Fredericka "Marm" Mandelbaum – The Most Successful Fence in New York City History
Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum was born in 1818 in the country of Prussia. She immigrated to the United States in 1848 with her husband Wolfe Mandelbaum. Mandelbaum, a heavyset woman who weighed more than 250 pounds, opened a dry goods store at 79 Clinton Street, the corner of Rivington, on the ground floor of a three-story building that she later bought with her illicit proceeds. In 1854, the dry goods store was the front line of the largest fencing operation in New York City history. She lived on the top two floors of the building with her husband, son, and two daughters, and her apartments were as luxuriously furnished as any in the city, of course, with stolen items. Among the famous criminals he dealt with were Shang Draper, George Leonidas Leslie, Banjo Pete Emerson, Mark Shinburn, Bill Mosher, and Joe Douglas.
Mandelbaum was known for throwing lavish parties in her apartment, attended by all known criminals in the city, of both sexes, including judges and politicians that she kept in her back pocket. Knowing that women were just as good, or even better, thieves than men, she became good friends with criminals like Black Lena Kleinschmidt, Big Mary, Ellen Clegg, Queen Liz, Little Annie, Old Mother Hubbard, and the notorious pickpocket and thief Sophie. Lyons, who with her husband, a bank robber, Ned moved directly over the Hudson River to New Jersey and became known as the Queen of Hackensack.
Mandelbaum first came to the attention of the police in 1862 and it is estimated that between 1862 and 1884 he handled between $ 5 million and $ 10 million in stolen property. His business was so good that he decided to put some of his best scammers on salaries, but gave up on that idea when he caught some of them selling their stolen goods to other fences. (What did you expect? Honest thieves?) He also decided to open a school for boys on Grand Street, where little ones could learn the noble profession from scratch, starting out as pickpockets and sneaky thieves. For older children, he offered courses in robbery, breaking safes, blackmail, and trust games. His school became so well known that the son of a prominent police officer applied for admission, forcing Mandelbaum to close the school immediately.
Whenever Mandelbaum got into trouble, he could always count on Little Abe Hummel and Big Bill Howe of the Hummel and Howe Law Firm (not to be confused with the Dewey, Screwem and Howe Law Firm) to find any loopholes. they could find, legally and illegally, to keep Mandelbaum out of jail. Hubble and Howe served Mandelbaum so well that she paid them an annual advance of $ 5,000.
In 1884, New York District Attorney Peter B. Olney hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to infiltrate the Mandelbaum criminal organization. One of the detectives sold her a stolen shipment of silk, and when her home was raided the next day, she was arrested with her son Julius and Secretary Herman Stroude. Mandelbaum was charged with grand theft and receipt of stolen property. But the canny Hubble and Howe arranged for Mandelbaum to be released on bail. Resorting to form, he jumped bail and moved to Toronto, Canada, where he lived the rest of his life comfortably.
To add insult to injury, New York State was duped by Hubble and Howe and a corrupt surety, who was supposed to have the property Mandelbaum had pledged as surety. Using retroactive checks, they transferred ownership to Mandelbaum’s daughter, along with other properties that the state was in the process of linking up. Putting his finger in the eye of New York City police Mandelbaum, still wanted for his crimes. She traveled to New York City several times, in disguise, to meet up with her old friends, helping them plan several robberies.
Having screwed up the American government as much as any woman in American history, Mandelbaum died of natural causes in Canada, in 1894, at the age of 76. Howe died peacefully in bed in 1903, but in 1905, little Abe Hummel was sent to prison. for various charges of legal negligence.
To paraphrase Meat Loaf, one in three is not bad.