FBI Cooperation

Organized Crime Wall Street

2000 Congress Subcommittee Hearing - Organized Crime on Wall Street



In September of 2000, there was a subcommittee hearing by the 106th Congress regarding organized crime on Wall Street.  During this hearing, an individual by the name of Phillip Abramo was referred to as Abramo is described “by sources as controlling at least four brokerage firms and is identified in court documents as a capo in the Decavalcante organized crime family.”  He is portrayed during this subcommittee hearing as controlling these firms and exerting influence on other firms “through front men.”  

In another part of this transcript of the hearing, details regarding Abramo from a 1994 affidavit filed with the court in a bail hearing, it is stated, “the FBI identified him as a frequent visitor to reputed New York Mob boss John Gotti prior to his imprisonment in 1992," and alleged that Abramo held the rank of capo in the New Jersey organized crime family once headed by Sam “the Plumber 1 ’ DeCavalcante. But sources say that since then, Abramo has risen in the ranks to No. 2 in that crime family — underboss. Abramo is easily the highest-ranking reputed mobster to be engaged full-time in Wall Street activities. His lawyer, Harvey Weissbard, declined comment on Abramo’s alleged ties to organized crime. Asked about Abramo’s possible role on Wall Street, Weissbard said he had “no information of which I can respond one way or the other, and I doubt if I did know one way or the other that I would respond.”


Where this becomes clearly applicable to Felix is when the hearing goes into recent indictments for the stock fraud case Felix was involved with; this fraud having occurred according to the indictments between the years of 1993-1996.  The following is an excerpt of where this is discussed:


“Another major strike against organized crime in the securities markets came on March 3, 2000 when the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York indicted 19 people, including six with alleged ties to organized crime. The indictment alleged that a broker-dealer, White Rock Partners (later renamed State Street Capital Markets), worked with brokers at several notorious boiler rooms, including J .W. Barclay & Co., A.R. Baron & Co., and D.H. Blair, engaged in microcap "pump and dump" manipulations. The indictment also alleged that the defendants most frequently relied on fraudulent Regulation S offerings to obtain their inventory of stock to manipulate. The six alleged organized crime members in the criminal enterprise are as follows:


Name / Position / Organized Crime Family:

Frank Coppa, Sr. / Captain / Bonanno

Edward Garafola/ Soldier / Gambino

Ernest Montevecchi / Soldier / Genovese

Joseph Polito, Sr. / Associate / Gambino



Shortly following the March 2000 indictment of 19 persons, there was another larger indictment in June of 2000.  It is described in this way:


“The most recent law enforcement action against organized crime on Wall Street came on June 14, 2000. The SEC, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, FBI, and NASD Regulation jointly announced the results of a one-year undercover operation targeting microcap fraud, including organized crime operating in this market. The SEC sued 63 individuals and entities in five enforcement actions. The U .S. Attorney's Office indicted 120 defendants, including 11 members and associates of five different organized crime families, in connection with several securities fraud scams conducted through various criminal enterprises. The indictments allege fraud in connection with the publicly traded securities of 19 companies and the private placement of securities of an additional 16 companies. The 11 alleged members and associates of organized crime are as follows:



Name / Position / Organized Crime Family:

Michael T. Grecco / Associate / Colombo

James S. LaBate / Associate / Gambino

Vincent G. Langella / Associate / Colombo

Robert A. Lino / Capo / Bonanno

Anthony P. Stropoli / Soldier / Colombo



To give an idea of the problems due to the association of organized crime with Wall Street, here is an additional excerpt:


“What this all adds up to is a shocking tale of criminal infiltration abetted by widespread fear and silence — and official inaction. While firms and brokerage executives who strive to keep far afield of the Mob often complain of NASD inaction, rarely do such people feel strongly enough to share their views with regulators or law enforcement. Instead, they engage in self-defense. One major brokerage, which often executes trades for small-cap market makers, keeps mammoth intelligence files — to steer clear of Mob-run brokers. A major accounting firm keeps an organized-crime expert on the payroll. His duties include preventing his firm from doing business with brokerages linked to organized crime and the Russian Mob.”

Here are the excerpts from Felix Sater's 5K1 letter regarding his cooperation with the FBI on sophisticated Wall Street fraud crimes, as well as with Philip Abramo.

These were significant arrests as part of Operation Street Cleaner, mentioned periodically as the looming threat in the Scorpion and the Frog: High Times and High Crimes book co-authored by one of Sater's partners in the stock scam, Salvatore Lauria.  As noted in that footnote above, it was Sater's cooperation which led to Coppa cooperating against other "several high-ranking members of the Bonanno Crime Family, including Joseph Massino, the head of the Bonanno family."

Sater's cooperation played a role in each of the defendants' pleading guilty and he was prepared to testify as a witness if they hadn't.  The letter states they "believe that he would have been an effective an important witness if a trial of the case had been required" and that "his testimony would have been truthful, precise, and compelling."

One could even speculate Sater's cooperation began earlier than September 1998 when he returned from Russia and turned himself into the FBI due to the fact the Scorpion and the Frog book states he was the one who decided to keep and not shred the records on their offshore accounts used in the scam and didn't inform any of the partners he was doing so, as well as neglecting or forgetting to pay storage rental fees on the locker he had rented and placed them in before leaving for Russia.

The letter not released until August of 2019 explains how Felix Sater "provided the law enforcement authorities with a working knowledge of modern stock manipulation schemes and the mafia's involvement in the maintenance of those schemes.  Federal investigators knew that many complex financial deals appeared suspicious, but could not uncover how they worked" and that it was Sater who "explained in detail how these sophisticated boiler room scams" were being ran and helped them see a "whole new brand of financial theft."

They attribute this newly gained knowledge on being able to (with Sater's help) build a case in the Southern District of New York against Philip Abramo, "The King of Wall Street."

According to Wikipedia, Abramo "On July 4, 2003, Abramo was convicted of five murders, including those of D'Amato and Weiss, as well as racketeering and loan sharking charges. In 2006, he was sentenced to life in prison. In September 2008, a federal appeals court reversed his racketeering conviction and ordered a new trial.  According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Abramo was released on January 21, 2018."

New York Post - June 5, 2003


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