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Arlyne Weiss Brickman

Brickman in A&E interview

Arlyne Weiss-Brickman (born Arlyne Weiss on August 8, 1933) is a former American mafia mistress and mob wife, author turned FBI informant.

Early life

Born to Irving Weiss, a Jewish East Harlem auto dealership owner and part-time racketeer who sold luxury cars and dabbled in the rackets of his high-rolling clientele, and wife Barabra, Arlyne chose as her role model Virginia Hill, girlfriend of the notorious Bugsy Siegel. "In my eyes," she told Teresa Carpenter, author of a book about Brickman called Mob Girl: A Woman's Life in the Underworld, "here was a broad that really made it good." [1]

FBI informant

As a teenager, Arlyne had plunged into the world of small-time Italian mobsters, hanging out in their seedy nightclubs, seducing them in the backseats of Cadillac's and in later years helping them run drugs. At 35, she was raped and beaten by a group of wise guys who were associates of a notorious, rotund 400-pound Brooklyn mobster named Salvatore "Sally Burns" Granello, who also participated in the gang rape; After the incident, Arlyne discovered that none of her gangland pals would protect her; after all, she was a woman, and Jewish at that. [2][3]

Still, Brickman didn't turn into a mob informant until eight years later, when, in 1974, she says, a loan shark, Bobby Frischetti, who worked with John Gotti, at the time a Gambino family associate, and members of his crew threatened to rape Brick man's daughter Leslie, then 18, unless Arlyne paid off a loan and drug debts her daughter had built up, and gambling debts for racketeer/number runner Tommy Zito, with whom she had ran a numbers/horse racing gambling racket with since around 1969. Zito, who had become careless in disposal of gambling tickets, evidence of their operation together, had built up heavy debts to both future mob boss John Gotti of about $50,000 US and Anthony Scarlatti, a reputed capo in the Colombo crime family, of over $90,000 US.

By 1974, the Fort Lee, New Jersey police, who had been tracking their operation together, had moved in and arrested her and Zito; Zito would be tried and convicted and sentenced to three years in prison, while Hickman, who was convicted as a first time offender, would be offered immunity and would escape prison time by cooperating with the police and the FBI in bringing down Ferlinghetti and numerous other mob figures within the Colombo and Gambian crime families. Arlene contacted the FBI and agreed to wear a wire on the shark, secreting the microphone in her purse or bra. In return the government paid her debts and the ones of Zibo (and used her tapes to elicit a plea bargain). As one prosecutor told Carpenter, "Arlene's best trait was that she would press and probe, ask the second and third question when most informants wouldn't."

Over the next decade, Brick man continued to work as an informant (or, as Arlene prefers to call herself, "a cooperating individual"). In 1986, Brick man's testimony helped convict Scarlatti and several confederates on charges of racketeering conspiracy. The convictions threw the powerful Colombo family into chaos.

Further reading

  • Mob Girl: A Woman's Life in the Underworld, by Teresa Carpenter, 288 pages, in English, ISBN-10: 0671683454, ISBN-13: 978-0671683450, Simon & Schuster; 1St Edition edition (March 15, 1992).

References

  1. Accessory During the Fact : MOB GIRL: A Woman's Life in the Underworld, By Teresa Carpenter, March 15, 1992, Leah Rozen, For the LA Times, accessed March 1, 2012.
  2. Divorced from the Mob, By Mark Goodman for People Magazine, April 13, 1992, accessed March 1, 2012.
  3. The Myth of Mob Gallantry (Arlyne Brickman: Two Decades in the Underworld, page six), by Mark Gribben, for TruTv.com, accessed March 1, 2012.

External links

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