by Jerry Guarino
Michael Bellagio was an
infamous criminal lawyer, representing the worst
persons in the world. He almost never lost a case,
but his methods were suspect. The New York Bar
Association had tried to take his license several
times, but never succeeded. In short, he was like
a mafia don, protected by a network of miscreants.
A new potential client came
to his office in Brooklyn. A tall, dark-haired
woman, in her 30s, dressed fashionably in a silk
Mr. Bellagio. My name
is Susan Mariucci. I need a lawyer.
Have a seat maam.
How can I help you?
My husband has been
stealing money from his company and he may be
trying to implicate me.
How can he do that?
Oh, I see. How much
are we talking about and when did this start?
About $500,000 over
the past five years, but I didnt know what
he was doing.
How is that possible
if you were the bookkeeper?
Well, he gave me
dummy information and kept a separate set of
books detailing the scheme.
And who kept the
His mistress, Angela
Are you seeking a
Yes, but he doesnt
know it yet. Are you also a divorce lawyer?
No, just a criminal.
I mean a criminal defense lawyer.
All right, my main
goal is to stay out of jail.
Of course, thats
my specialty. Ive represented all sorts of
people wrongly accused of malfeasance. Mostly
business people, but also professional doctors,
teachers and family members of crooks, especially
politicians. You wouldnt believe how many
wives are taken down by their husbands or
So, you think you can
help me? I dont have much money.
Bellagio took a long look
at the comely client.
something out. What is your husbands name
and the company?
John Mariucci. He
owns the Italian Sports Tavern in Chelsea.
Hmm. Does he also
have a back room for card playing?
Yes, how did you know?
American restaurants are often a front for
gambling. But stealing from that clientele can be
Ill take your
case. Id like to continue our conversation
later. Can you bring me the books and business
At my Manhattan
office, around six tonight. Here is the address.
Unless you think your husband may be suspicious.
No, he always works
late on Thursday nights, with the whore mistress.
He takes me for granted.
A fool, indeed. Ill
see you tonight.
office was a small condo, only for clients who
needed secrecy. It was a studio for entertaining
with the necessary items for intimate meetings,
either for avoiding law enforcement or to meet
with the wives of his clients. Meanwhile, he
researched the tavern online, then sent one of
his associates to check it out.
Its just like
you suspected boss. An Italian bar with gambling
in the back. Looks like a lot of money changing
hands there. Professional gamblers, likely wise
They must use
gambling for money laundering. Hes probably
not paying his taxes. Thanks Nicky.
Is there anything
Yes, find Angela
Falcone. Shes the mistress. Get some
pictures of her and Mariucci. They should be
together tonight, probably at the bar or her
On it boss.
Meanwhile, Bellagio schemed
about a way to get rid of his clients
problem while ensuring a way to benefit from her
financial distress. He decided on Occams
Razor, the simplest solution is often the best
course of action.
Susan Mariucci arrived at
his condo, with business papers in hand. But
Bellagio didnt want to examine those. Susan
looked at the outwardly plain condo and rang the
bell. Bellagio greeted her.
So good of you to
come here. Sometimes we need to use this place to
protect our clients from harm.
Thank you. Thats
My associate did
confirm that the tavern is a front for gambling
and money laundering. You were unaware of any
I had no idea.
Good. We need to
distance you from his ill-gotten gains. And I was
also able to confirm your husbands affair
with Miss Falcone. Do you want to see pictures?
No. But Ill
need them for the divorce.
Fine. Ill hold
them. Lets see your business records. Can
you spread them out on the desk?
Yes, thank you. May I
have a drink of water?
Bellagio opened a bottle of
red wine and brought it to the couch with some
cheese and crackers. I hope this will do.
Oh, thats very
kind. You didnt have to go to such trouble.
He toasted Susan and they
clinked glasses. To absolve you from any
crimes and get you away from that cheating
Susan smiled and sat a bit
closer to Bellagio.
I feel better already.
After a bit of small talk
about the business records, with Bellagio
supporting her, he leaned in for a kiss. Susan
didnt resist. They spent the rest of the
session in bed.
The next day, Bellagio
called up one of his more violent associates and
gave them the assignment, to take care of John
Mariucci. It was due to be done that night.
The thug entered the tavern
at closing and took care of business, leaving the
owner lying in his own blood.
Police investigated the
murder and contacted Susan Mariucci. Although in
great shock and some relief, she wondered if her
lawyer had arranged this.
Did you look at the
security camera tape?
The police hadnt
found any. There arent any cameras.
Oh, they are hidden
in the ceiling smoke alarms and behind the bar. Ill
And where is the
Its online. Ill
give you the website and password.
The police were able to
identify the killer and picked him up. He was
caught on video but wasnt going down alone.
hired me to kill Mr. Mariucci. I have a recording
of him doing this and payment for my work, $10,000.
Michael Bellagio was
arrested and booked for conspiracy to commit
murder. Susan Mariucci turned states
evidence against her husband, inherited the
tavern and sold it, taking the money and moving
to Florida, where she lived happily with Nicky.
Lawyers by Jerry Guarino
Copyright March, 2023 All Rights Reserved