It took Robert F. Kennedy to break the back of Mafia families like the Bonannos (that's Joe Bananas pictured) and we need that kind of dedicated commitment to stop today's equivalent of organized crime: online scammers, many of them from Eastern Europe. That was the message Attorney General Michael Mukasey brought to an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, The Washington Post reports.
The new breed of criminals -- like the hacker from Romania who posed three times as an eBay customer service rep to obtain users' passwords, SSNs and banking information -- are "more sophisticated, they are richer, they have greater influence over government and political institutions worldwide, and they are savvier about using the latest technology, first to perpetrate and then to cover up their crimes," Mukasey said.
Justice Department's Organized Crime Council has held regular briefings for the first time in 15 years to forge a new strategy. At present, 120 prosecutors and FBI agents and analysts are working on organized crime issues. Department officials say they want to leverage those resources and work more closely with foreign counterparts and their own colleagues in the ranks of such departments as Treasury, State and Labor.
But there is one silver lining: So far the Justice Dept. has ruled out the mobsters as the Eastern European arm of Al Quaeda.