Lincolnshire police pinch once-feared mobster
February 16, 2009 (WLS) -- Mobster Mario Rainone has crossed both sides of the law enough times, it is a wonder his legs aren't permanently tangled.
After a spasmodic career as both a criminal and a government witness, Mr. Rainone, 54, is once again sitting in jail. This time Rainone is in the Lake County lock-up on one count of residential burglary and on an outstanding retail theft warrant from South Barrington.
For years, the beefy hoodlum was considered a prime "go-to" guy for the Chicago Outfit's Northside Crew.
In the 1980's, when Mob bosses needed a job handled quickly and efficiently, Rainone was often enlisted to get things done according to Outfit investigators.
He was especially adept at collecting unpaid debts, whether as a result of Mob juice loans or illegal gambling debts.
Among the legends of Mario Rainone is the time he informed a shakedown target that his family would pay if he didn't. The old man asked Rainone exactly what he meant. Rainone told the elderly extortion victim that if the debt wasn't handed over, he would kill his children and plant their heads in his front yard. The man settled up.
Rainone quit Organized Crime in late 1989, when he was deployed to murder a wayward mobster. As he prepared to take up a position for the hit, Rainone realized that he was actually the intended target. Rather than waiting to be whacked, Rainone escaped to his truck and sped away.
He went straight to the FBI in Chicago and spilled his story. Agents convinced him that he could only help himself by wearing a wire and working undercover against his one-time Mob bosses.
Rainone got a couple of wise-guys on tape but his cooperation was short-lived. He stopped helping the FBI in November, 1989 when a his mother's front stoop was blown up.
The message-bombing freaked Rainone, who felt it was better that he spend a stretch in prison rather than his mother end up in pieces on her porch.
So he gave up witness protection and in 1992 pleaded guilty to extortion and racketeering. He was sentenced to nearly 18 years and released in 2006.
Rainone, last known to reside in Bloomingdale, was arrested on Friday by Lincolnshire police and charged with the Feb 12 burglary of a home in the Trafalgar square subdivision. Also charged as an accomplice was Vincent T. Forliano, 39, of Addison.
Both men are being held on $500,000 bond. Rainone is schedule to appear in Lake County Court Tuesday at 9am. Forliano is due in court on Friday at 9am.
The duo has been under investigation by several northwest suburban police departments in connection with a string of home invasions.
Other than the alleged burglary business, the connect between Rainone and Forliano is not known. Mobwatchers say if the accused break-in artists were not paying a kick-back to the Outfit, known as "tribute" or "street-tax," Rainone could once again find himself on short hit-list.
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