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Feds reveal details of 1978 Lufthansa Heist for upcoming trial

May 30, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Feds reveal details of 1978 Lufthansa Heist for upcoming trial

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The New York Daily News is reporting that a Bonanno gangster charged with the infamous 1978 Lufthansa robbery allegedly blew his nearly $1 million cut of the score betting horses at the racetrack.

Federal prosecutors disclosed their most detailed account to date, presenting evidence against reputed capo Vincent Asaro, which included stunning secrets in the infamous long-unsolved airport heist. The feds have lined up an impressive line up of snitches with direct knowledge of Asaro’s involvement in the Lufthansa heist — immortalized in the classic film “Goodfellas.”

Former Bonanno boss turned rat Joseph Massino will take the stand and testify that he served as Asaro’s captain of his crew at the time and was given a case filled with expensive jewelry by Asaro as a tribute payment to his skipper.

Jimmy Burke, depicted by Robert Deniro in Goodfellas was the mastermind of the famous Lufthansa heist

Jimmy Burke, depicted by Robert Deniro in Goodfellas was the mastermind of the famous Lufthansa heist

Gaspare Valenti, a cousin of Asaro, took part in the heist, and recently agreed with the Feds to wear a wire on Asaro.

Salvatore Vitale, Massino ‘s brother-in-law, and former underboss will testify that he witnessed Massino, inspecting the pricey jewelry and was given a gold chain from the score.

Former Gambino associate Anthony Ruggiano Jr., will testify that his father, the late John Gotti crew member Anthony (Fat Andy) Ruggiano, helped Asaro and Burke fence the stolen jewelry.

Months after the famous $6 million robbery took place, a trail of bodies began popping up in its wake including Richard Eaton, allegedly strangled by Lufthansa mastermind James (Jimmy the Gent) Burke. Eaton is believed to have been murdered over a drug deal, which was financed from some of the proceeds from the heist, according to court documents.

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Asaro showed up at a cousin’s house with the body of Easton and instructed him to borrow a neighbor’s backhoe to dig a hole so he could dispose of the body.

However, before they could dig the hole, children discovered the body with the rope still tied around his neck stashed in a refrigeration truck.

It took two days to thaw out his remains for an autopsy. The murder was depicted in the Martin Scorsese movie.

“That was one of many screw-ups by Asaro in his up-and-down Mafia career. He wasted his take from of the Lufthansa loot gambling at the racetrack,” stated Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alicyn Cooley and Nicole Argentieri.

His gambling addiction also led to his demotion to the mob rank of soldier in the 1990s.

Prosecutors identified a roster of deceased Lufthansa alumni including Valenti, Burke, Burke’s son Frank, Angelo Sepe, Joseph (Joe Buddah) Manri, Tommy Desimone, Danny Rizzo, Anthony (Snake) Rodriguez and Louis (Fat Louie) Carfora.

Vincent Asaro, left , was arrested Thursday in connection with the 1978 Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport. Thomas “Tommy D” Di Fiore, bottom right

Vincent Asaro, left , was arrested Thursday in connection with the 1978 Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport. Thomas “Tommy D” Di Fiore, bottom right

“Each participant of the robbery was supposed to receive approximately $750,000 but most did not live to receive their share (either because they were killed or it was never given to them),” prosecutors wrote in papers.

Valenti’s share was glommed by Asaro, but Valenti got the last laugh by secretly taping his cousin ranting: “We never got our right money, what we were supposed to get, we got f—ed all around, that f—ing Jimmy (Burke) kept everything.”

Asaro’s lawyer did not return a call for comment. The trial is scheduled to begin in October in Brooklyn Federal Court.

“Evidence of (Asaro’s) gambling losses and addiction are essential to complete the story of the lucrative criminal schemes charged, including what befell the millions in profits from the Lufthansa Heist,” the court papers state.

Asaro, 80, acknowledged in another secretly taped conversation that he’s a broke fella because he can’t help himself when it comes to the ponies.

“If I got a winning ticket and I got to the window, I bet the next race whatever I won in that race, I bet the whole ticket!” he said.

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