'No place like home' mob tax cheat tells court
January 26, 2010 (CHICAGO) -- Although his Outfit ancestors were known as "Cock-eyed" and "One Ear," reputed suburban Chicago mob boss Rudy Fratto Jr. wouldn't mind being known as "the Homemaker."
After copping a plea as a tax cheat, Fratto, 65, has asked a federal judge in Chicago to give him a term of home confinement when he is sentenced on Wednesday afternoon.
"In light of the responsibilities and obligations he, and he alone has, not only to his family, but to his Government, we request that the Court impose a sentence of home confinement for a term and with the most stringent of conditions and requirements the Court deems appropriate," states a motion asking for mercy and leniency filed by Fratto's attorney Arthur Nasser.
Among Fratto's obligations according to the court filing, is the complete and total care of his wife Kim who is allegedly convalescing in their Darien home following a misstep out their front door. Kim Fratto broke bones in both of her feet in the accident last July and required surgery, states her husband's motion to avoid jail time. Fratto's attorney submitted extensive medical reports and copies of Mrs. Fratto's foot X-rays to support the contention that she is incapacitated.
A few months after the accident, Mr. Fratto pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a single charge of tax evasion. In the plea agreement Fratto admitted not paying $141,192 in taxes on more than $835,000 income beginning in 2001. The prescribed penalty for such a violation is 12-18 months in federal prison.
"Mrs. Fratto's only caretaker since the accident to the present time and into the future is her spouse, defendant Rudy Fratto. He must attend to her most basic everyday needs" contends Fratto's lawyer. "In addition to attending to Mrs. Fratto's basic needs, he must also act as cook, house cleaner, dishwasher and chauffeur" for his wife and several of the couples' children.
Prosecutors are not convinced that Rudy "the Homemaker" Fratto deserves such mercy. At tomorrow's sentencing hearing, the government will contest any leniency for Fratto. "A sentence of home confinement would send the wrong message to him, his associates, and the public in general" say federal prosecutors in a pre-sentence filing with Judge Matthew F. Kennelly.
The associates of Fratto's who might get the wrong idea include his underlings who toil on the streets for the Outfit's powerful Elmwood Park Crew. Although never charged with a crime, Fratto has been named as a Mob associate and recently as a crime syndicate leader by local, state and federal law enforcement agents.
His most notable relative was Luigi Tomaso Giuseppi Fratto, who was a gangland leader and labor racketeer from the 1930s into the '60s. Luigi Fratto was also known as "Cockeyed Louie" due to his off-kilter eyeball.
As the I-Team first reported, federal investigators considered the modern-day Fratto to be a major threat to the safety of mob witness and reformed hitman Nicholas Calabrese. Calabrese' compelling testimony helped put away top hoodlums during the recent Family Secrets mob murder trial.
Fratto was also photographed over the years by federal surveillance teams during meetings with mob leaders. In 2001 he was seen at a secret Outfit summit to plot the takeover of video-poker turf in the suburbs.
On another occasion, Fratto was observed meeting with former Chicago Police Chief of Detectives William Hanhardt. The men were to work out details of a proposed gangland hit, according to testimony in 2002 during a sentencing hearing in Hanhardt's jewel theft case. The hit did not occur and Hanhardt is serving a federal prison sentence.
On Wednesday, the government will attempt to convince Judge Kennelly that Rudy Fratto should join Hanhardt in prison. Fratto's lawyer will argue that his client deserves home confinement-even with certain conditions.
"Those requirements can include electronic monitoring, periodic reporting to the United States Probation Office, unannounced residential visits during hours of confinement by designated law enforcement personnel, any method of telephonic monitoring of residential and mobile/cell telephones (or no cell phone), continued employment during specified hours which will enable him to carry on his income producing activities, all of which will enable him to pay off the outstanding income tax liabilities he has incurred as a result of his defalcation" states defense attorney Nasser in court papers.
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