Donald Trump has most certainly been the most publicized name of either party in the race to see who will be the next president of United States. Trump’s name hasn’t rung out due to his policies, so much as his brash, WWE-like approach to politics. One of his talking points has been the resurrection of a wall at the Mexican border to keep the cartels out of the country. In fact, his demeaning comments about Mexican immigrants drew the ire of drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was rumored to have put a $100 million bounty on Trump’s toupee’d head. Due to a recent piece published by The Federalist, Trump’s disdain for the criminal Mexican cartels seems a bit odd. The report details the unapologetic presidential candidate’s intimate dealings with La Costra Nostra, the Mafia, in the past.
It is a well-known fact that the Philadelphia Mob had its hands in the development of Atlantic City. It is even more well-known that Donald trump had thrived in AC, with casinos. Where’s the connection? Back in the day, trump purchased a bar (at
twice its market value) from Salvatore Testa, son of Philly mob boss Phil “Chicken Man” Testa, who took over after the 1980 assassination of “The Docile Don,” Angelo Bruno. At the time, the infamous and murderous Nicademo “Little Nicky” Scarfo (who took over as boss of the Philly Mob after “Chicken Man” Testa was blown up in his own house) and nephew Phillip “Crazy Phil” Leonetti ran Scarf, Inc. and Nat Nat, two of the major concrete companies in Atlantic City. According the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation’s 1986 report on organized crime, both of these companies worked on the construction of Harrah’s Casino (half-owned by Trump), which was built on the land. When Trump bought out his partner, Harrah’s Entertainment, the casino was renamed Trump Plaza. Furthermore, George Anastasia’s book, Blood and Honor, Scarfo controlled the bartenders union, which represented Trump’s employees.
The Federalist delves further:
One more link to organized crime lurks in Trump’s past Atlantic City dealings. He had a close association with Kenny Shapiro, an investment banker for Scarfo. According to secret recordings of then Scarfo attorney Robert F. Simone, Shapiro was intimately involved with bribing Atlantic City Mayor Michael J. Matthews, whose term would end in 1984 with a conviction on extortion charges. On the tapes, in 1983, Simone, talking about Leonetti, states: “He’s a nice-looking boy…Nicky’s nephew, he can sit with the…mayor. Ah, and Kenny’s (Shapiro) got the mayor through this kid Phillip.”
Trump also had mob connects in New York City, namely Anthony “Fat Tony Salerno. Salerno was the former boss of the Genovese crime family, and was one of the bosses convicted in the monumental Mafia Commission Trial. The report states:
Trump’s association and business dealings with known mafia figures was not limited to his Atlantic City projects. In New York City, several of his buildings were built by S&A Concrete Co., a concern partly owned by Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, the boss of the Genovese crime family. In addition to this business relationship, Trump and Salerno were both represented by high-power attorney Roy Cohn. In his book, Barrett cites an anonymous source who confirms that on at least one occasion Trump and Salerno had a sit-down in Cohn’s apartment. Trump has denied this claim in the past.
Whether Trump has to answer for these connections remains to be seen. He is enjoying surprising wins in primaries, and is looking to be the GOP presidential nominee. Will his dealings with La Cosa Nostra come back to bite him?