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

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Overweight Gambino gangster appeared in The Biggest Loser reality show

 Robert "Bighead" Iovane
Robert "Big Head" Iovane appeared on weight-loss reality show ‘The Biggest Loser’ in 2006. Joseph Gambina testified that Iovane engaged in illegal sports gambling and loansharking.

A fatso who appeared on the reality TV diet show “The Biggest Loser” has been outed as a reputed Gambino gangster.
Robert "Big Head" Iovane, 45, appeared in a special edition of the series in 2006 teamed with hefty relatives who owned an Italian restaurant in the Bronx — a brush with fame that didn’t go unnoticed in Mob Land.
Two turncoat witnesses have testified at the racketeering and murder trial of Gambino capo Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace that Iovane was a member of Vernace’s crime crew that operated out of a Queens café.

Former Bonanno mobster Joseph "Giuseppe" Gambina recounted his criminal dealings with Iovane included illegal sports betting and loansharking.
“Did you ever see him on TV?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Norris asked.
“Yes,” Gambina said Wednesday. “I was watching TV at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning and I saw him on that show, ‘The Big Fat Loser.’ ”
Bonanno associate Joseph Gambina, Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and Gambino associate Ralph Sciulla. Gambina testified against Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace in his racketeering trial. 

Gambina did not say how often the 276-pound Iovane would sample the pastries behind the counter at the café, but said he was “close” to Vernace, who’s charged with the 1981 murders of two bar owners killed over a spilled drink.
Another mob rat, Howard Santos, had testified previously that Iovane was a “flashy guy” who ran an illegal poker game called Squeeze.
“I mean he would whip out stacks of money like this thick and show off,” Santos said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amir Toossi asked him how Iovane got his nickname.
“Because he’s got a big head,” Santos said.
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Robert "Big Head" Iovane (left) starred on 2006 'Biggest Loser' show titled 'Italian vs. Diner.' 
He could also throw his weight around.
Iovane and another Gambino associate allegedly tuned up a guy named Frank the Mechanic in 1999 but Santos couldn’t recall why.
Iovane’s alleged criminal activities occurred in the 1990s, but a source said he hasn’t been around Vernace’s place in years and dropped out of sight until appearing in the TV show.
He worked in the relatives’ restaurant and also operated landscaping businesses in Queens and Long Island.
“He doesn’t want to talk to nobody,” a man identifying himself as Iovane’s brother told The News before hanging up the phone.
In an interview for the NBC reality show, Iovane said his battle with a “band of heart-attack fat strapped to his waist” once led him to handcuff himself to a treadmill.
“My client has never been involved in any criminal activity, or had knowledge of any criminal activity, at any time,” said lawyer Robert Jannuzzi.
“Whatever these witnesses are saying is completely fictitious. They’re liars,” he said.



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