Matthew Michael "Mike" Trupiano, Jr. (born November 8, 1938 – died October 22, 1997) was the boss of the St. Louis crime family from 1982 to 1997.
Matthew Trupiano was born on November 8, 1938, in Detroit to a Sicilian-American family. His father immigrated from Messina and met his future wife in Detroit. Trupiano eventually ran into gambling problems with the Detroit Partnership, the local Cosa Nostra organization, and was forced to leave the city.
St. Louis crime family
With the help of his uncle, St. Louis crime family boss Anthony Giordano, Trupiano moved to St. Louis. He soon became president of the crime family-controlled Local 110 of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). After Giordano died in 1980 and John "Johnny V." Vitale became boss, Trupiano was allowed to become a made man in the family. When Vitale died in 1982, Trupiano succeeded him as the boss, and Joseph Cammarata became his underboss.
In May 1986, Trupiano was fined $30,000 and sentenced to four years in prison for running a gambling ring that handled bets on college and professional football games. During the trial, witnesses testified that Trupiano's bookmaking operation lost money. It was the first time federal agents had ever heard of an underworld bookmaking operation running in the red. Some insiders believed it might have been due to Trupiano's own gambling in which he lost more than won. Trupiano was considered a compulsive and degenerate gambler.
In transcripts of recorded conversations, it was said of Trupiano, "He got no respect, either from mob chapters or his own underlings." Other comments overheard indicated that Italian-American businessmen kept him at arm's length, and mob families cheated him out of money from the sale of a hotel in Las Vegas. Trupiano claimed his own soldiers were holding out on him from their bookmaking take. By the time Trupiano was released from prison, after serving just 16 months of the sentence, the St. Louis mob "had dwindled to a handful of soldiers."
In 1991, Trupiano was arrested for operating an illegal gin rummy game in the back of a St. Louis car dealership. Since Trupiano was a union officer gambling on union work time, prosecutors could charge him with embezzlement of union funds. In June 1992, due to the criminal charges, Local 110 voted Trupiano out of office. In October 1992, Trupiano was convicted of one illegal gambling charge and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. The judge advised Trupiano to stay away from gambling. In poor health, Trupiano was released from prison after serving 16 months.
Matthew Trupiano suffered a heart attack at his home on October 22, 1997, and was pronounced dead at St. Anthony's Medical Center in South St. Louis County, Missouri.