Twenty-nine years after the fallout from one of the most stunning police corruption cases in New York City history, the family of a man killed because he was misidentified as a mobster by police, has received a $5 Million settlement.
The bad information, prosecutors said, came from two decorated police detectives who would later be convicted of moonlighting as hit men for the mob.
Nicholas Guido was showing off his new car outside his mother’s home on Christmas Day 1986 when he was gunned down because he’d been mistaken for a mobster with the same name.
Guido’s mother, Pauline Pipitone, was washing dishes after Christmas dinner when gunfire erupted outside her Brooklyn home.
She ran over to the car and found her 26-year-old son sitting up at the wheel, she testified at the ex-detectives’ 2006 racketeering trial. “I went to touch his hand, and he must have just died,” she said. “His fingertips were cold.”
Guido’s killers had him confused with an enemy of a mob underboss who paid then-detectives Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa to be his criminal “crystal ball,” a source of help killing eight of their patron’s foes between 1986 and about 1990, Brooklyn federal prosecutors said.
The detectives were accused of carrying out two of those killings themselves. In others, they made traffic stops that ended with the driver killed; another time, they kidnapped a target and turned him over to the underboss, prosecutors said.
The detectives got $4,000 a month for inside information on law enforcement investigations, and they got $65,000 for carrying out one killing, prosecutors said.
“This is probably the most heinous series of crimes ever tried in this courthouse,” a judge said at one point.
When addressing the settlement, a New York City spokesperson said, “After evaluating all the facts, it was determined that settling the case was in the City’s best interest.