Reputed mobster pleads not guilty in 1978 heist

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Associated Press

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 23 at 4:03 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — An elderly reputed mobster has pleaded not guilty to participating in a $6 million airport heist dramatized in the Martin Scorsese movie "Goodfellas."

Seventy-eight-year-old Vincent Asaro was named along with his son and three other defendants in wide-ranging indictment Thursday. The allegations include murder, robbery, extortion, arson and other crimes from the late 1960s through last year.

The indictment accuses Asaro of helping to direct the 1978 Lufthansa Airlines heist at Kennedy airport — one of the largest cash thefts in American history.

He and his son pleaded not guilty Thursday in Brooklyn federal court. They didn't ask for bail and are behind bars.

In addition to the heist, the elder Asaro is charged in the 1969 murder of Paul Katz. Prosecutors say Katz once owned a warehouse where mobsters stored stolen goods.

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