Alleged Detroit mafia underboss Anthony (Chicago Tony) LaPiana is said to have stepped into more of a daily leadership role in the Tocco-Zerilli crime family in recent months, according to exclusive Gangster Report sources on both sides of the law. The savvy 74-year old LaPiana, a slick, business-minded white-collar wiseguy and reputed expert labor racketeer, is “calling shots,” on a regular basis in 2016, per sources, as a means of relieving some of the stress off the shoulders of alleged boss Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone, the 66-year old don dealing with family health issues and a civil law suit filed against him by the federal government for almost half million dollars in unpaid taxes last year.

“Jackie’s keeping his head down more than usual,” a source said. “Lop (LaPiana) has always pulled strings….he’s picking up the slack.”

Giacalone, son of Motor City mob legend Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone, reportedly became boss of the Detroit mafia in early 2014, assuming the mantle of power from dying Godfather Giacomo (Black Jack) Tocco, one of LaPiana’s several impressive underworld mentors. Sources peg Chicago Tony as Giacalone’s official second-in-command, an arrangement Tocco cemented in the years before he passed away.

Tocco died in July 2014, having ruled the mob peacefully in Detroit for four decades. LaPiana has been seen taking meetings with numerous fellow crime family administrators since the beginning of the year. He’s a millionaire several times over by legitimate means alone (sporting a diverse set of business holdings) and lives on a ritzy estate in affluent Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

“Tony Lop is a Jack Tocco clone with better people skills,” said a source. “Jack taught Lop how to make money, not headlines, accrue power with handshakes, not handguns. You kill them in the board room, at the negotiation table, not in the street.”

Born and raised in Chicago, LaPiana was groomed in the Outfit’s notoriously-rugged Cicero crew by the likes of future Windy City mob bosses Joe Ferriola, Sam (Wings) Carlisi and John (Johnny No Nose) DiFronzo of Elmwood Park, per FBI records. Beating federal hijacking charges in Illinois as a 26-year old aspiring Goodfella, his childhood best friend was Anthony (Little Tony) Borselino, a member of Ferriola’s personal enforcement branch known as “The Wild Bunch.”

Little Tony Borselino was killed in 1979. Chicago Tony La Piana relocated to Detroit earlier that decade, after marrying Detroit mafia capo Vincent (Little Vince) Meli’s daughter in 1974.

“The guy from Chicago is doing most of the up-front work these days,” said a source. “There aren’t many smarter than that man, he’s scary sharp. Dude dresses like a Fortune 500 CEO….people respect him, they do what he says, they know the weight he holds, he doesn’t have to tell anybody.”

Per federal briefings and law enforcement surveillance logs, LaPiana has always acted as a go-between for the Detroit and Chicago mobs and would accompany John DiFronzo, Jack Tocco and Vince Meli to the Kentucky Derby every year until recently.

LaPiana has never been convicted of a felony. He scored big last year with the sale of his U.S. Life and Health Insurance Co. for a cool 50 million dollars to Ascension Health, a St. Louis-based healthcare conglomerate backed by the Catholic Church (Chicago Tony divested himself of ownership in the company in the months leading up to the sale, turning over his interest in the business to his son and an unnamed associate of his).

La Piana’s dad was a Teamsters union bigwig in Chicago and introduced him to the world of organized labor. Through the subsequent years, per federal records, LaPiana grew to become one of the most important and powerful labor racketeers in all of America. Although his name popped up in more than a half-dozen union corruption cases, he’s never faced any charges. A Detroit mob associate testified in court in 1998 that LaPiana was Tocco’s “labor guy” and that Tocco instructed him to “go see Tony LaPiana” if he encountered any problems in the union.

According to FBI documents and Michigan State Police files, LaPiana is the main suspect in the 1984 murder of former Teamster Ralph Proctor. Informants’ have told the FBI, LaPiana “made his bones” on the Proctor hit and was initiated into the mafia alongside Jackie Giacalone two years later in a 1986 ceremony conducted by Tocco.

At the time of his death, Proctor was feuding with the Teamsters over a lone he provided to the union wasn’t being paid back as well as with LaPiana’s father-in-law, Little Vince Meli. Proctor was on his way to meet LaPiana at a suburban Detroit Chinese restaurant the night he was killed in August 1984. His bullet-ridden body was found in the front seat of his car in the restaurant’s parking lot. Nobody has ever been arrested in the Proctor slaying.

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