Giuliani served as United States Associate Attorney General from 1981 to 1983 and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1983 to 1989. In the Mafia Commission Trial, which ran from February 25, 1985, through November 19, 1986, Giuliani indicted 11 organized crime figures, including the heads of New York’s so-called “Five Families”, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) on charges including extortion, labor racketeering, and murder for hire. Time magazine called this “Case of Cases” possibly “the most significant assault on the infrastructure of organized crime since the high command of the Chicago Mafia was swept away in 1943”, and quoted Giuliani’s stated intention: “Our approach is to wipe out the five families.” Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano evaded conviction when he and his underboss, Thomas Bilotti, were murdered on the streets of Midtown Manhattan on December 16, 1985. However, three heads of the Five Families were sentenced to 100 years in prison on January 13, 1987. Genovese and Colombo leaders, Tony Salerno and Carmine Persico received additional sentences in separate trials, with 70-year and 39-year sentences to run consecutively. He was assisted by three Assistant United States Attorneys: Michael Chertoff, the eventual second United States Secretary of Homeland Security and co-author of the Patriot Act; John Savarese, now a partner at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz; and Gil Childers, a later deputy chief of the criminal division for the Southern District of New York and now managing director in the legal department at Goldman Sachs.
According to an FBI memo revealed in 2007, leaders of the Five Families voted in late 1986 on whether to issue a contract for Giuliani’s death. Heads of the Lucchese, Bonanno, and Genovese families rejected the idea, though Colombo and Gambino leaders, Carmine Persico and John Gotti, encouraged assassination. In 2014, it was revealed by a former Sicilian Mafia member and informant, Rosario Naimo, that Salvatore Riina, a notorious Sicilian Mafia leader, had ordered a murder contract on Giuliani during the mid-1980s. Riina allegedly was suspicious of Giuliani’s efforts prosecuting the American Mafia and was worried that he might have spoken with Italian anti-mafia prosecutors and politicians, including Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who were both murdered in 1992 in separate car bombings. According to Giuliani, the Sicilian Mafia offered $800,000 for his death during his first year as mayor of New York in 1994.2:20 pm on October 25, 2020 Email Charles Burris