Almost four dozen alleged members of organised crime families were rounded up by the FBI on Thursday morning, including the reputed Mafia boss in Philadelphia and an alleged old-school mob in New York.
Prosecutors said the charge sheet - including allegations of extortion, loansharking, running illegal sports books and health care fraud as well as a string of colourful nicknames- resembled an old-school mob novel or Martin Scorses film.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said the defendants formed a syndicate stretching from Massachusetts to Florida.
Diego Rodriguez, head of the FBI's New York office, said: “The indictment reads like an old school mafia novel, where extortion, illegal gambling, arson and threats to ‘whack’ someone are carried out along with some modern-day crimes of credit card skimming."
The names read like characters in a Scorsese film, including Anthony “Tony The Cripple” Cassetta, Nicholas “Nicky The Wig” Vuolo and John “Tugboat” Togino.