Closing Arguments Heard in 'Goodfellas' $6M Heist Case
Investigators arrested 80-year-old Vincent Asaro last year after a cousin turned on him
A New York City jury heard closing arguments Friday in the federal racketeering trial of 80-year-old reputed mobster Vincent Asaro, PEOPLE confirms.
Asaro is accused in an armed robbery of a Lufthansa cargo terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which was made famous for its treatment in the 1990 film Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese.
Prosecutors claimed during Asaro’s trial that $6 million in cash and jewels was stolen during the 1978 heist, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
Authorities arrested Asaro last year. In 2008, one of his cousins came forward claiming the alleged third-generation mobster helped plan the heist, which was considered one of the biggest robberies in American history nearly 40 years ago.
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The cousin wore a wire to record conversations with Asaro that were played for jurors during the trial, the spokeswoman says.
During her summation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicyn Cooley told jurors that Asaro had a deep commitment to his crime family, and several media reports claim at least one witness implicated Asaro in the strangling murder of a suspected informant in 1969.
The defense argued in court the cousin framed Asaro to curry favor with federal investigators, several media outlets reported.
Asaro had previously pleaded not guilty to murder, extortion, racketeering, robbery and other charges.
The jury was expected to begin deliberations either Friday evening or first thing Monday, the spokeswoman tells PEOPLE.