Marlon Brando in “The Godfather”Rather than target a restaurant or gambling ring, a famed mob family used an unconventional cover to steal $12 million: a mortgage company.
The New York Post reported that federal prosecutors allege the son of former Lucchese boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, Nicodermo “Junior” Scarfo, and 12 others extorted Texas-based FirstPlus Financial Group to gain control of the company, and ultimately steal millions. The mob ring had targeted the firm during the real estate boom because it was earning millions from subprime mortgage loans and was looking to restructure, federal prosecutors in New Jersey said.
The group began threatening the firm’s executives and families to get them to vote and support the $12 million scheme. The mobsters manipulated mergers of sham companies, orchestrated buyouts of fake companies and relied on phony consulting contracts to launder the money. According to the FirstPlus website, the firm has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to reorganize. [Post]