‘Free!:’ Aging mobster acquitted in 1978 ‘Goodfellas’ heist

Vincent Asaro
Vincent Asaro leaves Brooklyn federal court Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, in New York. Asaro was acquitted Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, of charges he helped plan a legendary 1978 Lufthansa heist retold in the hit film "Goodfellas." (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)

NEW YORK (AP) — An aging mobster threw his hands in the air and shouted “Free!” after his acquittal on charges he helped plan the 1978 Lufthansa heist that was retold in the hit Mafia movie “Goodfellas.”

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

The 80-year-old Bonanno crime family member remained in the shadows for decades after a $6 million armed robbery that was called the largest in U.S. history. Prosecutors charged him in 2014 after his cousin implicated 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.

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