|Founded by||Lucchese crime family|
|Founding location||New York City|
|Territory||Various neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Staten Island|
|Ethnicity||Italian, Italian-American made men and Irish and other ethnicities as "associates"|
|Criminal activities||Racketeering, bookmaking, loan-sharking, extortion, gambling, burglary, cargo theft, conspiracy, counterfeit consumer goods, murder, smuggling, fencing, hotel robbery, hijacking and jewelry heist|
|Allies||Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno and Colombo crime families|
The Vario Crew is a group operating within the Lucchese crime family. It was controlled by capo Paul Vario from the early 1950s into the early 1980s, when Vario, Jimmy Burke, and a number of other associates were imprisoned, primarily due to the testimony of another long-term associate, Henry Hill. Hill's life in the Vario crew was the subject of Nicholas Pileggi's book Wiseguy and Martin Scorsese's crime film adapted from that book, Goodfellas (1990), starring Ray Liotta as Hill. Today the crew is still active, but less influential than before, and was recently led by Domenico "Danny" Cutaia.
Paul Vario received money from members of his crew and local criminals. Vario's crew was involved in hijacking cargo shipments from JFK Airport in Queens, NY; they also ran several loansharking and bookmaking operations in Brooklyn.
James Burke, a close ally of Vario's, ran a crew of hijackers that would pay off truck drivers and then unload the goods at a warehouse Vario controlled. Another ally of Vario's was John Dioguardi, a Lucchese family capo who controlled labor unions in New York City. In the 1970s, when Vario and Burke were imprisoned, the majority of Vario's bookmaking operations were taken over by his Russian Jewish associate, Martin Krugman.
Two of Vario's crew members, Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke, began dealing in amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Hill ran his criminal enterprise with his wife Karen, William Arico, Anthony and Rocco Perla, Robin Cooperman, and Judith Wicks. In early 1979, Burke and Hill began selling heroin.
After Robert "Bobby" Germaine Jr., the son of Henry Hill's drug partner, became an informant, Hill was monitored. In 1980, Hill was arrested for drug dealing and looking at several life-sentences. He accepted the option to become an informant.
Burke was given 20 years for fixing sporting events and a life sentence when the authorities convicted him for murdering scam-artist Richard Eaton. Vario was given a 12½-year sentence during the KENRAC trial.
The Robert's Lounge crew comprised numerous members, some described as inept, whose specialties included armed robbery, hijacking, and murder. Although an independent outfit, they were closely associated with the Lucchese Family through which Burke had a longtime friendship and working relationship with Vario.
These are past members and associates who have retired, been murdered, or died other ways.
The crew operates throughout the New York City; these are some of its former headquarters and hangouts.