FORMER VALENTI ASSOCIATE TELLS ALL
BY Robert Clemenza | June 4, 2020
After a back and forth through email, I agreed to sit down with a former Valenti crime family associate. The 57-year-old Anthony Scuopo of Hoboken, New Jersey, came to Los Santos around 2005. Through contacts in Henderson, Nevada he was introduced to members of the Valenti family, an organization named after the incarcerated mafia chieftan Santino "The Butcher" Valenti. Scuopo operated a mid-level bookmaking operation under the "Dippolito Crew," ran by brothers William and Michael Dippolito.
The West Coast has historically had a small La Cosa Nostra presence compared to its East Coast counterpart.
"The LS [family] was always known as the Mickey Mouse family," says Scuopo.
When asked about his former associates Scuopo said, "Mike [Dippolito] was never respected. He was too sensitive and lacked a head for business." Later Scuopo remarked, "He was always trying to shadow the reputation of his brother."
The older of the two, William, however, received a different reaction.
"Billy was a big street guy back in the 90s," Scuopo said. "He went to the pen a few times. But he's living in the past."
Intrigued, I asked the former Mafia associate what he meant by "living in the past." In addition, I inquired about the status of the Mafia in Los Santos.
"La Cosa Nostra has been dead in the water in the West Coast for a long time", said Scuopo. "Most of these guys who are 'connected' are acting like it's the 1960s. But in reality [LCN] here is dead. Even the Five Families back home are slowly withering away."
I quickly followed up with a counter-argument, bringing up the food distribution company McGinty's Food Co. and its relationship to organized crime.
"The guy running it, Luke Pagano. He's a 'captain," Scuopo said, replying with a smirk on his face. "He strolls around in his new Range Rover, $2,000 Armani suit, looking like a cartoon character. But the truth is he's the one person from Philly that doesn't watch the Eagles."
"You have a few guys like that wheeling and dealing here and there," Scuopo said. "Involving themselves in real estate and legal businesses. But most of these guys are living in the past, following something that doesn't exist."