Notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger won’t fight to keep $822,000 that was found stashed in the walls of his Santa Monica, Calif., when he was finally arrested in 2011. But he wants to keep a Stanley Cup ring that someone gave him as a gift, according to court documents.
Bulger made the concession in a court document released today even as a jury continued to deliberate in the sweeping federal racketeering case against him.
Bulger will also give up guns, ammunition, and knives, and other items seized from the Santa Monica apartment.
“The defendant elects to have the forfeitability of this specific property decided by the Court,” said the filing, signed by Bulger, prosecutors, and US District Judge Denise J. Casper.
But the document also said, “The parties have agreed to exclude a Stanley Cup ring, which the defendant contends was a gift to him by a third-party.”
It wasn’t clear who gave Bulger the ring. Bulger paid for the wedding of NHL player Chris Nilan, who won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens, to Karen Stanley, daughter of Bulger’s late girlfriend Teresa Stanley. Nilan and Karen Stanley are now divorced.
It’s not clear if Bulger will ultimately get to keep the ring. The government has agreed not to pursue the ring at this stage of the case — the criminal forfeiture stage — because the ring can’t be shown to be part of Bulger’s criminal profits.
But it’s possible that the government, if Bulger is convicted, could seek a civil judgment for millions of dollars that Bulger allegedly stole during his career. And Bulger could be required to turn over the ring to satisfy that judgment.
Bulger, 83, was captured two years ago in Santa Monica after more than 16 years on the run. He is charged in 32 counts of a racketeering indictment that alleges he participated in 19 slayings in the 1970s and 1980s; extorted drug dealers, bookmakers, and businessmen; laundered money; and kept an arsenal of illegal guns.
He is accused of running a sprawling criminal enterprise from 1972 to 2000, first as part of the Somerville-based Winter Hill gang and later setting up headquarters in his native South Boston.
The jury, in its fifth day of deliberations, has deliberated more than 29 hours.
The jury this morning sought more guidance from the judge on how to handle charges against Bulger for crimes in which other people were allegedly involved.
The jury asked Judge Casper whether, if they believed that a charge against another person named in the same crime were proven, that would mean the charge was proven against Bulger.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys sparred over exactly what Casper should tell the jurors.
Bulger is not charged with being the triggerman in all of the 19 murders alleged in the indictment. In a number of instances, he allegedly assisted or ordered the crimes, but still faces a murder charge.
Casper ultimately decided to tell the jurors that they had to find that the gang leader either committed the act, was a co-conspirator, or aided and abetted in the act. She told them that they shouldn’t “automatically” find the act had been proven against Bulger if it were proven against the other person.