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Lufthansa heist: New York mobsters arrested in 'Goodfellas' case

Lufthansa heist solved after 36 years. The FBI arrested five members of a notorious New York crime family made famous by the movie “Goodfellas”. According to CNBC Jan. 23, the men were linked to the 1978 caper that took place at the John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The arrests in the three-decades-old crime, made famous by the 1990 film 'Goodfellas,' were the result of an FBI search last summer at the New York home of James 'Jimmy the Gent' Burke, said FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser.

The Lufthansa heist was made famous in the 1990 film "Goodfellas," directed by Martin Scorsese. "Jimmy the Gent," who died in prison in 1996, was played by Robert De Niro. The five men arrested were members of the Bonnano crime family.

In the Lufthansa heist the thieves took $5 million in cash and $1 million in jewels from JFK airport in 1978. The loot was taken from a vault on December 11, 1978. The booty would be worth $20 million dollars today.

The robbery scene serves as a centerpiece in the iconic film. Everything that comes before it in the film builds up to it. The celebration after the crime is the high point of the film. What follows is the long steady decline of the gang and its fortunes.

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