After a weeklong hiatus, court was back in session in the Gus Boulis murder trial Wednesday – and it started with a bang.
"He wanted me to come down to Florida and kill Gus Boulis," said a mystery witness who went by the name Nick DiMaggio.
DiMaggio, an admitted killer and former organized crime operative, testified that Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello tried to hire him as a hit man – offering him $100,000 to kill Boulis, a prominent South Florida businessman.
"He explained to me that the guy was making a lot of problems with a gambling situation in Florida and there was a lot of money at stake," DiMaggio said. "They needed this guy taken care of right away."
Moscatiello, 75, and Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, 56, are accused of orchestrating the murder of Gus Boulis. Boulis, the founder of Miami Subs and SunCruz Casinos, was gunned down in in a Mob-style ambush in Fort Lauderdale in 2001.
Moscatiello and Ferrari have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.
Their trial was delayed while Moscatiello's attorney, David Bogenschutz, was ill.
DiMaggio said the offer to kill Boulis was insulting.
"Because he wanted to pay me to kill somebody," DiMaggio explained why. "In my life, my prior life, you didn't kill people for money. If it was principle you killed them. And that's the way it went. When you start killing people for money, it becomes cursed. That's the way I was taught. That's the way I believe. I grew up in that life my whole life. That's what I did. I didn't kill people for money. For principle, yes. For money, no."
DiMaggio, who has been a government informant since May 2005 and has seven felony convictions, testified under extraordinary security with several federal agents in the courtroom and a ban on any photography or videotaping of him. He testified under a deal with federal prosecutors.
On the stand, he admitted to killing two people. He was eligible for the death penalty, but is out on supervised release.
Prosecutors say Moscatiello is a member of the Gambino organized crime family.
Moscatiello and Ferrari face the death penalty if convicted in the Boulis slaying.