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First, the Godfather. Then, Wall Street.
Now, The Salad Oil King.

Were you conflicted by Vito Corleone’s utter lack of morality and unequivocal love of family in Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER?

Were you confused by Gordon Gekko’s voracious appetite for greed and perverted sense of loyalty in Oliver’s Stone’s WALL STREET?

Then Fonso Gravenese’s amoral ethical code and romantic spontaneity will make your head spin and eyes bulge in THE SALAD OIL KING.

When I first learned of my book’s protagonist, I didn’t believe it. But the more I learned, the more I became convinced Fonso was the world’s greatest pre-internet white-collar-scam artist. And, his story has somehow been lost in the pages of history. Until now.

But…Fonso wasn’t his real name; it was Anthony “Tino” DeAngelis. Tino, a pudgy high-school drop out with black horned rimmed glasses, built a half-billion-dollar war chest cheating U.S. Government programs designed to help underprivileged kids, support our WWII war efforts, and help our Allies get back on their feet after the war.

Incredulously, with the help of his Mafia buddies, he turned that war chest into a $13 billion-dollar salad oil scandal based in New Jersey.


Tino explains his business strategy to Wall Street during the “growth phase” of his scams.

When the dust settled in 1963, the stock market closed for a day, two trading houses went out of business, American Express became a bargain basement investment for one Warren Buffet, and Tino fessed up.


Tino in jail where he taught Bible Classes and Christian values to the inmates

For his many efforts, Tino was sentenced to seven years in jail. He got two off for good behavior and disappeared along with hundreds of millions. There’s obviously much more to the story. Maybe that’s why Manhattan Book Review calls The Salad Oil King, “An American Crime Classic.”

Anyway, you might wonder why I knew so much. My Mom was Tino’s first babysitter, and last known call. He was also my Dad’s first business partner.

DATE: Apr.01.2019 | CATEGORY: My Books

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