Former labor leader and Chicago Outfit mobster John Matassa Jr is headed to federal prison.
He pled guilty back in February to a federal felony charge of embezzlement. According to the details of his plea agreement he was facing up to 21 months behind bars. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced the Chicago Mafia wiseguy to six months in federal prison along with an additional six months of house arrest. According to investigators the 68-year-old mobster is a made member of the mafia and has been associated with some of the Chicago mob’s most notorious figures. During the historic Family Secrets trial, turncoat mobster Nicholas Calabrese testified that Matassa was part of the Outfit’s Rush Street crew that was headed by captain Vince Solano.
John “Pudgy” Matassa
According to the 10-count indictment filed back in 2017 Matassa had his wife put on the union payroll in a do-nothing job. He then lowered his own salary so he could qualify for early retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration’s Old-Age Insurance program. He also spent thousands of dollars in union cash on things for himself including cellphones, restaurant meals, gas, car washes, and more according to court records. Along with his six-month prison sentence he has also been ordered to pay back $66,500 in restitution to the union and Social Security Administration.
Matassa’s attorney tried to make a case for probation citing his client’s various health problems including chronic heart disease, morbid obesity, diabetes, and vertigo. According to the defense, it was his poor health that led to his wife having to step in and help him with his union duties. He was a one-man show for the union handling everything from managing grievances, negotiating contracts and benefits and being on call morning and night, seven days a week. Matassa also known as “Pudgy” even insinuated that prosecutors only targeted him because of his name. But the judge wasn’t buying it according to the Chicago Tribune report.
In fact, his alleged ties to the mafia in Chicago were never even mentioned in any of the filing associated with the embezzlement case. Prosecutors even made a note that he had no criminal history. Although this wasn’t the first time John Matassa Jr had problems with a union job. He was kicked out as president of the Laborers Union Chicago local over his alleged extensive ties to organized crime back in the 1990s. While mobsters and union corruption aren’t exactly unusual mafia news it had been a while since a case had surfaced in Chicago.