‘Fat Tony’ Heads Fortune 50 List Of Mob Bosses
NEW YORK (AP) _ Fortune magazine’s newest list of America’s top 50 bosses doesn’t include anybody whose outfit is listed in Dun & Bradstreet. Number one is Anthony ″Fat Tony″ Salerno, a cigar-chomping, 75-year-old New Yorker tapped as the nation’s top Mafioso.
Fortune, a business magazine known for ranking the 500 largest corporations, this week branched out with its list of ″The 50 Biggest Mafia Bosses.″
Salerno, the reputed boss of the Genovese crime family, was ranked No. 1 by law enforcers who assessed mobsters’ wealth, power and influence.
Fortune gave second and third place to two more Anthonys: ″Big Tuna″ Accardo of Chicago and ″Tony Ducks″ Corallo of New York, respectively.
The reputed boss of the Gambino family, allegedly the nation’s largest single crime network, may not be happy with his rating. Fortune put John Gotti 13th on its list, just ahead of the long-retired and imprisoned Joseph Bonanno.
Gotti lacks a colorful nickname, but his custom suits, Mercedes 450 SL, impeccable hairstyle and alleged role in the sidewalk slaying of reputed predecessor Paul Castellano have gained him more publicity than any alleged mobster since Joseph Valachi in the early 1960s.
But ″his superstar status is more image than substance,″ said Fortune. ″He does not seem qualified to run the Gambino family’s complex businesses, which range from meat and poultry sales to a garment industry trade association.″
″Organized crime is, among other things, a potent economic force,″ managing editor Marshall Loeb explained in his biweekly note to readers. ″Yet rarely, if ever, has the press examined the mob as a business, one that has its own management style and culture...″
According to the article, ’the organization chart of a crime family or syndicate mirrors the management structure of a corporation,″ and mobsters act accordingly:
-Like many a chief executive, Accardo was called back from retirement in Palm Springs, Calif., when other leaders of Chicago’s Outfit were imprisoned.
-Salerno and his fellow New York Mafia bosses fixed cement prices, charging a 2 percent fee for all superstructures costing more than $2 million.
-Carl DeLuna, reputed underboss of the Kansas City, Mo., Mafia family, submitted detailed expense accounts for trips to Las Vegas, Nev., where he supervised skimming of cash from casinos.
The mob, Fortune notes, even has a yuppie: Michael Franzeze, 35, a racketeer’s son who strayed from traditional scams to branch out into film production and gasoline tax evasion.
However, only 24 of Fortune’s 50 are neither in jail nor under indictment, and only 15 of those are under 70. Highest ranked among them is Vincent ″Chin″ Gigante, a 57-year-old member of the Genovese family whose power has grown since Salerno’s incarceration.
Salerno, Fortune says, was making more money than most Mafia chieftans even before ascending to the Genovese throne in 1980; he allegedly skimmed large sums from casinos in which he had a hidden interest.
For all its attention to finances, however, Fortune was unable to give annual income or net worth figures for anyone in the Mafia, a network which the FBI estimates has 1,700 initiated members in about two dozen cities.
Peter Reuter, a Rand Corp. economist who has studied organized crime, said the rankings probably meant very little.
″I couldn’t make an accurate list, and neither can anybody else,″ he said. ″This is entertainment, like most organized crime reporting.″