The Mafia. The Mob. La Cosa Nostra. Call it what you will, this “certain Italian-American subculture” has a long and storied history. Mobsters like Al Capone, Henry Hill, and John Gotti have become folk heroes of a certain sociopathic sort. Fictional mobsters make special guest appearances alongside pop culture icons — witness The Simpsons’ “Fat Tony” D’Amico, crime boss of Springfield.
Organized crime also has a long history of tangling with tax authorities. Try as they might, Elliot Ness and his fellow “Untouchables” couldn’t jail Al Capone for bootlegging, bribery, or the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. It took IRS agent Frank Wilson three years of dogged investigation to finally put Capone behind bars for the pedestrian offense of failing to pay his taxes. Even Tony Soprano knew enough to report a salary from his waste management business to keep the IRS off his back.Continue reading →