Mafiosi, when arrested or facing investigative committees or court appearances, often develop a wide range of medical illnesses ranging from heart trouble to common colds. It is common for FBI agents to diagnose such ploys as the “Sicilian flu.”

I first heard about this ploy from the Before the Lights podcast hosted by Tommy Canale, in which he interviews Joaquin “Jack” Garcia, who was a Cuban-American Undercover FBI Agent that took down a Mafia family. In that podcast, Joaquin tells Tommy about how when Greg DePalma was arrested, he showed up in court in a wheelchair and had a little blanket covering him because he was feeling a bit, “under the weather.”