"My Life in the Mafia" was a fascinating book to read. I took it with me when I went in the hospital. In the three days I was in, I completely read it despite constant interruptions by nurses and doctors. I couldn't put it down.
Tereza was a smart guy. When he became involved with the Mafia, they were mostly running "Shylocking" and "Fence" operations, both of which were risky and not extremely profitable. He soon learned the inner workings of the Mafia, the protocols and rules, and gained the trust of a lot of middle-level bosses. He started out small, but soon came up with a plan to run gambling junkets to the Caribbean and Haiti with wealthy people. He scammed them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars each and walked away. His feelings about their loss: "They were suckers".
After successfully running many, many scam and gambling operations he was arrested and sentenced to a fairly short prison sentence. That was not uncommon for Mafia people. They would do their time, maybe get out early if they had a good lawyer or paid the right official, and be back at the game.
But that didn't happen with Vincent. While incarcerated, his former friends broke the Mafia code and refused to take care of his family financially. They then threatened and made an attempt on his daughter's life. Helpless behind bars, Vincent discovered that his family was penniless and afraid. To protect them he turned to the FBI and struck a deal. In exchange for his testimony, he and his family would enter the witness protection program.
His testimony put many former enemies and a few close friends behind bars.
This is a fascinating story that offers a real view of what it is like to live in the world of organized crime, how a Mafia person thinks, and how they really operate. Very highly recommended.