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Spiros Velentzas

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Spiros Velentzas was a Greek mob boss.

Velentzas

Mostly dominant in the 1980's, Spiros Velentzas was a Greek Mobster, leading the Velentzas Family, who worked with and was aided by the Lucchese Family in New York. The Velentzas Family mainly controlled Greek-American areas of Queens throughout the 80's and the 90's and into the present day, setting up racketeer businesses like dice games, horse-racing parlors, and other, mostly illicit, gambling venues. The family now is tied to the Georghalli family in a series of murders and drug trafficking. On June 20th, 1992, Velentzas was found guilty of murder, loan sharking, gambling, and tax fraud charges. Along with Velentzas arrest were two other gang members, Peter Drakoulis and Michael Grillo. Velentzas is facing over 20 years in prison from his charges, however, the jury did not convict Velentzas guilty of the murder of a gambling rival, ordered by Lucchese. The Velentzas Family has had very good relations with the Lucchese Family, who offers protection in return for a percentage of the gambling profits. Other families have kept out of the Greek business and generally do not see them as a threat. However, there were attempts by some of the family members to expand business into Gambino Family territory, but operations ended and receded back to Greek areas after warning from the Gambinos. As one Italian mobster was said to have stated those "...Greeks know the game so damn good they'd cheat us blind." The "lucrative" horse racing parlors of Spiros Velentzas have been impugned by some as to using the Satellite dishes, which import races from all around the world, to view races ahead of time, in an attempt to cheat customers. Velentzas has denied this allegation.

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