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Trump Compares Self To Al Capone But Trump Is No Capone

Phil Garber
10 min readMar 26, 2024


Trump whines that he is more persecuted than the quintessential, infamous gangster, Al Capone, but as with his other misstatements, trump is once again, lying.

Capone became a Mafia don the old way, he cracked heads. Trump became trump by borrowing millions from daddy.

Trump has built himself up as the protector of the common man who is relentlessly persecuted and prosecuted by the government, even more than the government went after Capone.

To set the record straight, trump has made the bizarre claim that he has been indicted more times than Capone when the truth is that the iconic mobster was indicted at least six times and trump has been nailed just four times. There is still the hope that one day, trump will surpass Capone.

Trump also can’t match Scarface’s time in prison as the Chicago crime boss was jailed for nine years for federal income tax evasion. Trump may yet one day match or surpass the mark of what the ex-president called, the “late great gangster, Alphonse Capone.”

Trump makes himself out to be the heroic martyr for the people, who takes no guff, something like the way folksinger Woody Guthrie memorialized the 1930s killer and bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd who was on the run from the authorities and was shielded by empathetic farmers. Guthrie sang that Floyd was welcomed by farmers and that in gratitude, helped “many a starving farmer by leaving a thousand dollar bill under his napkin.”

Trump is more accurately compared with the mob boss, John Gotti. Gotti was known as the “Teflon Don” for having avoided prosecution and prison for so many years. Brings to mind the current Teflon Don.

It is no small irony that trump and others were indicted in Georgia for attempting to fix the 2020 presidential election. The indictment names the group as part of a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization or RICO case, a statute commonly used to prosecute organized crime figures.

His bizarre comparison with Capone also brings to mind trump’s own history of associating with known wiseguys and benefiting from his subterranean connections.

Federal Election Commission records show that trump has received about $40,000 in campaign contributions from John Staluppi and John Rosatti, two longtime trump associates and wealthy automobile dealers who have been identified by law enforcement as members of the Colombo crime family.

Staluppi owns the Atlantic Auto Group, one of the top 15 automotive dealership networks in the United States in terms of sales and service. According to reports, the company generates annual revenues of more than $2 billion dollars at 25 dealerships on Long Island and Nevada. Staluppi has a reported estimated net worth of $500 million.

Rosatti is the founder of the Plaza Auto Mall in New York and the restaurant chains Burger Fi and Vic & Angelo’s. Rosatti’s net worth is estimated at $400 million. The auto mall sells more than 20,000 cars per year and with annual sales above $500 million, it is in the Top 100 of dealership groups in the USA. Burger Fi is an all-natural gourmet burger franchise with more than 100 stores.

In 1996, Rosatti sold his two Florida auto dealerships for $33 million to Republic Industries, whose chief executive was the late Wayne Huizenga, the billionaire owner of Waste Management Inc., the largest waste disposal company in the United States. Huizenga, who also owned the Florida Marlins, Miami Dolphins, and Florida Panthers, was a major Republican donor and was a wealthy benefactor of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Staluppi first met trump in the late-80s when they designed the Donald Trump signature series Cadillac limousine. Staluppi and his wife, Jeanette, also were officers of a helicopter charter service that was paid to ferry gamblers to Atlantic City casinos, including three casinos owned by Trump.

Staluppi had $250,000 credit lines at each Trump casino but he was denied a casino service license by New Jersey regulators after officials identified him as a “member of the Colombo family, a career offender cartel.” Because of Staluppi’s mob connections, his application was rejected for a liquor license for a Manhattan nightclub and his mob links caused authorities to turn down his request for a license for his Atlantic City helicopter business.

In addition to the trump contributions, Rosatti also has made donations to numerous Republican lawmakers including Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio and unsuccessful New York Republican congressional candidate, John Cummings.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Staluppi contributions have included a pair of $1,000 donations to the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising operation benefitting trump and the Republican National Committee. Staluppi has also donated $580 directly to the RNC.

Staluppi’s wife gave $35,000 to Trump Victory, a joint committee for trump’s 2020 reelection. And among various contributions, Rosatti donated $1,000 to the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, FEC records show.

Staluppi and Rosatti live in waterfront mansions in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., about 14 miles from trump’s mansion, Mar-a-Lago.

Staluppi testified at an exclusion hearing considering barring him from entering New Jersey casinos. Staluppi mentioned his role in the building of the Trump limousines and said he had socialized with trump.

“I was on his boat, he was on my boat,” said Staluppi, who at the time owned a 132-foot yacht.

Rosatti also has an interesting connection with Josh Lorence, a Florida restaurant executive who is the husband of federal Judge Aileen Cannon. Cannon, who was appointed to the bench by trump, is presiding over the classified documents criminal case against trump.

Rosatti is the owner and founder of BurgerFi together with colleagues David Manero and Lee Goldberg. Lorence was the director of operations and development and chief operating officer for BurgerFi International LLR. Lorence is currently the chief operating officer for Bobby’s Burgers, which is celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s restaurant chain.

BurgerFi was started in 2011 and has grown to include about 120 franchises in two countries, 22 states, and Puerto Rico. According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, BurgerFi has agreed to a $100 million merger with OPES Acquisition Corp., a company that plans to offer shares in the “better burger” firm on the NASDAQ exchange. The purchase agreement includes a $30 million cash payment to BurgerFi stockholders.

Some of the best investigative journalism about trump has ben written by Wayne Barrett, who died in 2017. Barrett worked as an investigative reporter and senior editor for The Village Voice for 37 years and was known as New York City’s “foremost muckraker.”

Barrett wrote about trump, Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch and he was the first journalist to uncover trump’s business deceptions. His two-part series led to the impaneling of a federal grand jury in the Eastern District in Brooklyn against trump, although the jury did not issue an indictment. The grand jury heard information on how Trump had obtained an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards on the West Side of Manhattan.

Among Barrett’s more dramatic findings was that the late Haitian dictator Baby Doc” Duvalier had an apartment at Trump Tower.

Going back to his early years as a builder, trump had many questionable connections with organized crime.

According to published reports, in 1982, an Austrian divorcee, Verina Hixon, bought six apartments on the Trump Tower’s 64th and 65th floors using a trump-assisted $3 million mortgage without filling out a loan application or showing financials.

Hixon’s friend was the union boss and Gambino Family associate, John Cody, who controlled the flow of concrete trucks during the Trump Tower construction. Before the building was fin­ished, Cody was indicted in an eight­-count federal racketeering case, charged with taking $160,000 in kickbacks. Cody died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2001, at the age of 79.

According to Johnston, trump allegedly bought “ostensibly overpriced” concrete from a company controlled by mafia leaders Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. The concrete used to build Trump Tower was allegedly made from materials that Trump purchased for inflated prices in exchange for union cooperation.

Cody’s son, Michael, recalled in a 2017 interview with The Daily Beast, “Any time Trump didn’t do what he was told, my father would shut down his job for the day. No deliveries; 400 guys sitting around.”

Trump’s mentor was the city’s most notorious fixer, lawyer Roy Cohn, who had become infamous as lead counsel to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis. Cohn also was a mob consigliere, with clients including Salerno and Castellano.

Trump sued Hixon for $250,000 for alteration work. She countersued for $20 million and in court papers accused trump of taking kickbacks from contractors, claiming it could “be the basis of a criminal proceeding requiring an attorney general’s investigation” into trump. Trump then settled, paying the woman a half-million dollars.

In 1986, three years after Trump Tower opened, Cohn was disbarred for attempting to steal from a client, lying and other conduct that an appellate court found “particularly reprehensible.” Trump testified that Cohn, who was dying , was a man of good character who should keep his license to practice law.

Another convicted mob felon linked with Trump Tower was cocaine dealer Joe Weichselbaum, whose helicopter company serviced the Trump casinos. Weichselbaum’s girlfriend bought two adjoining apartments in Trump Tower for $2.4 million in 1989 while Weichselbaum was in federal prison. On his release from prison, Weichselbaum and his girlfriend moved into the apartments without any mortgage financing.

Trump’s casinos retained Weichselbaum’s firm to fly high rollers to Atlantic City. Weichselbaum was indicted in Ohio on charges of trafficking in marijuana and cocaine. The head of one of Trump’s casinos was notified of the indictment in October 1985, but trump continued using Weichselbaum, conduct that could have cost trump his casino license had state regulators pressed the matter. Casino owners are required to distance themselves from any hint of crime. Just two months later, trump rented an apartment in trump Plaza to the pilot and his brother for $7,000 a month in cash and flight services.

In 1979, Weichselbaum was caught embezzling and had to repay the stolen money. Trump vouched for Weichselbaum before his sentencing, writing that the convicted drug trafficker was “a credit to the community” who was “conscientious, forthright, and diligent.” Weichselbaum was sentenced to just three years in prison but was released after 18 months, based on trump’s endorsement.

Robert Hopkins, a Lucchese crime family associate, was arrested in his Trump Tower suite for ordering a mob murder of a gam­bling competitor. The murder count was dismissed but Hopkins was con­victed of running one of the city’s big­gest illegal gambling operations from Trump Tower.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston has been investigating ties between Trump and the Mafia for three decades and claims that he has “encountered multiple threads linking Trump to organized crime.”

Another shady issue unfolded in 1979, when trump hired a demolition contractor to take down the Bonwit Teller department store to make way for Trump Tower. Trump hired as many as 200 non-union men to work alongside about 15 members of the House Wreckers Union Local 95. The non-union workers were mostly undocumented Polish immigrants paid $4 to $6 per hour with no benefits, far below the union contract. They worked 12 hours a day or more and often seven days a week. Known as the “Polish brigade,” many didn’t wear hard hats and many slept on the construction site.

Normally the use of nonunion workers at a union job site leads to union picket lines. However, work proceeded because the Genovese family controlled the union.

Polish workers and a union dissident sued for their pay and benefits but trump denied any knowledge that illegal workers without hard hats were taking the wrecking ball to Bonwit. In 1991, U.S. District Court Judge Charles E. Stewart Jr. ruled that trump had engaged in a conspiracy to violate a fiduciary duty, or duty of loyalty, to the workers and their union and that the “breach involved fraud and the Trump defendants knowingly participated in his breach.”

The judge did not find Trump’s testimony to be sufficiently credible and set damages at $325,000. The case was later settled by negotiation, and the agreement was sealed.

Another dodgy connection with trump was Robert LiButti, a high rolling racehorse broker with ties to the mob. Trump has repeatedly denied ever knowing LiButti although LiButti gambled millions of dollars at the Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City in the 1980s.

LiButti’s daughter, Edith Creamer, said trump was lying and that her father regularly flew in trump’s helicopter to the casino, where he often gambled millions shooting dice.

“Of course he knew him,” Creamer told Yahoo News. “I flew in the helicopter with Ivana and the kids. My dad flew it up and down. My 35th birthday party was at the Plaza and Donald was there. After the party, we went on his boat, his big yacht. I like Trump, but it pisses me off that he denies knowing my father. That hurts me.”

In 1991, the N.J. Casino Control commission fined Trump Plaza $200,000 for violating state anti-discrimination laws. The commission found that LiButti had regularly berated African-Americans and women using racist slurs and obscene references to women. The commission said Trump Plaza’s response was to keep African-Americans and female employees away from LiButti’s betting tables in order to hold on to his substantial business.

David Cay Johnston, the author of “The Making of Donald Trump,” wrote that trump gave LiButti lavish gifts to court his business and tried to seduce his adult daughter. Trump was married at the time to his first wife, Ivana. LiButti found out about trump’s plans and told him in no uncertain terms that if he didn’t stop, “I’ll f — — -g pull your balls from your legs.” Trump reportedly complied.

Trump Plaza gave LiButti nine luxury cars, including three Ferraris, three Rolls-Royces, two Bentleys and a Mercedes, just for gambling there. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission ultimately fined Trump Plaza $450,000.