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Dino Cellini

Dino Cellini, (born 1918) one of Meyer Lansky's top lieutenants, ran casinos for Meyer Lansky in Havana, Cuba during the late 1950s and early 60's. Cellini later ran casinos in the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.

Early years

Dino Vicente Cellini, is the son of an Italian barber who immigrated to the U.S. Cellini had a brother, Eddie, and a sister. Cellini grew up in the steel mill town of Steubenville, Ohio during the Depression years. As a youngster, Cellini worked at Rex's Cigar Store as a dice/craps casino dealer and croupier with singer Dean Martin, aka Dean (Dino) Crocetti.

Career in Gambling

During this era, many cigar stores in Steubenville were fronts for mob rackets; bookmaking, numbers, pool, illegal drinking, and gambling rackets. Steel mill workers from Steubenville and nearby Youngstown, Ohio would frequent these stores after their shifts, spending their meager paychecks for this entertainment. "Craps" and a Greek dice game called "Barboot" were the games of choice at these places. The gambling halls would hire "mechanics", specialists in manipulating the dice and cheating, to police their craps games. The mechanic would ward off undesirable customers, break winning streaks of lucky customers, and hustle those with lots of money to loses. Cellini was known for his talent with dice and eventually became the youngest "bust out" man in Steubenville.

As a later associate of Santo Trafficante, Sr. and Meyer Lansky, Cellini ran the mob-backed Riviera Casino and Tropicana Club. In 1959, the Cuban Revolution overthrew the Batista regime. The new Cuban president, Fidel Castro, closed all the casinos and forced the American mobsters, including Cellini, to leave the country.

Connections with JFK Assassination

The FBI has many files on Cellini during the Castro revolution era, and for his alleged involvement in organized crime. It is reported that there are accounts of Dino Cellini dissuading Mafia bosses, from their brief, but serious impulses to assassinate President John F. Kennedy due to the Kennedy Administration's recent crack down, at the time, on organized crime.

Separately, it was reported that there were also accounts of Dino Cellini persuading (bribing) some of Batista's turncoats, now working for Castro and his cronies, from preventing Castro from his attempts to have Kennedy killed, due to Castro's resentment of the United States Government's efforts to overthrow him (Castro). "No Hit" expenses were paid to Castro's associates in conjunction and in exchange for also helping Cellini and his army of men from escaping Cuba during Cuba's Revolutionary war.

Coincidentally, around the same time, and independent of any Organized Crime involvement, and also independent of Castro's Cuba, a lone crazed gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, who had a demented "wanna be" delusion of importance, and for years tried to seek social prominence, shot and killed President John F. Kennedy.

Oswald, who was cited by President Johnson's Warren Commission, as the lone assassin of President John F. Kennedy, had committed the assassin totally and independently on his own accord. However, rumors spread for years that there was a conspiracy, either by, and between, Castro's Cuba, and the Mob, in the killing of Kennedy. This speculation began because Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald, as he was being whisked off to jail for the assassination of Kennedy. Jack Ruby was an attention seeker in his own right, who also had small time mob ties, through his ownership of an exotic dancing nightclub in Dallas Texas. Speculation had it that Jack Ruby was a hired hit man to kill Oswald to silence him. To further the conspiracy theory, it also surfaced that Oswald, himself happened to have minimal interactions with a few "Mafia" figures, and separately, had some minor associations with the Cuban government. Oswald's associations and Jack Ruby's involvement in the Kennedy assassination, plus the odd correlation in all these circumstances, continued to fuel an unsupported and false cover up conspiracy theory. These events were later proved totally unconnected and untrue.

Later Years

During the 60's, after leaving Cuba, Cellini first ran casinos in the Bahamas for Lansky. However, he and brother Eddie were eventually deported. Cellini then headed to Europe to run gambling operations in Rome and London. Along with the Ayoub Brothers from Steubenville, Cellini ran a croupier's school in the United Kingdom. He also helped manage the Colony Sports Club casino in London with actor George Raft. However, an investigation by Scotland Yard soon uncovered evidence of links between New York mob figures and British casinos. Cellini and Raft were barred from participating in legalized gambling establishments in Great Britain Early in the 60's, Cellini was reportedly involved in the Cuban Project also called Operation Mongoose, an abortive joint operation by the Central Intelligence Agency and organized crime to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro

In the early seventies, Cellini had ties to Mary Carter Paints in the Bahamas. He also became involved in Resorts International in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the first legal casino in the U.S. outside of Nevada. During this same period, Cellini was involved with swindler Robert Vesco in the embezzlement of over $240 million from the mutual fund Investors Overseas Service.

In 1976 Cellini appeared in Hamburg (Germany) with Freddy Ajoub und Joseph Nesline, having contact with Wilfrid "Frieda" Schulz, known as "The Godfather of St. Pauli". Frieda Schulz was the selfproclaimed king of Hamburgs Red light district Sankt Pauli. German Police suggest that Schulz and the US mobsters worked for years together.

In the late 80's, there were unsubstantiated reports that Cellini and his brother, Eddie, had dealings with Nathan Landow, a top Democratic fundraiser for the Al Gore's 2000 Presidential bid.

Further reading

  • EIR. Dope, Inc.: The Book That Drove Kissinger Crazy. Washington DC: Executive Intelligence Review, 1992. ISBN 0-943235-02-2
  • Hougan, Jim. Spooks: The Haunting of America -- The Private Use of Secret Agents. New York: Bantam Books, 1979. ISBN 0-553-13118-4
  • Hutchison, Robert A. Vesco. New York: Avon Books, 1976. ISBN 0-380-00526-3
  • Lacey, Robert. Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life. London: Century, 1991. ISBN 0-7126-2426-0
  • Messick, Hank. Lansky. London: Robert Hale & Company, 1973. ISBN 0-7091-3966-7
  • Morrow, Robert D. First Hand Knowledge: How I Participated in the CIA-Mafia Murder of President Kennedy. New York: S.P.I. Books (Shapolsky Publishers), 1992. ISBN 1-56171-179-9
  • Scott, Peter Dale. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. ISBN 0-520-08410-1
  • Summers, Anthony. The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon. New York: Viking, 2000. ISBN 0-670-87151-6
  • Rebaschus, Matthias. " Als die Mafia nach Hamburg kam - Interview with Kriminaloberrat Wolfgang Sielaff ". Abendblatt: 29.6.2007, Hamburg

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