This article was last modified on March 25, 2012.


The Mafia and the Cheese Industry, Part Two: Saputo

The news of “Joe Bonanno’s Trash” broke in July 1979, when the world learned that authorities had been collecting notes the mob boss discarded at his Arizona home. Some notes revealed his “financial interests in Italian cheese enterprises in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, California, and Arizona.” Also found were notations of letters to and phone calls from “Pepe Fredo” (Saputo Cheese vice president Joseph Borsellino) and “Lino” (Emmanuel Saputo). The notes had detailed lists of time that the Canadian men were to call Bonanno from pay phones to other pay phones in order to avoid wiretaps. Other notes told these two men to “bring liquido cash” to meetings with Bonanno. [LMT 7/31/79]

Published reports on December 12, 2007 said Lino Saputo, chair of Saputo Inc., was part of an investigation by Italian police into an alleged Mafia money-laundering scheme. Mariano Turrisi, the president and founder of Made in Italy Inc., was arrested by police on October 22 in connection with a plan to launder $600 million for Vito Rizzuto, 61, the alleged head of the Montreal Mafia. In a wiretapped conversation, Turrisi discusses “the king of cheese” with another suspect who was arrested by Italian authorities. “I invite [the Canadian authorities] to come and see me so that, once and for all, I can clear away the cloud hanging over me,” Saputo said. “And personally, I never had anything do with Vito Rizzuto, neither commercially nor socially… We’ve met in a couple of restaurants, at a couple of receptions and I have very rarely met him in a social situation.” Coincidentally, Turrisi registered a company in Florida called Saputo Enterprises. “We have nothing to do with this company,” Saputo said. [Rakobowchuk 12/13/07]

Also try another article under Historical / Biographical
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

One Response to “The Mafia and the Cheese Industry, Part Two: Saputo”

  1. Daniele Says:

    I visited that man and family in his Mtl Senneville castle in 1978 …. I was there to accompany an italian furniture manufacturer who had been in charged for the castle’s makeup …. I was in charge for freight forwarding activity with regard to new furniture and accessories supply from Italy, 3 or 4X40′ containers in total if I remember correctly …. then, I was paid for my service and bye bye and no further contacts at all with Mr Saputo and family …. but, someone told me later that Lino had become brotherly friend with the italian furniture maker, certain Ivaldo Pellegatta of Desio, IT. What I want to question now, after a lot of years: is it possible that I had been guest in the lair of the wolf, without minimally understanding anything apart being there as welcome guest in a nice home of a happy family ?? that sounds quite nonsense … I was very young, not stupid … and, what I read now ref. cheese and constructions mafia connection and that man supposed to be in the red buttons room while wilkipedia describes him as the big pride of the Montreal community, it seems to me that something could be out of road, or not ??

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