Hoodlum Washes Up In Malibu

Post-prison, mobster-turned-informant parties with celebrities

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Hoodlum Washes Up In Malibu

JULY 10--A murderous Mafia associate who turned government informant in a bid to avoid life in prison has emerged from custody and landed in Los Angeles, where he was just photographed partying with celebrities at a Malibu beach house.

As seen in the below photo, convicted felon Chris Paciello, 35, was snapped with "Entourage" star Kevin Connolly during a bash at the Polaroid Beach House. The waterfront estate, which has drawn celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, is used as a promotional tool by the photo firm, which released, among other images, the picture of Paciello and Connolly (we're guessing that Polaroid had no idea about the bloody criminal pedigree of Paciello, who left federal prison last fall).

The publicity photo first appeared on, where Connolly's companion was identified only as his "buff buddy."

The mob henchman, who was part of a Colombo crime family crew headed by captain William "Wild Bill" Cutolo, turned government snitch after pleading guilty for his roles in a $300,000 bank heist and a Staten Island home invasion that ended with the murder of female homeowner Judith Shemtov.

Paciello (who was born Christian Ludwigsen, but adopted his mother's surname when he began running with a Brooklyn street gang) drove the getaway car in the Shemtov house invasion, though he was equally culpable in the murder of the 46-year-old housewife. Since his plea, Paciello has testified several times for federal prosecutors, most recently at last September's racketeering trial of Colombo family acting boss Alphonse Persico and underboss Jackie DeRoss.

A government court filing notes that Paciello's testimony centered on loansharking and murder plots.

Prior to his 2004 sentencing, Paciello, who once owned nightclubs and counted Madonna as a pal, wrote federal Judge Edward Korman a letter (which is riddled with exclamation points) apologizing for his criminal behavior and promising to spend the rest of his life "trying to contribute to the world and trying to make amends for my past."

That rehabilitation appears to have taken root on Carbon Beach, in the shadow of the Pacific Ocean. (9 pages)