December 18, 2019 — Chicago mobster Michael (Big Mickey) Marcello was indicted in federal court this week for stealing $45,000 of Social Security money. The 68-year old Marcello was convicted in the landmark Family Secrets case back in the 2000s and did a half-dozen years in prison for racketeering. His older brother is former Outfit boss James (Jimmy the Man) Marcello, doing life behind bars for his role in the Family Secrets conspiracy.

The Marcellos come from the Chicago mafia’s Cicero crew. Jimmy Marcello, 76, ran the Outfit between 2001 and 2005. Both Marcellos were indicted in the spring of 2005 as part of the Operation Family Secrets bust, an investigation that rocked the Chicago underworld and put to bed 18 Windy City gangland murders.

Mickey Marcello pleaded guilty in the case and was locked up for six years (2006-2012). Jimmy Marcello was found guilty at trial in 2007 and is doing his time at the Supermax facility in Florence, Colorado.

As a young buck in the mob, “Little Jimmy,” was a driver and bodyguard for Outfit underboss and then boss Sam (Wings) Carlisi. He famously drove the Spilotro brothers of the Outfit’s Grand Avenue crew to their execution in 1986, a double homicide depicted in the classic Martin Scorsese film Casino. 

Tony (The Ant) Spilotro ran Outfit business on the Las Vegas Strip from the early 1970s until his high-profile slaying 33 years ago while facing a myriad of criminal charges in Illinois and Nevada. Jimmy Marcello picked up Spilotro and his little brother Michael at a hotel bar parking lot in June 1986 and drove them to a private residence in Chicago’s Bensenville neighborhood where they were beaten and strangled to death in the home’s basement. Spilotro had upset Outfit brass with his rogue behavior in Las Vegas and was being blamed for bringing too much on the organization.

Mickey Marcello also has a small link to a notorious Outfit murder, but it is one that remains unsolved. In the days before he was killed in November 2001, Chicago mob figure Anthony (Tony the Hatchet) Chiariamonti got into a physical altercation with Mickey Marcello and Grand Avenue crew enforcer Frank (The German) Schweihs outside a local pancake house. An FBI surveillance unit took photos of the fight stemming from a verbal spat inside the restaurant. Schweihs died of cancer awaiting trial in the Family Secrets case.

Chiaramonti, one of the Outfit’s top loansharks and Jimmy Marcello’s main collector, was gunned down inside the vestibule of a fast food fried chicken joint on Thanksgiving of that year, after butting heads with rising powers in the Cicero crew over video-poker machine routes. At the time of the Chiaramonti hit, Jimmy Marcello was in prison on a 1993 federal racketeering conviction and using his brother Mickey as his conduit to the streets.

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