Veteran NJ Prosecutor: The Mob Is Not Dead

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Veteran New Jersey prosecutor Peter Harvey said the mob is very much alive -- even in the wake of the FBI's largest takedown of organized crime members that resulted in the multi-state arrests of more than 100 alleged mobsters on Thursday.

"It's certainly not dead. It can't be," Harvey, former New Jersey Attorney General and prosecutor on several mob cases, told WNYC. "There will always be an underground economy."

Harvey, who prosecuted the heir to the Nicky Scarfo crime family in Philadelphia, said organized crime now is "on life support" compared to the 1950s through 1970s when it flourished. But the mob's historic ties to specific industries and labor unions -- which came into prominence when organizers turned to the mob for protection -- make it difficult to eradicate illegal activity all together, he said.

"There has been this relationship that is historical and very difficult to eliminate completely. It just is," said Harvey, who worked with the Waterfront Commission to crack down on crime.

He said many contractors, building owners and labor unions facing mob threats capitulate, rather than face possible violence and delayed projects.

“Facing that kind of threat many owners think it’s easier to collaborate with those unsavory figures just to have peace at a work site so that the project gets completed and they don’t get hit with all kinds of fines and costs overruns,” Harvey said.

The Super Bowl is also a cash cow for organized crime. Harvey, who worked on a gambling case involving hockey great Wayne Gretzky's wife, calls the Super Bowl “the biggest betting bonanza for illegal gambling each year.”

He said organized criminals still have a hold on the narcotics trade as well, either extracting fees from local drug dealers or importing drugs into the country. He said they also have a hand in the bootleg DVD business and counterfeit goods as well.


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Comments [2]

Eric Cherry

I live in an old italian neighborhood in Brooklyn and when I first came here ten years ago there were still lots of social clubs and store fronts where you could see these guys hanging out. Most of them shut down completely and the few that remained appear to be legit social clubs filled with retirees. Many of the best italian restaurants in the neighborhood are owned by wiseguys. There's such a place on Columbia Street that I frequent and I almost always see politicians in there. You'd think they'd be a little less obvious.

Jan. 27 2011 09:52 AM
geral from texas

The mob is the fbi:


See Also:

NEWS of fbi agent John J. Connolly Jr. murderous crimes, Nov. 8, 2008:

From a report at

"It would be one thing if he were a rogue agent, acting alone. But that is not the case. Over three decades beginning in the 1960s, 18 FBI agents either broke the law or violated federal guidelines. In 1965, the FBI framed four innocent men in a gangland murder to protect two mobsters it was trying to cultivate as informants, and then let the innocent men rot in jail for decades."

Jan. 20 2011 03:52 PM

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