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District kingpin Thomas Gambino, honored as the garment industry’s Man of the Year at a 1981 dinner at the Plaza Hotel, benefited personally in a big way. By 1992, investigators estimated his personal wealth at $75 million. Meanwhile, however, the garment industry suffered. As vicious stories of violence and sabotage became more frequent, businesses increasingly fled. The mob had crushed a onceburgeoning trade. The mob tax levied on the rag traders was passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. Authorities estimated the price tag for Mob control was 7 percent on each Gambino-trucked item. Consumers would pay an extra $15 for a $200 shirt, money that would go directly into the Gambinospockets, tax free. Finally, in 1989, after bugging the Gambino family offices, Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau caught Thomas and his brother Joseph Gambino talking about their mob-owned trucking firms on tape. They were arrested in late 1990. Morgenthau reached an innovative deal with them: in exchange for not going to jail, they agreed to get out of the business and pay $12 million to fund a special monitor to oversee the industry for five years and sell off mobbed-up companies. The arrangement transformed the industry. It took almost two years for shop owners in the area to believe that the Mob was really gone and that they could sign up with new truckers without fearing reprisal. Soon, some seventy-five independent truckers flooded into the district. The cost of shipping plummeted. Even with all the convictions, the deals, and the bad publicity, both Mob and non-Mob corruption didn’t vanish completely from the Garment Center. Some crime families have disappeared entirely, and others have shrunk 50 to 90 percent from their size thirty years ago, says James O. Finckenauer, Ph.D., director of the International Center at the National Institute of Justice. Still, as of 2001, the estimated made membership of La Cosa Nostra is eleven hundred nationwide, with roughly 80 percent of the members operating in the New York metropolitan area (made men, or soldiers, make up the main crews). In addition to the made members, there are approximately ten thousand associate members who work for the families, says Finckenauer.Latest Eyeglasses Trends of 2013 Ltf

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