Excerpted from CULLOTTA – The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness.
Frank had now been stealing for years and had made some big money. Did he have a nice nest egg set up? According to him, he didn’t. That wasn’t the way things worked in his world.
Most normal people would think that a successful thief like Frank would have had tons of money. Not true. There are twenty-four hours in a day and regular people work eight of them. After that, they usually have dinner, watch a little TV and go to bed. They aren’t spending a lot of money every day.
On the other hand, a thief has all 24 hours to play with. He may be on the streets 16 or 17 hours a day. Some scores only take a couple of hours and he’s got his money. And then he’s got the rest of the time to spend it on foolish things. That money can go pretty damn quick.
And a thief has expenses that the average guy doesn’t. Unless he worked alone, the score had to be split with his crew. And if he made a lot of money, the Outfit had to be cut in. Tipsters had to be taken care of; cops had to be paid off on occasion; lawyers and bail bondsmen cost a lot of money, and there were the expenses of getting fictitious registrations for the work cars and so forth. To keep up appearances a professional thief had to dress well, have nice legit cars, and hang out in the right places. Those costs were in addition to rent, food, and utilities. And in Frank’s case, he was pretty free with his money, taking care of family and friends. Maybe he should have had a lot of money, but he didn’t.