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Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas
54 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
Bonus: Season 2 Epilogue
Longtime gaming executive and consultant Ed Nigro was in the middle of the battle between Wayne Newton and Johnny Carson to buy the Aladdin Hotel after the mob was kicked out. Nigro was appointed to manage the Aladdin until it could be sold to reputable buyers, and then partnered with Carson in his bid to take over the Aladdin. In this season-ending forum at The Mob Museum, Nigro joins Season 2 host Jeff German and former Gov. Robert List in a discussion about the Aladdin’s troubles under the control of the mob and how the state and the courts dealt with it. Nigro also provides a revealing look behind the scenes of the high-stakes battle between Carson and Newton.
12 minutes | Aug 17, 2021
Bonus: Stories from the Steer
A bonus episode for Season 2 of Mobbed Up. Jeff German, Review-Journal investigative reporter and host for Season 2, interviews longtime Golden Steer waiter Venko Nikolov about his memories of mob hitman Frank Cullotta at the iconic Las Vegas steakhouse.
30 minutes | Aug 2, 2021
Aladdin‘s curse | S2E8
On the evening of April 27, 1998, there was an almost festive atmosphere on the Las Vegas Strip. Television news helicopters were hovering and an estimated 20,000 onlookers gathered on the streets. At 7:30 p.m. the financially unstable Aladdin Hotel tumbled down in a coordinated implosion. Some say it was cursed since its days of pillaging under hidden mob control. With all of its troubles, the resort played a key role in the history of Las Vegas. It ignited the campaign to push the mob off the Strip, paved the way for corporate America to take over, and transformed Nevada’s gaming process into the world's gold standard.
33 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
A judge falls from grace | S2E7
Federal judge Harry Claiborne frustrated federal prosecutors hunting the mob in Las Vegas - he was not afraid to block efforts if he thought they were being unfair. The judge also fought with gaming regulators over his decision to wrestle away control of the Aladdin. In 1986, Claiborne became the first federal judge in 50 years to be impeached, convicted and removed from the bench by Congress because he refused to resign after he was convicted in court of filing false tax returns and not reporting income. It was a long fall for a man who had become a legal legend.
29 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
Wayne Newton’s ‘nightmare’ | S2E6
It’s a moment of jubilation for Wayne Newton in September 1980 as he appears before the Nevada Gaming Commission. He has just been approved as the new co-owner of the Aladdin. But he and his attorney are confronted by an NBC crew, asking questions about alleged ties to the mob. An investigative report out days later came as the Midnight Idol’s career was rocking. He was not only a casino owner but also the biggest draw on the Strip. Fallout from that broadcast would be big news in Las Vegas for years. And Newton vowed a “fight that could last the rest of my life.”
32 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
Threats, Bombs and Stings | S2E5
Armed with a mass of FBI wiretap transcripts, newly sworn-in Nevada governor Robert List was embarking on one of the most critical tasks in the history of the state - breaking the mob’s grip on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. During his term, he received death threats, wore a bulletproof vest, and faced an undercover sting. Other officials found bombs in their cars. The FBI was stepping up the pressure on Mafia families and their hidden influence downtown and on the Strip. Among the casinos named: the Aladdin, Stardust, Tropicana, Dunes, and Fremont.
31 minutes | Jul 5, 2021
Wayne Newton vs. Johnny Carson | S2E4
Wayne Newton and Johnny Carson, two of the biggest stars in the entertainment world, both set their sights on buying the Aladdin after regulators stripped the resort’s owners of their gaming licenses. Newton, the “Midnight Idol,” was the number one headliner at several hotels. Carson co-owned a Las Vegas television station and performed stand-up comedy on weekends on the Strip. Once friendly, their feud started after Newton got the upper hand in buying the resort. Carson started skewering Newton in monologues, ending with a sudden confrontation in Carson’s office in Burbank. But untangling the Aladdin from mob allegations wasn’t easy.
11 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
BONUS: Introducing Mafia
Mafia is an Audioboom Original that delves into the criminal underworld, exploring the lives and careers of America’s most infamous gangsters. This season will cover mafiosos from around the US; including LA’s Aladena ‘Jimmy the Weasel’ Fratianno (an acting mob boss turned informant), ‘Silver Dollar’ Sam Carollo (a Sicilian immigrant who established Cosa Nostra in New Orleans), and the leader of the New England Syndicate, Raymond Patriarca, whose reign lasted over three decades. Do you know who was ‘The Queen of Policy Racket’? Do you know what James ‘Whitey’ Bulger was up to while in hiding from the local Massachusetts police, FBI, and US Marshalls? You’ll find out all that and more on this season of Mafia. Catch new episodes of Mafia every Wednesday wherever you listen to podcasts. You’re about to hear a preview of Mafia. While you’re listening, be sure to subscribe to Mafia on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows!
30 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
‘Close the Place Down‘ | S2E3
The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously to close the Aladdin’s mob-controlled gaming floor in August 1979, but colorful federal judge Harry Claiborne ordered it reopened. It was a big blow to both state regulators and federal mob-fighting prosecutors. Everyone was mad. The state had taken away the gaming licenses of the Aladdin’s top executives following their federal convictions in Detroit and fought Claiborne to regain control over the casino. Eventually, an unprecedented feud erupted between federal organized crime prosecutors and Nevada’s two federal judges.
28 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
The Genie in the Lamp | S2E1
It’s July 2, 1976. Music legend Neil Diamond is opening the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts, one of the finest stages ever constructed in Las Vegas. The theater is $10 million worth of class. It was designed to be part of the city’s future, but it was built on the city’s past - part of a $50 million hotel expansion financed by the Teamsters Central States Pension fund, a mob-controlled financial institution that had loaned millions of dollars to casinos. The Aladdin loan helped the Detroit Mafia get a big piece of the resort. The fight for Las Vegas was on.
30 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
Hoffa: The Strip’s Kingmaker | S2E2
Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance led to a big push against organized crime across the country, including Las Vegas, where Hoffa, the mob’s banker, had breathed life into the casino industry. And today, 46 years later, just what happened to the charismatic labor boss who helped shape the Strip skyline remains one of this country’s biggest mysteries.
2 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Introducing Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas. Season 2
Season 2 of “Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas,” an eight-part, true-crime series, takes you to the late 1970s and early 1980s, an unforgettable era in the battle against organized crime in Las Vegas. Mafia families wielded hidden control over more than a third of the Strip's casinos, and federal and state agents were waking up to the enormous task of pushing them out. This series is produced by the Las Vegas Review-Journal in partnership with The Mob Museum. For more information visit, www.reviewjournal.com/mobbedup.
52 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
BONUS: Mobbed Up (Almost) Live
This week, Mobbed Up host Reed Redmond and Mob Museum VP of Exhibits of Programs Geoff Schumacher hosted 'Mobbed Up Live,' which aired on the Las Vegas Review-Journal website and Facebook page. The livestream included panel discussions with voices from the podcast, as well as a follow-up interview with Sen. Harry Reid about his time on the Nevada Gaming Commission. Full video of 'Mobbed Up Live' is available at www.reviewjournal.com or on the Las Vegas Review-Journal Facebook page.
36 minutes | Jul 28, 2020
Implosion | S1E11
"I'm probably the only guy standing right now." Decades after it was at the center of a federal racketeering case, the aging Stardust hotel-casino is imploded to make way for a new resort project. Meanwhile, Frank Cullotta has returned to living under his own name in Las Vegas. Join us for Mobbed Up LIVE on Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. Pacific on the Las Vegas Review-Journal Facebook page. Send your questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on this episode, visit www.reviewjournal.com/mobbedup. For more on the Mob Museum, visit www.themobmuseum.org.
19 minutes | Jul 23, 2020
BONUS: Stories from the Steer
"They didn't care if you were a mobster or a corporate executive or a politician or a federal agent." When Frank Cullotta arrived in Las Vegas in 1978, one of his first stops was The Golden Steer Steakhouse, where he and Tony Spilotro sat down to discuss their plans for the future over dinner. The restaurant's current owner, Dr. Michael J. Signorelli, shares a few tales from the Steer's storied past. To learn more about The Golden Steer, or to order online, visit www.goldensteerlasvegas.com.
41 minutes | Jul 21, 2020
Family Secrets | S1E10
“He always said if you pull a gun on somebody, you finish it.” Tony Spilotro goes missing in June of 1986, last seen driving away from his brother's home in suburban Illinois. Over two decades later, a racketeering trial in Chicago reveals what happened after that. For more on this episode, visit www.reviewjournal.com/mobbedup. To learn about The Mob Museum, visit www.themobmuseum.org.
43 minutes | Jul 14, 2020
Dirty Laundry | S1E9
"You never become a rat." Following their arrests for attempted robbery of a home furnishings store in Las Vegas, Frank Cullotta and five other members of the "Hole in the Wall Gang" face steep prison sentences. Loyalty wears thin, and the FBI sees an opportunity. For more on this episode, visit www.reviewjournal.com/mobbedup. To learn about The Mob Museum, visit www.themobmuseum.org.
37 minutes | Jul 7, 2020
Strawman | S1E8
"Las Vegas was the last thing on our mind." In the spring of 1978, the FBI’s Organized Crime Squad in Kansas City placed microphones in a restaurant, hoping to pick up information about local mob activity. Instead, they picked up on something far bigger: casino skimming operations in Las Vegas. For more on this episode, visit www.reviewjournal.com/mobbedup. To learn about The Mob Museum, visit www.themobmuseum.org.
33 minutes | Jun 30, 2020
Hole in the Wall | S1E7
“This was the end of organized crime in Las Vegas.” In 1978, mob-connected thief Frank Cullotta moves from Chicago to Las Vegas to work alongside his childhood friend, reputed Las Vegas mob enforcer Tony Spilotro. When he arrives, Frank says his first assignment was to put together a crew of guys—a crew that would soon earn a reputation as one of the most prolific burglary outfits in the country. For more on this episode, visit www.reviewjournal.com/mobbedup. To learn about The Mob Museum, visit www.themobmuseum.org.
33 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
Cleanface | S1E6
"Now I’m getting this directly from, you know, Cleanface. You follow me?" In 1977, future Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was appointed chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission. Before long, Reid would find himself battling bribery accusations, working with the FBI on a sting operation and going toe-to-toe with Chicago mob associate Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal at licensing hearings. For more on this episode, visit www.reviewjournal.com/mobbedup. To learn about The Mob Museum, visit www.themobmuseum.org.
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