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The Torrents of Greed (1991)

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Isaac Skolnick, a store owner, is severely beaten. His daughter tells police that he was being threatened by a man named Pilefsky whom she suspected of being related to organized crime. Eye-witness Edgar Hoover, a homeless junkie identifies Pilefsky from a photo line-up, and Pilefsky is arrested. Logan discovers that Mario Zalta, a man with connections to the Masucci Family, was a co-defendant of Pilefsky at an earlier trial. On investigating Zalta, Greevey and Logan discover that the Masucci Family is offering bootlegged cigarettes to store owners at lower-than-market prices and threatening store owners who don't comply. However, their evidence is obtained without a warrant and is inadmissible in court. They arrest a store owner selling the untaxed cigarettes, pressuring him into naming Zalta as another participant in the cigarette scam, and Zalta is arrested. While in temporary accommodation, Hoover accidentally dies and Robinette tells the police that without the witness testimony they have no case against Pilefsky. Logan threatens to charge Pilefsky with conspiracy in the manslaughter of Hoover. Pilefsky panics and mentions the name of Harv Beigel as another name connected with the cigarette scam. Biegal claims that he makes his living in real estate and that he is not connected to organized crime; he simply happens to be married to Katherine Masucci, sister of Frank who is head of the Masucci crime family. Beigel is arrested in connection with the cigarette scam. In return for a lesser sentence, Beigel offers to testify that Frank Masucci ordered the murder of Russell Mackie, a missing union labor leader. On the basis of Beigel's testimony, police arrest Frank Masucci for Mackie's murder. However, the prosecution's case unravels at trial. Beigel testifies that he witnessed a meeting at which Mackie's murder was planned, Pilefsky claims to have been present at the murder, stating that Mackie was garotted. The defense counsel reveals that Pilefsky was in hospital with appendicitis at the time of the alleged murder. Pilefsky's perjured testimony results in charges being dismissed against Masucci and Beigel for Mackie's murder. Pilefsky's and Zalta's plea bargains are vacated, they are prosecuted and given long sentences for Skolnick's assault.

  • The episode's title is taken from Chapter 28, verse 251 of the Buddhist scripture The Dhammapada: "There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed." The witness Edgar Hoover recites this verse in its entirety at the beginning of his interrogation scene.
  • Guest stars: Bruce Altman, Christine Baranski, Charles Cioffi, Robert Fields, Steven Keats, Stephen McHattie, Lee Richardson, Hy Anzell, Anna Katarina, Doris Belack,

and Lynnie Greene.


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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Law & Order (season 1)", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.