May 23, 2001 06:58pm
More of the Same in Gold Club Trial
Source: Independent for AINews
by: Rick C. Limpert
(ATLANTA, GA) -- Monday and Tuesday provided additional linking of Steven Kaplan and the Gold Club to the Gambino crime family. Focusing on Kaplan when he lived and worked in New York in the mid-1980's; Joey Gross a former employee of Kaplan in New York told of how he and Kaplan operated an elaborate fraudulent credit card ring in the 1980's.
Gross, a career criminal, now in the witness protection program testified Kaplan told him he was allied with Gambino captain "Frankie Blair" Morano. Gross also testified that the mob had a cut of almost every business Kaplan owned. Kaplan lawyer, Steve Sadow countered Gross with trying to point out inconsistencies in Gross' testimony and asked Gross if he faked the injuries in a $3 million police brutality lawsuit.
On Tuesday, FBI Special Agent Robert A. Vendette took the stand to say he approached Kaplan in 1996 in New York to convince him to snitch on the Gambino crime family. Kaplan refused. At the conclusion of Tuesday's arguments, U.S. District Judge Willis Hunt expressed displeasure at the slow pace of the trial, and urged prosecutors and the defense to cease the acrimony and work together.
Rick C. Limpert