Thomas McLaughlin was a loyal member of the Colombo crime family until he turned on his fellow mobsters to beat a murder conspiracy rap.
As a teen McLaughlin was drawn to the mob and found a role model in Colombo family captain Greg Scarpa although he had other close New York mafia connections. His cousin Thomas Gioeli was captain of a Colombo crew and his mother was dating Tommy “Karate” Pitera a Bonanno family hit man. But he found a home in the Scarpa crew and according to sources the mafia captain liked the kid because he was a lot like him cold-blooded and tough. But one of the Colombo family’s most loyal associates would eventually become one of their most damaging turncoats.
He was arrested back in 1992 facing multiple charges including racketeering, drug trafficking, and extortion, but he refused to cooperate and plead guilty to drug trafficking and tax evasion. He was sentenced to 14 years behind bars which ran with a 9 year sentence he received from state charges. He would serve 16 years behind bars, earning him respect on the streets and the trust of his mafia pals for keeping his mouth shut. But as he was released in 2008 the feds were once again waiting and alerted him to new conspiracy charges for helping plan three mob hits that could put him away for life. Facing the option of going right back to prison for rest of his life he decided to become a turncoat against his fellow wiseguys.
His mentor Greg Scarpa had died in 1994 while he was in prison and his relationship with Scarpa’s daughter Linda had fallen apart which seemingly impacted his decision. McLaughlin would wear a wire and record over 200 conversations between 2009 and 2011 helping the feds make 39 arrests and get two convictions. He would even testify against his own cousin Tommy Gioeli in 2012 taking the stand and fingering him for his role in a mob hit. The now 46 year old McLaughlin was awarded for his cooperation and was sentenced to time served and heralded for his cooperation and bravery by the judge. Prosecutors called his cooperation against the mafia with the feds historic and he was applauded for his efforts.
Today the former mobster is a family man and holds down a steady job, according to his defense attorney and the court. McLaughlin said he wanted to apologize for his past and looked forward to continuing his future as a husband and a father when addressing the court. The judge labeled him as someone who he believed had gone straight and would stay straight.