United States

Aging Mobster Who Beat Charges in Infamous Lufthansa Heist Pleads Guilty to Road-Rage Arson

An 82-year-old mobster who beat charges he participated in a legendary robbery has pleaded guilty in an unrelated road-rage arson.

Vincent Asaro entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in New York City. Sentencing was set for Oct. 24. 

In 2014, Asaro was charged in the 1978 heist of the Lufthansa cargo terminal at Kennedy Airport. It was considered the largest cash theft in American history and was later retold in the hit film "Goodfellas."

Asaro was acquitted at trial in 2015 and went free. He was rearrested this year on charges accusing him of ordering the torching of a car driven by a motorist who cut him off in 2012. 

Asaro faces a maximum of 20 years in prison under the statute and a $250,000 fine. He must also pay restitution to the victim whose car was burned in the arson, which stemmed from a road rage incident, according to court papers.

The arson dates to 2012 in Howard Beach, authorities said. According to the FBI, Asaro was angry about a traffic dispute and wanted the man's car firebombed. He allegedly turned to John J. Gotti, the 23-year-old grandson of the late Gambino crime boss, for help.

Gotti pleaded guilty to arson in court, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

He also pleaded guilty to taking part in a bank robbery in Queens in 2012, allegledly getting away with nearly $6,000, according to court papers. He admitted he acted as the getaway driver.  

He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and must make restitution to the bank for its loss in the robbery. He will also be sentenced Oct. 24. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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