Luciano (Fat Louie) Larasso – aka “Anthony LaRasso”, “Luciano Luraso”, “Louis Anthony Larasso” – was born on November 13, 1926 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
By the late-1950s, he was residing with his young wife Stephanie and three daughters at 2711 Bradbury Street, where they had purchased a home in the adjoining neighborhood of Linden.
He would later relocate to a larger, more expansive home at 115 Donaldson Place, also in Linden.
FBI # 745765-C
Larasso stood 5’-7” tall and a solidly built 200lbs. He was a bit chunky but was wide-shouldered and gave the appearance of a bruiser. He had a full head of dark chestnut brown hair and deep-set dark brown eyes.
His reputed criminal activities as listed by the FBI were as follows; union racketeering, labor extortion, gambling, strong-arm tactics.
He was the longtime organizer and business agent for Local # 394 – International Common Laborers & Hod Carriers Union (AFL-CIO) based in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He also held the additional post of union trustee.
In addition to his union position, he held an active ownership interest in a Sinclair-Gas Service Station in the city of Elizabeth, which was a popular gasoline brand decades ago.
After the debacle of the Apalachin mafia meeting of November of 1957, in which New York State Troopers raided the home of Binghamton mob boss Joseph Barbara, arresting 62 of the most prominent mafia members in the entire United States, Larasso was dismissed from his long held union post.
Under federal labor law, a person convicted of any felony is barred from holding any official union office for five years from the date of conviction or the date of their release from prison or parole restrictions.
He was able to seemlessly shift gears, and was soon gainfully employed again with one of the very same private construction companies his laborers union local had previously organized the workers in. He was hired as a very well paid “labor foreman”.
Larasso had first came to the attention of law enforcement authorities when he and his Family’s underboss Frank (Big Frank) Majuri were detained along with the other underworld figures at that infamous Mafia summit meeting in the sleepy little town of Apalachin in Upstate New York.
This event would expose him to the general public and forever brand him during his lifetime. The public exposure not only forced him to resign his union post. It would also legally intertwine him before federal and local investigating grand juries and eventually see him indicted on criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges along with the other 61 attendees.
When Larasso stood before federal Judge Irving Kaufman for sentencing, the jurist gave a thumbnail sketch of the thirty-four year old mafioso (as he had done for all defendants) before passing a sentence of four years in prison on him. He called Larasso “a person devoid of emotion whose first loyalty was to the underworld”.
Note: all the defendants would eventually have their federal convictions overturned on appeal. But the years long harassment and public exposure it generated against the defendants and the Italian underworld in general resonated for decades to come.
Aside from this one arrest, Larasso had virtually no criminal record to speak of.
He may have been served with a contempt of court charge during the late-1960’s, early-1970s era when almost all New York-New Jersey mafiosi and associates were subjected to the many mob-focused grand juries that subpoenaed many a hoodlum hoping to crack them or jail them on either criminal contempt or perjury charges, stemming from either their testimony or lack thereof before these investigating agencies.
Aside from that, he very successfully kept his head low, despite his previous exposure at Apalachin.
During Sam DeCavalcante’s reign as boss of the borgata, Larasso was a highly trusted key member. He served in a capo’s post, overseeing a group of soldiers and associates on Sam’s behalf. He would later be elevated to the underboss position by DeCavalcante.
Sam was said to have full confidence in him.
In later years, as DeCavalcante semi-retired to Florida, and captain John Riggi ascended to the boss throne, Larasso was removed from the role of underboss but still was viewed as a top captain and was considered close to Riggi. As time passed, it seems his place in the Family hierarchy slowly diminished.
And in time something very negative must have happened, and Larasso was now viewed as a threat to Riggi’s power. Whether it was jealousy or a fear that as a very influential and senior veteran member for over fifty years he would attempt to overthrow Riggi, the order was given and Larasso soon disappeared.
It was later learned through mob informants that he was set up and indeed murdered at the order of the hierarchy, and that Riggi had signed off on Larasso’s execution.
Luciano (Fat Louie) Larasso had only just turned 65 years old on the day of his disappearance in 1991. His beloved wife and daughters had planned a birthday gala in his honor.
When he didn’t show up for his own birthday party, his family immediately knew something was very, very wrong…..unfortunately, their worst fears would soon be confirmed.
Over a decade and a half would pass before the truth of what had actually happened to the longtime mafioso that fateful day back in 1991 would be exposed.
Several key DeCavalcante members had turned informant; Acting Boss Vincent (Vinny Ocean) Palermo, and soldier Anthony Capo.
In their debriefing before FBI agents, their sworn testimony was documented describing Larasso’s murder in all its gory details.
Palermo and Capo had been among the hit team. They were in fact the triggermen who actually dispatched Fat Louie with multiple shots to the head and chest.
In 2006, several members of the DeCavalcante hierarchy including Stefano Vitabile, Phil Abramo, triggermen Palermo and Capo, and several others would be held accountable for his murder in a wide ranging RICO indictment with predicates of several murders, Larasso’s among them.
They were all tried and convicted of murder and racketeering charges. All received a life sentence.
Palermo and Capo faded into WITSEC, the witness protection program, never to be seen again.
Several years later, Capo was reported to be dead, having suffered a massive heart attack. He was only in his early forties.
Palermo went on with a stellar career as a wealthy nude dance club owner and real estate entrepreneur in his newly relocated city of Houston, in Texas.
His identity would eventually be discovered and publicly reported in newspapers across the country.
Four days after his identify was revealed, Palermo put his mansion up for sale. It sold in 2016 for a whopping $2,850,000.
After several multimillion dollar lawsuits were leveled at him be his current business partners, he reportedly made himself scarce again….. becoming just another rat in the woodwork again!
As for Luciano (Fat Louie) Larasso, aside from his loving memory honored by his blood family, he is but a footnote in the long and bloody history of the America mafia….and is just another storied tale of Cosa Nostra!
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