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Francis J. McGrath versus the Worcester mafia

By Steven Maher

It was the type of press Worcester Mafia boss Frank Iaconi abhorred.

Iaconiโ€™s picture appeared on page one of the November 5, 1946 Worcester Telegram under a headline, โ€œThree sued for $57,300 as a Result of Horse Bet Lossesโ€. There was also a photograph of Ward 3 councilman Philip F. Sullivan.

Jules Vohlgemuth was a Belgian immigrant who had saved $19,000 from stock market investments and his wages as a diesinker. George Trudell had gotten Vohlgemuth to lend him the money under false pretenses, and then lost it betting on horses in an Iaconi Franklin Street gambling den. Vohlgemuth sued Iaconi, Sullivan, and Irving Zabarsky under a state law that allowed for the recovery of triple damages for gambling losses.

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