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Trial Opens for Gangster Accused of ‘Goodfellas’ Heist

FILE - Vincent Asaro, left, is joined by attorney Gerald McMahon in this federal courtroom drawing in New York, Jan. 23, 2014. Asaro is being tried for his role in the 1978 Lufthansa heist, which filmmaker Martin Scorsese immortalized in 'Goodfellas.'

An aging gangster is being tried on charges he was in on a legendary mob heist recounted in the hit film "Goodfellas.''

In opening statements Monday, a prosecutor told federal jurors in New York City that the $6 million Lufthansa holdup in 1978 was "the score of all scores'' for Vincent Asaro and other mobsters.

Asaro's lawyer countered by accusing the government of building its case on the testimony of shady turncoat gangsters.

Prosecutors say the 80-year-old Asaro was a member of the Bonanno crime family for decades. Along with the Lufthansa heist, they say he and the late mobster James Burke killed a truck driver in 1969 after becoming convinced he was an informant.

Robert De Niro played a character based on Burke in the 1990 Martin Scorsese movie.