Philadelphia Greek Mob
|Founding location||Greece / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Years active||Late 1930s – present|
|Territory||Formerly Greece, currently Philadelphia, Upper Darby, other parts of Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Washington, D.C.|
|Ethnicity||Greeks, Greek Americans|
|Criminal activities||Murder, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, extortion, loansharking|
|Allies||Philadelphia crime family, K&A Gang, Velentzas crime family, Greek mafia|
Philadelphia's Greek Mob, or the Greek Mafia, are a low-profile criminal organization of ethnic Greek Americans in Philadelphia with alleged connections to the Italian Philadelphia crime family. They were formed in southern Greece by the original boss Steve Kondonyanis. Kondonyanis also had strong ties with the Efthimiades family of Macedonia in Northern Greece. When the Efthimiades family was run out of power in the 1960s, Kondonyanis decided to move his operations to the culturally diverse America. When Kondonyanis was sentenced to jail to serve life for murder, mobster Chelsais Bouras took over.
Chelsais "Steve" Bouras
Throughout the 1970s until 1981, Chelsais Bouras of Upper Northeast Philadelphia headed the Greek Mob in Philadelphia, participating in mostly loansharking, extortion, methamphetamine trade, and illegal gambling. Bouras directed the mob efficiently, and he carried out business with more prominent families such as the Philadelphia Mafia. He was a close associate of Italian wiseguy and Scarfo soldier Raymond Martorano.
In May 1981, at the Meletis Greek restaurant in South Philadelphia, Bouras was gunned down alongside his girlfriend Janette Curro, Ray Martorano, and Philadelphia radio personality Jerry Blavat. Curro's family had ties to the Mafia: her nephew Joe "Crutch" Curro, a made member of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra, was known to the FBI since a 1976 FBI wiretap at Frank’s Cabana Steaks in South Philadelphia — a base of operations for mob capo Frank Sindone, until his death in 2004.
Bouras was approximately 50 years old and Jeannette Curro was 54. Though Bouras and Curro were killed, Martorano and Blavat were only wounded. It is reported that Nicodemo Scarfo of Philadelphia's notorious Philadelphia crime family ordered the hit, as Bouras had refused to pay Scarfo's street taxes, specifically for his meth ring. There have also been speculations that Martorano arranged the hit for Scarfo because of eyewitness claims that the gunman motioned for Martorano to move out of the way before opening fire. To this day, no one has ever been connected with the hit. The assassination took place just one day after the murder of another Greek mobster, Harry Peetros of Upper Darby.
Activity in the 1980s
After Bouras' assassination, the Greek Mob did get involved with the mob war in Philadelphia in the 1980s, attempting to gain rackets in Atlantic City, but activity declined after the war. They were also involved in the high profile prosecution of Mafia lawyer Robert F. Simone in 1994. Simone was a close associate in the 1980s.
A two-year FBI investigation into a cocaine ring run by the Greek mafia in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. resulted in charges being filed in August 1987.
Although rather prominent in the 1970s and 1980s, the Greek Mob has cooled down and remains rather dormant. However, there have been some occurrences of members being found loan sharking in Philadelphia in modern times. The reason for this dormant period could be traced back to the leaders lost in the 1980s mob war in Philadelphia, which was initiated after Bouras' assassination.