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TESTIMONY OF IRVING MISHEL

The CHAIRMAN. State your name, your place of residence, and your business or occupation, please.

Mr. MISHEL. Irving Mishel, Forest Hills, N.Y.; finance business.
The CHAIRMAN. You have counsel, do you, Mr. Mishel ?
Mr. MISHEL. I do, sir, but he is not here right now.
The CHAIRMAN. Where is your counsel? Do you waive counsel ?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Í asked if you had counsel. I meant do you have counsel present here today?

Mr. MISHEL. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you waive counsel ?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed, Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. Mishel's testimony is of considerable importance, Mr. Chairman, in developing the facts that we are interested in today. Mr. Mishel does not have a good background. In fact, he is in prison at the present time. Often, as you know, it is important, in order to obtain information, if we are going to obtain information, to obtain it from people who we would not ordinarily want to depend upon as far as their reliability and veracity.

However, we have spent a considerable amount of time with Mr. Mishel. In addition to giving us the information, he has furnished us certain books and records and papers. We have found that the testimony or the information that he has given us we have been able to verify through independent means.

It was only after this long and tedious investigation and spending a great deal of time with Mr. Mishel that a decision was reached that we could use him today and have him testify.

We will call a witness shortly who will go into detail into some of the matters that Mr. Mishel is going to testify to.

The CHAIRMAN. All right, proceed.

Mr. KENNEDY. You were born in Brooklyn in May of 1922, Mr. Mishel ?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. You were left an orphan at the age of 5, and raised by an aunt and an uncle; is that right?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. You attended high school for a while !
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. You were the youngest of five children?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. And you were married in 1945; is that right?
Mr. MISHEL. That is right.
Mr. KENNEDY. You have two children; is that right!
Mr. MISHEL. That is right.

Mr. KENNEDY. On March 6, 1945, you received a suspended sentence; is that right?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. That was your first conviction?
Mr. MISHEL. I believe so.

Mr. KENNEDY. What was that for? What was that in connection with?

Mr. MISHEL. I believe it was something to do with the Sullivan law, a blackjack.

Mr. KENNEDY. You hit somebody with a blackjack?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. And then there was a conspiracy charge made against you in May of 1945, and you were discharged. Then in October of 1952 you were indicted, or there was a warrant issued against you in Connecticut; is that right?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. What was that in connection with?

Mr. MISHEL. In connection with a bank loan. I tried to secure some money from a bank.

Mr. KENNEDY. In what way?

Mr. MISHEL. By giving them some statements which were fraudulent.

Mr. KENNEDY. And that is still outstanding, is it?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. Then in January 1951 you were indicted for forging and transporting stolen bonds; is that right? Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. Let me see. On January 19, 1953, you received a sentence of 10 to 20 years in the general sessions court in New York County?

Mr. MISHEL. That is correct.
Mr. KENNEDY. Was that in connection with the stolen bonds!
Mr. MISHEL. No. Those were stock certificates.
Mr. KENNEDY. What had you done with the stock certificates ?

Mr. MISHEL. Hypothecated them, tried them, put them through some bank.

Mr. KENNEDY. What about the transportation of the stolen bonds? What happened about that that case? Did you plead guilty to that?

Mr. MISHEL. Was that in the western district of Virginia ?
Mr. KENNEDY. Yes. And I understand also in New York City.
Mr. MISHEL. There were two cases.
Mr. KENNEDY. The western district of Virginia and in New York
City!

Mr. MISHEL. Yes. There was two different ones.
Mr. KENNEDY. You pled guilty to that, did you?

Mr. MISHEL. On the one in western Virginia, I pled guilty in New York under rule 20 to cover Virginia.

Mr. KENNEDY. And you received a sentence?
Mr. MISHEL. Of 5 years.
Mr. KENNEDY. Of 5 years?
Mr. MISHEL. Correct.

Mr. KENNEDY. What happened on that case? Do you still have to serve that?

Mr. MISHEL. No, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. What happened?

Mr. MISHEL. Subsequently that sentence was set aside and I received 1 day's probation.

Mr. KENNEDY. Was that because of your cooperation in certain cases?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. Or in connection with cooperation that you

rendered in certain Federal cases?

Mr. MISHEL. Certain cases.
Mr. KENNEDY. How much have you served in your 10 to 20 years!
Mr. MISHEL. Six years three months.

Mr. KENNEDY. One of those who testified against you and one of those chiefly responsible for your receiving the sentence and being found guilty was Mr. Charles Bernoff; is that right?

Mr. MISHEL. He was the main one.
Mr. KENNEDY. He was the main witness against you?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. You had long been a friend and associate of Mr. Bernoff; is that right?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir. Mr. KENNEDY. And you had been a close friend and had worked with him for a number of years?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean this same Bernoff that was the witness here who takes the fifth amendment on everything is the one who prosecuted you?

Mr. MISIIEL. He testified against me.
The CHAIRMAN. He testified against you?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. He didn't take the fifth then?
Mr. MISHEL. I don't think he did. I got the time.

The CHAIRMAN. If we send anybody around to investigate him a little, he takes the fifth amendment.

All right. Proceed. I just wanted to keep the thing in balance as we go along

Mr. KENNEDY. The people found guilty with you were Louis Blumenthal ?

Mr. MISHEL. One-arm Louie; yes.

Mr. KENNEDY. He was found guilty of conspiracy. Harry Gottleib?

Mr. MISHEL. Harry the Hawk, are you talking about?
Mr. KENNEDY. Harry the Hawk. Is he prominent in drugs also ?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes. He has been convicted many times.
Mr. KENNEDY. What about Blumenthal? Is he a bookmaker?
Mr. MISHEL. Well, bookmaker and I understand he was convicted
for either narcotics or gambling besides.

Mr. KENNEDY. And Sonya Lang?
Mr. MISHEL. Sonya Lang.
Mr. KENNEDY. What is she?

Mr. MISHEL. She was living with Harry the Hawk. I don't know too much about her.

Mr. KENNEDY. She was found guilty of conspiracy. Irving Rosenberg—who is he?

Mr. MISHEL. Cockeyed Mickey?

Mr. KENNEDY. Cockeyed Mickey. What about him! He was found guilty also in this case ? Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir. I believe they all pleaded guilty, sir. Mr. KENNEDY. And Fred Schatzberg, he was found guilty? Mr. MISHEL. He pleaded guilty.

Mr. KENNEDY. What is his name?
Mr. MISHEL. Fat Freddy.
The CHAIRMAN. Fat Freddy?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir. He is a heavy-set boy.
Mr. KENNEDY. And Samuel Friedman?
Mr. MISHEL. Sam Friedman?
Mr. KENNEDY. Yes. He was found guilty. And then Irving
Nitzberg.

Mr. MISHEL. Knadles.
Mr. KENNEDY. How do you spell that?
Mr. MISHEL. I think it is K-n-a-d-l-e-s.

Mr. KENNEDY. He was found guilty of attempted grand larceny in the second degree; is that right?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. He is a close associate of yours? He was the closest to you, Knadles?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. Could you give us a little about his background? He is somebody you had grown up with and were in business with a number of times?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. You were loaning money together, you and Knadles?

Mr. MISHEL. Yes.

Mr. KENNEDY. Is Knadles the one who has been in the deathhouse at Sing Sing twice?

Mr. MISHEL. That is the same man; yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. What is his background? What happened as far as Sing Sing is concerned? How did he get out of there!

Mr. MISHEL. I believe that there was no cooperation. The codefendants' testimony was not binding.

Mr. KENNEDY. Then the chief witness was thrown out the window !
Mr. MISHEL. Yes; that is correct.
Mr. KENNEDY. Abe Reles?
Mr. MISHEL. That is correct.
Mr. KENNEDY. So the Government had to dismiss the case !
Mr. MISHEL. The State.

Mr. KENNEDY, And he was also considered to be responsible for killing Plug Shuman?

Mr. MISHEL. That I don't know, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. You don't know whether he killed him or not?
Mr. MISHEL. I don't.

Mr. KENNEDY. Shuman, I guess. S-h-u-m-a-n, I guess. Did you know Plug Shuman? Did you know him?

Mr. MISHEL. No, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. He is the one that is supposed to have squealed on the Lepke-Gurrah mob.

Mr. MISHEL. I don't know.
Mr. KENNEDY. What does Knables stand for?
Mr. MISHEL. That is the Jewish word, I think, for matzo balls.
Mr. KENNEDY. He is still active; is he?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir; I believe so.
Mr. KENNEDY. He is in the garment area !

Mr. MISHEL. Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. He is an active figure there, is he not, at the present time?

You had been the principal in a number of companies, had you not! You had set up a number of companies during your career!

Mr. MISHEL Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. Berkshire Wine & Liquor Store, Mishel Wine &
Liquor Corp. Then you were in the Admiral Trading Corp., Bel-
mont Factors ?

Mr. MISHEL. I was never in Admiral Trading: My wife was in it.
Mr. KENNEDY. You were in it through your wife?
Mr. MISHEL. Yes. My wife was.
Mr. KENNEDY. How about Belmont Factors !
Mr. MISHEL. No, I was not.
Mr. KENNEDY. Did you have anything to do with them!

Mr. MISHEL. Well, the same people that were in with us were in Belmont Factors.

Mr. KENNEDY. Zenith Associates ?
Mr. MISHEL Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. And Mishel Associates
Mr. MISHEL Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. Lexington Business Brokers ?
Mr. MISHEL Yes, sir.
Mr. KENNEDY. And MacJay Realtors Corp.
Mr. MISHEL Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNEDY. What was your primary source of income as you were growing up?

Mr. MISHEL. Bookmaking.

Mr. KENNEDY. In the Mishel Associates, who was your partner in that? Mr. MISHEL. A fellow named Charles Anthony Joseph McLaughlin. Mr. KENNEDY. What is his background? Mr. MISHEL. Well, I think he has one conviction for highjacking. Mr. KENNEDY. He is the husband of Catherine McLaughlin ! Mr. MISHEL. Yes. Kitty is the wife. Mr. KENNEDY. She had been married to Legs Diamond! Mr. MISHEL. I believe that is correct. Mr. KENNEDY. Mishel Associates was also making loans ? Mr. MISHEL. Yes, small loans. Mr. KENNEDY. Who would those loans go to? Tavern owners! Mr. MISHEL. Mostly tavern owners. Mr. KENNEDY. What about the Herald Capital? Mr. MISHEL. Herald Capital Corp.? Mr. KENNEDY. Yes. Mr. MISHEL. That was a money-lending corporation. Mr. KENNEDY. Were you in there, too? Mr. MISHEL. Yes. Joseph Paige and myself. Mr. KENNEDY. P-a-i-g-e? Mr. MISHEL. Yes. He is a lawyer. Mr. KENNEDY. What is his background? Mr. MISHEL. He is a lawyer. Mr. KENNEDY. What else is there about him?

Mr. MISHEL. I understand he was arrested out in Queens for conspiracy to rob a safe.

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