🤑 Heirs of Meyer Lansky want compensation for Cuban casino - Reuters

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Cool, calculating and confident Meyer Lansky ran the American mob in Cuba He saw it as a threat to his view of an empire built almost entirely on casino.


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Meyer Lansky - Wikipedia
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Notorious mobster Meyer Lansky's daughter Sandi and grandson Gary want a piece of what they say is theirs - the hotel and casino empire.


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For Meyer Lansky -- a mobster and casino impresario known for his business savvy -- Cuba was the worst bet of his life.


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Within months, Cuba was back on the map as a gambling destination. to Florida (where he died in exile in ), Meyer Lansky was celebrating the $3 million.


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Tourists and Cubans gamble at the casino in the Hotel Nacional in Havana, ​. Meyer Lansky, who led the U.S. mob's exploitation of Cuba.


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Meyer Lansky fled the Cuban revolution but does his family have a claim on the casino he built in Havana?


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Notorious mobster Meyer Lansky's daughter Sandi and grandson Gary want a piece of what they say is theirs - the hotel and casino empire.


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He had major interests in gambling, especially in Florida, pre-Castro Cuba, Las Vegas, and the Bahamas. Learn more about Lansky's life and crimes in this.


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Within months, Cuba was back on the map as a gambling destination. to Florida (where he died in exile in ), Meyer Lansky was celebrating the $3 million.


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Notorious mobster Meyer Lansky's daughter Sandi and grandson Gary want a piece of what they say is theirs - the hotel and casino empire.


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Meyer Lansky came to America with nothing. In order for me to drive the golf cart, he would quiz me on multiplication tables. He really loved the fact that I would get into something and was willing to read. They were like gentlemen killers and they dressed nice, had good times at parties, dances and casinos. Rapoport says the reason for the popularity lies in the conduct of the mob. For mobsters the freedom from government oversight was just as appealing, and Lansky threw money from his American operations into the country. I was his spoiled rotten brat,' says Lansky's daughter Sandi. Lansky, his wife and daughter all attend the graduation of his grandson Gary. Sandi added: 'My dad was the best. Now his long shadow is about to be cast over the new relationship between the White House and the Castro brothers' Communist regime in Cuba as his family demands Washington help get his Cuban property empire back. Rapoport insists he and his family had no idea of the true nature of the mobster's business as people who knew too much or who talked, were taken out. He built The Riviera from the ground up with air conditioning, a first in Havana. It seemed like people knew who he was, but I just saw him as my dad. In my time, you never asked what your parents did. He used the finest china, silverware, table cloths, all brought in from prestigious companies in the US. According to Lansky's family he was also the title holder to the Marina Hemingway, with Frank Sinatra. Lansky's daughter and grandson hope the improved relations between US and Cuba can help them gain back his property empire in the communist country. Innocent people may have been killed now and then, but not like crimes of today. By rights, it should be our property. Gary recalls, 'he insisted I read books and did my math. Cuban craftsmen and the best builders were hired. Unlike the real Lansky, Roth was gunned down at the end of a bitter dispute with the Corleones. The jewel in the crown was Havana's most prestigious hotel and casino, the Havana Riviera, and the Marina Hemingway - which according to his family, he jointly owned with Frank Sinatra. It was his property{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} The gangster era was drawing to an end, with the JFK administration, particularly Robert Kennedy, turning the FBI on the mafia, and as the years passed Lansky became one of the prime targets for action. Pictured is Gary with his grandfather Meyer Lansky in an old family photo. Meyer Lansky walking to court with his attorney. Lansky was arrested and brought to trial but the decision was overturned and other charges were dropped because of his poor health. Lansky and his men were considered to be among the most violent gangs during Prohibition. The whole country was open for free enterprise. The family joined his father who had arrived two years earlier and they settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. Asked about whether it was right to seek part of a fortune built on crime, he said: 'Murder was their business and one might say it was all built illegally and on blood money, but we are proud of my grandfather who was a leader in whatever he did. The story of how Lansky's luck ran out is simple: Fidel Castro seized power in and shortly after - early in - nationalized the island's hotels and casinos. Lansky was known to have traded illicit booze with Joe Kennedy, father of assassinated President John F. It was reported that Lansky arranged the murders of Luciano's rivals Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano and once they were out of the way, the two men widened their empire to Las Vagas, Miami, Chicago and Cuba. Then when Lansky came up against Italian opposition for the spoils in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Jersey, he managed to persuade Italian mafia boss Lucky Luciano to join forces. Meyer Lansky with his daughter Sandi and grandson Gary Rapoport pose for a family picture at Christmas. Explaining her lack of knowledge about the brutal side to her father, she said: 'I thought he traveled a lot. There are several other Cuban properties which the Lanskys will brief their legal advisers to investigate including the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Gary Rapoport took this photo of his grandfather, Meyer Lansky, and his mother Sandi, Lansky's only daughter, on vacation in Israel. Stars gathered in Cuba for its alcohol-soaked sense of freedom. Family knew Meyer Lansky to be gentle, someone who lived the American dream. Grandfather had a home in Hallandale, Miami, with a big library with bookends of the Abraham Lincoln memorial. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}He was a ruthless gangster who in a twist of fate lost his most prized asset not to the FBI but to the Communists. Gary Rapoport today is now looking to Cuba to pay his family for the hotel Meyer Lansky owned in the s. For his family, however, the man they knew was entirely different: gentle, diffident, an exemplar of the American dream. The mother and son, who live in a modest bungalow, talked exclusively to Daily Mail Online, giving an insight into the heady gangster days of mob rule in Havana, which started in the s - and ended abruptly in thanks to Fidel Castro. Roth, in the Godfather Part II, is about to do lucrative business in Cuba with the Batista leadership, but is thwarted by the rise of Castro. But due to his criminal past, Israel deported him back to the US. The pair were never photographed together, but Sinatra's mob links are well documented. From left: Sandi, Paul, Meyer and Buddy. Mobster Meyer Lansky with his son and daughter celebrating a birthday. The jewel in the crown was Havana's most prestigious hotel and casino, the Havana Riviera. Lansky's daughter Sandi also had an affair with Sinatra's fellow rat pack member Dean Martin. As a child, he took me to floor shows, ice skating, the theater, movies and for long walks. The banker added: 'It was through my grandfather's hard work that the hotel was built. They have set their sights on the twenty-one floor casino hotel established by the gangster called the Havana Riviera and the Marina Hemingway in the Cuban capital which they say he jointly owned with Frank Sinatra. He had become a celebrity criminal - and was later to be portrayed in a series of movies and television series. It was a glamorous - and freewheeling - time. Nemisis: Fidel Castor in Months later, he nationalized the hotels and casinos, wiping out Lansky's empire. But he always said 'treat everybody equally. It seemed like people knew who he was, but I just saw him as my dad'. Sandi and her brothers visited their father Meyer Lansky, while he was in jail for 60 days. Rapoport said: 'My grandfather loved to eat and talk about school when we were in Miami. Frank Sinatra far right , singer and rat pack member, had 'friends' - including, say Meyer Lansky's family, the 'mob accountant' himself, with the two having a joint venture in Cuba. That's what built the relationship between Charlie Luciano and my grandfather. He was terrific. Now nearly 60 years later Lansky's daughter and grandson hope some of the proceeds of that era can be returned to their family. High life: Havana's casinos were a huge draw before Communism for American tourists seeking gambling, rum and nightlife. He was over every weekend for breakfast of bagels, lox and white fish. It was the first of a series of blows to Lansky, and to the wider mob. They want President Barack Obama to help them recover what they see as their family's rightful inheritance in Cuba. Meyer Lansky, known as 'mob's accountant', seen being led out of building by the police after being arrested. Rapoport said: 'We hope to get some sort of compensation which will help us in our retirement. Meyer Lansky was, in life, one of the gangster era's most notorious figures, a diminutive Jewish immigrant who became known as the 'mob's accountant', and linked to death after death. The Lanskys sat for a family photograph in the s. We never looked at him as Meyer Lansky the financial wizard of organized crime and any of that. But my grandfather was the guy who if you knocked him down, he would get back up. I was his spoiled rotten brat. But he and his fellow mobsters were more than just violent - they turned the illicit trade in alcohol into a goldmine, then set about securing their wealth. It is still open and operating and the government there takes all the proceeds. But my grandfather was the guy who if you knocked him down, he would get back up,' Gary Rapoport tells Daily Mail Online. There is little doubt how much Lansky has hit the big and small screen. Siegel was murdered, shot dead, in June Then came another big money venture: Cuba. In order for me to drive the golf cart, he would quiz me on multiplication tables'. Despite nearly 50 years in organized crime he was never found guilty of anything other than illegal gambling. When people take tours in Cuba, it is still known as the Meyer Lansky Riviera. We are his natural relatives and along with my Uncle Paul, the only surviving ones. Lansky right came up against Italian opposition for the spoils in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey, he managed to persuade Italian mafia boss Charles 'Lucky' Luciano left to join forces - and they became lifelong allies. It was a business. During the hurricane season, storms hit Cuba and it still stands today. He had a great mind for only having had an eighth grade education. Lansky began by selling cigarettes and bootleg alcohol. The Cuban people who were involved always made money, had great jobs and were happy, says Lansky's grandson. Now Lansky's daughter Sandi, 78, and her son Gary Rapoport, 60, have told Daily Mail Online how they want President Barack Obama to help them recover what they see as their family's rightful inheritance. Lansky lost it all when Castro came to power and seized American assets throughout Cuba. The future mobster, who stood at five feet four inches, had a tough childhood but was known for his mathematical abilities.