Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo (born June 18, 1955) is an Italian-American New York mobster who formerly belonged to the Gambino crime family and is now a government informant.
DiLeonardo grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a neighborhood with long history of organized crime. In March 1998, after 43 years in Bensonhurst, DiLeonardo moved to Eltingville, Staten Island where he lived until June 2002. One of his brothers was Colombo crime family mobster Robert DiLeonardo, who was killed in a gangland execution on July 16, 1981. DiLeonardo's other brother is James (Giovanni)DiLeonardi, who is not involved in organized crime. His parents were second generation immigrants, with his father's parents coming from Bisacquino, Sicily. His mother was a seamstress and his father was a professional gambler who frequented the horse tracks. His mother died in 2003 of natural causes. DiLeonardo's grandfather, Vincenzo DiLeonardo was a soldier in the Brooklyn gang run by Salvatore D'Aquila. As a young boy, DiLeonardo met Gambino boss Carlo Gambino several times at mob meetings in Vincenzo's house Michael was a friend of John Gotti Jr. for twenty years until he became an informant. When he was about ten years old, DiLeonardo was mauled by a dog, leaving a scar on his face. This scar resulted in the nickname "Mikey Scars". In 1973, DiLeonardo graduated from New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn. He attended college for eighteen months, but did not graduate.
At age 29, DiLeonardo married 19 year old Antoinette "Toni" Marie Fappiano, a cousin of Gambino underboss Frank DeCicco. He is the father of one son named Michael DiLeonardo, Jr. born June 18, 1986 with Antoinette Fappiano, the sister of mobster Frank Fappiano. Michael DiLeonardo Jr. was a student at the College of Staten Island. Michael was a close friend of John A. "Junior" Gotti and was chosen to baptize his second son. After twelve years of marriage to Antoinette, he started an affair with Madelina Fischetti who was impregnated by In vitro fertilisation. He kept Madelina in an rented apartment he mantained for her on Shore Road in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn while mantaining a home with his wife and son on Long Island.
In 1980 he opened up a social club in Brooklyn located at Bay 7th Street and 86th Street which was located down the block from Paul Castellano's Veteran's and Friends' Social Club and Frank DeCicco's bar. He operated his bookmaking and loansharking operations out of the business. He was successful with the business venture and became a partner in a produce market with Peter Castellano, cousin to Paul and mobster Sorbroni. In the 1980s he was listed officially as being employed as a shop foreman for a Local 282 trucking firm and a truck driver for the Greco Bros Concrete Corportaion located at 87-13 Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park, Queens which was partners with the Gambino crime family.
By age 21, DiLeonardo became associated with several Gambino family members and started working for the family. He had been socializing with associates of the Gambino crime family since the 1960s. They would give him their spare change for running errands for them. He considered mob capo Paul Zaccaria as his mob mentor leading to his life of organized crime. He would frequent the Veterans and Friends social club in Brooklyn run by future boss Paul Castellano. After becoming a family associate in the late 1970s to early 1980s, DiLeonardo opened his first social club not far from Veterans and Friends. In early 1981, he shut down his club and opened another on 75th Street and New Utrecht Avenue in Brooklyn. Club customers included Gambino soldiers Salvatore Gravano and Frank DeCicco. He started a construction company, Metropolitan Stone masonry contractor firm with Gambino crime family capo Edward Garofola In 1996, DiLeonardo and Garafola sold Metropolitan to Interstate because the City of New York denied Metropolitan an operating permit because of the company's organized crime affiliations. On December 24, 1988, DiLeonardo was formally inducted into the Gambino family in the same ceremony as John A. Gotti. DiLeonardo first worked for Garafola, a powerful capo who served under boss Paul Castellano. After John A. "Junior" Gotti rose to power, DiLeonardo worked for capo John D'Amico.
Conflict with the Colombos
On July 16, 1981, DiLeonardo's 26-year old brother Robert DiLeonardo, a Colombo crime family associate, was shot to death. Castellano, then Gambino boss, told DiLeonardo to leave the situation alone because it was Colombo business.
In the 1980s, DiLeonardo maintained so-called legitimate jobs as a shop foreman for a trucking company and a driver for a concrete construction company. DiLeonardo soon opened his own construction company, Metropolitan Stone, with Edward Garofalo, a powerful capo.
On December 16, 1985, Castellano was killed on orders from John Gotti, who became the family boss and named DiLeonardo's mob superior Frank DeCicco his underboss. Soon after, DiLeonardo was reporting to Gotti's Ravenite Social Club in Little Italy, Manhattan three to four times per week.
Labor racketeering activities
In 1987, DiLeonardo became affiliated with New York Teamsters Union Local 282, which was controlled by the Gambinos. DiLeonardo became a Teamsters foreman and was soon overseeing Gambino control over the Grecco Brothers Concrete Company in Brooklyn. On December 24, 1988, DiLeonardo and John A. "Junior" Gotti. were inducted into the Gambino family in a Manhattan ceremony conducted by Salvatore Gravano, now consigliere. In 1989, DiLeonardo helped arrange the murder of publisher and sanitation business owner Fred Weiss. John Gotti had ordered Weiss' death because he believe Weiss was planning to testify for prosecutors against Gambino soldier Angelo Paccione, an influential figure in New York's carting industry. Gunmen from the DeCavalcante crime family in New Jersey shot and killed Weiss outside his apartment building in Staten Island, New York.
During the mid-1990s, DiLeonardo supervised loan sharking and other illegal activities from the Royal Crown Bakery in Grasmere, Staten Island. DiLeonardo also received protection money from the owners of Royal Crown, who owned several bakeries and cafes in Brooklyn. In addition, DiLeonardo claimed Staten Island mobster turned Miami club owner Chris Paciello as a Gambino mob associate. However, Colombo crime family capo William Cutolo) claimed Paciello as a Colombo associate. In 1996, DiLeonardo met with Colombo acting boss Alphonse Persico to settle the dispute. As a result, Paciello was allowed to chose which family to be associated with, and he chose the Colombos.
DiLeonardo's rise and fall
In late 1992, Gotti was convicted of murder and racketeering based on Gravano's testimony. In the shakeup that followed, DiLeonardo was promoted to captain. DiLeonardo's crew was given control of the family's construction and trucking rackets. This included receiving monthly payments from Scara-Mix Concrete Company on Staten Island, which was owned by Peter Castellano and Philip Castellano, sons of the deceased family boss. DiLeonardo also moved his crew into Wall Street, using pump-and-dump stock scams to earn the Gambinos money. DiLeonardo became a close associate of John A. "Junior" Gotti and assisted him when he was promoted to acting boss. On one occasion, a member of DiLeonardo's crew, Tommy Cherubino, hid hundreds of sawed-off shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, explosives, grenades, and uzi submachine guns for Gotti Jr.
In 1998, Michael DiLeonardo and Salvatore Locascio were arrested for attempting to extort money from Scores, a famous upscale strip club in Manhattan. However, the case against LoCascio was weak, so prosecutors offered to drop the charges. In return, LoCascio pleaded guilty to tax evasion for deriving income from illegal gambling. He was sentence to ten months, part of which was home arrest, and a $1.5 million fine. At the time of his plea, Locascio ran numerous 900 number phone services, from psychic hot lines to sports scores. DiLeonardo was found not guilty in the trial.
Defection and government informant
After the turn of the century, things turned sour for DiLeonardo. In 2002, the new family boss, Peter Gotti, reduced DiLeonardo's power for allegedly hiding money from the family. Later in 2002, DiLeonardo was indicted on labor racketeering, extortion, loan sharking, witness tampering, and the murders of Gambino associate Frank Hydell and Fred Weiss. At this point, DiLeonardo made an unsuccessful suicide attempt.
Finally, DiLeonardo decided to cooperate with the federal government. He provided damaging testimony against Peter Gotti, Anthony Ciccone, Louis Vallario, Frank Fappiano, Richard Gotti, Richard G. Gotti, Michael Yanotti and testified at the three mistrials in which John Gotti, Jr. was charged with ordering the abduction and assault of radio commentator Curtis Sliwa. Finally, in October 2006, DiLeonardo testified against former Colombo crime family acting boss Alphonse Persico and underboss John DeRoss, who were charged with the murder of former underboss William Cutolo. That trial ended in a mistrial.
DiLeonardo is presumably participating in a Witness Protection Program.