D. Catrambone; investigated crime

Posted: April 03, 2010

Dominic V. Catrambone, 86, formerly of Mayfair, who investigated organized crime for the IRS and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday, March 30, at Brittany Pointe Estates, a retirement community in Lansdale.

For 25 years, Mr. Catrambone was a special agent for the IRS in Philadelphia and New York, where he was part of a task force investigating fraud by organized crime members. "He was very aggressive," said a daughter, Maria Catrambone Rosen.

After retiring from the IRS in the mid-1970s, Mr. Catrambone established and directed the financial investigative division of the Revenue Department. In 1981, he recommended to his superiors that they investigate a "major organized-crime figure" allegedly operating a prostitution racket in Reading.

When his superiors rejected his recommendation, Mr. Catrambone shared information about the prostitution racket with the state police and State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D., Berks). When they learned he had been a whistle-blower, his superiors fired Mr. Catrambone for "insubordination . . . and continued defiance."

Caltagirone then hired him. "I wanted to right an injustice. Dom deserved to earn his pension," Caltagirone said.

Mr. Catrambone also worked for a state senator until the mid-1980s and then was a private investigator for several years.

A graduate of West Philadelphia Catholic High School, Mr. Catrambone served in the Navy aboard a PT boat in the South Pacific during World War II.

After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree from La Salle University.

In 1946, he married Clementine Celia Catrambone. Their families were from the same town in Italy, and they had known each other since childhood. She died in 1996.

Mr. Catrambone enjoyed bridge games at Brittany Pointe Estates, where he had lived for 10 years, and was also a member of the Brittany Pointe Songsters, a choral group, his daughter said.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Catrambone is survived by a son, Joseph; daughters Rosemary Fair, Anita LaBarge, and Loretta Lawson; and eight grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 5, at Corpus Christi Church, 900 Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale. Friends may call from 9 a.m. Burial will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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