Gus Boulis' green BMW was pinned between two cars. One had halted directly in front of him as he pulled out of his office building's parking lot. The other appeared from the opposite direction as a dark blur in the vacant Fort Lauderdale street. Boulis' killer was facing him from the opposite car. Boulis knew what was coming. He raised a hand. Maybe it was to plead for his life. Maybe it was a defense mechanism. But he knew. The killer in the opposite car fired a gun. The discharge blew through Boulis' hand and into his body. The two cars screeched off into the night.
Bloodied, with his life ebbing away, Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, founder of the popular Miami Subs restaurant chain and SunCruz Casinos, drove a mile toward Federal Highway and SE 18th Street. He crashed into a tree on the side of the road.
Boulis was dead inside his BMW.
Twelve yearslater, the trial for Boulis' murder has finally gotten underway.
On Monday, a Broward jury began hearing arguments in the case against Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello and Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, who stand accused of having Boulis rubbed out in a mMb-style hit on February 6, 2001.
In his opening statements, prosecutor Gregg Rossman told the jury of how infamous Washington, D.C., lobbyist Jack Abramoff and businessman Adam Kidan brokered a deal to purchase SunCruz Casinos from Boulis for $147.5 million in 2000.
The deal would be deemed fraudulent. Boulis accused Kidan of falsifying the wire transfer, and things came to a head when the two went to blows in December 2000.
Fearful of Boulis, Rossman said, Kidan hired Moscatiello for protection; Moscatiello brought Ferrari along.
Moscatiello saw the earning potential of working for Kidan. And he thus considered Boulis a threat to his money, Rossman said.
This, Rossman said, was Moscatiello's motivation for having Boulis "taken care of."
Ferrari tried to get his bodyguard, Dwayne Nicholson, to do the dirty deed. But Nicholson refused. But when Moscatiello gave Nicholson the direct order for a hit on Boulis, the bodyguard, fearing for his own life, agreed. Or at least pretended to agree. Nicholson never went through with it.
But on the night of February 6, 2001, someone did go through with it.
In all the years since, only one man has come forward and admitted being a part of the plot. James "Pudgy" Fiorillo admitted that he kept surveillance on Boulis on the night he was gunned down, though he says he didn't see who pulled the trigger. Fiorillo reached a deal with prosecutors in 2011 and pleaded guilty as an accessory in the murder.
Moscatiello and Ferrari have been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and solicitation to commit murder. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.
The trial resumes Tuesday.
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