Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Return of Black Dom

Black Dom: from stocks to pizzas


One of the characters in Born to Steal is a fellow named "Black Dom" Dionisio, a Colombo crime family associate who was one of the hoods behind Hanover Sterling and other shady brokerages in the early 1990s. Now word that Dom has come down in the world, big time.

Mob Watch reports that Dom, who served time for securities fraud a while back (this court ruling describes his pedigree), is now on trial for shooting somebody during the Colombo family's civil strife in 1991. It seems that he made a bid for release before trial, saying that he works for a prominent Brooklyn pizza restaurant called Lucali's.

The feds, however, think Black Dom's full of shit, because he hadn't been providing any pay stubs since he supposedly started working almost a year ago. They say he's simply using Lucali's as a front, perhaps for sinister purposes. So Dionisio countered by producing said stubs -- 10 in all. Problem is, they came from the personal account of Lucali's owner Mark Iacono, not the restaurant. And they were written on sequentially numbered checks, implying that Dom was hastily paid for an entire year all at once.
The Daily News originally reported on Dom's connection with the restaurant, but not on the pay stubs.

One thing that makes this interesting is that Lucali's is not some greasy joint in Hicksville, but is in upscale Carroll Gardens, and is getting quite a reputation for outstanding pizza. It has received publicity in restaurant websites and even the New Yorker, describing Iacono as a former "marble fabricator." The New Yorker reported:

These days, it’s not unusual to encounter a wait of well over an hour for one of the ten tables; late-arriving takeout patrons are sometimes turned away all together. So it was hardly surprising, last week, when a Presidential-calibre motorcade pulled up out front. Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z emerged, and were quickly ushered to a table near the chef.
When I read the Mob Watch item I was intrigued, because someone by the name of Mark Iacono used to be a trader at a "chop house" called A.T. Brod, and was named in an NASD complaint concerning the short-selling of shares in the aforementioned Hanover Sterling. More on the entities and other nastiness described in the complaint can be found in this BusinessWeek article.

Well, rest easy, folks. You'll be happy to know that the pizza restaurateur Mark Iacono is a different guy. The one who used to work at Brod would now be nearing 50, which is much older than the fellow pictured in the articles on the pizza place, unless he's exceptionally well preserved. Still, you have to admit that this is one hell of a coincidence.

The Daily News article says
"Dionisio, 39, is now permitted to leave his home six days a week for his $300-a-week job at Lucali's, where the owner praised him. "Regardless of his past, he's like my family," Mark Iacono said.
Hey, I'm all for giving ex-cons a second chance, if they've reformed. One of my favorite financial bloggers is ex-con Sam Antar, scourge of the Overstock.com fraud. But I have my doubts about Dom, however.

© 2010 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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