If Whitey Started Draftsking We’d Never Know of His Murders

2015 08 12_2615You know as well as I know that Draftsking is illegal. It is out-and-out pure gambling; it is no different from the services that have been offered by your local booking operations over the years. You place money down on a team, whether one you create in fantasy football or whether the one that has been created by others in that league called the NFL, and you hope that team wins. If it does you win some money.

The old gambling definition a price for a chance for a prize applies. It is illegal in Massachusetts. Our law enforcement people want to enforce the gambling laws when it comes to one type of gambling but not another.

The irony in what is happening today and what happened in the past leans up against the absurd. During football seasons past we would round up groups of bookies and charge the leaders of the group with organizing a gambling services.  It was a fifteen year felony.

Today the Massachusetts Attorrney General Healey says about the gambling ring run by Draftsking: “Maybe it’s because they’re a new industry and didn’t create the kind of policies and practices you want to have in place as you grow, to make sure consumers aren’t taken advantage of, or aren’t duped. Whatever the reason, the point now is let’s get it right.”

Poor Gerry Angiulo is rolling over in his grave — the AG in his time was not concerned with him getting it right. He was concerned with putting him in prison. Every bookie in town is smiling to thing the AG thinks this is “a new business.”  It may be new to her but it has been around since the first professional ball game. Perhaps she never hear of Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Drafsking is doing what the old gangsters did but doing it  in spades running an enormous gaming ring that everyone smiles at. In the 1980s guys that did it went to prison –  now they get rich and have sponsor links with the Patriots, other NFL teams, ESPN and you name it.

The true question now is will the average bookie who takes bets on NFL football games still be prosecuted; and if so, how can you not prosecute the owners of Draftsking.

Let’s go back to 1994. The  federals were  using a grand jury to investigate the Boston area gaming operations. They brought two bookies before a grand jury: one Jimmy Katz and the other Chico Krantz. All these guys ever did was take wagers on games. Jimmy who is in the witness protection program was one of the best bookies in the area. I first came upon him when I was dealing with another big bookie Eddie Lewis.

Jimmy when he testified in Whitey’s trial said his vocation was gambling and his hobby was gambling. Jimmy and Chico ended up being charged with violating the money laundering laws. The proceeds of gaming were illegal so when they deposited them they were using the federal banking system to process illegal money transaction. They were convicted and sent to prison.

They were then dragged out of prison and put before the grand jury (see Catherine Greig) and asked questions about who were their bosses. Jimmy would not  talk. The federals threatened to seize his family house and put his wife and two kids out on the street. Jimmy then said that Whitey and Stevie were the guys he paid tribute to.

Based on that testimony and other stuff, Whitey was indicted for running a gambling operation. The rest is history with his fleeing, his magnification into a major hoodlum, the suggestion he was an FBI informant, his capture and trial. But it all comes back to Whitey running a gaming operation the same thing the owners of Draftsking is doing today.

Think if the AG was concerned with Whitey doing it right there would have been no illegal money an no money laundering charge to force testimony. Flemmi would not have been incarcerated. He would not have told how he had been protected by the FBI. He would not have told of the murders.

John Martorano would never have done time for running a gaming enterprise. When he was indicted for race fixing he would not have run because with his record he feared doing heavy time.  He would have done his bit and gotten back into business and kept quiet about all the murders.

Continuing with the nonsense that fantasy betting involves skill whereas betting on football teams does not is absurd on its face. If fantasy is legal, so should the other forms of betting on sports be legal; enforcing the law on only one group and not on the other when both are doing the same thing more than anything tells us how big money controls our lives.

You’ve heard of “too big to fail;” now we have “too big to prosecute.”

15 thoughts on “If Whitey Started Draftsking We’d Never Know of His Murders

    1. Rather:

      Thanks. The article is interesting as is one today by Kevin Cullen. None of them seem to recognize that it is illegal although Cullen says it is gambling. Why they don’t make the connection to its illegality is a mystery.

  1. No, Mercurio was already one of Connolly’s rats. That’s how the feds bugged the induction ceremony on Guild St in 1989. Possibly he helped set up the bugging of Vanessa’s, but I think Matt mentioned that Benji gave info on that too.

    1. Rather:

      I think Mercurio became a rat after Vanessa’s. He was important in the Guild Street bug as you mentioned.

  2. Didn’t Flemmi and Bulger steer the FBI towards a Mafia soldier called Sonny Mercurio to help them down bring down Ferrara, JR Russo and later Raymond Patriarca Junior

    Was Mercurio a friend of Flemmi and the Winter Hill Gang?

    1. David:

      Mercurio I believe owned Vanessa’s and was in with Ferrara, Bobby Carrozza and Joe Russo. He was Mafia and not Winter Hill but knew Flemmi who was playing all sides. Mercurio became an informant for Connolly after Vanessa’s was taken down and did help with the bug that took Junior Patriarca down.

  3. Matt
    In DA an eye witness claims there was dude watching with binoculars in a car right before Halloran and Donohue were murdered. Is this WHERE Kevin weeks got the second car that I was sitting in story from? Because you brought up that it could have been Weeks, Nee, and Bulger in the hit car. Whats odd is that in Weeks version there are only 2 guys in the hit car but in DA there are 3 guys. Is it not possible that Jimmy Flynn was one of the guys in the car as Halloran identified him as the shooter.

    Have you considered contacting David Boeri or Shelley Murphy or Kevin Cullen to write an article on the very real and absurd possibility that Steve Flemmi has been released?

    Is it possible Steve Flemmi is not listed in order to protect him in prison since he is identified as a “rat” and the Italian mafia still want him dead?

    The footage I am referring to of Steve Flemmi in trial and John Connolly I saw in WHITEY the doc by Joe Berlinger. How come they have access to that footage but not the public or does the public have access to that footage too? The film highlights that Steve Flemmi gave 3 different explanations as to HOW Bulger murdered one of the Debbies.

    1. Jerome- I been trying to get my hands on that trial forever. Some stuff just vanish like transcripts and audio of Anguilo’s prince streetHQ.

      1. Doubting Thomas
        When I have some extra time I will contact the court house where the various trials were held to see if they still have footage.

  4. Matt
    Here is where this saga has some questions that might never be answered. Lets say your premise is right, that Halloran was accusing Bulger of being involved in the Wheeler and/or Callahan murder. WHO told Bulger what Halloran was accusing him of? Most likely his TEI handler John Connolly. Now if John Connolly did give that information to Bulger then of course Connolly has some responsibility in Hallorans’murder.

    But is it also possible that one of Whitey Bulger paid law enforcement friends gave him this info?Probably not as Halloran was supposedly talking to the FBI so it was someone within the FBI that told him, no? The problem with the TEI program is that we have NO IDEA what the handlers are and are not telling their informants.

    With that said any one murdered who “supposedly” was co-operating with the FBI would lead one to conclude that perhaps the FBI did feed information to another criminal that was also an informant, no? In a few cases people “supposedly” were co-operating with the Feds only to end up dead because they were murdered by a TEI. For example, John McIntyre. It was in another post where it was mentioned that Bucky Barrett was probably co-operating with law enforcement and that is what led to him being murdered by Bulger, not over his stolen $$$$.

  5. Thanks for another insightful analysis and didn’t Chico Krantz pay tribute to the Mafia as well as the Winter Hill Gang? As I heard that he was paying rent to guys such as Ferrara, Salemme, Flemmi and Bulger.

    Was Vincent Ferrara a rival to Bulger and Flemmi?

    1. David:

      The old time Jewish bookies had a deal with the Angiulos which let them operate independently. They paid a small tribute. When the Angiulos went to prison Vinny Ferrara and his friends started running things in Boston. They changed that deal and wanted a million up front.

      The Jews were not into the muscle stuff so they were threatened by the new crew under Ferrara. Chico was part of the Jewish group so he would have been covered by those deals. Chico be came more active and ended up being muscled by Whitey and Stevie to pay tribute along with what he had to pay in town to the Mafia.

      Ferrara had the potential to threaten Whitey and Stevie. They could see that he was going to be different from Gerry Angiulo and Larry Baioni with whom they cooperated before they went to prison. To make sure that did not happen Stevie weaseled his way into Ferrara’s group and gave the FBI the information to bug Vanessa’s in the Prudential Center where they operated out of.

      That was a benefit of being FBI top level informants, the FBI eliminated your enemies.

  6. You are right. There is no distinction between fantasy gaming and regular gaming. All restrictions and penalties should be removed. If a person wastes his money on scratch tickets he’s in compliance with the law but if he bets on football he’s in violation. If a person writes a letter to his congressman that is protected free speech. If he sends it to a judge it’s obstruction of justice. Totally incoherent. Shouldn’t all gambling be legal as in Britain with the state assessing a tax? We could then use those proceeds to fund the Free Syrian Army. When the U.S. bombed the hos[ital. in Konduz were we aiming for the ships in the Caspian Sea?

    1. NC

      If Obama and our military followed the way Putin and the Russians explain things In their clever way they would have told the Doctors without Borders that the ships from the Caspian Sea that hit the hospital in Konduz. How long do you think the AG is going to study whether Draftsking is involved in gambling.

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