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Another one

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013

* Chris Kelly, Orlando Jones, Michael Scott and Phil Pagano. For a while, suicides were an all too common “exit strategy” for Chicago-area people under investigation for alleged corruption. The Daily Herald wrote about this disturbing pattern in 2010

Suicide experts say the one common thread is that the victims likely felt a sense of being cornered and were unable to see other solutions to their problems. In reality, anyone contemplating suicide should call 911 or immediately contact an organization like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at (800) 273-8255.

“They felt that they were boxed in, that their world as they knew it was crumbling,” says Maris. “There is a lot of similarity in all of these.”

Dr. Lanny Merman, director of the American Association of Suicidology in Washington, D.C., says such deaths are called “executive suicide.”

“They can’t tolerate the loss of face,” he says. “So death becomes preferable to public disgrace.”

* And now, another one

A prominent Bridgeport businessman who wore a wire for the feds, helping convict a former Cook County commissioner and a former Chicago alderman, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his plumbing business, authorities said.

Michael DiFoggio, 58, was found with a single gunshot wound to the head around 10 p.m. Tuesday at his family business, Difoggio Plumbing in the 3200 block of South Shields Avenue, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

* Sneed tells us more

DiFoggio had not been sentenced yet in his tax case and could have faced as little as probation given his critical cooperation.

Yet for that cooperation, DiFoggio had been shunned in his tight-knit community. He had been trying to sell his luxury home for about $1.5 million, which included an indoor pool, without any luck. He was no longer welcome at the Old Neighborhood Italian American Club, a nearby hangout for local businessmen and mobsters that his father had co-founded, along with mob boss Angelo “The Hook” LaPietra.

DiFoggio also had been having difficulties in his marriage, sources say. His wife filed for divorce less than two weeks ago, and DiFoggio had been talking with his wife on the phone at his office before he apparently killed himself.

His cooperation with the feds was a source of widespread speculation in the neighborhood and whether more indictments were in the works.

“According to my clients on the street, there was a Second Act coming,” said prominent defense attorney Joseph R. Lopez, who has represented many organized crime figures over the years.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    As tight knit as these crime syndicates are, being shunned for turning evidence against one of your own is a sure way to be shunned as a “rat”. Even if what they are doing is right, in their inner circle they are the one who is “wrong”. The price you pay for being dirty yourself too I guess..


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    Yeah, I imagine he wasn’t too popular around the old Bridgeport social club.

    A $1.5 million home in Bridgeport? My, how times change. Real estate is really hot there these days. And a true melting pot. Irish, Poles, Italians, Lithuanians, Chinese, Hispanics. Lots of restaurants popping up.


  3. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    I am sorry that this occurred. These losses just should not happen as they do.


  4. - John Q - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:00 am:

    Another common thread of all these folks is that they have a public stature and an inflated opinion of themselves. They do not see themselves as criminals and are not prepared for the consequences of their actions. These people were not even facing hard time in rough prisons. The bottom line is only criminals should commit crimes. You never hear of career criminals or really bad people harming themselves.


  5. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    It must be devastating when your whole world falls apart and everyone you know turns against you. Was the pressure to take his own life from within, or from those who felt he betrayed them?


  6. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    I’m amazed we don’t have a far greater suicide count. We’re too often putting people’s lives (witnesses, not necessarily the true ‘bad’ guys) at the tender mercies of pretty young AUSA’s, and the pressure for these AUSA’s to ’score’ convictions on the bad guys is intense, to say the least.

    After you have seen the haunted looks in people’s eyes who have come through the system after they finally realize exactly how brutally the federal judicial system has just decimated their lives - it’s just frightening. And too often these aren’t the really bad people - they’re just fish who got caught up in the net.

    The look is like the ‘thousand yard stare’ - only it’s about realizing that they have just been condemned to a hopeless future.

    That’s why we need something like “Aaron’s Law” Link is http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/06/aarons-law-is-finally-here/


  7. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:06 am:

    ” pretty young AUSA’s,”

    should have been “very young AUSA’s,”

    bad syntax on my part…


  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    “A Bronx Tale” …

    “I’ll I know is a rat was the lowest thing anyone could be in my neighborhood, and I didn’t rat.”

    Further …

    Colagero: Daddy, why did you say I did a good thing for a bad man?

    Lorenzo: Because sometimes in life you gotta do certain things that you gotta do even though they’re not right. Do you understand what I’m saying?

    Colagero: No it’s just that, I thought I did the right thing, and now I’m not sure I did.

    Lorenzo: You did do the right thing and when you get older you’ll understand why.

    And “Goodfellas”…

    “You took your first pinch like a man and you learn two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.”

    Can’t live in Bridgeport and not follow those two quotes and expect to be …”welcomed around”.

    It is, sadly and tragically…. what it is.

    I feel for his family, I feel for him as well.


  9. - Excessively Rabid - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    ==all too common “exit strategy” for Chicago-area people under investigation==

    And at least one in Springfield.


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    Good point, ER. Some folks and I were talking about him just the other day. Just tragic.


  11. - Noneofyourbiz - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    Let the man’s family digest what just happened.
    Who cares what Joe Lopez has to say….


  12. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    Conspiracy theories start in i,2,3……

    I can’t imagine being in his position. To throw away a life is a useless tragedy. I feel for his family.


  13. - BDuty6 - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    Not to be morbid and add to the roll call, but there was also Caseyville police chief JD Roth who was under investigation when he committed suicide earlier this year.


  14. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    I’m with JudgmentDay in general, without wanting to comment on this sad case specifically.

    The way that Federal prosecutors brutalize people, especially those who “cooperate” with them, is a disgrace. There seems to be no effective control on them, or their behavior, which is often driven by ego or political ambition.

    Once you’re in their web, you life is often destroyed in ways beyond what happens to those who don’t “cooperate.” Tax audits and stretched adverse findings, property takings, frozen accounts, threats to associates, fake wire fraud cases, threats to destroy family members, on and on.

    You’ve made a pact with the devil, twice.


  15. - Thomas paine - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    Its one thing to get yourself in trouble…that may garner you some sympathy. But when you go out of your way to get other people in trouble, to lessen your own plight, you aren’t going to find anyone to shake your hand in Bridgeport or any other tight knit neighborhood.


  16. - flea - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    Suicide is not painless..for the person or the family, I expect. Peace


  17. - Amuzing Myself - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    Reference to a Second Act. Yeah. Suicide. Sure.


  18. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    == …they finally realize exactly how brutally the federal judicial system has just decimated their lives - it’s just frightening.==

    Definitely.

    An equally disturbing thing to me with such suicides is the inevitable shrug of the shoulders by the feds afterwards. As if it’s just another aspect of the business.


  19. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 8:02 pm:

    Don’t agree with the tone of several posts. Personally feel that sometimes suicide is the honorable way out of some situations. It may be an admission of guilt, but it certainly saves time and expense for everybody…


  20. - BIG LOU - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 8:25 pm:

    If you want to go to jail,Hire lopez as your attorney.Every person he represents,goes to jail.


  21. - Henry Clay - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 9:37 am:

    Regarding the Feds: A lot of how you are treated is based on which Department or section of the fed government is there to help fix things that are broken. I once helped the FBI (prior to 9/11). They were good to me. Offered me money to help them but I told them I did not want any. The FBI kept my help anonymous.My impression of the FBI agents that I dealt with was that they were nice, dedicated people, over-worked, and terribly under-funded. The Fed branch of government that dealt with pension funds and fraud was a horse of a different color. They were purely going through the motions. The guy that they had sent to my house to talk to me was so bored with his job that he actually fell asleep in his chair for a couple minutes during my explanation of what had taken place in a huge corporate fraud. Maybe he dozed off because it was warm outside that day? Anyway, like everything in life, it just depends on who you get as to how seriously they take their job. The FBI gets “two thumbs up” from me based on my past experience with them.


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