A two hour live special featuring the opening of a secret vault owned by Al Capone was aired, hosted by Geraldo Rivera. 30 million people tuned in to watch as it was opened…only to find it was empty aside from some debris. It was the most watched syndicated special that year.
During the heyday of The Sopranos FBI wiretaps of the real mafia revealed that the show was so realistic the real mobsters thought there was a connected guy feeding story lines for the show.
In the 1990s, a Russian mafia and Italian mafia organization participated in a literal money-laundering scheme, washing and bleaching the ink out of US$1 bills and reprinting them as $100s, for use in the post-Soviet bloc countries, where the bills might avoid detection as counterfeits.
The Mafia helped establish the Gay Bar scene in New York. Fat Tony purchased the Stonewall Inn in 1966 and transformed it into a bar and restaurant. He later bribed the New York Police Department around $1,200 a week to ignore ‘indecent conduct’ occurring behind closed doors.
A con man tricked Al Capone out of $5,000. He got Capone to give him $50,000 to invest in a scam. After 2 months, he returned it. He told Capone that the scam had fallen through, and he had no money left to support himself. Capone, stung by his honesty, gave him $5,000 to “tide him over”.
In the movie The Godfather, the reason the word ‘mafia’ is not mentioned a single time is because mafia boss Joe Colombo, along with Frank Sinatra, threatened the films production and would only back the filming if they could change the script to their liking.
Ray’s Pizza was started by a Mob as a front for Drugs and Money laundering, But ended up making almost the same money as their drug buisness.
The Italian Mafia is involved in nuclear waste trafficking: they have bought nuclear power plant waste and dumped it in Somalia. The Camorrah in Naples do this too. Except they dump it in Naples.
The cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano is a large target of organised crime in Italy. From 2013 to 2015 an organised crime gang stole 2039 wheels of it from warehouses in northern and central Italy.