Carfano, Anthony (1897-1959)

Born c1897.

Killed Queens, NY, Sept. 25, 1959.

Anthony Carfano, also known as Li'l Augie Pisano, was a noteworthy associate of Giuseppe Masseria, Al Capone, Frank Costello, Charlie Luciano and Joe Adonis.

Carfano came to power in the Masseria organization of the late 1920s. A former prizefighter and a close friend of "Joe the Boss" Masseria, he became caretaker of Masseria's Brooklyn interests after the death of Frank Yale.

Upon the reorganization of the Mafia in 1931, Carfano established gambling interests in southern Florida, smoothing the ruffled feathers of the Tampa Mafia organization nearby. The extent of gambling operations was discovered in the 1950 investigation of the Kefauver Committee. In 1955, there was some evidence that Carfano was involved in siphoning union funds into underworld rackets, but charges were eventually dropped. Carfano was questioned and released following the 1957 assassination of Albert Anastasia in New York.

Carfano was murdered on Sept. 25, 1959. He and a female companion - former beauty queen Mrs. Janice Drake - were found dead in Carfano's black 1959 Cadillac. They apparently had been shot by gunmen hiding in the car's back seat. Carfano and Drake had been dining at Marino's restaurant on Manhattan's East Side when they were called away.