DiFiore has a criminal history that dates back to 1966. He was arrested for crimes ranging from kidnapping in the second degree, serious assault charges, to promoting gambling in the first degree, and buying and receiving stolen property. In 1970, DiFiore was convicted in New York state court of reckless endangerment in the second degree and received a sentence of conditional discharge.
By that time, DiFiore was a fulltime Bonanno Family associate of the crew led by capo Philip Giaccone. During the 1970s and 1980s, DiFiore was responsible for picking up thousands of dollars per month in protection money that various trucking companies based at JFK airport were paying the Bonanno family.
DiFiore's capo "Phil Lucky" Philip Giaccone was murdered in 1981 as part of the infamous power struggle between a faction loyal to imprisoned boss Philip Rastelli and a faction comprised of Giaccone and two other captains. The plot played an integral part in the movie Donnie Brasco, starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp.
After Rastelli's faction had cleaned house, Joseph Massino emerged as the new power on the streets. He also became the man DiFiore ultimately reported to. We know this because Massino would later become the first Mafia boss to cooperate with the FBI and testify against his former underlings.
Massino said that he sponsored DiFiore for membership in the family and performed his induction ceremony in approximately 1985 or 1986.
According to Massino, somewhere between 1999 and 2000, Di Fiore's son had received a beating from bouncers at a topless bar. Another member of the Bonanno family, on Di Fiore’s behalf, asked Massino for permission for Di Fiore to kill the bouncers in retaliation. But the boss refused to grant DiFiore permission. Furthermore, Massino told the Feds, Di Fiore had proposed his son for membership in the Bonanno family. He had denied the proposal.
A year later, in 2001, Di Fiore was convicted of federal extortion and was sentenced to 29 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Acting Boss and Arrest
By 2012, DiFiore had been made underboss. When Vincent "Vinny T.V." Badalamenti was imprisoned in January of that year he set in place a "Ruling panel", which could help settle disputes and run the family's operations. The panel included Vincent Asaro, Anthony Rabito, and Thomas DiFiore. By 2014 Difiore had been made acting boss. However not everyone was happy to have DiFiore as boss. Asaro was caught on tape badmouthing his leader on more than one occasion.
"Now we have a fuckin' scumbag, the new boss. Cheap scumbag . . . Some scumbag from Long Island," Asaro said of the man who actually had promoted him to the rank of captain, even going so far as to say; "Oh he's a cocksucker. Makes Joey Massino look like St. Anthony, motherfucker."
Both men together with three other Bonanno mobsters were arrested and charged with various counts of racketeering. Most of the charges, including one linked to the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist immortalized in the movie Goodfellas, which Asaro was charged with. The only charges 70-year-old DiFiore faced were two counts of racketeering, one count of extortionate collection of credit and conspiracy. DeFiore claimed that Vincent Asaro was directly responsible for his arrest. Asaro was captured on a secret wiretap during a conversation with his cousin Gaspare “Gary” Valenti who had turned informant and was wearing a wire talking about a mafia payoff. He said to his cousin that “Tommy” took a $15,000 cut from a loan shark payoff of $40,000 that he had received, stating “He took 15 grand, I want to kill the mother******”.
On January 23, 2014, DiFiore was arrested and pleaded not guilty but on March 24, 2015 he was sentenced to 21 months in prison. He was being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
On August 5, 2015, DiFiore was released from prison and is alleged to have gone back to serving as capo under acting boss, Joseph 'Joe C' Cammarano Jr.