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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Colombo Captain Gets 6 1/2 Years For Trying To Shake Down Pizzeria, Blames Uncle Sonny Franzese

The "My Uncle Sonny made him join the Mafia" argument didn't help a Colombo capo's bid for a lighter sentence in Brooklyn Federal Court yesterday.
Michael Catapano, who pleaded guilty to extorting a pizzeria and a gambling club, had grown up under the powerful influence of his uncle -- the legendary Colombo gangster John (Sonny) Franzese, according to a social worker hired by the defense.
But Judge Brian Cogan wasn't buying that argument. "Lots of people have black sheep in the family … and the result is not that you become a captain in an organized crime family," Cogan said Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Cogan also found that the defendant had participated in a plot to influence a witness suspected of cooperating against mobbed-up lawyer Paul Begrin in a prostitution and money laundering case, before slapping the defendant with a 6 1/2-year sentence.
Catapano, 44, an electrician who lives in Suffolk County, expressed remorse.
"I'm sorry for all the havoc I've caused," he said in court.
Next month the 93-year-old Franzese will be sentenced for racketeering and extortion.
He was convicted earlier this year largely on the testimony of his own son, John, who became a government informant.



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