Xavier Magazine

Vince Presutti and Roberto Gambini

Before Joe Marcello, the underboss for the Marcello family, America’s oldest crime syndicate, started dealing with Presutti, he needed to know if he was a real criminal. So he sent his friend Roberto Gambini up to New York to find out. “We played Roberto up great,” Presutti says. “We took him to a restaurant where we knew the people.” Four or five agents accompanied Presutti, acting as his “crew.” The restaurant played right along. Attentive waiters called him Mr. Piccone. “They kept flooding the table with food and drink,” he says.

During the meal, his crew members would answer phone calls and come to Presutti to ask what to do about certain “situations.” At one point, Presutti got up to use the restroom. He made sure to leave his wallet on the table, so that Gambini could see it. It was stuffed with cash and cards related to his undercover persona.

When the evening was over, the group got up to leave. The bill was more than $1,000. Presutti went to pay before the manager intervened. “Anthony,” he said, “You know you never pay when you come here.”

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