Alphonse T. Persico, known as Little Allie Boy or just Allie Boy, is a former acting boss of the Colombo crime family from the 1980s and 1990s. He is not to be confused with his uncle of the same name, who was also a Colombo crime family mobster known as "Allie Boy", who died in 1989.
Born in New York, Alponse T. Persico grew up in South Brooklyn, Bensonhurst and Hempstead L.I. Persico's father is Carmine Persico, the imprisoned official boss of the Colombo family. Alphonse Persico's brother is Michael Persico, considered by federal prosecutors to also belong to the Colombo crime family. Alphonse Persico shared the same name with a uncle who died in 1989. Alphonse Persico was married to Teresa Persico.
Unlike some mafiosi, the young Alphonse Persico was a promising student who graduated from high school and was accepted into college. At St. John's University in New York, Persico contemplated going to law school. Instead, he quit St. John's after his sophomore year, presumably to work for his father. By his mid 20s, Persico was reportedly a caporegime (captain) running his own crew. Like many other mafiosi, Persico enjoyed the power and excitement of the mob life. In 1983, Persico was arrested for heroin possession, but the case was dismissed.
In 1986, after being sentenced to 100 years in prison, Carmine Persico designated his son Alphonse Persico as the Colombo acting boss. However, in 1987, Alphonse was convicted in New York of racketeering and sentenced to 12 years in federal prison.
Orena rebellion Edit
With his son Alphonse in prison, Carmine Persico selected Colombo mobster Vittorio Orena, a loyal capo and distant cousin, to be the temporary acting boss. In selecting Orena, Persico made it clear to the family that his son Alphonse would become acting boss again when released from prison.
In the spring of 1991,Vittorio Orena decided that he wanted to run the Colombo crime family without the Persicos and told consigliere Carmine Sessa to call a referendum of the family capos to approve it. In response, the imprisoned Carmine Persico ordered Orena's murder. On June 20, 1991, Persico gunmen unsuccessfully try to kill Orena at his home. In November 1991, after several months of negotiations, the Persico and Orena factions broke into open warfare. Still in prison, Alphonse Persico directed the campaign against Orena. On May 13, 1993, Alphonse and other family leaders were indicted on racketeering charges that included the 1992 murders of Orena loyalists John Minerva, Nicholas Grancio and Michael Imbergamo. By October 1993, Orena and many of his followers had been sent to prison. Carmine Persico retained control of the Colombo family. Also in 1993, Teresa Persico divorced Alphonse.
On August 8, 1994, Alphonse Persico was acquitted of the 1993 federal racketeering and murder charges due to the revelations about Colombo capo Gregory Scarpa and his relationship with the FBI. Persico was now a free man, but he did not become acting boss right away. Instead, Persico spent much of the next few years at his family home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In 1996, Carmine Persico appointed Andrew Russo as acting boss. When Russo went to prison in early 1999, Alphonse Persico finally took over the acting boss job.
Cutolo murder Edit
Alphonse Persico's second stint as acting boss would last only a year before he was sent back to prison. In early 1999, the US Coast Guard stopped Persico in his speedboat as he was motoring in the Florida Keys. After searching the vessel, Coast Guardsmen arrested Persico for possessing a shotgun and a semiautomatic handgun as a felon.
In May 1999, Carmine or Alphonse Persico allegedly ordered the murder of his newly appointed temporary acting underboss, William Cutolo. Persico's motive might have been revenge for Cutolo's support of Orena in 1991. However, another theory is that since Alphonse Persico was facing prison again for the Florida weapons charge, Persico feared that Cutolo would seize control of the family during his absence. On May 26, 1999, Cutolo's wife, Marguerite Cutolo, reported her husband missing. Earlier that day, Alphonse Persico had summoned Cutolo to meet with him at a park in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. However, when Cutolo arrived at the part, Colombo hitmen Thomas Gioeli, Dino Calabro, and Dino Saracino took Cutolo to Saracino's apartment, where they murdered him. Goeli later buried Cutolo's body in a field in Farmingdale, New York, where it remained undiscovered until October 2008.
In October 1999, Persico was arrested again in New York on federal racketeering, loan sharking and bank fraud charges. The arresting agents searched Persico's Brooklyn apartment and uncovered $25,000 in cash along with records of extensive loan sharking and credit card fraud activities. He was released on bail. In 2000, Persico was convicted on the Florida gun charges and sent to federal prison in Florida for 18 months.
On January 24, 2001, Persico finished his weapons sentence and was due for release from prison in Florida. However, that same day, Persico was transported back to New York, where prosecutors indicted him on loansharking charges.
The government also suspected Persico in the Cutolo murder and was starting to build a case against him. Persico was held without bail. On December 20, 2001, Persico pleaded guilty to federal racketeering, loan-sharking and money-laundering charges from 1999 and 2001. The judge sentenced Persico to 13 years in federal prison.
On October 14, 2004, Persico was finally indicted in New York for the Cutolo murder. However, on November 3, 2006, the judge declared a mistrial due to allegations that Cutolo's wife Marguerite had lied under oath. In the second trial, on December 28, 2007, Persico and John DeRoss were convicted of murder in aid of racketeering and witness tampering On February 27, 2009, Persico was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the Cutolo murder.
In February 2010, Colombo hitman Frank Sparaco reportedly told prosecutors that Persico had ordered the 1992 murder of Michael Devine, a Staten Island nightclub owner. Devine, who was found shot to death in a car, had allegedly enraged Persico by dating Persico's wife Teresa during their separation. No charges have been filed.
As of February 2013, Persico is serving a life sentence at the United States Penitentiary, Coleman near Coleman, Florida.