The National Museum of Catholic Art and History, a seemingly benign nonprofit that wanted to use an East Harlem park to host a fundraiser, was shaken down by Parks Commissioner Henry Stern for 20,000. Tabloid headlines charged Stern with requiring mandatory "contributions" like this one.
The company was partially owned by Tony Salerno, and Fugazy and Cohn got the rights from it to promote the two multi-million-dollar return bouts. While Fugazy says he never knew Salerno, Cohn became Salerno's lawyer, representing him for decades in a host of criminal cases.
Fugazy, who told the. Voice that he "always knew" he "was going to get the money back let the remaining 5000 debt cover the cost of his group's table at the museum's fundraiser. Grandstanding is hardly the only form of flimflam in Fugazy's history.
While the respected Pellegrino's only known connections to the mob are through lineage and celluloid, FBI documents allege that his partner, Ron Straci, who is a labor lawyer, split a 500,000 kickback with Tony Salerno's brother, Charles "Speed" Salerno, on the sale of a union.
Pellegrino appears on the cover of the museum's glossy journal and was the honoree at one of its biggest fundraisers. Though the small restaurant's exclusive 10 tables are literally "owned" by the powerbrokers and celebrities who regularly eat there, the restaurant gave one to the.
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