear in documentaries and sell books proclaiming to be changed men. I believe that money should be going to the families of the victims of their murders. To the children who were left fatherless. The widows forced to live life without their husbands. And of course, the adults left permanently scarred by the abuse they suffered as children.
If some cooperator wants to write a book, I could care less. The problem however is when they start telling lies in them, which don’t just effect the people they testified against, but their families. Especially when they don’t just glorify the deaths of their victims, but, completely ignore them. The ones they don’t want the public to find out about.
Like Alan Kaiser. He was 16 when he was murdered by Sammy Gravano, and, somehow, Gravano forgot to mention him in his book where he claimed to be a changed man.
When Doug Anton, not just Gravano’s entertainment lawyer/agent but also Alite’s was asked about criminals making money off of their crimes in the Denmark TV special Crime Does Not Pay? he said about Alite that, “As an agent… what he’s done is of no consequence to me at all… if… we want to generate income from it, that’s what we do… John’s speaking rate is approximately $2,000 to $2,500 an hour, and, he is busy.”
Not too busy to collect food stamps, disability, and engage in various frauds while threatening people on the internet and praising an accused pedophile, however.
Asked on Crime Does Not Pay? if it’s fair that he makes money off of his criminal past, John Alite replied: “I think it is fair… I should be able to profit off of whatever went on in my life.” Whether that’s what actually went on in his life, or, what he’s now making up to make his life seem more significant while slandering dozens of people in the process.
Why are so many cooperators getting away with this?
Why are so many government witnesses seemingly permitted to commit new crimes with impunity? To engage in such egregious behavior and re-write history without consequence?
It’s partially due to a win at all costs, ends justify the means mentality. Almost a case of the tail wagging the dog. Because certain cooperators are given so many perks to entice their testimony, to help convict their alleged cohorts, that their handlers do not want the public finding out about these “perks.” Something former United States Attorney Paul K. Charlton was getting to before he was fired in Arizona. He was trying to institute a policy of recording interviews with subjects being debriefed and or questioned by the FBI, which his colleagues fought back against. They preferred to remain with a strategy of just taking notes of the meetings by hand, and then typing up FBI-302 reports after the fact, summarizing what was said – according to them.
Charlton wanted to install a process of recording interviews with more integrity. One locking cooperators into statements and taking away the ability of agents to tweak the story after to fit the narratives of cases they had already presented, or witnesses who came before, or were to come after them. In my trials alone there were over a dozen instances where cooperators stated under oath that they never said what they were recorded saying in debriefing reports. Which is part of the reason why I was not convicted at numerous RICO trials in under four years.
If a prosecution witness testifies that they didn’t say what the prosecutors who called them to the stand contends they did, why should the jurors believe the case as it is presented? That it is not flawed? Which not only would be a real problem if the individual on trial is a monster who deserves to be in prison, to protect society, but which also brings us to why John Alite is getting away with everything he has.
In his case, there are multiple reasons:
1- Several individuals including members of Alite’s family including his brother Jimmy state that Alite is providing information on Albanian criminals, other informants and anyone else he can sell out. He still has a purpose for the FBI. Which may be why he was assaulted at Sugardaddy’s, a Queens, New York strip club on the night of April 1st, 2017. According to eyewitnesses as well as a video, it was an individual of either Albanian or Serbian descent who pummeled Alite on sight, causing John Alite to flee behind the bouncers for protection. He then ran out the back door towards an area behind the club not leading to the street, but instead, Newtown Creek. Which leads into the East River, possibly the most disgusting, disease ridden water in the country. Yet John Alite, the big time “hitman” jumped into this sewage, and refused to come out until the bouncers called 911.
2- Because John Alite’s handlers covered up that he was a confidential informant during the 1990s, when he took part in a murder (and many other violent crimes that informers are forbidden from engaging in), and if that was proven in court convictions associated with the agents who took part in the cover up could be tossed. Numerous cases could be affected by this.
Which takes us back to Michael Blutrich, as John Alite is not an isolated case. But in both of their cases, the common denominator is myself. At my trial in 2009 my attorneys asked the government for their notes of meetings with Alite in the 1990s. When they couldn’t provide any, even though Alite testified that he was meeting with agents throughout the 1990s we assumed the government destroyed them. Similar to after I was indicted in 1998 when it was uncovered that the government destroyed notes of their meetings with Michael Blutrich. And, again: Blutrich and Alite would later become cellmates in Witness Protection, where they worked on a book together.
Coincidentally, when Michael Blutrich appeared on 60 Minutes in 2015, and John Alite appeared on 60 Minutes Sports in 2014, there were two producers who worked on both episodes: Sarah Koch and Deirdre Cohen. I couldn’t tell you if they were fully aware of either’s history, or how they were sold to Koch and Cohen, but, neither episode mentioned that Alite was caught in lie after lie on the witness stand or that numerous individuals accused Blutrich of sexual abuse in the 1990s.
The Witsec Mafia is filled with groups of cooperators and their enablers working together.
In 1999 “the dean of mob reporters” Jerry Capeci reported that “A top Mafia investigator for the FBI has been demoted to street agent for shredding notes he took during numerous interviews of a controversial FBI informer in the John A. (Junior) Gotti case.
FBI agent John (Jack) Karst destroyed his original handwritten notes — as many as 40 pages, sources said — of statements by lawyer Michael Blutrich, a con man/pervert who had owned the topless bar Scores in a secret partnership with the mob.
As mentioned earlier, I was told that this did not make it into Blutrich’s book. To give Agent Karst the benefit of the doubt, however – to reinforce that Witsec Mafia is not an indictment of the FBI – in a 1999 New York Daily News column, William K. Rashbaum and Jerry Capeci reported that law enforcement sources said “Karst destroyed the notes to spare further embarrassment to himself and Blutrich, who allegedly downloaded child porn from the Internet while an undercover operative for Karst in 1996.”
So, perhaps Agent Karst was well aware of how bad it was that Blutrich was working for the government. Perhaps Karst didn’t even know what he was getting into bed with when he first debriefed Michael Blutrich. It probably happens all the time. Law enforcement thinks they’ve found a great new source of information, someone really working to change their life, only to learn they’re the opposite.
At least we can say in Michael Blutrich’s case his handler did the right thing and admitted to destroying notes of his meetings with him. Whereas in John Alite’s, none of his handlers have ever stepped up to admit that.
Which might be because John Alite’s handlers are “indebted” to him.
George Anastasia wrote in their book that “From Alite’s perspective, the prosecutors had locked themselves into versions of events provided by cooperating witnesses who had come on board before Alite agreed to testify. In fact, he says he felt he had to “tailor” his story to fit theirs so what went before the jury was consistent. As a result, Alite believes, the truth sometimes got lost in the telling.”
Which is as close as one can get to admitting they committed perjury.
If it got out that federal agents and prosecutors knowingly put a liar on the stand – that his new “life story” that he testified to was completely manufactured, presenting him as a multi-millionaire Mafia “hitman” instead of the low level drug dealer he really was in a racketeering case costing the taxpayers millions of dollars, not only could numerous convictions be tossed, but the federal government could be sued for millions of dollars. It would create Chaos.
Providing a motive for why the Feds did not violate John Alite’s supervised release and send him back to prison. Why they might look the other way as he collects food stamps and disability while he’s an owner in a pizzeria, has multiple homes, makes threats and commits frauds. Why a former FBI Agent is misrepresenting on TV that John Alite is a changed man when he is anything but, and another retired Agent introduced John Alite at the Hackensack Police Youth Academy to speak to impressionable “children… boys and girls… young kids,” as Alite described them.
However, it’s bigger than John Alite just being another criminal. He’s saying he’s a changed man to get around the Son of Sam Law. Douglas Anton, in a conversation with an attorney suing Alite for defamation, shamelessly boasted that he knows a formula to get his (murderous) clients around the Son of Sam Law. That he’s trying to put them in media projects together.
Regarding Gravano, Anton posted on Facebook on September 21st – after he was released from prison after 17 years for drug trafficking – that he “is one of the most intelligent and interesting men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. We have big things planned in the entertainment field. Watch and see in February to April 2018 for the start.”
If the FBI and Federal Prosecutors really wanted to punish Gravano, he would still be in prison. They could have given him a life sentence as he violated his cooperation agreement by owning firearms and running a drug operation in Arizona. Instead their federal sentence mirrored the one handed down in Arizona state court. Perhaps they didn’t want Gravano to get upset and start talking about the Witness Program from behind bars, or admit that he lied during his trial testimony to convict people for crimes they did not do. Or to leave out his own crimes that didn’t fit the narrative he was selling.
Then again, perhaps the Feds were still thankful to Gravano for helping to convict well over 56 accused members of organized crime, including the prize of prizes, John Gotti Sr.
Although my father died chained to a bed after spending a decade in solitary confinement, in large part due to Gravano’s testimony, I’d still like to think Gravano has some redeeming qualities, because, he’s in his 70s now. Older, and tired.
When I was on trial in 2009 and falsely accused of the Louis DiBono murder by John Alite, Gravano provided my defense with a letter he wrote asserting that the government’s interpretation of the events regarding myself were inaccurate. Gravano plead guilty to DiBono’s murder almost two decades earlier. In fact, he testified in numerous trials about why DiBono was killed, and who was involved, and never once included myself or Alite, exonerating me of it. Government cooperator Kevin McMahon, who took part in the DiBono murder also testified that neither myself or Alite had anything to do with it. In addition, government cooperator Michael Finnerty testified that Alite was not involved.
Hopefully that’s a snapshot of things to come now that Gravano is out of prison again. That he’ll help correct the government’s position on things. Which would include mentioning that after he cooperated, when he drafted a roster of people he knew to be Gambino soldiers and associates for the FBI, he did not include John Alite on it (because contrary to Alite’s claims, he was a low level nobody who Gravano did not know of). Something I’m bringing up because before he was released, my attorney Charles Carnesi visited Gravano in prison to interview him for another client’s defense. Danny Fama was being falsely charged in the murder of a witness for which he was death eligible, just like I was, on another Ted Otto created case, and Gravano helped clear him of it.
But, while he was there, Gravano told Carnesi that he wanted to get involved in media projects after his release. Making me wonder if any of that money will go to the victims of his crimes, like the family of Alan Kaiser, whose name the old Sammy Gravano didn’t mention in his 1997 book. Probably because Kaiser wasn’t another gangster that he killed, who might have deserved it. He was a 16-year-old teenage boy in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Again: Hopefully the Gravano now out of prison is a different Gravano who will do the right thing. While seeking that answer, however, Chris Kasparoza asked Douglas Anton outside Brooklyn Federal Court on October 24th if he thought any of the money from Gravano’s media projects should go to the family of Alan Kaiser, and, why Kaiser wasn’t mentioned in Gravano’s 1997 book.
Anton replied: “I didn’t work with Sammy when he did his book, only recently I started working with him, and uh, and for projects in the future. And, uh, money that Sammy does get, I’m sure will be, uh, levied by victims’ crime compensation.”
In a 1993 interview with private investigator Donald Bianco, Kaiser’s mother Shirley Shifrin said that after her son was gunned down in 1978, she never knew why it happened, and after Gravano cooperated, the FBI didn’t even come to tell her that he killed her son. Shifrin said that she reached out for the cops after reading his name among Gravano’s victims in the newspaper, and they told her to contact the FBI. She said that she didn’t remember the Agent’s name who came to see her, but, that he didn’t seem to care. That he told her to let it go. To not get involved. Probably because Gravano was an active witness and they didn’t want someone like her to testify about her son at any trial he was appearing at.
Being that we want his name to be known, and not wiped out of history like what might happen if it was left up to an individual like Sammy Gravano – at least the Sammy Gravano who published that book in 1997 – Chris Kasparoza reached out to Kaiser’s sister, Joi Faraci, and asked about her brother… plus, a few other things.
She wrote him, “My brother Alan was truly a good soul and a caring brother. By choice, he always chose to wait for me to walk me home from work, and that is just one of the many ways my brother Alan looked out for me, always had my back. With reference to Doug Anton, John Alite, Karen Gravano, or anyone who is making any money from what happened it does not sit well with me, because the families of the victims of Sammy “Rat” Gravano, are, and will always be grieving a loss of a life, a loved one, at the hand of a vicious individual. It seems UNJUST!! If they are making any residual funds from any of their speaking engagements, interviews, or television shows, proceeds should ABSOLUTELY go to the families of the victims, and not to line their own pockets. It is unthinkable that the family of the man who murdered my brother, should be entitled to make a penny from any of this awful nightmare.”
After Gravano’s book was published by Harper Collins – also the publisher of Alite’s book – Newsweek reported that Gravano admitted under cross examination at the 1997 trial of Vincent Gigante that when he was “Confronted with a series of documents subpoenaed from HarperCollins, Gravano admitted he’d been paid, and paid handsomely. He reluctantly testified that he and Maas had split an $850,000 advance, that he had collected $20,000 for family photos and a voice-over for a book commercial and that he will profit from the movie deal.”
After his arrest in Arizona prosecutors stated that “changed man” Salvatore Gravano was also plotting to kill attorney Ron Kuby who was representing some of Gravano’s victims in a Son of Sam action. The New York Daily News later quoted Kuby saying, “I’m angry at the federal judge who released him, and I’m angry at the federal prosecutors and FBI agents who testified in court that this was a new, improved, changed Sammy Gravano.”
In the course of all these proceedings, however, it came out that Gravano and his author Peter Maas were actually paid by Harper Collins through their branch in England, in an apparent effort to skirt the Son of Sam Law. Leaving me assuming that John Alite is similarly being paid money for his “documentary” in Albania. Something I am hiring a team of attorneys to get to the bottom of with the profits from Witsec Mafia. Especially since George Anastasia himself said during an interview that he paid Alite about $8,600 “for his time” while writing his (their) book… and Jimmy Alite stated that in truth, Anastasia paid his brother “30 or $40,000” under the table from his advance.
It makes me sick that while men and women are imprisoned all the time for crimes they did not commit, “changed men” like the individuals profiled here are set free to roam the streets and commit new crimes against innocent civilians without consequence. Especially with the enabling of bestselling “journalists,” their handlers, and therefore, your tax dollars. These are supposed to be the good guys, but instead, they’re enabling these individuals to not just bypass the Son of Sam Law, but restitution and forfeiture laws, to the detriment of the victims these laws were enacted to protect.
To conclude, and repeat: Witsec Mafia is not an indictment of any branch of the government. Instead this project is shining a light on the flaws and abuses of the handling of certain witnesses. This is about the exceptions, not the rules. Members of law enforcement who were interviewed for this project were appalled when they were made aware of the gross misconduct taking place.
I believe that the majority of law enforcement officers applied for their jobs with the intention of truly doing something good. Of spending their limited time on this Earth making an impact. A difference, leaving behind something better than what was before. Unfortunately, however, our system is not perfect.
If a criminal can be falsely tried and convicted of crimes based on the false testimony of a cooperator, so can it happen to an upstanding citizen. And if these criminals are released with virtually no oversight, but presented as “changed men” and allowed to commit new crimes and rewrite history without consequence, it will most likely be innocent, unassuming civilians that they commit these new crimes against.
This three part series is just a snapshot of The Witsec Mafia. In developing this project, individuals in my office, but mainly Chris Kasparoza and I went through thousands of pages of documents and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews – some of them with Kasparoza going out in the field, undercover – and discovered things we would never have believed existed prior.
This project is still a work in progress, but this document was compiled to highlight some of the cases we’re investigating, with the focus on John Alite’s as his chapter is almost complete. As our investigation progresses, however, we plan to interview not just members of The Witsec Mafia, but also the judges who sentence them, and the handlers tasked with supervising them to get their side of the story, and simply present the facts. We only seek the truth, wherever it may lead.
Some of these interviews with cooperators, a judge and agents were already conducted by Richard Stratton in the docu-series he’s directing about my father and I for A&E, Gotti: Godfather and Son. However, we look forward to presenting all of these cases in the form of a new docu-series and in the book I’m writing highlighting over 15 separate cases to show that similar infractions are taking place across the country, in city after city. To hopefully inspire members of Congress and law enforcement to step up and correct what needs correcting.
— John A. Gotti
with Chris Kasparoza
and Richard Stratton