Former Detroit Mob Capital St. Social Club Crew Member Passes, Destined For Dice Game In The Sky

Maurice Farhat, a former esteemed member of the Detroit mob’s famed Capital Street Social Club crew, died of natural causes earlier this month. The retired Lebanese wiseguy was 83 and living in Florida at the time of his death.

Led by Freddy (The Saint) Salem and Allen (The General) Hilf, the Capital Street Social Club crew was an elite gambling subunit of the city’s Italian mafia, although almost all of its’ members were of non-Italian descent. The social club, located in Oak Park, Michigan, just a stone’s throw north of the Detroit border also acted as a backdoor casino some nights and was the epicenter of the westside Detroit sports betting, dice, cards and competitive pool scene from the 1970s into the 1990s. It was owned by Salem and acted as his daily headquarters.

Salem (Lebanese) and Hilf (Jewish), both deceased, are legends in the annals of the Motor City underworld, well known as historic earners and highly-trusted mob associates. Farhat, an eastsider, was the crew’s top “box man” at its’ executive craps game. He also ran his own dice and card games on the eastside. Per FBI documents, Salem helped look after Detroit mob interests in the Nevada casino and hotel industry and ran travel junkets to Las Vegas, which Farhat aided him with.

“Maurice was one of Freddy and Allen’s main guys, he was with them a lot, so we saw him a lot,” recalled former FBI agent Mike Carone, who worked the Detroit mob beat for almost three decades. “Those guys were gentlemen gangsters..…….they had more class than most.”

Farhat was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan. A military veteran, he gravitated to Detroit following his service in the Korean War. Evidenced by Salem’s rise to power, Lebanese wiseguys have always been welcomed in the Tocco-Zerilli crime family.

The Capital Street Social Club crew fell under the Detroit mafia’s Giacalone regime headed by syndicate capos and street bosses Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone and Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone. Backed with Giacalone muscle, the crew operated a floating mini-casino throughout the 1970s and 80s that raked in millions, per federal law enforcement records.

The state of Michigan’s biggest bookmaker for the last quarter of the 20th Century, Hilf was particularly close with the notoriously-feared Giacalones brothers and Billy Jack’s oldest son, Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone, alleged to be the Motor City’s modern-day mob don. Hilf and Salem were busted alongside Billy and Jackie Giacalone in a 1991 RICO gambling case. Salem died in 2009, Hilf in 2014.

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