Juice Customers

cullotta-cover-web.jpgExcerpted from CULLOTTA – The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness.

Frank didn’t like loansharking, but he did try it a couple of times. He found there was one primary reason why people had to borrow money from him: gambling. He estimates that nine out of 10 people on juice with him were in trouble because they couldn’t control their betting habits. Frank believes getting hooked on gambling is akin to having a disease, a sickness like being a drug addict. Many of his customers were married guys with kids that gambled away the rent and food money. They had to come to him in order to have money to give to their wives to pay the bills. They didn’t dare tell their women they’d blown the money at the track or betting with a bookie. For the most part he felt sorry for them. There were times when a borrower was unable to pay off his loan or interest. If he came to Frank and explained the situation he wouldn’t be abused.

Most of Frank’s customers got off the juice by insurance fraud. They’d get rid of their own car, report it stolen and collect on their insurance. Or they’d fake a burglary and make a claim on their homeowners. They’d pay Frank off, but be right back for another loan. It seemed they just couldn’t help themselves. 

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