Seventy-year-old mobster Anthony (Anthony Elmont) Mannone has been around long enough to know exactly what he should do whenever push comes to shove in his chosen profession.
Back in 1990, the bloodthirsty Luchese crime family marked him for death, with the assignment going to Alphonse (Little Al) D'Arco. Anthony Elmont promptly hightailed it from Long Island's Five Towns and found a nice quiet out-of-the-way place in Boca Raton to hang out until the threat passed.
A decade later, after a sitdown between the Lucheses and the Bonanno crime family had earned him a reprieve and a fresh start, Mannone was back in the Five Towns as a flourishing Bonanno family loanshark with an eye on becoming a "made man" with his new family. He was also the proprietor of a popular Italian restaurant in Hewlett, the Bella Notte. This earned him a nice review in the New York Times, and the fancy of family boss Joseph Massino, an amateur chef who was also a restaurateur.
After a couple of visits to Anthony Elmont's always crowded eatery, Massino gave the wannabe wiseguy a suggestion he couldn't refuse: Forget about Bella Notte, come work for me. Mannone closed down the Bella Notte, and began a new career as a maitre d' - at CasaBlanca, the Ridgewood, Queens restaurant the boss had opened a few years earlier.
Mannone's just rewards followed quickly, first from Massino, then from the feds. In 2001, according to FBI documents, Anthony Elmont was "made." Just two years later, he joined his new boss as a defendant in the racketeering indictment that led to Massino becoming the first New York Mafia boss to flip, and to an extortion conspiracy conviction and a 30-month prison term for Mannone.
Anthony Elmont is a little long in the tooth now, but the capo recently established that he still knows how to deal with a rival mobster who comes up short on some $200,000 in loanshark debts. Perhaps he had a special incentive because the deadbeat was a Luchese soldier, and he had something to prove to some familiar Luchese "friends" who attended a sitdown over the issue.
"You better ... get our fucking money," he stammered, according to a transcript of a conversation that was tape recorded by the debt-ridden gangster. "I'm telling you in front of your friend, who is my friend; and his father is my friend from fucking 40 years ago."
Back then, according to knowledgeable Gang Land sources, Mannone was a driver for then-family boss Antonio (Tony Ducks) Corallo. The "father" friend whom Anthony Elmont referred to, according to assistant U.S. attorney Rachel Nash, was capo Domenico (Danny) Cutaia. Cutaia, 74, his son Salvatore, 50, and his grandson Joseph Cutaia, 32, are codefendants in the racketeering indictment that was unsealed last week.
"You know you owe the money; go get the money from them guys and bring us the money," he instructed, adding a not too subtle reference to the symbolic "tools of the trade" that are used during Mafia induction ceremonies. "Go get your gun and go get your knife and put your mask on, and go rob like you told my guy to go rob and you got paid."
And Mannone reminded his Luchese "friend" that the only reason he wasn't getting a beating - and much worse - was because he was a made man. But his official wiseguy status wouldn't cut much ice too much longer, he warned.
"Take one day, two days if you need it....but not five months. Let me tell you, if you didn't come from where you came from, you're dead. That ain't a threat. I want this thing put to bed."
After the sitdown, Mannone's enforcer, Jerome (Jerry The Bull) Caramelli, 40, warned his pal that he'd better bring the money - one loan was for $20,000, another was $193,000 to two men that he had vouched for - right away. If not, "all shit is going to break loose," he said. "Ant (an endearing short term he used for his boss) is beyond fucking twisted right now."
In court papers, prosecutor Nash wrote that the "escalating threats" in the tape-recorded conversations, which took place in January and February of last year, were so convincing that the FBI ended the undercover aspect of the investigation by the Luchese turncoat and relocated him for his own protection.
Mannone, who was on supervised release for his similar transgressions in the 2003 case at the time, was detained without bail this week. Caramelli, who has no prior felony arrests, was released on $1 million bail, under strict house arrest provisions.
At least Mannone will have the company at the Metropolitan Detention Center of the old "friend" he bested in the tape-recorded sitdown: Luchese acting capo Carmelo (Carlo) Profeta, a tough, old-school gangster who once served as a bodyguard chauffeur for murderous mobster Roy DeMeo.
Profeta was hit with the same racketeering and extortion charges as Anthony Elmont. This was despite the fact that Profeta spoke up for his beleaguered Luchese soldier during the sitdown, and tried - but failed - to get him off the hook for the $213,000 that the Bonannos wanted from him.
"Mr. Profeta did nothing improper," said his attorney, Joel Winograd, who expects to seek bail for his client next week. "The best way to describe his situation is no good deed goes unpunished."