There's a big organized crime trial in Chicago this week that hasn't gotten much publicity outside the Windy City. It might surprise you that the case has a prominent plastics angle. The newspapers have dubbed this the "Family Secrets" case, and the best known defendant is Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, an alleged mobster who was indicted in 2005, at age 76, in connection with 18 murders (some dating back to the 1970s). It's a facinating story that was, in part, the inspiration for the Hollywood film "Casino." What's the plastics angle? In 1974, Lombardo was arrested and charged with embezzling $1.4 million from Teamsters Union pension funds. The government's witness was Daniel Siefert, owner of International Fiberglass, a small plastics company in Bensenville, Ill. Siefert had started another fiberglass company with mob funds, but when relations with the investors soured he left and started his own firm. Two days before he was scheduled to testify, Siefert was gunned down outside the factory, in front of his wife and son. Without Siefert's testimony, the government dropped the 1974 case against Lombardo. One of the highlights of this new case was the testimony of Siefert's widow, Emma Siefert. She says now that one of the gunmen resembled Lombardo, but that she didn't tell police at the time because she feared for her family's safety.
Mob trial with a plastics angle
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