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For All Nails #184:  How you like them Oranges?

From the Statist
28 May 1976

Long accused of controlling New York City's main fish market, the
Adair and Wright families are now allegedly trying to control its
stockmarket. On May 25th the New York district attorney indicted 19
people on charges of securities fraud, extortion, wire fraud and
racketeering. Alongside what uncharitable souls might call the usual
suspects ("Michael Hennessey, aka Butch aka Crazy Eyes aka The
Iceman"), the indicted include Harvey Gordon, the chairman of
Hart-Buford Tinning, a food-processing company with factories in the
New Jersey cities of Camden and Newark, and six stockbrokers from an
obscure Broad Street firm, Robbins Smythe Rubick.

The indictment alleges that the brokers, prompted by the persuasive
habits of people like Butch (such an innocent name when you think
about it), helped Hart-Buford managers to manipulate the price of the
firm's shares.  The brokers and alleged mobsters received shares in
the soaring firm in return. In March and April Robbins Smythe brokers
were responsible for 80 percent of all retail customer purchases of
Hart-Buford shares. On May 17th the Ministry of Finance suspended
trading in Hart-Buford shares, after eyebrows were raised about the
accuracy of its information. The "victims" were hapless out-of-town
retail investors.

The defendants have yet to put across their side of the story,
although the lawyer for Mack "Curly" Sorrentino said that he doubted
whether his client "even knew how to get to Broad Street". The
potential penalties are steep.  The 20 counts that Butch faces have a
combined maximum penalty of 265 years. Mr Gordon's 15 counts add up to
a maximum of 120 years. Northern Confederation officials say that,
even though they regard Hart-Buford as an isolated case, they want to
send a clear message that Broad Street is not an easy touch.

One wonders just how isolated the case is, though, considering that
the confidence game seems to have been started last year. After all,
it was only in April that the CBI issued its report on the ignominious
collapse of Erie Real Property, the firm implicated in the Hamburg
Line property development fraud.  It should be noted that ERP's
"board" consisted of one Josiah Hennessey (brother to Butch) and one
James George Wright.  It appears that even as the government steps on
one bug, three more scurry off.