odman, a former criminal defense attorney and self-described “mouthpiece for th
e mob,” spent 35 years defending the nation’s most notorious underworld figures. His clients included mobsters M
eyer Lansky, Anthony "Tony The Ant" Spilotro and Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, the latter two
portrayed in the film Casino by
actors Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro. Goodman, also in the film
, played himself -- a lawyer for the mob.
It started in the early 1990s, when the Nevada Gaming Commission released the first of several statements assuring the public that the FBI had forced the last of the mob out of Las Vegas in the 1980s. That was not true, of course. Goodman himself had represented Spilotro in a mob trial in the mid-1980s, shortly before Spilotro was buried alive and left for dead in an Indiana cornfield. Blitzstein was a co-defendant with Spilotro in that trial. After Spilotro’s murder, Blitzstein pleaded guilty and went to prison. He was released in the early 1990s and returned to Las Vegas, picking up where he had left off.