Ettore Coco

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Ettore "Eddie" Coco (July 12, 1908 Palermo, Sicily [1] – December 1991) was a New York City mobster who served as acting boss of the Lucchese crime family in 1967.[2]

Biography[edit]

Boxing promoter[edit]

In the 1940s, Eddie Coco worked with James Plumeri, Frank Palermo, Harry Segal and Felix Bocchicchio for soldier Frankie Carbo in a group known as "The Combination".[1] The Combination acted as boxing promoters and were accused of fixing matches. During this period, Coco met Rocky Graziano, then an amateur boxer fighting in New York City's Lower East Side.[3][4] He helped Grazino start a professional boxing career and throughout the following years was viewed as a somewhat manager.[4][5] In the late 1940s, Coco was suspected of placing wagers and taking bets on fights while Graziano was accused of taking bribes.[6] These accusations continued until Graziano retired in 1952.

In 1953, Coco was arrested in Florida for murdering a Miami car-wash operator in a dispute over a bill. On November 12, 1953, Coco was sentenced to life in prison.[5][7][8] During the 1963 McClellan hearings, government witness Joseph Valachi identified Coco as a Capo in Gaetano "Tommy Brown" Lucchese's crime family.[9]

Acting boss[edit]

In 1965, Coco was released from prison after serving ten years on his life sentence.[8] He stayed in Florida and was under government surveillances.[10] In July 1967, family boss Tom Lucchese died and Coco became a candidate to become the new boss.[11] He served as acting boss in 1967.[2] In late 1967, Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo went to Florida and meet with Coco.[12] He later step down as acting boss and Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti became the new boss. Coco continued to operate as a capo under Tramunti, with criminal activities in New York and Florida that kept him under strict government watch.

Florida operations[edit]

In 1972, Coco, his brother-in-law James Michael Falco, and Louis "Louis Nash" Nakaladski were indicted in Miami on extortion and loansharking charges.[13][14][15] During the trial, witness Joel Whitice testified that he borrowed money in the late 1960s from Falco. He made payments to Falco, Coco and Nash, and described Coco as the leader of a loan-sharking ring.[8][13][14] Coco was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison on loan-sharking and extortion.[13][16]

By the late 1980s, Coco was considered a semi-retired mobster living in Florida. In 1986, he served as Consigliere for the Lucchese family while boss Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, Salvatore Santoro and Christopher Furnari were on trial in the Commission Case.[17] Coco later resigned and continued to operate in New York and Florida.

In 1986, Coco created a bingo operation to launder money from criminal rackets.[18] The mobsters used Bingo World, a company operating bingo halls in several states, to launder the money. Coco and Chicago Outfit members Dominic "Big Dom" Cortina and Donald Angelini became silent partners in the company. The new owner, Stephen Paskind, served as the front owner of the company; while claiming he controlled 84 percent he actually only had 42 percent. Izaak Silber soon joined in the bingo operation. In 1991, Coco and his bingo partners were arrested.[18]

Death[edit]

In December 1991, Coco died while awaiting trial on money laundering.[18][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bureau of Narcotics, Sam Giancana, The United States Treasury Department. Mafia: The Government’s Secret File on Organized Crime. 2007. (pg 399)
  2. ^ a b DeVico, Peter J. The Mafia Made Easy: The Anatomy and Culture of La Cosa Nostra. Tate Publishing, 2007. (pg 175)
  3. ^ Smith, Marshall. The New "Mister Big" of Boxing. LIFE Magazine Oct. 15, 1951 (pg. 143-146)
  4. ^ a b Myler, Thomas & Sugar, Bert R. The Sweet Science Goes Sour: How Scandal Brought Boxing to its knees. 2006. (pg 31)
  5. ^ a b Christenberry, Robert K. My Rugged Education in Boxing by Robert K. Christenberry (May 26, 1952) Life Magazine pg.114-116, 118, 120, 123-124, 126, 129-130)
  6. ^ "Graziano Breaks A Sports Scandal". Life Magazine. February 10, 1947. Vol. 22 No. 6 (pg.19-24)
  7. ^ Ring Figure Gets Life Term (November 13, 1953) New York Times
  8. ^ a b c Sosin, Milt Parolee Fingered in Extortion Case. (August 24, 1972) The Miami News (pg 7A)
  9. ^ The Gaetano Lucchese Family McClellan 1963 Chart . Gangrule.com
  10. ^ Kirk Aide Backs Anticrime Fight; Says no cases in Florida are politically motivated. New York Times. May 11, 1967.
  11. ^ Grutzner, Charles. Mafia Candidates Jockeying for Job as Lucchese's Successor (July 26, 1967) New York Times
  12. ^ Grutzner, Charles. Cat-and-Mouse Game: U.S. and Luchese Mafia Gangs Leaders; Valachi Hearings. New York Times. Dec. 23, 1967.
  13. ^ a b c United States of America vs. Louis Nakaladski, Ettore Coco. July 6, 1973 (Docket: No. 72-3441); (Citation: 481 F. 2d 289).
  14. ^ a b United States of America vs. James Michael Falco. July 22, 1974 (Docket: No. 73-3681); (Citation: 496 F. 2d 1359).
  15. ^ Pileggi, Nicholas. The Decline and Fall of the Mafia. (March 3, 1972) Life (Magazine) (pg. 42-44)
  16. ^ Ettore Coco v. United States of America Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. March 13, 1978. (Citation:569 F.2d 367)
  17. ^ Organized crime: 25 years after Valachi. (1988). Issue 1806. (pg. 897)
  18. ^ a b c McCord, Joel Chicago Man Admits Scheme At Bingo World. April 8, 1992. The Baltimore Sun.
  19. ^ West, Norris P. Reputed Chicago mobster sentenced in conspiracy Local Bingo World was his target North County – Lunthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphery. June 9, 1993. The Baltimore Sun.
Business positions
Preceded by
Acting Boss

Carmine Tramunti

Lucchese crime family
Acting Boss

1967
Succeeded by
Official Boss

Carmine Tramunti