Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Continuing the family tradition John Gotti's grandson is sentenced to five years in prison

With apologies to Tolstoy, happy families may all be alike, but the Gotti family has long been unhappy in its own particular fashion. For nearly half a century, that has involved the serial ordeal of men in the Mafia clan being sent to federal prison.
On Wednesday, John J. Gotti, the grandson of the infamous Gambino family don who shares his name, was sentenced to five years in prison, following in the footsteps of two of his uncles, two great-uncles and both grandfathers. For three generations, members of the gangland dynasty have been imprisoned for crimes that have included shaking down construction sites, murdering a mob boss at a steakhouse and trying to extort the action-movie hero Steven Seagal.
The crimes that led this latest Gotti scion to be sent away were, according to the government, also entangled in the business that has occupied the family almost since the start of the Civil Rights era. Last June, Mr. Gotti, now 24, pleaded guilty to torching the car of an unwitting motorist who made the mistake of cutting off an aging Bonnano family figure on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach, Queens. Mr. Gotti also admitted that two weeks after the road-rage episode, he and two associates — presenting a note that said they had a bomb — robbed $6,000 from a bank in Maspeth, Queens.
His sentencing, in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, had the feeling of a familiar family dinner as several Gotti parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles converged on the eighth-floor courtroom, kissing each other’s cheeks and showing their support for the defendant. John A. Gotti, the son of the former boss (who was serving a life sentence for murder when he died in prison in 2002), embraced one of the court sketch artists with genuine affection, telling his younger relatives that the woman had not only covered his trials (plural), but had also covered “grandpa’s.”
Inside the room, the younger Mr. Gotti — bespectacled, his hair slicked, both arms sleeved with tattoos — sat beside his lawyer, Charles Carnesi, who had once defended his uncle. Mr. Carnesi told Judge Allyne R. Ross that just before the arson and bank robbery charges were filed, his client had been sentenced to eight years in prison on an unrelated state charge of illegally selling opioids. He asked for lenience, saying that after Mr. Gotti’s drug arrest “a light goes on in his mind” and he recognized “the disastrous path his life was on.”
Mr. Gotti echoed that sentiment himself when he addressed the judge, apologizing first to his family (“I should have knew better”) and then to the court (“It was a waste of taxpayer money”).
“I’m in a good place today,” he said. “I know when I leave here, I can give the world something good.”
Storied American families often have traditions. The Kennedys are known for playing football on skis. The Bushes gather ranch brush. The Gottis, it would seem, write notes to federal judges asking them for mercy for their loved ones.
In one of those notes, submitted to the court this fall, Peter J. Gotti, Mr. Gotti’s father, told Judge Ross that over the years he had watched far too many of his kinsmen “spend most of their lives in prison” or “get their lives taken from them at the barrel of a gun.” Describing himself as a man who has been struggling to “build a small bread route, one stop at a time,” he explained that his son had fallen into crime after “messing around” with drugs and being rejected from various labor unions and the city’s fire and sanitation departments. At one point, Peter Gotti wrote, the younger Mr. Gotti applied to study personal training at the Swedish Institute, but, as he put it, “Hurricane Sandy interrupted that.”
In his own letter, John A. Gotti noted that his nephew had been raised in “the milieu of Howard Beach” — a community that he acknowledged has both “law-abiding citizens and at times professional criminals.” There, he wrote, the young man “grew up bearing the name ‘Gotti,’ with all of the connotations and condemnations that the name bears.”
In their own court filings, federal prosecutors said that, taken together, the arson and the bank robbery were “the defendant’s fourth serious criminal case.” They reminded Judge Ross that aside from his arrest for selling drugs — during which Mr. Gotti was caught on video snorting crushed pills even as he offered some to an undercover officer — he had also been sentenced as a young offender in a gun case and later for the criminal possession of narcotics.
Judge Ross, taking all of this into consideration, sided with the government and sentenced Mr. Gotti to five years — half of which, she said, would run concurrently with the eight years he was serving in the state case. She also ordered him to pay restitution of $20,000 for the motorist’s incinerated car, adding that he would have to participate in an outpatient drug treatment program.
Before he was led away by a pair of federal marshals, Mr. Gotti blew a kiss to his family, many of whom took his sentence stoically.
“He’s a soldier,” his uncle, John A. Gotti, said outside the courtroom, assuming the role of family patriarch. “He’ll take what’s coming.”


Sunday, March 11, 2018

NYPD releases video of man wearing fedora believed to have shot up Brooklyn restaurant owned by Gambino soldier

Police have released surveillance footage of a man sporting a fedora and waist-length coat they believe blasted several bullets into a famed mob-linked Brooklyn restaurant.

Somebody fired several lead-filled shells into Marco Polo Ristorante on Court St. and Union St. in Carroll Gardens about 6 a.m. Feb. 25., according to cops. The restaurant was closed and nobody was inside.

A nearby surveillance camera caught the suspect walking toward the restaurant near the time of the shooting, police sources said.

He's described as white and about 6-foot-2 with a thin build. He was wearing a dark-colored jacket and light-colored pants.

Somebody fired several lead-filled shells into Marco Polo Ristorante on Court St. and Union St. in Carroll Gardens about 6 a.m. Feb. 25., according to cops. The restaurant was closed and nobody was inside.

Cops weren't informed of the shooting until three hours later when a worker showed up and saw the damage.

Several bullet fragments were found inside the restaurant, cops said. No neighboring businesses were hit, leading investigators to believe the restaurant was targeted.

Reached by phone, restaurant workers have repeatedly declined to talk about the incident to reporters.

The suspect is described as white and about 6-foot-2 with a thin build. He was wearing a dark-colored jacket and light-colored pants.

In 2008, restaurant owner Joseph "Marco Polo" Chirico, a reputed Gambino soldier, was busted in a sweeping mob indictment. He was accused of passing $1,500 in tribute money from a mob associate to another Gambino soldier, but he wound up with a slap on the wrist — six months of house arrest for money laundering and permission to spend 10 hours a day at his restaurant. Then-Borough President Marty Markowitz and his predecessor, Howard Golden, wrote letters of support on his behalf.

In 2014, Borough Hall celebrated him for using his connections in Italy to help bring an exhibition of medieval texts from the life of St. Francis of Assisi to Brooklyn.

Cops are asking anyone with information about the gunman to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Bonanno captain set to accept plea deal in loansharking case

It looks like the feds have hooked the big fish in a mob loansharking case.
A lawyer for Ronald "Ronnie G" Giallanzo, a reputed acting capo in the Bonanno crime family, said Tuesday she’s struck a resolution “in principle” and planned to arrange her client’s guilty plea.
Attorney Elizabeth Macedonio’s filing didn’t get into the specifics of what she’s worked out with Brooklyn federal prosecutors on Giallanzo’s case.
Prosecutors say Giallanzo, 47, ran an operation in Howard Beach that hauled in $26 million between 1998 and March 2017.
In one May 2013 incident, Giallanzo and an associate beat a deadbeat behind on payments for a $250,000 credit, according to authorities.
The victim soiled himself while Giallanzo screamed “Where’s the f-----g money?” court papers said.
Prosecutors say Giallanzo ran an operation in Howard Beach that brought in $26 million from 1998 until March 2017.
Prosecutors say Giallanzo ran an operation in Howard Beach that brought in $26 million from 1998 until March 2017.
Since prosecutors unsealed the case against Giallanzo and about 10 other alleged Bonanno members and associates last March, six men have pleaded guilty.
Giallanzo is the nephew of 82-year-old incarcerated “Goodfellas” gangster Vincent Asaro.
The aging capo was sentenced in December for a different case where he ordered the arson of a vehicle that cut him off in Howard Beach traffic.
In 2015, Asaro was acquitted for his role in the 1978 Luftansa heist depicted in “Goodfellas.”


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Former strip club owner who ratted out Gambino family refuses witness protection

A former strip club kingpin who went from doing business with the mob to helping convict dozens of gangsters, including John “Junior” Gotti, has been hiding in plain sight in the Big Apple since getting sprung from prison, The Post has learned.
Despite being warned there’s a $1 million bounty on his head, Scores co-founder Michael Blutrich refused to enter the witness protection program, instead bouncing around from Westchester to Long Island and the city since his release.
The disbarred lawyer, 68, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the $400 million scam that led to the 1994 collapse of the National Heritage Life Insurance Co., but the punishment was cut by a third due to his cooperation with the feds.
Blutrich, who no longer has an association with Scores, said he refused to enter witness protection after his 2013 release from prison because “they would have sent me to South Dakota or Utah.”
“I would have been the only Jew in the state. I had just done 13 years alone. I wasn’t going in for more,” he said.
Now, instead of a closet full of custom Brioni suits and a brand-new Mercedes, he wears black jeans and sport shirts and drives a “s- -t brown” Toyota.
“My life is a scheme of insanity. With the government’s permission, I file taxes in one address of a family member’s. I pick up my mail, all my mail, all my credit cards, everything I put together myself, is all at the New York City address,” he said.
“I have to remember what’s where all the time.”
Over dinner at Sparks Steak House, where mob boss Paul Castellano was gunned down under orders from “Dapper Don” John Gotti in 1985, Blutrich discussed his life in the shadows and his time as an FBI informant — including the night Leonardo DiCaprio unwittingly saved his life.
The incident took place in 1997, Blutrich said, on a night when he was supposed to meet with acting Colombo boss Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico at Scores to discuss expanding the strip club into Brooklyn.
But DiCaprio unexpectedly showed up with fellow actor Tobey Maguire and magician David Blaine, so Blutrich escorted them to the Crow’s Nest, a private second-floor room.
The A-listers wanted Blutrich to join them for dinner, but he was worried about the “F-Bird” — an FBI digital recording device — that was taped to his inner thigh.
“I don’t want to get involved where I record someone famous saying something stupid,” Blutrich said.
But Persico was hours late, Blutrich said, so he sneaked outside to the FBI van and agents took back the recorder and left.
“Ten minutes later, Allie Boy showed up,” he recalled.
“Fifteen minutes later, I’m standing in the hallway, naked,” he said, describing how a mobster searched him while another brandishing a handgun watched.
“If I had that F-Bird on me, I’m dead,” Blutrich recalled.
Blutrich said his scariest moment came when he was confronted by Lucchese crime family capo Angelo “Cheesecake” Urgitano, who “spilled water all over me to see if I was wearing a wire.”
He also recalled a dinner at the since-shuttered Chin Chin Chinese restaurant in Midtown with Gambino gangster Craig DePalma, who later committed suicide after turning rat.
“He said he had heard that one of his guys in Scores had said something nasty about him. I said, ‘I don’t want to lie to you, but I heard the same thing,’ ” Blutrich recalled.
“He got up and picked up the table and flipped it over.”
Blutrich wrote a memoir titled “Scores” that was published last year, and he’s hoping to have it turned into a TV series.
Asked how he copes with the constant threat of mob retribution, Blutrich reasoned: “It’s all a state of mind. You can’t keep up the fear. I don’t let it take over.”


Court filings show devotion of Genovese gangster to his mother

The Oddfather’s son is a proud mama’s boy.
Accused high-ranking Genovese crime family associate Vincent Esposito lived most of his life with his aging mother, served as her primary caregiver and shared dinner with her most nights, according to court papers.
“I have never known another adult child who has the level of affection and care that (Vincent) shows to our aging mother,” wrote his sister Lucia in a letter urging his release on bail.
“He is an extraordinary son, brother, friend, human being and gentleman.”
Esposito, 50, is the namesake son of the late, legendary Genovese boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante and his longtime mistress Olympia Esposito, now 83.
Until Esposito’s January arrest, mother and son lived in a multimillion-dollar townhouse on the Upper East Side that became the focus of FBI surveillance in the 1980s.
Authorities searching the home recovered $3.8 million in cash stuffed inside old ammunition boxes, sacks, shoe boxes and envelopes when Esposito was arrested in January.
He is now locked up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center on charges linked to a long-running mob shakedown of local unions — although defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman hopes to spring Esposito.
According to a court filing by Lichtman, Esposito is “a man who is revered for his dedication to his immediate family and to others.”
Olympia Esposito’s only son ferried his ailing mother to myriad doctor appointments, including a pulmonologist, an oncologist, an orthopedist, a neurologist and an internist.
He also handled the grocery shopping and prepared many home-cooked meals for his mom.
His sister Carmella said the time since Vincent’s Jan. 10 arrest and incarceration is the longest stretch that he and his mother were ever apart.
High school pal Peter Thayer chimed in with a three-page letter vouching for Vincent’s family ties.
“Often a strong bond between mother and son exists, but the bond between Vincent and his mother is of an order of magnitude higher and is extraordinary and inextricable,” wrote Thayer.
“He values his mother and sisters above all else and would not flee causing them serious financial damage.”
Like his father, a lifelong resident of Greenwich Village, Esposito has rarely ventured out of the city — taking just a single 2010 trip to Italy for a friend’s wedding.
The Chin, as his dad was known, took a more novel approach to avoiding bail hearings. He famously feigned mental illness, a dodge that successfully spared him from prosecution for decades — and earned him the tabloid nickname of “Oddfather.”
Lichtman proposed a bail package that included a $6 million personal recognizance bond and home incarceration.
Prosecutors, in a Thursday response, questioned both Esposito’s honesty and the high praise offered in his support.
“The defense submission is long on hyperbole, but short on providing a complete and reliable factual survey of the defendant’s financial resources,” prosecutors said.
“As the court is aware, the defendant made significant and material misstatements . . . about his assets following his arrest.”


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Colombo soldier given time served for testifying against the crime family


A reluctant mobster got his reward Monday for airing dirty family laundry.

Years after Sebastian Saracino testified against his brother and mafia bigs, he received a sentence of time served for crimes that could have imprisoned him for up to 70 years.

“I never wanted this life,” Saracino told Brooklyn Federal Judge Brian Cogan. “Somehow, it seems like this life found me.”

The Colombo soldier said he could’ve been “perfectly fine being a nobody.”

Back in 2010, the feds busted Sicilian-born Saracino for lying in his immigration documents. They held him for a couple months and he quickly started talking about gangland mayhem that helped build cases against mafiosi like Colombo street boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli.

It culminated in Saracino’s explosive 2012 testimony against his brother, Dino "Little Dino" Saracino, while his brother and family watched. “Don’t call me your brother no more!” Little Dino, another reputed Colombo solider, barked.

Saracino received a sentence of time served for crimes that could have imprisoned him for up to 70 years.

Jurors convicted Gioeli and Little Dino on racketeering, but acquitted them in the 1997 murder of off-duty NYPD officer Ralph Dols, who married the ex-wife of another mobster.

One of the crimes Saracino admitted to himself was disposing a bag thought to have the clothes of Dols’ assassin.

Six years after his gut-wrenching testimony, Saracino said he’d “always love” his brother. “Will God be with you.”

Though mob turncoats can ask for waivers barring testimony against their flesh and blood, Saracino didn’t ask for one.

Cogan remembered Saracino’s testimony against his brother as the most tense courtroom scene he’d ever witnessed. “It was the stuff you think you’re going to only see in the movies,” he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Gatta said Saracino “turned his back on the mob. But he also turned his back on his family, and they turned their back really on him.” He noted Saracino, never a triggerman, faced future deportation.

Saracino was, and continued to be, a wellspring of information on the Colombos, according to Gatta.

Cogan said Saracino “took no glory” in mob life “and that makes him a better person.”

Saracino will have to forfeit two Brooklyn properties, pay $75,000 for an insurance-related arson and another $18,500 for the funeral expenses of a killed mob associate.

Saracino testified Little Dino shot the associate, Richard Greaves, in the back of the head in the basement of the 76th St. Brooklyn home owned by Saracino’s parents.

Saracino’s lawyer, John Jordan, said his client took big risks and paid dearly to help prosecutors. He cooperated, looking out for his wife and two daughters, according to Jordan.

Saracino said the irony is “I’m here because of my family and I’m here because of my family.”


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Brooklyn restaurant with mafia ties mysteriously shot up


Waiter, there’s a bullet in my bolognese.

A mobbed-up Brooklyn restaurant may need to check its macaroni and gravy for shell casings after someone shot up the eatery’s facade early Sunday.

An employee arriving for work at Carroll Gardens’ Marco Polo Ristorante just before 8 a.m. found the front window and door riddled with six bullet holes, police said.

The 35-year-old trattoria is notorious with machers on both sides of the law — judges and attorneys regularly sup at the Court Street institution, but its mob ties run deep.

Wise-guy restaurant founder Joseph Chirico pleaded guilty to laundering money for the Gambino crime family in 2008.

Chirico copped to collecting $1,500 in extorted dough from trucking-company executive Joseph Vollaro on behalf of fellow Gambino soldier Jerome Brancato, but dodged jail time after getting character references from former Brooklyn borough president’s Howard Golden and Marty Markowitz — both of whom took donations from the mobbed-up restaurateur. Co-owner Marco Chricio, 29, said he believes his restaurant was caught in the crossfire of a larger gang battle on Court Street.

“You can see how the bullets ricocheted all over the place,” he said. “You can tell it was not direct. All the shells were across the street, and there were more than five. It looked like a battle. Hopefully, they catch the people that were fighting.”

Broken windows were patched with menus, but the front door still had a gaping hole blasted through it Sunday morning as the eatery prepared to open for business as usual.

A neighbor who heard the bullets said gun battles are rare in tony Carroll Gardens and suggested it was “unlikely” the shooters weren’t aiming for Marco Polo.

“I’d find it very unlikely that whoever fired the shots wasn’t targeting this restaurant — unless the target happened to be standing right out front. Otherwise, why else would this be the only storefront on the block with bullet holes in it?” he said, asking his name be withheld.

“Would I come back here? Yeah, I’d come back. The food here is phenomenal.”

Added another skeptical neighbor: “The thing about Marco Polo and some of the other restaurants is, we know their history. You always think twice.”

No one was injured in the gunplay, which likely occurred around 5 am, and investigators are still looking for a cause, police said.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Questions rise in New Jersey about mafia ties

For a time, Richard Weiner had three things in common with Richard Weiner. Both men were attorneys. Both had offices in Hackensack, across the street from the county courthouse (and, as it happened, across Essex Street from each other).
Each man prided himself as a doer, a man who accomplishes big things. One Richard Weiner represented accident and burn victims, winning some of the biggest settlements in the history of New Jersey jurisprudence, including $23.5 million for the family of a Saddle River eye surgeon who was killed in an automobile crash.
The other Richard Weiner has spent three decades at the pinnacle of North Jersey’s legal establishment, specializing in family and business litigation while serving at various times as president of the Bergen County Bar Association and chairman of the association’s ethics committee.
And then there are the names. Who could forget the names? The two may share a moniker, but the subject of names is where the lives and reputations of these two very different Richard Weiners begins to radically diverge.

The Richard Weiner of the establishment — the one whose corner office windows face the county courthouse, the former member of the Wyckoff Recreation Advisory Board, president of the Wyckoff Free Public Library and an imposing fixture on the tennis courts of the Indian Trail Club — was born in 1959 with the middle initial “H,” for Harris.
“I’ve known him over 30 years,” said Peter Doyne, who was praised as the “Atticus Finch of Bergen County” when he retired from the bench in 2015. “I have always found him to be an honorable man.”
Richard Weiner the injury lawyer, meanwhile, was born in 1939 with the middle name Joel. In 2009, he paid $5,000 to settle a civil lawsuit alleging that he violated federal law by attempting to solicit victims of a plane crash before the mandatory 45-day waiting period had ended.
He also remains a named party in an explosive, long-running lawsuit in which the family of Frank P. Lagano, an alleged mobster who was murdered in 2007, maintains that Weiner, Lagano and Bergen County's former chief of detectives, Michael Mordaga, engaged in a “business arrangement” in which Lagano loaned money to Weiner’s firm. The suit also alleges Weiner paid Mordaga more than $100,000 for “illegal” referrals to his firm on behalf of injury victims with cases potentially worth millions of dollars.
Crucially, the Richard Weiner with the alleged connections to organized crime is dead.
The Richard Weiner located at the physical and institutional heart of Bergen County’s legal community, on the other hand, remains quite happily alive.
“The Rich Weiner that I know has always been a man of tremendous integrity,” said Frank O’Marra, executive director of the county bar association. “He is not the bad Richard Wiener with all of these shenanigans.”

Enduring confusion

Despite these many differences, however, some people continue to get the two Richard Weiners mixed up. This confusion recurs every time this newspaper, the Star-Ledger or the New Jersey Law Journal publishes another story about the lawsuit that Lagano’s heirs filed against Mordaga and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. 

The stories in The Record have identified the Weiner in question as Richard J., not Richard H. They have stated that he is deceased.
People read quickly, however. Perhaps that's why some continue to conflate Richard H. Weiner and his allegedly disgraced, decidedly deceased doppelganger.
Distinctions between Richard H. and Richard J., between the living and the dead, get lost.
“People often want to confuse me with him,” said Weiner — the living one, who is 59 — “and each time it appears in a publication, the level of concern is heightened.”

That level of concern is expressed through various means. Sometimes an acquaintance approaches Weiner at his tennis club or inside the courthouse to ask how he ever got mixed up with the Mafia.
Others ask his friends.
“When the stories about the bad Rich Weiner started appearing a few years ago, I got calls saying, “What the hell is going on?’” O’Marra said. “And I would say, ‘Wait a minute, you know Rich. You know this can’t be the Rich Weiner we know.”
Weiner’s wife is a personal trainer in Wyckoff and surrounding towns. His mother is 87, his aunt is 93, and both live in North Jersey. Every time a news story surfaces about the Lagano case, people who consider themselves longtime friends of the family approach the women closest to him and ask how Richard Weiner could have sunk so low.
“My mother and my wife are often confronted by people in the community raising questions about my credibility, my integrity and my appearance in these various publications," Weiner said, "which clearly denote a negative connotation with my name.”
At least those people have the guts to say something. How many others — fellow attorneys, perhaps, or even potential clients — harbor identical concerns about the interchangeable appellations but stay silent, depriving Weiner of the opportunity to clear his name (and win their business)?
“That’s what I worry about, the unknown,” Weiner said. “My concern was always: Who is not telling me, who is not confronting me, and who was not coming here as a client because they Googled my name?”

Physical differences, too

Whoever these people are, they certainly have never met both men. One Weiner, Richard H., stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 225 pounds. His dark brown hair is receding and graying at its fringes. He possesses the broad shoulders and powerful presence of a man who lifts weights six days a week.
The other, Richard J., who died in 2015, was short, red-headed and tubby.

“The other Rich Weiner was considerably shorter and older,” said Doyne, who watched both attorneys try cases in his court. “And fuller.”
Despite the physical differences between the two men, the confusion appears likely to continue. The Lagano case is still moving forward. As it does, news organizations, including this one, will continue trying to suss out whether there was ever a relationship among Lagano, rumored to have been a soldier in the Lucchese crime family, Mordaga and Richard J. Weiner.
That leaves Richard H. Weiner wondering what to do. His best guess is to try subverting the dead man online. Currently he is paying an expert in search engine optimization to promote the website of his firm, Aronson Weiner Salerno & Kaufman, to the top of Google searches, while demoting websites related to the other Richard Weiner.
The effort appears to be working. Type “Rich Weiner,” “Richard Weiner” and “Richard Weiner Hackensack” into Google, and the living Richard Weiner's website comes up first every time. One must scroll past entries for Richard Weiner the Czech journalist, Richard Weiner the Romanian theoretical physicist, and Richard Weiner the therapist in Rochelle Park before finding any mention of a certain deceased attorney.  
Even a cursory investigation can confirm that none of these Richard Weiners is the Richard Weiner at the center of the Lagano case.
“I’m not related or affiliated, and I don’t even know who he is,” Richard Weiner, the therapist, said last week when reached by phone. “I just started practicing in Rochelle Park a few months ago.”


Feds send Bonanno consigliere back to jail for violating parole restrictions by visiting restaurants

Reputed Bonanno crime family mobster John “Porky” Zancocchio let his appetite get the best of him.
The 60-year-old accused goodfella was allowed out of his house — where he had been on electronically monitored home incarceration — strictly to attend a family funeral but couldn’t control himself and visited two restaurants and a bakery as well, according to court documents.
Prosecutors claim this was a violation of the conditions of his bail and Zancocchio was tossed back behind bars for the move, pending his case.
Zancocchio — who was arrested last month with nine other alleged wise guys on racketeering charges — was allowed out of his home for his aunt’s wake, Mass and burial on Feb. 11 and 12.
But Zancocchio — who had been out of jail on a $1 million bond — was caught violating his furlough both days visiting three joints on Staten Island — including a restaurant he co-owned with Gambino family captain Frank Camuso called Bella Mama Rose, according to court documents.
On the evening of his aunt’s wake, Zancocchio was seen sitting at the bar of his restaurant chatting with customers, prosecutors claim in court papers. The next day after the burial he was spotted at another restaurant called Denino’s, they charge.
Bonanno crime family consigliere John Zancocchio is seen during his stop in Bella Mama Rose on Feb. 11
And before heading home from his two days of freedom, Zancocchio allegedly stopped into a bakery.
The accused mobster’s lawyer, John Meringolo said, “The FBI surveillance team uncovered my client having dinner with his 80-year-old cousins. It’s customary for Catholics to have a meal with their family in between the wake.
“He wasn’t with any felons or anyone alleged with organized crime,” Meringolo added.
Zancocchio is accused alongside other quirky-nicknamed alleged mobsters including Lucchese crime family mobster Eugene “Boobsie” Castelle; Albert “Al Muscles” Armetta; alleged acting capo George “Grumpy” Tropiano; Joseph “Joey Blue Eyes” Santapaolo; and alleged Genovese mobster Ernest “Butch” Montevecchi.
The men are accused of crimes including violent extortion, loansharking, mail fraud, drug dealing and conspiracy to commit murder.
Zancocchio faces up to 20 years in federal custody if convicted.
In 2002, Zancocchio was convicted in another case alongside his then-wife, Lana, on extortion and fraud charges and served over six years in prison for those crimes.
Zancocchio, an alleged bookie, had MLB player Pete Rose as one of his gambling clients, a source confirmed.


Leaders of Montreal Mafia acquitted of drug charges

Two men alleged to have been the leaders of the Mafia in Montreal were acquitted of criminal charges on Monday after a judge ruled the police illegally wiretapped them in the offices of their lawyer.
Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito were acquitted of charges of gangsterism and conspiracy to traffic cocaine by Quebec Superior Court Judge Eric Downs after the judge excluded the wiretap evidence gathered by a joint police task force in 2015 as a violation of the constitutional right to solicitor-client privilege. Most of the Crown’s evidence against the pair came from a conversation that was intercepted in a meeting room and in the reception area of the law office.
“The judge recognized that you don’t enter a law office like you do a warehouse” to conduct a wiretap operation, Daniele Roy, the lawyer representing Sollecito, said on Monday evening.
The wiretap was a first in Canada because the police installed hidden microphones around the law office, Roy said. The judge ruled in favour of Sollecito and Rizzuto’s request to have the evidence excluded because the authorities had not put in place sufficient measures to prevent the interception of conversations between lawyers and other clients at the office, she added.
Sollecito and Rizzuto were arrested in 2015.
Rizzuto, the son of Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto, who died in 2013, had been detained since his arrest. Sollecito, whose father, Rocco Sollecito, was murdered in Laval in 2016, was granted bail by a court in 2016 to so he could undergo treatment for cancer.
Rizzuto is still facing charges of possession of a firearm and drug possession. However, he was expected to be released on bail as early as Monday evening to await the outcome of the other case.