If you have ever wondered why organized crime still exists in America, you might be surprised to learn that the mob has declined in recent years. Unlike the mobster Gotti, who courted the headlines with his custom suits, cashmere scarf, and pocket handkerchief, today’s mob operates in a far more formal manner. Today, however, it remains one of the most dangerous subcultures in the country.
Because of the laws in place against organized crime, the criminals have shifted their focus. For example, RICO allows kingpins to be prosecuted and incarcerated for running criminal enterprises. However, in 1988, the Knapp Commission uncovered links between organized crime and the New York police, pointing out the difficulty local police organizations have in avoiding the intimidation tactics of organized crime gangs. Meanwhile, the 1988 La Cosa Nostra report revealed that mobsters continued to bribe unions and hold conferences to settle disputes. Organized crime has also evolved into a commodities market.
The Mafia also made money in real estate. While gambling and prostitution were illegal, the real estate industry provided a base for other illegal activities. Because there was no government regulation, people could also turn to home equity loans to clear the Mob debt. The Charbonneau Commission even investigated the Canadian Mafia’s involvement in the real estate industry. In many cases, the Mafia were arbiters and consultants, helping people negotiate business deals and secure financing.