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New Ethnic Mobs: The Changing Face of Organized Crime in America

NCJ Number
W Kleinknecht
Date Published
331 pages
The author attempts to counter the Italian Mafia myth presented in newspapers, books, and movies and shows how the emergence of new ethnic crime groups has diluted the power of the Italian mob over the past two decades and has revolutionized organized crime.
The book is based on more than 100 interviews with law enforcement officials, community leaders, social workers, and street sources. The focus is on Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Hispanic, Jamaican, and African-American syndicates that have been established in city and suburban neighborhoods throughout the United States. The author profiles mobsters from other countries who have infiltrated the United States and discusses the influence of crack on the underworld. He notes that Jamaican gangs known as "posses" murdered 1,400 people in less than 5 years in their battle to control the crack trade in U.S. cities. In addition, he details how ethnic gang wars of the 1980's closely parallel those of the 1920's. In explaining lucrative operations conducted by new ethnic crime groups in the 1990's, the author indicates these groups not only operate traditional rackets such as gambling, loan sharking, and extortion but also commit sophisticated white collar crimes. In particular, credit card rates have been driven up by the fraud perpetrated by Chinese crime groups, while fuel tax evasion schemes engineered by Russian mobs have cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Vietnamese gangs in California specialize in computer chip theft, Medicaid fraud, and other high technology crimes. The author projects the 21st century will confront a global crime syndicate in which overseas groups like the Colombian cartels, the Hong Kong triads, and the Russian and Sicilian Mafias will join in pillaging the United States and Europe. Notes and photographs


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