Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Monday, June 09, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, Stolen Gardner Art Recovered by July 15th 2008, Mr Frank Salemme goes home July 15th 2008 !!

Former Mafia boss Cadillac Frank pleads guilty

Former New England Mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme pleaded guilty today to lying and obstruction of justice as part of a deal that may allow him to be released from prison by the end of January.

Salemme wore a charcoal-colored suit and a blue tie in US District Court this afternoon and took no chances as he formally entered his plea. He had mistakenly told Judge Richard Stearns that he was already 75 years old, and made it clear he did not want to be accused again of making a false statement.

“I want to make one correction,” Salemme said. “I won’t be 75 until Aug. 18th. Anything can happen, your honor.”

Stearns scheduled sentencing for July 15. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have both recommended that he serve five years in prison. With credit for the time he has served since his arrest on the charges in November 2004, plus earned good time, Salemme could be released by the end of January, prosecutors said.

Salemme pleaded guilty to a two-count indictment that charged him with making false statements and obstruction of justice after he began cooperating with investigators in 1999 in a probe into the FBI’s corrupt handling of longtime informants James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi. Salemme admitted he misled investigators when questioned about the 1993 disappearance of South Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro.

However, Salemme did not admit to allegations in the indictment that he watched his son, Frank, strangle DiSarro, then helped him dispose of the body. The younger Salemme died two years later of lymphoma. DiSarro’s remains have never been found.

A plea agreement signed by Salemme and filed with the court today says that he “denies any responsibility for the disappearance and presumed murder” of DiSarro. One of his lawyers, Steven C. Boozang, told the Globe in February that his client, “100 percent denies any involvement in DiSarro’s disappearance and presumed murder.”

Assistant US Attorney Brian Kelly said today that prosecutors were prepared to prove at trial that the defendant was present at the killing. The plea deal did not require Salemme to admit to each allegation in the indictment.

Stearns does not have to follow the recommendations to sentence Salemme to five years. Under federal guidelines, which are advisory, Salemme faces a sentence ranging from 51 to 63 months.

Salemme was indicted on racketeering charges in 1995, along with Bulger and Flemmi, then began cooperating with the government after learning Bulger and Flemmi were longtime FBI informants who had given authorities information about local Mafia leaders, including him. He pleaded guilty to racketeering and extortion charges and admitted participating in eight gangland murders in the 1960s.
Art Hostage comments:
The Feds drive a very hard bargain.

Part of this plea deal was Frank Salemme using his influence to recover some of the stolen Gardner art, sadly not the Vermeer.

Now sentencing was due on April 14th 2008 but put back by Judge Richard Stearns until July 15th 2008 to see if the stolen Gardner art is recovered.

Both Defence and prosecution have agreed on 5 years jail time, with time served means Frank goes home in January or February 2009.

However, Art Hostage would like to point out that if indeed Frank can use his influence and some of the Gardner art is recovered before July 15th 2008, would it be such a blow to allow Mr Frank Salemme to walk from court on July 15th 2008, would this act by Judge Richard Stearns be acceptable ?

Art Hostage firmly thinks Frank Salemme should be allowed to walk free from court July 15th 2008 as long as all the stolen Gardner art Frank can influence is recovered, after all it is only another six months off what has already been agreed by both Defence and prosecution.

Whilst all this is good news for the Gardner Museum and art lovers around the world, Art Hostage has some troubling news on an even bigger Art Heist that could be in the making.

Some Philadelphia wiseguys whilst discussing the Gardner art case focused their attention on the Barnes collection in Merion Philadelphia, it seems that these wiseguys have an inside contact, or a wannabe wiseguy has an inside contact at the Barnes collection, or closely associated to the Barnes collection. That source has said the Barnes can be robbed given the right inside information.

However, and this is important, the Philly wiseguys don't want to take this to Uncle Joe Ligambi because he will certainly deny permission to rob the Barnes collection.

Uncle Joe has worked tirelessly in the recent past to reinvigorate the Philly family and has kept a very low profile. A Gardner style heist at the Barnes collection would so undermine Uncle Joe and would cause so much FBI attention, the spotlight would be back on big time towards the Philly family.

An alternative being considered by the renegade Philly wiseguys is a Modus Vivendi with elements associated to the Providence Rhode Island family.

The Barnes Heist could be an even bigger art heist than the Gardner Heist, with Cezanne's Card Players as the main target.

Time for Uncle Joe Ligambi to rein in these over zealous Philly young guns and give them a historic lesson in staying below the Feds Radar, it will not be the first time Uncle Joe has had to step in and calm down some eager Philly family members. Not a August birthday present Uncle Joe would relish.

It has also been suggested that a raid on the Barnes Collection could serve as insurance against any Gardner art hand back deal not being honoured.

Enough already with the Barnes Collection Heist talk, just get the Gardner art recovered and lets see Frank Salemme go home on July 15th 2008.

Memo to FBI Icon Robert Wittman:

Another Wittman moment last Wednesday in France hey Bob !!

Now you have just got back to Philly, sort this Barnes stuff out, and a new security review is in order.

O'h and the disgruntled inside person at the Barnes, it shouldn't be too difficult to track them down.

Looks like the Barnes Collection is going to be on "Lock-Down" for a while.

Memo to those thinking of robbing the Barnes Collection:

You could have been caught in the act and sentenced to 25-life for the Barnes heist, in time you may be grateful to Art Hostage, rather than be angry.

There are plenty of things to do that steers clear of high value art theft, especially if the art is on public view in Museums, that if stolen, really gets the public and authorities pissed, and more importantly, focuses the spotlight on family business !!!

Finally, the Art Hostage Catholic Church Confession box remains the most suitable place for the stolen Gardner art to be discovered, symbolism of absolution and all that, got it !!!

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