By The Other Guy | April 13, 2020
Angelo (Vic) Lapi was born on April 22, 1932 in Lower Manhattan, moving to Bayside in Queens as a youth. By the late 1960s, he resided at 345-47 148th Drive in Rosedale, until moving to 158-02 87th Street in the more upscale Howard Beach area with his wife and children. By at least 1980, he had again relocated out to 86 Anchorage Street in West Islip on Long Island.
Over the years, he also maintained an apartment at 1163 Shore Pkwy., in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn for business purposes. By the 1980s, he was flying down to South Florida to spend his winters, staying at the Diplomat Hotel, until finally relocating permanently down to the Sunshine State.
He leased a condo in an apartment complex called Sea Air Towers at 2049 Ocean Drive in the Hallandale section.
FBI # 335210, NYCPD # B-415091
He was the son of a notorious Genovese member named Joseph (Joe Beck) Lapi, and the grandson of an early Lower Manhattan underworld power named Angelo Lapi who was murdered two years before Vic was born back in 1931, for whom he was named after.
In 1975-early 1976, Angelo was reported by informers to have been formally inducted into the Genovese Family as a “soldier” under his father’s sponsorship. He was, thereafter, put into the regime his father headed. Joe Beck was considered an important “capo di decina” and elder statesman of the borgata as he headed waterfront rackets near the Fulton Fish Market.
Among other criminal activities, Vic Lapi engaged in were the policy rackets, bookmaking, shylocking, extortion, strong-arm shakedowns and business infiltration. He was also suspected of having dabbled in the narcotics trade.
Known to law enforcement but little known to the general public, his primary area of operation was the Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park sections of Brooklyn. But he was known to be active throughout most of that borough, Queens and Manhattan, and later Florida.
In 1969 Lapi was arrested twice on charges of criminal contempt of court, for refusing to answer questions when put before a Kings County Grand Jury investigating organized crime and the ongoing Bonanno War, a violent struggle for supremacy in the Family.
Lapi was misidentified as a Bonanno member from Queens, but nevertheless was jailed both times for 30-day terms for refusing to answer questions, having cited his Fifth Amendment privilege after being granted immunity from prosecution. He was sent to the Brooklyn lockup and fined $250 on each conviction.
In 1975, Lapi was arrested with others for operating a policy-numbers network based in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn that brought in up to $50-100,000 in weekly policy bets, or grossed $2,500,000 to 5,000,000 a year, according to the Brooklyn North Public Morals Squad. Among the runners and controllers arrested in the operation was a Maspeth school teacher.
A few years later, Vic also became engaged in a profitable sports-bookmaking business down in the South Florida area around Fort Lauderdale and Hallandale. By 1990, he had partnered with Gambino soldier Augie Corrao and several Chicago-area bookmakers who oversaw the operation from a series of Hallandale apartments they rotated from. Lapi also provided two brothers in his crew named Joseph and Thomas DeMarco for collections.
Lapi’s made his home base along Emmons Avenue in the Sheepshead Bay Area where he operated from Cappuccino on the Bay, a small cafe he ran and frequented daily, and a notorious private social club on Monroe Street in Downtown Manhattan that his father operated for decades.
He also held ownership interest in Amy Elizabeth Creations, Inc., a Brooklyn dress firm located at 325 Bay 13th Street in Bay Ridge.
He and his friend-partner Butchie, another key member of the crew, operated a crude but extensive shakedown racket in the neighborhood. Over the years they had developed a long string of retail shops and wholesale businesses that paid them a weekly or monthly “envelope”. Essentially a “shakedown” or extortion payment reminiscent of 1920’s New York.
Using a small contingent of regime hoodlums to literally “terrorize and coerce” these businessmen to pay them under threat of vandalism; broken store windows, slashed truck tires, arson, beatings, robberies, and the like. A dazzling array of restaurants, bars, caterers, diners, cafes, gas stations, barbershops, dress factories, clothing shops, tire shops, dry cleaners, etc…capitulated to this mob tax as though they were back in 18th-century Sicily.
After his father’s death in October of 1980, Vic Lapi and Butch continued in their underworld careers under a new capo. Despite their Al Capone style of operation, they pretty much stayed off law enforcement’s radar. Vic himself had an amenable style and tended to be more reserved.
Vic is retired today in Florida and almost 87 years old. He outlived his father by almost twenty years.
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