By ALEX GINSBERG and KATI CORNELL
November 5, 2009
What are they going to do, bust his kneecaps?
A Long Island debt-collection law firm is suing the imprisoned boss of the Colombo crime family, Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico, demanding more than $34,000 in unpaid credit card bills, court records show.
“I’d reconsider how badly they want that money,” quipped one veteran lawyer familiar with the Colombo family history.
Even if it is brave enough to go forward with the claim — instead of having the suit mysteriously “disappear” — the collection firm of Forster & Garbus, one of the New York area’s most active, may not see its money for quite some time. Persico, 55, is currently doing life in the federal pen for rubbing out rival William “Wild Bill” Cutolo in a feud over control of the family in 1999.
According to the suit, Persico owes the money to FIA Card Services, a subsidiary of Bank of America.
Judging from the papers, the collection firm appears not to have read up on Persico’s legal setbacks, as it lists an address on 86th Street in Bensonhurst, rather than the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, Calif. The Brooklyn address belongs to Romantique Limousines, a Persico family business that sources said functioned as the informal headquarters of the Colombo crime family.
Forster & Garbus declined to comment, and a spokesman for Bank of America did not respond to a message.
Persico’s lawyer, VINCENT ROMANO, said he wasn’t aware of the suit.
The suit is bound to be a new experience for Persico, who presumably became accustomed to demanding money rather than forking it over. When agents busted him for Cutolo’s murder in 2004, they recovered records showing close to $1 million in loan-shark money out on the street, the sources said.
Court records did not reveal whether Persico had been served with the suit yet. But it wouldn’t be the first time a Forster & Garbus defendant has complained of poor service.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo named the firm as one of several he’s investigating for “sewer service” — the practice of falsely claiming to have served papers on a debtor, then going ahead with the lawsuit while the target remains unaware.
In September, The Post reported how Forster & Garbus mistakenly sued a Penn State student from Brooklyn, Rachel Lindor, causing her loan provider to yank her funding and the school to expel her.