The $6m heist that inspired the movie Goodfellas is one of America’s most infamous unsolved crimes.
A gang of masked men stole $6m in cash and jewellery from a Lufthansa Airlines cargo building at John F. Kennedy Airport in 1978 and next Monday a criminal trial begins for Bonanno crime family leader Vincern Asaro accused of taking part.
Last year, federal prosecuters charged Mr Asaro with participating in the theft and his trial will take place in Brooklyn federal court before an anonymous jury.
Most of the other suspected participants in the robbery have vanished, died or been killed.
Mr Asaro, aged 80, is accused of a number of crimes including murder, racketeering, arson and robbery. He is also accused of robbing Federal Express of $1m in gold salts, soliciting the murder of his cousin and loan sharking.
He denies all allegations.
The proceeds from the robbery have never been found and would be worth $22m in today’s money.