Jailed mob boss allegedly hid millions in cash

March 16, 2011 5:14:59 PM PDT
Four years after the Family Secrets mob murder trial in Chicago, federal authorities are still seeking millions of dollars in fines and restitution owed by convicted Outfit bosses.

In Wednesday's Intelligence Report: claims that one jailed mob boss has hidden millions of dollars.

When Frank "The Breeze" Calabrese was sentenced to life in prison for racketeering and seven gangland murders, he was assessed nearly $4.4 million in fines, fees and restitution.

There is almost that much money buried, stashed and hidden in locations around Chicago, according to two men who at one time were Calabrese Sr.'s most trusted aides.

"He hid money in so many different places," said Kurt Calabrese.

Kurt Calabrese and his brother, Frank Jr., were the right and left arms of their father, Frank "The Breeze," through the 1980s and into the 90s.

With their father in prison, the brothers are out of the Outfit. But both men claim that before their dad went away he stashed millions of dollars in proceeds from mob rackets.

"Not overseas accounts, he didn't do anything overseas, he did cash, so if he did anything it's cash, and it's hidden," said Kurt Calabrese.

Last year, federal marshals found $750,000 in cash and an untold fortune in jewels hidden inside the Oak Brook house where Calabrese's wife still lives. It was concealed in a basement wall behind the family photo.

"Yeah, he loved to stash cash," said Frank Calabrese Jr.

The Breeze's namesake, Frank Jr., says his father had $10 million at the height of his power, and that some of it was hidden away in 55 gallon drums.

"You name it, he did it. In walls, in car panels, anywhere he could stash cash. He would never put it in one place, and when he stashed it in places, he'd put in two places in the same place so if you found the one you were so happy you didn't look for the other one. And he made the one easier to find with the less cash in it," said Frank Calabrese Jr.

At the FBI in Chicago, spokesman Ross Rice says "55 gallon drums have been searched [by agents] in various venues, with negative results." They are "still pursuing additional leads but doubt much more will be recovered as it is most likely gone."

Joe "The Shark" Lopez, attorney for Calabrese Sr., says any talk of buried treasures is just a fairy tale.

"I think that's a fabrication because we went through Family Secrets, we heard about all the hiding places, we heard about all the hiding places and if it was out there, the feds would certainly have it," said Lopez.

All of the mob bosses convicted in Family Secrets owe a total of $24 million in fines and restitution. Once the appeals are complete, the government will auction off Calabrese's possessions that have been seized, including $500 and $1,000 bills worth much more than face value. Then relatives of family members will receive recompense.

Tonight at 10 p.m.: The loved ones of men murdered by the mob and what they have to say about ex-mobsters making profits from books and screenplays. We'll have the first ever interview with the widow of a suburban businessman blown up by the Outfit on the Tri-state Expressway.


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