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Louis LaRasso

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Louis LaRasso

Louis "Fat Lou" LaRasso (1926–1991) was a New Jersey mobster and longtime underboss of the DeCavalcante crime family.

Biography Edit

After being promoted to Capo by former boss Phil Amari, LaRasso and reputed Underboss Frank Majuri attended the infamous 1957 Apalachin Meeting, as the only ones representing the newly recognized New Jersey crime family. Amari himself did not attend, as he reportedly retired due to family rivalry later that year, and was replaced by Nicholas Delmore. Around this time LaRasso was promoted to underboss of the North Jersey rackets. He was a prominent member of Building Laborer's Union Local 394 of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

After Delmore's health turned ill and later died in 1964, his nephew Sam DeCavalcante became the new boss of the crime family. DeCavalcante doubled the family's income and membership, and promoted Frank Majuri to family Consigliere, as well as keeping LaRasso as Underboss. After DeCavalcante and LaRasso were sent to prison due to federal authorities monitoring conversations between DeCavalcante and LaRasso discussing illegal gambling operations worth more than $20 million a year, Giovanni Riggi, LaRasso's rival, stepped up as Acting boss while DeCavalcante and LaRasso were imprisoned for 5 years.

Before going to prison, the Brooklyn based head of the Gambino crime family, Carlo Gambino, asked the DeCavalcante crime family for a favor, to kill Joseph "Joey Surprise" Feola, an associate in the garbage business deemed suddenly unreliable. According to Jerry Capeci, LaRasso lured Feola to a garage, where, according to whispered words picked up on the bug, Feola was strangled, wrapped in a burlap bag and buried. LaRasso later confirmed the hit to Gambino captain James Failla.

Release from prison Edit

After returning to the DeCavalcante crime family in the early 1970s, LaRasso's position gradually declined as Sam DeCavalcante retired from the New Jersey rackets and moved to Florida, handing the leadership over to Giovanni Riggi. Riggi promoted Girolamo Palermo as new Underboss of the family in the late 1970s.

During the 1980s, Riggi continued to run the large labor and construction racketeering operations in North Jersey with help from various capos including Jake Amari and Giuseppe Schifilliti. LaRasso was demoted in the late 1980s to soldier, as Riggi was put on trial for extortion and racketeering charges along with Girolamo Palermo, leaving Jake Amari as the new acting Underboss.

Disappearance Edit

After Giovanni Riggi was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1990, John D'Amato took over as Acting boss with Giacomo Amari as acting Underboss and Stefano Vitabile as Consigliere. It was around this time that LaRasso, after a fallout with D'Amato, was reported missing in the summer of 1991 after he failed to show up for his 65th birthday. Reportedly, D'Amato feared LaRasso as a rival and thought he'd align himself with capo "Big Ears" Charles Majuri in an attempt to take over the DeCavalcante crime family. His body has never been found, however, his killer Vincent Palermo later turned state's evidence and confessed to the crime. Palermo also became the Acting boss of New Jersey and testified against dozens of mobsters.

In 2006, more than a decade later, administration member and Consigliere Stefano Vitabile as well as capos Giuseppe Schifilliti and Philip Abramo were tried and convicted of LaRasso's murder, as well as two others. In addition to extortion and racketeering charges, these high-ranking mobsters were sentenced to life imprisonment. LaRasso's shooters were reportedly Anthony Capo, Louis Consalvo and Gregory Rago, who, except for Capo, were sent to prison.

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