Bad blood between Outfit families, mob museum

August 10, 2011

In the old days, blood might have been spilled in a situation like this. Wednesday night, it was just bad blood between relatives of the late outfit bosses Sam Giancana and Joey Aiuppa and a museum in Las Vegas called the Mob Experience.

Some of the biggest names in Chicago organized crime history have leased their prized possessions to the museum.

Now, some say it was an offer they should have refused.

When bullets hailed the opening of the Mob Experience a few months ago, some of Chicago's most familiar outfit names were represented.

Among them: the widow of Las Vegas boss Anthony "The Ant" Spilotro, who was murdered and buried in an Indiana cornfield with his brother in 1986.

"I was married to him 30 years. Probably still would have been," said Nancy Spilotro, his widow.

But as fast a Chicago shakedown, the Las Vegas Mob Experience was hit by its own scandal.

Founder Jay Bloom was ousted in June amid allegations of financial misconduct.

A lawsuit charging Bloom with fraud was filed last Thursday by the new management team and is one of a half dozen he faces from investors, creditors and mob family members.

A grandson of the late, legendary Chicago mob boss Sam "Mooney" Giancana is among those harboring a grudge Wednesday night. Carl Manno says he leased his grandfather's possessions to the museum and never got paid.

"I want them to pay on my contract," said Manno, who added that he is owed "around 10 grand."

Wednesday night, by phone, I talked with Giancana's grandson. His mother, Antoniette Giancana is among those suing the original Mob Experience management team, claiming she was mistreated.

The nephew of the late Joey "Doves" Aiuppa, Nick Micek, is also waiting to be paid. Sporting memorabilia from Aiuppa was leased to the museum, including guns once owned by the hoodlum.

"Five shotguns, a few rifles, and six or seven handguns, or something like that," said Micek.

Micek Wednesday night said he has not been paid for the artifacts, but he has received some consulting money.

As the museum remains open with a reduced admission price, he believes the Mob Experience can be turned around and that he expects to be paid, just as his uncle, Joey "Doves", would have expected.

Micek said that Aiuppa would have been "probably a little more aggressive than I would. But things were different back then. It's a new world."

A spokesman for the Mob Experience in Las Vegas Wednesday night says they expect to pay Joey Aiuppa's nephew as soon as new financing allows. He also says the new management plans to pay Giancana's grandson and the other outfit families who are owed money.

If one museum out there is not enough - next February, the official Las Vegas Mob Museum will open.

PDF: Latest lawsuit filed against founder of the Mob Experience

Statement to ABC7 I-Team from Spence Johnston, Marketing & Public Relations Director, Las Vegas Mob Experience

"Mr. Bloom has no involvement with the Mob Experience. He was forced to resign by the current investors so we could move forward.
Vion Operations LLC and Strategic Funding Source Inc, who are suing Bloom are still investors.
Financially: We are waiting for additional financing because there is a significant monies owed. It's business as usual, no one is shutting us down, we don't see us closing but Mr. Bloom put us in a big hole.
Our attendance has had an increase lately.
Tickets are $30. We always intended that to be the price but Mr. Bloom raised the tickets to $40 when we opened. We've since brought the ticket price back to $30.
With our new ownership we are excited to move forward."

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