Umberto “Albert” Anastasia was an Italian-American mobster, hitman and crime lord. Albert Anastasia and his under boss Frank “Don Cheech” Scalise were constantly involved in all sorts of deals, many that were shady even by Mafia standards. It was certain that in 1954 Scalise and Anastasia started selling memberships to his crime family to eager applicants for $40,000 to $50,000 when the “books” were opened for the first time since the early 1930s. It was said that Scalise collected about 200 of these king-sized kickbacks. This was a clear violation of mob protocol.

I first heard about this story while listening to the Gangland Wire podcast by Gary Jenkins on the episode, “Murder Incorporated – Part 3.” In his podcast, Gary Jenkins, former Intelligence Unit detective with the Kansas City Police Department tells many stories about the Kansas City mafia, interviews experts on mafia families in many other cities, and has found many former mafia members to tell their stories. Thanks Gary for the great podcast!