Meet the FBI’s best (and most unlikely) informant

In 1996, Michael Blutrich was a successful attorney and former law partner of future New York governor Andrew Cuomo as well as the owner of the iconic gentlemen’s club SCORES, which was frequented by high-power patrons ranging from A-list celebrities to members of the Mafia (notoriously, the New York Rangers visited SCORES on the night they won the Stanley Cup, filled the Stanley Cup with champagne, and left it behind at the end of the night). To say the least, things were going well for Blutrich.

All that changed, however, on the night of June 22nd. It was then that Blutrich discovered that a string of questionable transactions he had made with a Florida insurance company had escalated into a $420 million fraud, one that would mean serious legal repercussions and significant jail time for Blutrich if convicted. In an unlikely turn of events, the FBI offered Blutrich what would be significantly less jail time if he agreed to wear a wire and record dozens of the key mobsters who frequented SCORES, including John Gotti Jr. Blutrich risked his life to wear the wire for 11 months and recorded over 1,000 hours of conversations with members of the Mafia.

With Michael Blutrich’s help, the Department of Justice indicted more than 70 Mob members and associates, including John Gotti Jr. himself, who was believed by the FBI to be the acting boss of the Gambino crime family at the time of the indictment in 1998. Former prosecutor Art Leach gives much of the credit of the operation’s success to Blutrich, calling him an informant “ten times better than the best.” Despite this and other glowing reviews of his undercover work, Blutrich was ultimately sentenced to 16 years in prison for his crimes in Florida–a much longer sentence than any of the mobsters he helped lock up were given.

Michael Blutrich is finally ready and able to tell his story–SCORES’ legendary history, its Mob infiltration, the investigations and trials and the resultant pleas and convictions in the aftermath–in a new book, aptly titled Scores, which I am thrilled to say that BenBella will be publishing in the Fall of 2016. In the meantime, check out Michael’s exclusive 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper earlier this year to hear more about his unbelievable story:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/an-unlikely-informant

 

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