Mobster bugged by fund-raisers

6th May 2005 at 01:00

Police eavesdropping on a Boston mobster hoping to catch him dishing the dirt on his criminal dealings instead heard him moaning about the fund-raising efforts of his son's expensive private school.

Joseph Yerardi was feeling the heat from officials soliciting donations for the $26,000-a-year (pound;14,000) Belmont Hill school.

Yerardi, then awaiting trial, pleaded with his alleged accomplice Arthur Gianelli to pay the school to keep them off his back.

"I don't want to tell you. Three times... four times like they called...

'Did you forget us?' They called the house," Yerardi told Gianelli, according to transcripts released last week.

Yerardi knew the phone he was using from prison was bugged and found the school's pushiness "amusing", his lawyer said.

Gianelli is accused of running Yerardi's gambling racket while Yerardi served 11 years in prison for racketeering, a deal which allegedly included giving Yerardi's wife more than $1,000 a week and paying for his son's education. The school declined to comment last week.

Yerardi was arrested last month and is accused of masterminding an illicit offshore gambling operation.

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