|Stand-in, Mafia Substitute|
The mob has often used "front men" and "standins" to take the rap for crimes committed by more important bigwigs. For example, it is considered necessary—and even proper—that Mafia rackets, such as gambling operations, take a hit once in a while to give the police, who may be providing protection, some credibility. But few important mafiosi relish the idea of going into a lockup and being mixed with common riff-raff.
A solution is offered by the "stand-in." Mafiosi bosses or capos enlist a "stand-in" to take the bust. He goes to the lock-up, is accused of being the racketeer involved and so on. If need be, the stand-in takes the rap and goes to jail in a conviction.
In return, the stand-in receives payment in cash, or the promise of a more important place in the mob afterward, or both. Occasionally, when an important mobster is grabbed before arrangements can be made, the fix is put on later. The stand-in takes over for the real criminal immediately after the first arraignment, even standing trial, and if found guilty, doing the time.