January 14, 2022 — Former Detroit mob mega-bookie Allen (The General) Hilf was robbed of more than one million bucks when he served federal prison time for a sports gambling bust in the late 1980s. The culprit: his own gun-mol wife, Virginia Hill, a Mormon-born Las Vegas dancer, stripper and aspiring actress.
The case of the missing 1.5 million dollars made it front of the Utah Supreme Court, although not on Hilf’s accord. And at the end of the day, the court acknowledged Virginia Hill pilfered the cash from her ex-husband by liquidating his assets and emptying a joint banking account, but allowed her to keep it anyway.
Hilf, one of the biggest bookmakers in the United States at his peak, died of kidney failure in 2014 at age 73. He was a longtime member of the Detroit mafia’s Giacalone crew and at the end of his life acted as as the top adviser to reputed Tocco-Zerilli crime family boss Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone. His only marriage during his life was to Virginia Hill, who he met in Vegas and mobsters in Detroit nicknamed the Flamingo after famous slain Jewish mob figure Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel’s gal-pal Virginia “The Flamingo” Hill (no relation), portrayed by actresses Dyan Cannon and Annette Bening in television and film roles, respectively.
Like her earlier namesake, Hilf’s Virginia Hill was a woman unafraid of using her feminine wiles to get ahead in the world and ultimately get rich. Bugsy’s Virginia was born and raised in Alabama, but the General’s Flamingo was raised Mormon in
Hill began plotting her escape from Hilf when he was sent to prison for 18 months in 1987. She consolidated the cash she grabbed from Hilf’s stash spots, safety deposit boxes and bank accounts and took off for Las Vegas in 1989, right after Hilf got home from the can but before he could realize what she had done. The amount of the money-jack has been estimated between $2,000,000 and $5,000,000, according to sources and court documents.
Hill left Vegas months later and went to stay with her uncle in St. George, Utah, where he belonged to an offshoot of the Church of Latter Day Saints called the Apostolic United Brethren. A number of AUB church goers broke off to form their own polygamy sect and tried to persuade her to give them $1.5 million dollars to purchase a plot of land for a new church commune. Instead, she gave them $40,000 to help them in their efforts. Hill left the rest of the money hidden in her uncle’s house in St. George and returned to Vegas.
When Hill went to Utah dip into the buried nest egg in 1991, the money was gone. It somehow made its way from her uncle’s polygamy camp back to the leaders of the AUB church. AUB president Owen Allred used the over $1.5 mil on paying off property loans, purchasing a car lot in Salt Lake County and luxury vehicles for Allred and other AUB influence peddlers.
Hill filed a federal lawsuit, that at first was tossed out of court and then reinstated by Utah’s highest court. In 2003, Hill won her suit and a judgement of $1.8 million. An appeals court judge voided the payout on the grounds that Hill had “dirty hands” in obtaining the funds in the first place. It was Hill who had the last laugh though and the state’s high court once again ruled in her favor, saying it didn’t matter how she got the money into her possession and that because she was defrauded of the cash, she was entitled to it back plus damages.
This article was originally posted here