FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Three men have been arrested in the 2001 ambush slaying of Miami businessman Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis — a murder that happened a few months after he sold a fleet of casino boats to prominent Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff (search) and a partner.
Police would not comment on whether they received any help from Abramoff or his former partner, Adam Kidan. Both men were indicted in August on federal fraud charges in connection with their September 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casinos (search) for $147.5 million.
"All the pieces of evidence, all the statements that have been taken, all the witnesses have led us to this point," said police Capt. Michael Gregory.
Boulis, a 51-year-old Greek immigrant who founded both SunCruz and the Miami Subs (search) sandwich chain, was shot to death at the wheel of his car shortly after leaving his office in February 2001. Witnesses said a car pulled in front of Boulis, forcing him to stop, while a second person in another car pulled along the driver's side and shot Boulis three times.
The slaying came amid bitter legal fighting over the SunCruz sale, including a physical altercation in which Kidan told police that Boulis had attacked him with a pen, drawing blood. Court documents also show that Kidan hired bodyguards and had ordered an armored Mercedes-Benz.
Lawyers for Abramoff and Kidan, who face trial Jan. 9 on the fraud charges, have said neither man knows anything about Boulis' murder. But at least one of the men arrested has ties to Kidan, according to court documents filed in an unrelated civil case.
Police arrested Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, 67, on Monday night at his home in New York City on charges of murder, solicitation of murder and conspiracy. Moscatiello waived extradition Tuesday and will be brought to Florida to face the charges, New York prosecutors said.
Moscatiello's lawyer, Richard Barbuto (search), did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Moscatiello and his daughter were paid $145,000 by SunCruz — then controlled by Kidan and Abramoff — for catering and other work, according to the civil court documents.
Also arrested Monday night on murder, solicitation and conspiracy charges was Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, 48, at his home in North Miami Beach. He was being held pending an initial court appearance Wednesday.
A third man, 28-year-old James "Pudgy" Fiorillo, was taken into custody Tuesday at his home in Palm Coast in northeast Florida. He was also expected to be brought to Broward County and could also have an initial court appearance Wednesday, authorities said.
It was unclear Tuesday whether Ferrari or Fiorillo had hired lawyers.
Fort Lauderdale police Sgt. Tim Bronson said other arrests were possible.
A grand jury indictment detailing the murder charges remained sealed Tuesday, and it was unclear what alleged roles the three men played.
"We're not prepared to discuss that," Bronson said.
The federal fraud indictment charges that Abramoff and Kidan used a fake wire transfer to defraud two lenders out of some $60 million to finance the deal to buy SunCruz from Boulis. The transfer made it appear that the two had contributed $23 million of their own money in the deal, but they had not, prosecutors said.
Abramoff was once a close associate of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and raised thousands of dollars for President Bush's re-election campaign and for GOP congressional candidates. Abramoff is also under investigation in Washington for lobbying activities on behalf of Indian tribes and for his role in paying for overseas trips for DeLay, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. House.
DeLay has denied knowing that any expenses were paid by Abramoff, whom he once described as "one of my closest and dearest friends."
Both Abramoff and Kidan have pleaded not guilty in the SunCruz fraud case. Abramoff has accused Kidan in the civil lawsuit of hoodwinking him in the sale by keeping secret his past business failures and disbarment as an attorney.
Kidan's defense attorney in the case, Martin Jaffe (search), said his client had not had any new interviews with Fort Lauderdale police since the indictment in August. Jaffe said Kidan had nothing to do with Boulis' murder.
Abramoff's attorney, Neal Sonnett, had no comment on the arrests.