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Career NY Mobster Arrested for First Time in His 80s; Stayed Out of Limelight

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You’ve got to figure most New York mobsters in their 80s have a rap sheet as long as the lunch line at the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue in Manhattan.

Then there’s Nicholas Rizzo, 84, who was featured in a story on the website Gang Land News written by mob expert Jerry Capeci.

According to the site, Rizzo, a feared and respected mobster in the Colombo Crime Family, who became a millionaire from legit and not so legit sources, was arrested for the first time in January when Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. announced the arrests of 127 mobsters and associates from New York to Florida. He was 83 at the time of the arrest.

Gang Land News reported that he enjoyed a lengthy career in the mob while staying out of the limelight.

“In addition to his thriving loanshark business, Rizzo has been a pretty successful venture capitalist over the years,” Gang Land News reported. “According to court records, his attorney, and other sources, he has owned a gas station, used car lot, a pizza parlor, as well as a general contracting business.”

Described as soft spoken, Gang Land News reported that Rizzo has lived in a modest semi-attached house he owns along with his grandson. He also lived a tragic life.

The site reported that he and his late wife raised two sons and a daughter, all of whom died before their time. His oldest son Charlie  died after falling six flights down an air shaft at a construction site in 1982.

In 1979, his son Nicholas was shot to death in a revenge shooting, Gang Land News reported. His daughter died in 1990 from a drug overdose.

“Nicky has always been a very low key unassuming underthe-radar guy,” said one underworld source said about Rizzo, according to Gang Land News.

“He was never the most sophisticated street guy but he made a lot of money as a loanshark and he probably still has the first dollar he ever stole.”

Gang Land News reported that Rizzo agreed this month to pay $600,000 in a plea deal that calls for him to serve about two years in prison.


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