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Gotti backer allegedly killed casino founder

A a man who partnered with lobbyist Jack Abramoff on a gambling-boat operation told police that a supporter of mob boss John Gotti killed the founder of SunCruz Casinos, authorities said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A man who bought a gambling-boat operation with lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2000 says he knows who gunned down the company’s founder the following year, authorities said.

Adam Kidan told authorities last month that SunCruz Casinos founder Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis was killed by John Gurino, a man with mob connections who was later shot to death by a business partner, said Art Carbo, an investigator with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office.

Carbo said Gurino — a supporter of late mob boss John Gotti — had not been part of the investigation before Kidan’s May 1 interview. “He came up with all of this information,” Carbo told The Associated Press on Friday.

Kidan and Abramoff had previously insisted, through their attorneys, that they knew nothing about Boulis’ killing. Three other men are charged with murder in the case.

Abramoff lawyer says no connection to Boulis case
Kidan’s attorney, Joseph R. Conway, confirmed that Kidan met with authorities but would not discuss what was said. He noted that Kidan’s plea agreement to fraud charges stemming from the SunCruz purchase requires him to cooperate in state and federal investigations.

Abramoff’s attorney in Miami, Neal Sonnett, said in an e-mail Friday that he had no comment “other than to repeat what I’ve said publicly before: that Mr. Abramoff has never had knowledge of any facts related to the Boulis case.”

Kidan’s statement came during a detailed 2½-hour interview with police detectives and the lead prosecutor in the Boulis murder case, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which first reported on the statement Friday.

Prosecutors said they would release the taped interview next week after it is edited to remove certain names and details.

Kidan and Abramoff were sentenced in March to nearly six years in prison for concocting a fake wire transfer to get bank funding for the purchase. Abramoff also pleaded guilty in a federal bribery investigation that is examining his dealings with members of Congress, and he is also cooperating with investigators.

Boulis had numerous enemies
The three men charged with murder in Boulis’ death are Anthony “Big Tony” Moscatiello, 68; Anthony “Little Tony” Ferrari, 49; and James “Pudgy” Fiorillo, 28. All have pleaded not guilty.

Boulis — who also founded the Miami Subs fast-food chain and built a Florida business empire that included restaurants, hotels and real estate — had made numerous enemies before he was gunned down on an isolated road near his Fort Lauderdale office in February 2001.

Kidan told investigators he learned the details of the killing from Moscatiello and Ferrari but that he was not told the triggerman’s name, Carbo said. Moscatiello told him in 2004 that the man was dead, and he pieced together who it was after learning the man was killed in a Florida deli by his business partner in 2003.

Gurino, a New York native, beat a murder charge in 1984 and was arrested for inciting a riot in 1992 on the day Gotti was sentenced to life in prison. The business partner, a deli owner, was convicted of manslaughter after arguing he killed Gurino in self-defense.

Gurino’s brother, Angelo Gurino, told the Sun-Sentinel that he had never heard of the Boulis murder and did not think his brother could been involved.

Calls placed early Friday by The Associated Press to Cavanagh, Moscatiello attorney David Bogenschutz and Ferrari attorney Michael Becker were not immediately returned.