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Long-hidden FBI files reveal murdered Gambino boss Frank Cali’s rise to power


A pile of long-hidden FBI files reveals how. Defeat Gambino’s boss, Frank “Frankie Boy” Cali From a family soldier in the 1990s, he rose to head a powerful crime syndicate until his murder in 2019.

A heavily redacted file obtained by The Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request provides perhaps the most blatant examination yet of Cali’s rise to power. federal prosecutor.

Cali—who Shot outside his Staten Island mansion 2019 — Despite years of FBI attention and surveillance by Brooklyn agents, he was arrested only once in a 2008 extortion conspiracy.

After being shot dead by an apparent QAnon cultist in the Todd Hill neighborhood, a law enforcement officer said: told the New York Times That Cali was the exact opposite of flashy Gambino boss John “Dapperdon” Gotti.

“He’s basically a ghost,” an official said.

However, according to FBI files, Cali fell on the station’s radar In the spring of 1996, when he was about 30, he helped skipper the Gambino family’s telephone card fraud scheme from their Park Avenue office building.

The edited files give us the insight that reveals Frank Kali’s rise to power as a mafia kingpin known as “Ghost”.

By November of that year, FBI agents in New York believed several Gambinos were involved in “manufacturing and distributing telephone travel cards” and committed numerous federal crimes, including money laundering and income tax violations. There were email scams and wire scams.

“Needless to say, the calling card industry is one of the most important sources of illicit income for the Gambino LCN family,” wrote one FBI official.

At the time, Kali was listed in the FBI files as a “proposed soldier” for the Gambino family, who had not yet “made” or taken a blood oath of allegiance to the syndicate he later led. I believed it wasn’t standing.

In October 1997, FBI Special Agents in New York contacted the agency’s Atlanta field office to launch a $94 million phone card “bust-out scheme” led by the Gambino family that targeted Georgia-based WorldCom. ” was evaluated.

Photo of gangster Frank Curry and his associates.

In October 1997, FBI agents reported an unidentified Mark walking with Kari before entering the “Point After Sports Bar and Grill.”

Photo of gangster Frank Curry and his associates.

The FBI began tracking Gambino and his associates on 18th Street in Benson Hart.

One FBI report said, “The method was to sell as many calling cards on the street as possible by setting the best prices for each country and offering distributors the best discounts.” says. “[Redacted] We pay only a small percentage of our outstanding balance to Worldcom through the 10-month scheme. ”

In addition, “Members of Gambino, etc. [redacted] Frank Cali and others filled their pockets with millions of cash from the aforementioned scheme. “

Kari is said to have founded a company called CNC with Gambino members John D’Amico and Joseph Watts to distribute phone cards, later flooding the market with cards billed by Worldcom.

“The influx of cards caused Worldcom’s debt to grow exponentially. Initially, CNC paid off its debt and was considered trustworthy by Worldcom. But CNC did not continue to pay its debt.” The March 7, 1997 FBI document states:

Photo of Frank Cali walking into court for New York arraignment.
The mob was one of 53 men charged by the federal government with involvement in organized crime against Gambino’s mafia family.
William Farrington

Documents show that the federal government was taking an increasing interest in Kali around that time.

They began tracking him down in Brooklyn, filming him with colleagues on 18th Street in Bensonhurst and interviewing classified sources about Gambino’s soldiers.

According to the files, a report from October 1997 documented FBI agents conducting “spot checks” on 18th Street between 72nd and 75th Streets in Bensonhurst. An agent recorded an unknown Mark walking with Cali before entering the “Point After Sports Bar and Grill.”

In July of that year, the agent produced a report titled “Surveillance of Frank Cali on 18th Street in Brooklyn, New York.” The report included photos of Cali and a few others who visited Tony’s His Ranchonet in the neighborhood.

A police photo of the crime scene where mafia boss Frank Cali was shot dead.

Kari was arrested once in 2008, pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy, and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.


A police photo of the crime scene where mafia boss Frank Cali was shot dead.

Kari was shot dead outside his Staten Island mansion in 2019, apparently by a QAnon conspiracy theorist.


The FBI also listed him as a “recent member of the Gambino family” in a March 1997 correspondence.

A federal grand jury involving Cali was convened in the Eastern District of New York in 1998, but no charges were ever filed against him, documents show.

A federal indictment of phone card fraud was later filed against then-famous leader of the Gambino family, John Gotti Jr., but was later dropped by prosecutors.

“I was the victim. I lost a lot of money on that deal.” Junior told the post at the time.

After his one arrest in 2008, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn claimed Kari was in custody during his trial, highlighting his involvement in a calling card scheme.

At a detention hearing, prosecutor Joey Lipton told the judge that Kari, who had been promoted to captain at the time, was a successful criminal because of her ability to hide from the spotlight.

“Kari, like other members of her family, took a blood oath to the organization to commit criminal acts,” Lipton said. because he was careful about

In a 2008 case, Cali pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

A photo of one of the files associated with the late Gambino Mafia boss Frank Cali.

Documents show that the federal government took great interest in Cali after the phone cards were distributed in 1997.

A photo of one of the files associated with the late Gambino Mafia boss Frank Cali.

“Needless to say, the calling card industry is one of the most important sources of illicit income for the Gambino LCN family,” wrote one FBI official.

After his release, he continued a meteoric rise in the family, and was reportedly promoted to boss in 2015 after acting Don Domenico Cefalu stepped down.

Cali’s hidden image exploded into international headlines in March 2019 when he was shot dead outside his home.

Anthony Comero, alleged shooter A clear QAnon conspiracy theoristwas deemed mentally unfit to stand trial in 2020.

A spokesperson for the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office said in an email Wednesday that it was unable to provide any information about the case.



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