Monday, 22nd January 2018

Judge Bob Bastone, Is The Chicago Outfit Dead?

Posted on 07. Jul, 2013 by in Organized Crime, Politics

With the recent imprisonment of Outfit Boss’ James “Little Jimmy” Marcello, Joey “the Clown” Lombardo and the now late Frank Calabrese Sr. (all thanks to the Family Secrets Case) in mind, Democratic State Central Committeeman Jim DeLeo famously claimed that “there is no Outfit.”

Is he truly sincere?

When it comes to talking about the Outfit, former Democratic State Senator and power broker Jimmy DeLeo should know what he is talking about. After all, he is a close friend of the supposedly dead and gone Chicago Outfit. This was revealed in an interview on FOX 32, which was conducted by Fox News Reporter Dane Placko in 2011.

But we don’t need to assume DeLeo is lying in order to have proof the Outfit still exists. We are literally drowning in evidence that the same criminal empire that has thrived in Chicago since the days of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone is as strong as ever.

Johnny “No Nose“ DiFronzo is still out on the street and is the Outfit’s most respected leader in recent years, despite the fact that many believe he must have beefed someway, somehow, to prevent from being indicted in the Family Secrets case. The Government’s star witness, Nick Calabrese, testified that DiFronzo was involved in the Spilotro murders, but nothing happened to DiFronzo, unlike the others Calabrese testified against. Regardless of the reason he’s not locked up, it is difficult to deny that DiFronzo’s presence on the street is a sign that the Outfit is still around.

Here is more. Just recently a very good source who is considered by Federal authorities to be a Made member of the Chicago Outfit informed me that Johnny DiFronzo is a silent partner of Billy Daddano Jr.’s in his company Century Trade Show Services, which makes bundles of money servicing Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center as a janitorial contractor. According to my source, Daddono funnels money to DiFronzo through his brother-in-law and Chicago gangster, who is the now imprisoned Rudy Fratto. My source explained that Daddano drops at least $50,000.00 (sometimes more) per year to DiFronzo through Rudy Fratto. The money is turned over in a combination of cash and checks, which have been done on a monthly basis for over 20-years right up until Fratto’s recent tax problem a few years ago. My source believes that the payment system may have changed since then, but is confident still exists.

As a side note, Daddano receives a number of business contracts via Jimmy DeLeo’s Democratic Machine on a frequent basis. Small world, eh?

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  • I have cut and pasted a comment below that was actually sent via email.
    From: Merlin:

    Hi Joe & Frank. I do not know how the commenting process works on this site
    anymore. People used to be able to post using a name and email address. I find
    these Outfit related articles as interesting as ever, but I have a problem with
    the way some of the information is being presented. I will not argue that many
    people still benefit in the legitimate world because of who their relatives once
    were within the Outfit, and I do not see how anyone paying attention could
    disagree with that. It is a complete travesty of politics, good business
    practices, and our judicial system, but, hey, this is Illinois. However, I do
    not think there is a compelling argument that the Chicago Outfit, itself, still
    exists. When I think of the Outfit, I think of a boss or two, along with capos,
    made guys, runners, and familiar geographic distinctions like Grand Avenue and
    Chinatown. That old model had been deteriorating for at least 20-years and seems
    to have disappeared entirely with Family Secrets
    trial, followed by the Sarno Berwyn bombing case. In response to this, a lot of
    people want to say that the Outfit is still around, only “more secretive than
    ever,” or that it “has evolved.” I believe the latter is true–the Chicago
    Outfit evolved out of existence. The handful of guys who somehow did not go to
    prison got a healthy scare with the aforementioned RICO cases and realize it is
    not a good thing to be in the mob. Whether or not he is an informant, Johnny
    DiFronzo has been in a state of self-imposed estrangement from the Outfit for
    more than 10-years. He is not an honest person, so I do believe he and a few
    others still benefit from some gambling outposts established by the mob back in
    the 50’s or 60’s because they were once in a position to do so. But I am fairly
    confident that if Aruba decided not to divert X amount of dollars to the mob,
    there would be no modern day Harry Aleman or Frank Schweihs to get them in line.
    Referring to DiFronzo as “the bo
    ss” or implying he is active in the organization is not accurate in my opinion.
    “Former boss” or “one-time boss of the now defunct Chicago Outfit” is more in
    accord with reality. For as much of a goof as a guy like DeLeo may be, I think
    in denying the existence of the Outfit he was essentially making the same point.
    Sure, there are still extremely vague vestiges of the mob here and there. Marco
    D’Amico has his morning coffee at Panera Bread with some colorful characters,
    and I actually discreetly snapped a photo of him chatting with Christy Spina one
    morning. They had a brief exchange, a few laughs, slapped each other on the back
    and went their separate ways. No big deal. In Chicago, the mafia was a 20th
    century phenomenon. The “Chicago Outfit” is now a trope. It is symbolic, and
    does not exist literally. I forget who it said it, but I think the final chapter
    in the History of the Outfit simply reads: “Then, Johnny DiFronzo became the
    boss and then let the
    whole thing slip quietly into the night.” It would be interesting to hear any
    thoughts you, Michael, and Frank have on my remarks.

    This mail is sent via contact form on American News Post

    • Dear Merlin,

      The Outfit is still around. As a street gang its much smaller and less active in vice. As a political power brokerage firm if you will, it is as powerful as
      ever! Johnny DiFronzo is a tough guy to read. However, rest assure that he is who he is and that is a gangster. He sells his own out when under the gun, but he is who he is. DiFronzo’s power is so strong that other thugs
      will do as they believe he wishes. His power is so strong that the
      fact that it looks as if he is a beefer, he still commands respect. he cannot
      escape who he is, he cannot pretend that he is someone else. He is married to his identity until death. There have been times that I felt convinced that DiFronzo was done, but evidence continues to show that he is not.

      Please consider sending me the photo that you snapped of Marco and Spina. Thanks.

      • funkster

        The Grand Ave/West Side Crew just had their 4th of July BBQ in their social club…we should ask them if The Outfit is still alive!

  • funkster

    Joe, is there a relation between Joey and James Bastone to Judge Bastone?

    • Dear F,
      I am unfamiliar with James, but if the Joey you are asking about is the late Carmie’s son, married to a tall and beautiful blonde and lives out west, loves to body-build, then yes. The Joey that I mentioned is the judge’s first cousin.

      • funkster

        Indeed that is the Joey I was referring to. I have seen both James and Joey (unknown relation between the two) linked to the Melrose Park Crew. I assume Carmine is one of the uncles referred to in the article, do you know who the other would be?

        • F,
          As I said, I am unfamiliar with James. I could make one call and get the skinny. Maybe tomorrow. Joey is a very nice guy. His dad, the now late Carmie (uncle of the judge), was one of Johnny DiFronzo and Sam Carlisi’s top guys overseeing gambling in and out of the US. If it were not for Carmie and his now late brother Sal, there would have never been a Judge Bastone. Coconate is on to something big. This article is the first of what will be a series of articles. I refused to write the piece because Bob and I have too many close friends in common. However, Coconate has full control over his column and there is very little I could do about it.

  • Alan

    Joe, You said the Difronzos where behind Polumbo construction in a article I read a while back, but didn’t that company start long ago? Well be for they where even made if im not mistaken. Question I would have, is who had it prior to that, if it was then passed to the Difronzos? And a question id ask with out given the reason do to personal matters, any chance Rudy Fratto would have been the collection guy for any of there pay offs, or companies in similar standing?>

    • Alan,
      The DiFronzos were definitely doing business with Palumbo (the late Pete) for a period of time. However, Pete ruined his standing with them somehow. The DiFronzos put the word out about Pete that he was an a**hole. I believe their business relationship lasted almost 10-years, from late 80s to middle 90s. I think Pete was the bagman in the Palumbo deals, not Rudy.

  • mdelcamp

    Very interesting article, covering some well worn territory in the main. However, my own view of these underworld goings on is that we are always going to see some criminal big city syndicates in one form or another, because human nature does not change over time, or improve like technology or the economy. So then, when F.B.I. or other busybodies focus exclusively on Italian-American syndicates, family men all, well cultured and appreciative not to mention acquisitive, opportunistic and tough enough to help America win World War II and get J.F.K. elected U.S. President, they are clearing a pathway for other less civilized syndicates to establish themselves. The way that politicians favor certain groups over others is disconcerting. Give a guy a break.

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  • Kevin Eidson

    That is really fascinating. I remember when people knew better than to publish stuff like that.