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On June 14, federal prosecutors in Manhattan made headlines throughout the world. In the biggest crackdown on securities fraud in history, the FBI arrested 120 alleged stock swindlers--including 10 reputed members and associates of New York's five Mafia families. In a packed news conference, Barry W. Mawn, head of the FBI's New York office, told reporters that a secret probe "uncovered once again La Cosa Nostra's efforts to infiltrate the securities markets."
None of this should be a secret to readers of Business Week. In an award-winning cover story in the December 16, 1996 issue--"The Mob on Wall Street"--Business Week Senior Writer Gary Weiss revealed how organized crime had made shocking inroads into the securities markets. In that story and in many subsequent articles--including the December 15, 1997, cover story "Ripoff!"--Weiss laid out for the Street and for law-enforcement officials how small investors were being ripped off to the tune of billions of dollars a year.
These investigative stories were followed by a series of indictments in Florida and New York that began in late 1997, which named many of the same brokerages, stocks, stock promoters, and reputed mobsters that were first featured in these articles. The June 14 indictments also name companies and brokerages uncovered by Weiss 3 1/2 years ago. Among Weiss's revelations: the beating of a broker at a mob-controlled firm, graphically described in the cover story. That brokerage, and another firm described in "Ripoff!," were at the center of the recent indictment.
Weiss didn't stop there. Last year, he wrote a cover story, "Scandal On Wall Street," exposing alleged improprieties at the American Stock Exchange, for which he recently won the Deadline Club award.
Weiss has been at Business Week for 13 years, blossoming into one of the best investigative reporters anywhere. A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, City College of New York, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. His courageous reporting on the underbelly of Wall Street is, quite simply, journalism at its very best. We're proud of you, Gary.By Stephen B. Shepard, Editor-In-Chief