After more than a decade since retiring from the mob, ex Cleveland crime family boss Joseph “Joe Loose” Iacobacci passed away at the age of 70.
Iacobucci was boss of the Cleveland crime family from 1993 to 2010. During that time he brought the organization back after some crushing federal indictments by focusing on some white-collar scams. He also built a strong relationship with the New Jersey DeCavalcante crime family and the Chicago Outfit. He also managed to reestablish the family’s connection to the Detroit mob.
Today, the Cleveland crime family is a shadow of what it once was when Iacobacci joined over 35 years ago. Mostly bookies, old-timers, and loan sharks are all that is left.
According to FBI documents, Iacobacci worked on Cleveland’s eastside doing burglaries, drug dealing and ‘collections’.
Back in the 1970s as a young mobster working Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood, Iacobacci was in the thick of it during the mafia war between the Irish mob boss Danny Greene and his Celtic Club crew. At the time, Mafia don James “Jack White” Licavoli really trusted to Iacobacci and took a special liking to him using him for all his toughest assignments. Greene was eventually killed in a 1977 car bombing outside a dentist’s office in Lyndhurst.
Nicknamed Joe Loose by Licavoli (“because he has a screw loose in his head”), he was convicted in 1988 of drug trafficking and was sentenced to 3 years at the time.
In 1993, Anthony “Tony Lib” Liberatore, the boss of the Cleveland mob at the time, was convicted and sentenced to 8 years in prison for money laundering. It was at this time Iacobacci became head of the family.
Iacobacci slowly rebuilt the Cleveland mob with the help of the Chicago outfit even while in 1995 being convicted of defrauding New Jersey banks out of approximately $3 million and doing another stretch in prison, this time for 30 months.
Today there are maybe 10 or 15 made members and many associates. Small as it may be, the Cleveland mafia is allegedly raking in around $30 million in illicit profits per year.