** Correction: In this story, we incorrectly stated that Angela Clemente had “broke” the story that Gregory Scarpa, Sr. was an FBI informer. While she was the person who originally obtained the documents cited in the NY Daily News Story on August 19, it was Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News and NY Daily News reporter Tom Robbins who broke the story in 1994 – as noted in the August 26 Gang Land News column. **
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the latest nonsense claiming that Carmine Persico – one of the most true blue gangsters of all time – was a long-time confidential informant.
This shocking news came from the NY Daily News which plastered the infamous Colombo Family boss’ picture on its front page with a headline sure to secure a spot in the annals of mob history.
But the fact is, this bombshell of all bombshells is a case of mistaken identity and a farce.
In other words – fake news – which Button Guys of The New York Mafia quickly recognized and let our readers know through a series of posts on our Instagram page immediately after the false story broke and spread through the Internet like wildfire.
And with help from our friend MobFax, it seems we put a damper on this raging fire.
The source of the story was a seven-page FBI document filed as an exhibit in support of ailing former Colombo boss Vic Orena’s motion for compassionate release.
The 1971 document, of which the NY Daily News only printed the one damning page, discusses the FBI’s Top Echelon Informant program. In the document, you will see three columns. The first one lists the “LCN Family”. The second “Captain or Capodecina.” The third column lists “Symbol Number of Informant.”
Now, it’s easy to see why someone would look at that page and think that Persico was a confidential informant- especially with the words “TECIP” (Top Echelon Confidential Informant Program) listed at the top and the way the document was laid out.
However, that isn’t the case at all. Because if you go on the theory that Persico must have been an informant, then so too were the other 22 men listed in those seven pages (click on the link above to view the entire filing) – a veritable who’s who of some of the most influential men in gangland history.
The first thing you must realize is that informant numbers are unique identifiers meaning that a number can only be assigned to one individual. In this document, the same CI number appears several times – something that was also confirmed by resident expert “Snakes” on The BlackHand Forum.
That means the informant listed – “NY 3461-C-TE” – is providing information on the person listed in the left column – all those famous names. Not that all of those listed – including Persico – are informants. Rather, that they are being INFORMED ON.
“NY-3461-C-TE” also happens to be one of the most infamous informants of all time – Gregory Scarpa, Sr.
In addition, if you look at the lower right-hand margin of that document, you will see “Clemente.” This refers to Angela Clemente who broke the story many years ago about Scarpa and his long-running relationship with the FBI. This “bombshell” document was part of the thousands of pages of files she obtained during her investigation.
But NOWHERE in that document does it state that Persico or any of the other men listed in those seven pages were informants.
Do you really think that if she discovered all these men were “informants” she wouldn’t have exposed that? Of course, she would have.
But she didn’t because they are not and this whole episode is nothing but a FARCE.
What this appears to be is a case of mistaken interpretation of a document and mistaken spreading of a rumor by many – an unfortunate, unfair, and blasphemous slander against a man who did his time, served his time, and died like a man behind bars in 2019.
So, don’t believe everything you read. Because sometimes it’s dead wrong. And that, my friends, truly IS the end of this sordid story.