Carmine Tramunti


Carmine Tramunti
Born(1910-10-01)October 1, 1910
Casale, Caserta, Italy
DiedOctober 15, 1978(1978-10-15) (aged 68)
Ossining, New York
Resting placeCalvary Cemetery, Queens
NationalityItalian American
Other namesMr. Gribbs
PredecessorTommy Lucchese
SuccessorAnthony Corallo
AllegianceLucchese crime family

Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti (October 1, 1910 – October 15, 1978) was an Italian-born New York mobster who was the boss of the Lucchese crime family.[1]


Operating in Harlem

Tramunti was born October 1, 1910, in Manhattan and raised in a tenement on 107th Street in Harlem. He eventually ran the "Harlem Game", one of the major floating craps games in New York.[2] Tramunti was a beefy man who stood 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), had a triple chin, and bore a remarkable resemblance to comedian Jonathan Winters. Tramunti's headquarters was The Stage Delicatessen in Manhattan. Tramunti lived in Whitestone, Queens and had a wife and two children.[2] One of Tramunti's sons, Louis, died at age 14.

In 1922, the 12-year-old Tramunti was sent to a Catholic reform school due to truancy from school.[3]

On December 9, 1930, Tramunti was arrested on charges of robbing a rent collector. However, on December 26, a judge dismissed the charges due to lack of evidence.[4]

In July 1931, Tramunti was convicted of felonious assault and was sentenced to six to fifteen years at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. He was paroled in 1937, then returned to prison for a violation.[2]

Boss of Lucchese family

In 1967, with the death of Lucchese boss Tommy Lucchese, Tramunti became the official boss of the Lucchese family. Carlo Gambino, the head of the Gambino crime family, allegedly used his influence to make Tramunti the Lucchese boss. Other sources said that Tramunti was a compromise candidate who was acceptable to the different family factions.[5] A common version is that the Mafia Commission designated Tramunti as temporary boss until Lucchese's preferred successor, Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, was released from prison[6]

On November 19, 1970, Tramunti was indicted in Florida on 14 counts of stock fraud and other charges. The government charged that Tramunti and other mobsters forcibly seized control of a Miami investment firm.[7] On December 23, 1971, Tramunti was acquitted of all charges in the stock swindle case.[8]

On November 29, 1972, Tramunti was indicted on criminal contempt charges for lying to a grand jury about calls he made to capo Paul Vario.[2] Tramunti was convicted and sentenced on August 6, 1973, to three years in state prison.[9]

French Connection conviction

On October 4, 1973, as a result of "Operation Shamrock" (now known as the French Connection Case), Tramunti and 43 other mobsters were indicted on narcotics trafficking charges.[10] Ultimately, Tramunti was convicted in the famous French Connection case for financing a huge heroin smuggling operation. A former steward at an espresso cafe testified to hearing drug dealer Louis Inglese discuss a deal with Tramunti and seeing Tramunti nod his head in approval.[11] Some observers felt the case was a miscarriage of justice, including crime reporters Jack Newfield and Murray Kempton. Tramunti always denied the charges, stating "I may be a mobster and may have done bad things but I am not a drug dealer".

On May 7, 1974, Tramunti was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, the judge stating that he was "dangerous."[12] Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo succeeded Tramunti as head of the Lucchese family.[13]


On October 15, 1978, Carmine Tramunti died of natural causes in prison. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens.[14]

In popular culture

  • Tramunti’s conviction in the French Connection case is referenced in the 1990 movie, Goodfellas. In the movie, mob boss Paul Cicero (based on the real life counterpart Paul Vario) warns the main character Henry Hill against drug dealing, and references "Gribbs" as an example.
  • Tramunti may have been the inspiration for the Mafia character Dominic Cattano, played by the Sicilian-American actor Armand Assante, in the 2007 motion picture American Gangster.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Axthelm, Pete. The Night the Bettors Mutinied at Yonkers. July 12, 1971. New York
  2. ^ a b c d Kaplan, Morris (November 30, 1972). "Mafioso Indicted in Contempt Case" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  3. ^ McClellan Committee Hearings. Arlington, VA: Bureau of National Affairs. 1958. p. 257.
  4. ^ "Youths Freed in Harlem Hold-Up" (PDF). New York Times. December 26, 1930. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  5. ^ Gage, Nicholas (October 17, 1972). "Hard Times for Mafia" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  6. ^ Volkman, Ernest (1999). Gangbusters : the destruction of America's last great mafia dynasty. New York: Avon Books. ISBN 0-380-73235-1.
  7. ^ Whitney, Craig R. (November 20, 1970). "Jury Here Indict 16 in Stock Fraud" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  8. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H (December 24, 1971). "Tramunti and 4 Are Acquitted in Stock-Fraud Case" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Tramunti Sentenced to 3 Years on Criminal Contempt Charge" (PDF). New York Times. August 7, 1973. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  10. ^ Lichtenstein, Grace (October 5, 1973). "43 Are Indicted in Drug Dealing" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  11. ^ Lubasch, Arnold H (February 1, 1974). "Tramunit Nod Said to Sanction Drug Deal" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  12. ^ Perlmutter, Emanuel (May 8, 1974). "Tramunti, Called 'Dangerous', Gets 15 Years on Drug Charge" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  13. ^ Siegel, Max H (August 6, 1978). "Gambino's Heir as Crime Chief Yet to Emerge" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  14. ^ Carmine Tramunti Find A Grave
American Mafia
Preceded by
Thomas Lucchese
Lucchese crime family

Succeeded by
Anthony Corallo