The FBI Spent $25K on an Elaborate Italian Feast to Trap Mafiosi: Report
The FBI has revealed that they spent $25,000 to nab 20 mafiosos at a “Cosa Nostra Christmas party” in New York City three years ago. The party was organized by special agents with the help of a gang informant, court testimony revealed.
According to the New York Post, under cross-examination Wednesday, January 31, in a racketeering trial, FBI Special Agent William Inzerillo testified that the FBI paid for the Italian feast at Pasquale’s Rigoletto on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx that resulted in the roundup of 46 organized crime affiliates including suspected Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, Genovese crime family capo Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello (for whom the restaurant is named), and alleged acting Genovese capo Eugene “Rooster” Onofrio.
According to the FBI, the December 8, 2014, dinner was the only time the three made men were together during the five-year racketeering investigation that AM New York reports resulted in the indictment of members from five different mob families. Complex reports that the feds paid for Merlino’s flight from Boca Raton, Florida, to New York City to ensure his attendance at the event.
While at dinner, the men enjoyed the restaurant’s fine southern Italian cuisine, such as house specialties like tortellini alla panna and spaghetti carbonara. It must have been quite a meal — last year the New York Daily News reported that now-retired judge Anthony Fiorella allegedly agreed to help the then-73-year-old Parrello with his case because of how much he likes the food at Pasquale’s Rigoletto. The mobster later received a seven-year sentence.
According to the restaurant's website, "when you come here, we treat you like family." The eatery has a 3.5-star rating on Yelp, where diners praise its old-school charm, "banging" marinara sauce and homemade pistachio cheesecake, with some points off for slow service and high prices.
The Daily Meal reached out to Pasquale’s Rigoletto and New York’s FBI offices for comment.