Aging mobster acquitted in 1978 heist retold in ‘Goodfellas’

Vincent Asaro, Gerald McMahon
In this Jan. 23, 3014 courtroom drawing, Vincent Asaro, left, is joined by his attorney, Gerald McMahon, at federal court in New York. Asaro, 78, was named along with his son, Jerome, and three other defendants in wide-ranging indictment alleging murder, robbery, extortion, arson and other crimes from the late 1960s through 2013. Asaro goes to trial in October 2015 for his role in the 1978 Lufthansa heist which Martin Scorsese immortalized in his film “Goodfellas.” (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – An aging mobster has been acquitted of charges he helped plan the 1978 Lufthansa heist that was retold in the hit Mafia movie “Goodfellas.”

A New York City jury reached the verdict Thursday at the federal racketeering trial of Vincent Asaro.

The 80-year-old Bonanno crime family member had remained in the shadows for decades after a $6 million armed robbery that was called the largest in U.S. history. But prosecutors charged him in 2014 after his cousin came forward to implicate him in the heist, a mob hit and other crimes.

The government’s evidence included secret recordings of Asaro complaining he didn’t get his fair share of the Lufthansa score.

Asaro’s lawyers argued that he was framed by mob turncoats angling for leniency in their own cases.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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