New York mobster acquitted in 1978 Lufthansa heist

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A member of a New York Mafia family faced with a variety of charges that included participation in a 1978 robbery at a Lufthansa airport terminal in New York, was acquitted on all counts Thursday by a federal jury in Brooklyn.

Vincent Asaro, 80, a third-generation member of the Bonnano crime family, was found not guilty of several charges that included murder, racketeering, extortion, robbery and arson, which prosecutors argued he carried out on behalf of the family, according to court papers.

Asaro was accused of conspiring to carry out the 1978 Lufthansa heist, which featured prominently in the 1990 Martin Scorsese movie Goodfellas, in which 5 million dollars in cash and jewelry worth 1 million dollars were stolen from a vault at the Lufthansa terminal at New York’s John F Kennedy International Aiport.

The robbery was said to be the biggest in US history at the time.

Asaro was indicted after his cousin, Gaspare Valenti, who had confessed to participating in the Lufthansa robbery, began providing information to US authorities in 2008 as part of a plea deal, the New York Post reported.

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