By The Other Guy | June 27, 2020
In his time, Carmine Lombardozzi was known as one of the premier racketeers operating in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
He was active in many varied enterprises, but among his most notorious activities was heading a multimillion-dollar loan shark operation and the many stolen stocks and forged securities scams which he perpetrated against Wall Street’s brokerage houses.
He had the well-earned reputation as a “Shylock’s Shylock”, in that he often loaned money to smaller loan sharks to finance their operations.
In fact, many members of his personal crew were encouraged to “push” money “on the street” to increase the overall bankroll generating revenue for the regime.
The regime often leveraged these loan debts of recalcitrant borrowers to infiltrate their businesses, and stock brokerage houses that Lombardozzi thereafter pilfered by “busting out” or falsely bankrupting the company, or to pressure stockbrokers into committing illegal acts in order to pay back the usurious loans.
Stock market manipulation and securities theft became another steady endeavor of his regime.
It’s been well-documented that most of his personal crew and criminal associates were also engaged in both these activities.
In fact, Lombardozzi garnered his nickname of “The Doctor”, and “The King of Wall Street” because of his expertise in this field of stock manipulations.
He and his minions engineered many stock frauds over the years. One of their primary schemes was operating “boiler rooms”, which were nothing more than backroom offices, minimally furnished with makeshift desks and swivel chairs, a well of telephones, the accompanying A-Z Coles Books listing potential scam victims, and blackboards in order to chalk their sales.
Staffed with conmen and smooth-talking criminals, the fraudsters would “cold call” thousands of unsuspecting stock investors throughout the United States daily, touting stocks that were largely worthless in order to pump up their volume and subsequent value.
Once these penny stocks were sufficiently elevated in price, the corrupt stockbrokers, racketeers and mafiosi would then quickly dump their stock certificates, before the securities would plummet back down to near zero value after having been falsely inflated in the first place.
The wiseguys all made a killing, and the suckers got fleeced.
This is a well-worn scam known as “Pump and Dump”, that has been duplicated numerous times over the years, but arguably Carmine Lombardozzi and his crew were the first to perfect the racket.
It earned him and his underworld benefactors millions, and it would make “The Doctor” the fair-haired boy of the New York Mafia for years to come.
Of medium height and slim in stature, Carmine was a very dapper dresser, and was known to tool around his Brooklyn hangouts of Sheepshead Bay, and Mill Basin in a white Rolls Royce that he prized.
Always dressed to the nines in expensive attire and diamond jewelry, he often congregated in the bars and restaurants that dot Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, where he held court with his mob disciples and mafia contemporaries. Other favorite hangouts were The Golden Gate Motel in Sheepshead Bay, and the New Corners Restaurant at 7201 5th Avenue.
In Lower Manhattan, he was known to frequent the Alto Knights Social Club at 86 Kenmare Street, and the Cafe Royale on Mulberry Street, both notorious mob hangouts in the Little Italy section since the 1930s.
He gained much additional unwanted notoriety in 1957, when he was one of 62 top mafiosi nabbed at the infamous Apalachin Mafia Meetings in Upstate New York.
This underworld gathering for a mob barbeque at Binghamton boss Joseph Barbara’s home, would lead to multiple appearances before grand juries investigating the event, and the mafia in general. He would end up serving a contempt sentence because of his continued refusal to testify truthfully before the panel.
He was also eventually convicted on obstruction of justice charges and sentenced to 5 years. But his conviction, like all those charged, was subsequently reversed on appeal.
Of all his many mob associates and criminal colleagues was Arthur Tortorello, who was one of Carmine’s closest and most trusted soldiers through the years. “Artie Todd” and his brother Peter, aka “Petey Todd”, were notorious Brooklyn hoods who served in his regime.
The Tortorello’s became top mafiosi in their own right.
Artie Todd in particular was a violent, scheming hood who was arrested many times over the years. On several occasions, he and his Caporegime were nabbed together, in several highly publicized indictments out of both the Southern and Eastern Districts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively.
Aside from these lucrative rackets, he and his large crew of followers were active in crap games, bookmaking, numbers, vending machines and jukeboxes, fencing stolen shipments, strong-arm work and suspected of murder.
Lombardozzi was also long suspected by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) of dabbling behind the scenes in the narcotics trade as a financier of drug shipments.
Carmine was closely tied to his brothers, and several nephews, all of whom became active hoodlums in his Gambino Family crew. Several of whom would go on to become top mafiosi in their own right, such as nephews Danny Marino and George Lombardozzi .
His brothers John and Paul were especially active in the rackets, working side by side with Carmine for many years.
What follows below is a relatively accurate depiction of what the Lombardozzi crew’s membership looked like from the decade starting in 1950 through approximately 1985. It was a very large regime, suspected of having several dozen “inducted” soldiers serving in it, and many more hoodlum associates.
So without further ado, here’s Carmine the Doctor’s Regime and Crew!
Capo di decina
Carmine (The Doctor) Lombardozzi
FBI # 290869, NYPD # B-82564
He was born 1913, and lived at 114 Stratford Road, in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn. He had a long record of 29 arrests, but few convictions and even fewer jailings, dating back to 1929.
Among his more noteworthy arrests were contempt of court, stock frauds, assault, stolen securities, income tax evasion (twice), perjury, and loansharking.
NYPD # B-104161
Born in 1915, he resided at 2206 Bergen Ave., Brooklyn, and Miami Beach. Active in stock thefts and fencing racket, stock fraud, shylocking, extortion. John also ran gambling junkets from his 747 Travel Club in Manhattan through several frontmen.
He figured into a major stock theft indictment of numerous Lombardozzi crew associates for the theft of over $1,370,000 in blue chip securities. He also served a 20-month jail term for beating FBI SA John Foley, while Foley was covering the funeral of Lombardozzi’s father in 1963.
Three additional brothers, all Brooklyn residents, were closely allied with Carmine and John in their shylocking, extortion and gambling operations;
Anthony (Sonny) Lombardozzi
FBI # 4518894
NYPD # B-99438
Born 1911, he resided at 1302 80th Street, Brooklyn. Castore was actively involved in the loanshark racket, pushing out money provided by his capo. Dom Castore operated very low key for most of his underworld career, primarily operating in Kings County.
Ugo (Hugo) Bassi
His background is largely unknown, but served in this regime. Suspected as a gambler, and being active in narcotics. Basis was partnered with Lombardozzi in a separate shylock operation Bassi ran in Brooklyn, with funds supplied by Carmine.
Sabato (Sammy Mintz) Muro – aka “Little Sammy”
FBI # 765170, NYPD # B-122610
He had a police record of a dozen arrests starting in 1933. Active as a strong arm, in gambling and extortion.
Side Note: It is a fact, and known underworld legend that Lombardozzi had an illicit affair with the daughter of his soldier Sabato Muro. After Muro brought a formal complaint to Family bosses Albert Anastasia and Carlo Gambino, Lombardozzi was forced to divorce his wife and marry the young girl, thereby saving her honor and that of her father…it was a merciful decision for Lombardozzi, who could have justifiably been murdered for such a major mafia indiscretion.
Arthur (Artie Todd) Tortorello
FBI # 471455, NYPD # B-77539
Probably Carmine’s closest associate aside from his brothers and nephews, Artie resided in Brooklyn all his life, and was a top racket figure in the County. His criminal record started in 1929 and included over 32 arrests. A strong-arm and enforcer. Active in burglary, extortion, stock frauds and thefts, shylocking, forgeries, fencing stolen goods.
Peter (Petey Todd) Tortorello
NYPD # B-140056
Born 1915, resided for years at 2171 Kimball Street, Brooklyn. Engaged in burglary and thefts, extortion, and strong-arm work in tandem with his brother and Lombardozzi.
William (Big Willy) Amendolace
NYPD # B-672574
Born in 1918, he resided at 1239 36th Street, Brooklyn. Since at least the early 1960s he was listed in FBI files as a Family soldier. Heavily engaged in shylocking, heists, stolen goods.
NYPD # B-4499009
Carmine’s sister’s son. Born 1940, he resided at 140 E. 2nd Street, Brooklyn. Another of the younger generation, Danny later became a top capo in his own right.
He was one of several Lombardozzi family members who were arrested in 1963 for beating an FBI agent and taking his weapon from him, at his grandfather Camillo’s funeral. It created a feud and bad blood for several years between the government and the mob, until mafia higher-ups smoothed out the FBI’s ruffled feathers by sanctioning several of their members.
By the 1990s, Marino was reported to be serving in the “acting administration” of the Gambino Family. He has served many years in prison.
Louis M. (Louie D) De Filippo
NYPD # B-215994
Resided at 5413 19th Avenue, Brooklyn. Engaged in stolen stocks, frauds, scams, and shylocking. Documented by the FBI as a longtime soldier and Lombardozzi crew member.
NYPD # B-191213
Born 1916, he resided at 1453 E. 5th Street, Brooklyn. Mundo was almost solely active as a major loan shark. He was a top member active in pushing Carmine’s money out in loans throughout Brooklyn.
John (Johnny G) Gammarano
Active in labor-union racketeering in the construction industry. Also shylocking, and extortion.
He is also believed related to the Lombardozzi family. Gammarano’s name came to prominence during the Gotti era when he was exposed as a soldier handling several unions locals for their borgata. Close associate of Danny Marino.
Ignatius (Iggy) Di Bella
NYPD # B-302106
Born in 1922, he resided at 415 3rd Street, Brooklyn. Active in gambling and shylocking. Listed in the 1983 Congressional Hearings as a Gambino Family soldier.
Another nephew and little known regime soldier, active in Brooklyn as a shylock. Very little is known about his mob career. The FBI listed him as serving under his uncle Carmine in the Brooklyn rackets.
His brother’s son. Based in Brooklyn, one of the younger generation. He was heavily engaged in shylock, extortion, and business infiltration rackets. In 1963 he was also arrested for the beating of the FBI agent during a family funeral.
George later figured into a federal loanshark-extortion case in Brooklyn, which involved a Chinese restaurant owner who borrowed shylock money from Lombardozzi and was later pressured by the FBI.
Michael (Mike Scandy) Scandifia
FBI # 476106B, NYPD # B-365213
A close 1950s-1960s associate who later disappeared and was presumed murdered after he became entangled in a diamond theft, stock fraud and illegal guns investigation.
Scandifia was a high profile soldier who fell afoul of his mob superiors. It is said his murder was a direct result of him having either become an informer or the fear that he would become one. He just disappeared one day and was never seen again.
Accursio (Swifty) Marinelli
NYPD # B-92358
Born in 1911, he resided at 418 Atlantic Avenue, Staten Island. Swiftly was one of Carmine’s closest associates for many years. Active in policy, shylocking, and thefts. He was also closely affiliated with capo Peter (Petey Pumps) Ferrara, a Carlo Gambino intimate.
Dominick J. (Mimi London) Lagana
NYPD # E-645584
Born in 1907, he resided at 100 E. 21st Street, Brooklyn. Active in bookmaking, shylocking, strong arm. A low key member.
Ernest (Cutface) De Vito
NYPD # B-482149
Born in 1920, he resided at 325 First Street, Brooklyn. Active in robberies, extortion, labor rackets, policy, and strong-arm work. De Vito was very active throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. He was also known to have been friendly with the Family’s Corbi regime based in Baltimore, MD.
Joseph (George BlueEyes) Martinelli
NYPD # B-89833
Born in 1914, he was a Brooklyn resident until later relocating down to 4480 Michigan Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida. Active in gambling, shylocking, strong arm, stock frauds. Martinelli was indicted with John Lombardozzi and other crew associates for a major stock theft from Bache & Co., a top Manhattan brokerage house.
Leonard (Leo) Grillo
NYPD # B-534981
Born in 1905, he lived at 1235 54th Street, Brooklyn. A veteran soldier engaged in gambling, robbery, loan shark and extortion. Grillo was another very low-key member, who stayed off law enforcement’s grid for most of his mob career.
Many of the men listed below were white-collar criminals, active in stock thefts, and various frauds. They were allied with the regime in these operations.
• Benjamin (Benny Cutler) Cutlowitz – Old-time Jewish hood from Brooklyn
• Stanley Younger
• Milton Parness – Master conman and stock fraud specialist
• Isidore Resnick -NYPD #B-90204
• Michael Lekacos
• George Wagner – A known bookie
• Peter Modica
• Carmelo Montanti
• Dominick Merola – NYPD #B-279399
• Michael Lavas
• Leo Issac Sagal – Another stock fraud specialist
• Sidney Rosenthal – NYPD # B-110393
• Jack Pfecter – Union official and shylock
• Sam Leibowitz – An active shylock
• Max Tannanbaum – NYPD #B-109321
• Irving Cohen
• George Levine
• George Schaffer – Crew bookmaker and policy rackets
• Martin Benjamin
• Leon Hersch
Side Note: There were many others not listed. Carmine had a huge crew. Many of his associates were little known to the general public and even to law enforcement.
Many were Jewish, and other Italians, as well as hoodlum associates of many other ethnicities who were allied to it. Because many were semi-legit businessmen who just had larceny in their blood, and not out and out racketeers and gangsters per se, they often times slipped under law enforcement’s radar unless their activities drew public outcry and the subsequent police investigations that go usually follow.
Carmine Lombardozzi was a master at “white-collar” type rackets: stock fraud, bankruptcy scams, business infiltration and corruption, labor union embezzlement and sweetheart contracts with employers, etc.
That said, many of his confederates and partners in these activities, although illegal, were mostly corrupt businessmen and other fringe players of the underworld.
They also operated down in South Florida, Connecticut, California, Las Vegas, and elsewhere. Often far away from the mob’s epicenter of New York and New Jersey. Which often allowed for successful anonymity.
With Carmine’s death in May of 1992, his crew was taken over by his nephews Danny and George.
They continued the tradition started by their uncle, successfully expanding the crew’s rackets and operations through the years.
This second-generation carried the infamous Lombardozzi name and were well received by New York’s underworld because of it.
But the caveat was that the Lombardozzi name was a bit a two-edged sword, cutting both ways as it were.
On the one hand, their surname opened a lot of underworld doors. But on the other hand, it brought them under the intense eye of federal law enforcement scrutiny.
They received much more exposure than might have been, had they not had such a notorious underworld history and infamous mafioso surname.
Starting in the 1980s, all throughout the 1990s, and well into the 2000s, Danny Marino and his cousins George Lombardozzi and John Gammarano, would be arrested and indicted over and over, for a variety of offenses.
Among the more noteworthy charges and criminal cases involved were loansharking, extortion, labor union racketeering and corruption, and murder conspiracy.
There were many other lesser counts as well.
Each would be repeatedly prosecuted and jailed, with Marino suffering the longest periods of incarceration…Mafia Road has not been paved with gold as in the days of old with their uncle Carmine.
Gammarano died several years ago, and as of today, both Marino and Lombardozzi are thought to be semi or fully-retired by the FBI, and no longer in an “active capacity” in the borgata’s daily operations.
Several years ago, previously censored FBI memos, 302 reports, and informant files were been released under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). Many files were decades old. It seems that by sifting through these various sensitive archives, delicate information has come out that Carmine Lombardozzi may well have been a longtime informant for the FBI.
Matching the secret code number attached to each informant given by the FBI for cross-reference, many similarities exist and match up perfectly to Carmine Lombardozzi’s known history and profile.
If in fact he was a federal informer, it may explain why despite a very lengthy arrest record a mile long, Lombardozzi led a charmed life during his mob career and served a bare minimum amount of time in jail.
This has been just another tale of the American underworld.
Until next time…The Other Guy!
This article was originally posted “here“