FORT LAUDERDALE -- The former co-owner of a fleet of gambling ships testified Friday that Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari admitted to orchestrating the mob-style slaying of a prominent Florida businessman and threatened to kill the fleet owner if he ever talked to anyone about it.
Ferrari also claimed to be the South Florida leader of New York's Gambino organized crime family, former SunCruz Casinos chief Adam Kidan testified at Ferrari's trial on murder charges. Prosecutors say Ferrari helped orchestrate the Feb. 6, 2001, killing of Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, who had recently sold SunCruz to Kidan and partners.
Kidan, who said he was having increasing problems with Boulis, had been paying Ferrari tens of thousands of dollars for protection and security for the 11-ship fleet. A few days after Boulis was fatally shot, Kidan said Ferrari came to meet him at his home and admitted to involvement in the killing as the two talked on an apartment balcony.
"He said that it was unfortunate. It really wasn't supposed to happen that way, but it's done, and there's nothing you can do about it," Kidan testified.
Then Ferrari looked directly at him and said, "`If you ever tell anyone about what happened, I will kill you and I'll kill your family," ' Kidan testified. "I sat there speechless and the conversation ended."
Ferrari, 56, faces the death penalty if convicted in the Boulis slaying, which prosecutors say was actually committed by a New York-based mob hit man. Another reputed Gambino family member, Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, also is accused in the killing but will be tried later because of an illness suffered by his attorney. The purported hit man is now dead.
Kidan testified Friday that he also met after Boulis died with Moscatiello, 75, and that "Big Tony" said much the same thing as Ferrari. Both Moscatiello and Ferrari have denied any involvement.
Kidan along with his partner, Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, bought SunCruz from Boulis in fall 2000 for $147.5 million. Boulis, however, kept a 10 percent stake, and Kidan testified that the new owners had continual problems with Boulis about the way they were running things.