"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Holy Cow! 

Atrios points to this story from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, but fails to highlight what I think is the real bombshell (emphasis supplied):
New York businessman Adam Kidan is expected to plead guilty next week to federal conspiracy and wire fraud charges in connection with the purchase of the SunCruz gambling fleet from entrepreneur Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, according to sources close to the case.

If the deal goes through, Kidan, who was looking at up to 30 years in prison, could now face a maximum of 10 years. That sentence could be reduced depending upon the extent of his cooperation as a witness, not only against his co-defendant -- embattled super lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- but also in the prosecution of three men charged in the Feb. 6, 2001, slaying of Boulis, the sources said....

By November 2000, Kidan had contacted an old friend, Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello. Moscatiello had signed a contract with SunCruz to be a "catering consultant" at $25,000 a month, according to court records. Kidan said he thought Boulis was going to kill him, according to statements Moscatiello gave police. Moscatiello, a known associate of the late crime boss John Gotti, promised to smooth things over.

Moscatiello put Kidan in touch with Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, who ran "Moon Over Miami Beach," a company that, among other things, is described in records as a security firm. One of the men who worked for Ferrari was James "Pudgy" Fiorillo. In September, Moscatiello, Ferrari and Fiorillo were indicted in Boulis' murder. Kidan has not been charged in the case.

After being arrested, Moscatiello told detectives that Fiorillo traveled to his Queens home two weeks after the murder and confided that Kidan reportedly told Ferrari to kill Boulis, according to court records. Moscatiello said Fiorillo also indicated that he and Ferrari carried out the hit, the documents show. Moscatiello told detectives, "I told Adam what had happened, what I was told and he told me he never made no phone call and after Tony Ferrari told me it was a lie, I never discussed it anymore with Adam."

We knew all along that there was considerable circumstantial evidence tying Abramoff and Kidan to the Boulis killing - that $250,000 "catering" payment has been public record for a while now - but, so far as I know, this is the first public acknowledgement that Boulis' murderers had explicitly fingered either Kidan or Abramoff for the murder. And the question is this - who, exactly, is Kidan going to squeal on? The prosecution has hard evidence tying him to Boulis' murder (including, it seems, his own confession, since he's agreeing to testify), and his testimony is clearly unnecessary to convict Big Tony, Little Tony, and Pudgy, since one or more of them is already singing. So, I ask again - who is Kidan taking down with him? It must be good, if it is enough to keep his sentence down to ten years or less for his involvement in a mob hit.

This, of course, makes Abramoff's purchase of half of the Republicans in Congress small potatoes by comparison. It looks like Kidan (who I hope has paid up his life insurance premiums) is about to blow this story wide open on a whole 'nother level.

Update: Josh Marshall has been wondering about the same questions, and passes along a comment from a reader who posits that the Boulis murder may not be part of the plea deal. Possibly, but I'm not sure that I buy the reader's reasoning - that the murder investigation is a state, not federal matter. It seems to me that when you purchase a contract from the Gotti family, federal organized crime statutes come into play. That's not to say, of course, that there isn't a state prosecution in the offing as well (the double jeopardy issues may be murky, due to application of the "separate sovereign" rule), and it's clear that the state has taken the lead in prosecuting Pudgy and the Tony Twins, but I suspect the feds are nosing around in the matter as well. Anyway, it will all become cleart in the fullness of time.




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